Stand-Up Fishing Stands Out in Southern California

by Capt. David Bacon, a.k.a. "Capt. WaveWalker"

Step right up to the rail and duke it out! That's our motto. This is Southern California, and we don't take our fish sitting down. Stand-up fishing is a distinctive style and fishing culture that grew up with the wild west. There is a certain freedom to it. A single angler can move all around the rail of a boat to fight a fish, and any number of anglers can be hooked up to fish simultaneously. The result is a choreographed “deck dance” which becomes an art form of its own. The watchwords are COURAGE and COMPASSION. Have the courage to claim the rail when it is needed and the compassion to yield when it isn't. If you have fished along the SoCal coast, you've experienced this unique fishing culture. If not, come on out and join in our enthralling deck dance. You'll love it.

Picture above: Capt. David Bacon with a big colorful male sheephead taken on light tackle using squid for bait at Rock Reef in 140 feet of water.

Picture below: Mark Lahfdany of Lakewood, WA nailed this bruiser calico bass on ultralight gear and a brown swimbait by Big Hammer. Mar was fishing a Santa Rosa Island aboard the 6-Pack charterboat WaveWalker.

To understand the options and opportunities, let's explore the coastal and island fishing scene from San Diego, where it's always summertime, on up to the rugged coastline of Morro Bay and San Simeon. There is a bounty of beautiful spots and fabulous fisheries along the way. I want to share my enthusiasm and show you why I make my life and livelihood on the Southern California coast. I am Capt. David Bacon, SoCal Saltwater Editor for Fine Fishing Magazine. I grew up fishing these coastal and island waters. Now I own and operate WaveWalker Charters, a 6-pack private-charter service in Santa Barbara (805-964-2046). I put on seminars and write fishing articles for various publications. My goal is to bring this enchanting coast and dazzling fishery to life on your screen, and hopefully tempt you to come visit us and give stand-up fishing a try. Future articles will sharpen the focus by delving deeply into tackle, techniques, and opportunities for specific species, seasons and locations.

There are a veritable truckload of reasons for visiting Southern California and a fishing trip is certainly a perfect reason. But even when you're here on a business trip, vacation, visiting family or friends, or “just passing through”, do pause to appreciate our SoCal lifestyle (practice saying, “Surf's Up Dude”), and take a day or part of a day to experience our outstanding “stand-up” fishing style. You'll grin all the way home!