Trips

Fish Village jets up to the Central Coast for a quick winter getaway

We have been trying to get to the Central Coast for over a year and each time we got close, something got in the way. This stayed true all the way up until the last second before we said “f-it”, let’s do this. Originally we planned on heading up north during the long Thanksgiving weekend but we struck out with campsites (play wah wah wah sound). So we pushed it to first weekend in December, packed up and trucked north to Cayucos.

Get in my belly!
Get in my belly!

Fish Village Pro Staffer Charlie Wardle, Joe and I knew that we had some hurdles ahead of us with the slight possibility that we wouldn’t be able to fish at all from our kayaks due to huge waves of death and high winds. Charlie was reassuring us that the launch was close to our campsite and that the launch would be a piece of cake. I don’t know about you… but I smell bullshit. So we disregarded anything Charlie said and started prepping our dinner which fortunately for us meat eaters was three (3) large bone-in ribeyes and some bbq beans with costco hot dogs mixed-in. Boy howdy it was good and yes we farted all night long.

When we woke up Charlie and I hopped in the truck and started scoping out the range… it wasn’t looking good. The surf was cranking, the swells were consistently rolling in and the wind was howling. To top it off it was freaking freezing (us SoCal boys are spoiled). We decided to take the quick drive up to Cambria to scope out Leffingwell Beach as we were told this was a good kayak launching spot. As we sat there watching the waves we realized that launching there might not be such a good idea. As we surveyed the location we met a local kayak angler named Bob and even he said that he would rather launch where it wasn’t so rough and sketchy. Bob offered to show us a few other spots on his way to south back through Morro Bay. So far all we have managed to do is drive and the thought of launching in what clearly was going to be our demise.

Windmills looking quite beautiful in the early light despite the 'waves of death' off in the distance
Windmills looking quite beautiful in the early light despite the ‘waves of death’ off in the distance

Just before we got back to Cayucos we stopped off at a place called Windmills. The walk to the surf launch was long, slightly discouraging but the launch seemed doable if the surf and wind would lie down a bit, unfortunately that never happened. We tried to make the best of it and tossed some lures into the surf for a couple of hours with no success. Not our finest hour…

We decided to give Sunday a fair shake regardless of conditions simply because we were jonesing for a kayak fishing fix. We woke up to about the same conditions as the day before but this time we dug deep and decided to go for it. With some careful timing we were able to get out un-scathed and was able to sneak in about 4 hours of fishing. During that time we pulled on 10+ fish with a nice cabezon as our prized catch of the weekend. Dead squid and Shimano Flat-Falls (glow in the dark) seemed to do the trick. The fishery was littered with high spots in shallow water ranging from 20-50 ft. The surface kelp was a welcome sight for this SoCal group, during this warm water cycle our surface kelp went nearly extinct.

Charlie with a nice Cabezon fishing with dead squid.
Charlie with a nice Cabezon fishing with dead squid (sorry about his face, he actually looks like that)

As we wrapped up our time on the water we noticed that the conditions changed drastically, though the surf was still big on the outside… the high tide made the shallows near shore less volatile. The pathway between huge sets was honestly no more than 75 yards wide, if you went too far left or right you were in big trouble (10-12 ft waves just waiting to pound ya). Fortunately we navigated our way back safely until Joe bailed a little too early from his PA 14 and ended up nearly neck high in water. Fortunately everyone was whole at the end of this journey with the exception of one MirageDrive and one rudder pin that got mangled up pretty good. With all things considered, we did OK.

We are spoiled down here in SoCal and don’t have to work too hard to get to some good fishing grounds… with that being said we expected challenges and took the conditions pretty seriously. This trip ended up being more of a recon mission for future excursions which is not a bad thing; however we were encouraged with our catches in such a short period of time. Leads me to think that we should come back for more.

We will be heading back to the Central Coast area 3-4 times in 2017. Contact Fish Village if you would like to join us on this excursion.