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Thread: Why I Love Float Tube Fishing in Saltwater Bays and Harbors

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Long Beach, CA
    Posts
    295

    Default Why I Love Float Tube Fishing in Saltwater Bays and Harbors

    Another pitch for the sport I love.

    In the global world of float tube fishing, my guess would be that saltwater tubers are a very small minority. But I live in Southern California, and our local bays and harbors offer a unique fishing experience that I believe is truly world class.

    First off - Forget sharks. No one has ever been attacked in a SoCal harbor or bay. Driving to the water is orders of magnitude more dangerous and Iím not afraid to do that, so Iím not afraid to get in the water once Iím there. Remember, Iím in SoCal, so no gators or bull sharks. If youíre in Florida, itís a different ball game and Iím out.

    Now that weíve got that out of the way, there are a few particular things that I like about tubing the salt. The fish and the tides are the beginning of it.

    The fish are amazing and varied. Catching multiple different species in the same day is not the least bit unusual and theyíre all beautiful to look at. There are different species for all parts of the water column and all kinds of bottom structure and theyíre all hungry.

    Wherever you are, open water, near docks and man-made structure, rocks, eelgrass, sand, mud, you name it and thereís something I want to catch hunting there for food.

    Top water and mid-water fish like mackerel and bonito and barracuda are powerful swimmers and fighters and respond well to lures and presentations that mimic small baitfish. Theyíre also schoolers, so when the bite is on, itís rockin! Catching a fish on every cast isnít uncommon when youíre onto a school. Intense fun!

    Bottom water fish like spotted and barred sand bass, sculpin, and halibut also respond well to dying baitfish lures and presentations but you can also use baits and presentations that mimic crustaceans like crabs and shrimp. Basically, if it looks alive, they will eat it!

    These bottom water guys are also very feisty and put up a heck of a fight. Iím always thinking I have a larger fish than it turns out to be because they fight so hard. And when it comes to halibut, all bets are off. Those guys get huge! More than a few monster halibut have come from SoCal harbors and bays. I havenít caught my monster yet, but Iím always trying and always hopeful.

    Besides the many types of fish and all the myriad ways you can fish for them, the other thing I like is the tides.

    Tides mean the water is always moving, itís always changing. Water levels go up and down and with them ďnewĒ water is coming in and ďoldĒ water is going out. Everything about the environment the fish live in is constantly changing and the fish are constantly adjusting to those changes. Of course that means I have to adjust as well. Itís fun and it keeps it interesting. Some spots do better at high tide and some at low. Some spots do better with fast moving water and others will pay off when the tide is slack. You can fish the same harbor a million times and every time it's a different place.

    The moving water of tidal flow is also a lot like the flow of water in a stream or river and thatís why float tubing in a harbor is like stream fishing. Youíre actively moving around and looking for eddy currents and structure that disturbs the water flow and creates areas of low pressure that fish love to hang in. Itís not bait and wait, itís actively hunting for fish. Itís really fun!

    Another reason I like fishing these bays and harbors is not something most people would consider a positive thing, but I do. Theyíre popular but not too popular. They do get a lot of fishing pressure, but not enough to decimate the fish populations. Catch numbers and fish sizes remain strong so the fish are not getting wiped out, but they do get smart.

    You need to be on your game to be successful here. And you need to stay on your toes. Iím always trying to get better. Iím always trying to learn more both from my experiences and what others are doing. It means light tackle fished with finesse. Itís not the kiddie pond with a guaranteed catch. Getting skunked is always an option. I like the challenge because it forces me to keep trying to get better. Skills rule.

    The last part of the deal is how great it is to fish from a tube. Itís relaxing. You fish how you like, when you like, and youíre not at the mercy of anyone else. You go out and do your thing.

    Itís also quiet. Thereís no engine noise or smell. Itís just you and nature.

    It may sound strange to use this word, but itís intimate. Youíre not just closer to the water, youíre in it. Youíre connected to itÖ literally. Itís different from being on shore or in a conventional boat.

    Like I said before, if youíre somewhere else in the world, maybe this isnít for you. But if youíre in Southern California and youíre looking to get more time on the water at budget prices, youíd be hard pressed to find a better way to do it than float tube fishing the local bays and harbors.

    Tubing the salt may not be for everyone, but itís for me!

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Here's my YouTube channel for anyone interested: Ornery Bob

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Whittier
    Posts
    2,316

    Default

    Hey Bob nice to see your latest post,I hadn’t seen a video for while and was wondering how you were. I liked your explanation on why So Cal S/W tubing is so enjoyable. I can only say that I’ve tubed freshwater many times and agree with all your sentiments as it’s very enjoyable in F/W also.
    Your vids have made me consider trying the salt,but I’m still thinking of buying another skiff so I haven’t pulled the trigger on another tube. Thanks for the write very nice!

    Cya Tuna Vic

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    HESPERIA
    Posts
    594

    Default

    Great post and thank you for all the information. I have never done the salt water float tub fishing because of fear of seals! Have you ever had your fish stolen off you tub or had the fish snatched off you line while reeling the fish in from a seal?

    Anyway thanks again for your great post.

    TL"S
    jig-guy / Bill

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Menifee
    Posts
    185

    Default

    Just thinking about float tubbing the bays, but just wondering is it easy to take the hook off a stingray in a float tube?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Whittier
    Posts
    2,316

    Default

    Bob,where you at? Hope your ok I haven’t seen a post from you in quite awhile,I pmd you but no reply,certainly hope your ok friend!

    Cya Tuna Vic

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