How To:

Southern California Tackle & Methods

Author: Bullbuster Team

Tackle For Southern California Fishing

Traditionally Southern Californians don’t like spinning reels “coffee grinders”.  Conventional reels are the way to go and important.  Below we will cover the  most used tackle in Southern California. (See Why Spinning Reels May Actually Work For Yellowtail ).

Rod & Reel Setups For Southern California

“Jig Stick”


Length: 8ft +

Does Not Have A Light Tip (Light Tips Make More Backlashes)

       Usage:  - This is a long rod meant to casting irons. (This rod is used for casting at    Yellowtail, Yellowfin Tuna, Barracuda, Bonita, & Bluefin Tuna).   Also can be used for fly lining baits. 

  Line Used:  30-50Lb fishing line. 

Reel: Conventional Reel holding 500 + yards of line (with braided backing)

 â€œBeef Stick “

Rod length : 7ft + For Cattle Boats 5 -6 feet for Private Sportboats

Reel: This reel should hold 50 to 80Lb monofilament with braided backing. 500 yards plus. 

Usage: Trolling & fly lining for larger tunas. Also “Yoyo” fishing. (Vertical jigging from an East Coast perspective).

“Rock Cod Rod “

Rod Length: 6.5 to 7ft.

Reel:   Can hold at least 500 yards of 50 -80Lb braid

Southern California Fishing Methods

Live Baiting 

Southern California is home to the world's largest live bait fishing fleet.  

See List Of Long Range Fishing Boats

See Schedules For Long Range Fishing Boats

Most landings in Southern California have live bait fishing barges.  Everingham Bait Co operates seiners that continuously operate in order to supply the fleet. 

Main Live Baits Used 



See How To Hook Your Live Bait

Main Methods Of Fishing Live Baits

Fly Lining - This is where you let your bait swim freely and control the spool of your conventional reel so there is as little slack in your conventional reel as possible. 

Sinker Rig Fishing - This is a method where you use a rubber band in order to hold an egg sinker in place and drop your live bait to a deeper zone.  (See 5 Ways To Drop Your Bait Deeper)

Fishing With Artificials

There are plenty of artificial lures used in Southern California.  

Types Of Artificial Lures

Soft Plastics:  Soft Plastics are any type of plastic molded bait that can be used to target fish.  One of the most popular molded baits in 2020 is the Hookup Bait.  

See Fishing South San Diego Bay For Spotted Bay Bass

Yoyo Jigs:   This is a jig that you drop down and jig up. 

Irons: This is one of the most classic Southern California lures.

Stickbaits: A lure that you throw mostly with a spinning reel to skip on the top of the water. 

Dead Bait Fishing

This is mostly used for rock cod fishing. The most common dead baits used in Southern California are: 

  1. Squid

  2. Ghost Shrimp

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