Surf Perch FishingFishing for Surf PerchFish Species Spotlight:Ocean Surf PerchFishing for surf perch provides year round fishing opportunities for anglers in the coastal waters of California. They can be found all up and down the coast line in many different types of habitats. Surf Perch Habitats•Shallow water over sand or rock substrate•Kelp forests•Ocean Bays•Even in Deeper Water up to 750 ft DeepThere are many different types of perch in the coastal waters of California. Redtail, Calico, and Striped surfperch are the most sought after shallow water along the beaches composed of sand and small rocky bottoms. In the central and southern California beaches the most targeted surfperch species along the sandy beaches are barred, silver, and walleye surfperch. In the more rocky bottom beaches, anglers target the striped seaperch, rubberlip seaperch, black perch, and pile perch. Along the ocean bays you can find black perch, rubberlip seaperch, shiner perch, and pile perch along the piers and docks. Surfperch fishing does not require specialized gear or techniques, as they are not finicky eaters, however the smaller baits, as well as smaller gear and tackle tends to work the best. You can typically do well with natural baits, lures, and fly fishing gear to catch surfperch. Fishing Gear•Lightweight Gear and Tackle•Natural Baits - Sandcrabs, Shrimp, Squid, Mussels, Clams, Grubs•Lures - Berkley Gulp Sandworms, Lucky Craft Flash Minnow•Fly LuresLucky Craft Flash MinnowFor the best fishing, you will find the most success fishing for surfperch in lower light conditions such as early in the morning, or late in the afternoon, as well as in overcast conditions that block the bright sun. It is also best to fish during an incoming tide, or right at the change of the tide from high to low or low to high. Though you can catch ocean surfperch at the beach pretty much year round, the bite will get stronger just prior to the mating season in late fall and winter, and during the spawning stage in the spring through the early summer. Tides are important because the surfperch will migrate towards the shore to forage for food. An incoming high tides combined with surf action of the waves will act to dislodge and make available food items such as mole crabs, sand crabs, and sand worms that hide in sand bars. If you plan your surfperch fishing around the tides it will increase the chances of catching more surfperch. When to Fish•Early Morning, Late Afternoon, and Overcast Days•Incoming Tide or Change of Tide from high or low•Year Round, Late Fall and Winter, as well as Spring to Early SummerFishing TechniqueTry to arrive at the end of a low tide, a minus tide if you have one would be even better. This will expose the depressions, troughs, and small rocks that may hold the surfperch. As the water begins to rise with the tide, use lures, baits, or files along the edges of the sand bars and troughs, as well as the small and medium sized rocks they also hide around to forage for food. The moving water knocks the bait loose out of the sand and they come in to feast. World Record Big Fish Surf Perch The biggest world record surf perch catches, as per the International Game Fish Association, are shown below. •Pile Perch - 2 lb 8 oz•Barred SurfPerch - 4 lb 12 oz•Redtail SurfPerch - 1 lb 4 oz•Calico SurfPerch - 2 lb 0 oz•Black Perch - 1 lb 8 oz•RubberLip SurfPerch - 2 lb 12 oz•Shiner Perch - 7 to 8 in (No weight recorded)•Striped SeaPerch - 1 lb 12 ozState Record Big Fish can be found here.Other Resources: DFG Guide to Central California Beach Fishing - LinkBerkley Gulp! SandwormBerkley Gulp Sand Crab Flea See more fishing tackle in ourFishing Gear and Tackle store.Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Mendenhall Outdoors team. We highlight products and services that you might find interesting. We frequently receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. If you click a link on this page, then go on to make a purchase, we might receive a commission – at no extra cost to you, and does not impact the purchase price of any products that you may purchase.