The day after our trip to Oceanside, I heard from Tom and Steve, the legendary anglers from prehistoricsoul.com. They were planning to fish for sharks and rays that night at Cardiff Beach. I wanted to learn how to fish heavy surf gear, so I left my own tackle at home so I could hang out with Tom and Steve and focus on taking notes. If I brought my micro gear, I guarantee I would have ended up distracted by two inch gobies or something.
Tom landed the fish with several bystanders cheering him on, including two police officers. The bright light in the photo below is from one of the officer's flashlights.
Bat Ray (Myliobatis californica)
Meanwhile, Steve had been getting bites closer to the reef. Apparently he caught and released a small leopard shark while Tom was fighting the bat ray, but neither of us saw it. We'll have to take his word on it. Next, he hooked up with the biggest kelp bass I've ever seen. This is the most you'll see Steve smile.
Kelp Bass (Paralabrax clathratus)
California moray (Gymnothorax mordax)
Gray Smoothhound (Mustelus californicus)
I have to admit, I did get a little distracted as the evening progressed. There are some pretty neat tidepools at Cardiff that become exposed at low tide, and I wanted to see if any fish hung out in them. The tidepools are teeming with life, as you can see in this photo from one of the shallow depressions in the rock.
Zebra Perch (Hermosilla azurea)
Opaleye (Girella nigricans)
Sculpin species - camouflaged behind the opaleye
Blenny species - small and highly mobile