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What speargun for so cal

Discussion in 'Spearguns & Accessories' started by AB Diver, Oct 27, 2006.

  1. AB Diver

    AB Diver New Member

    I am looking into making a trip to la jolla and some other areas along the so cal coast this coming spring. I have a JBL explorer 22 but don't know if that is a good enough gun for the conditions around there. . .

    I was hunting striped bass this summer in water clarity of 30 feet or so and saw a few out of range, Is there a gun out there that would be good for so cal and sometimes the clearer water of the colorado river?

    I don't know what kind of fish I will be shooting in socal? About anything that is leagal and I can get a shot on! I am not a complete newbie to this sport so I would like to upgrade to a nicer gun that maybe sometime I can hunt the blue water off the cali coast.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated, Ken
  2. metelin

    metelin New Member

    Striped bass is not a fish we can shoot in California, I'm sorry to say.
    For SoCal I would go for something in the 50" range for shorediving.
    There are lots of good fish down there we dont see much up in NorCal like yellowtail, white sea bass, calicos to name a few.

  3. AB Diver

    AB Diver New Member

    I know how Norcal goes. . . I used to live there. THe ab diving was great though. . .

    what kinds of brands should I look at in the 50 in range? what kind of rigging is best for kelp beds, etc. . .

    thanks, Ken
  4. Bill McIntyre

    Bill McIntyre San Clemente, CA Staff Member Supporter Forum Mentor

    I'd go for a Wong hyrid, either 50" or 55". They are the first and second ones from the left. No gun does it all. The 50" with a Hawaiian shaft would be better for calicos and halibut, but not big enough for white sea bass if they were not close to you. The 55 with a slip tip would be better for whites, but expensive to shoot into rocks for calicos.

    Of course you should realize that the world record white sea bass, 80 pounds plus, was taken by a guy diving from shore, and you need a larger gun for that. He was at PV, where many of the largest fish every year are taken by shore divers, but La Jolla is also a source of very large fish taken by shore divers. I have a fiend who's first white sea bass ever was a 56 pounder at La Jolla, and his second was 60 pounds.

    I prefer reels in the kelp. You can use a float line and breakway, but you can't use a float because it will hang up and drive you nuts.

    Here is a photo of that guy's first and second fish. Both were taken with a Wong Mahi, the last gun on the left of my photo. And as you can see, he was diving from a kayak for the second fish.

    Attached Files:

    Old Man Dave likes this.
  5. AB Diver

    AB Diver New Member

    Thanks Bill,

    You were one of the people that I was thinking about sending a PM to about this question since you live there. I will certainly look into the Wong guns. . . although I don't know about the prices.

    What kind of depths am I looking at for finding large white sea bass? Those pictures pump me up! I am gonna have to make a trip SOON. . . just itching to get ahold of a big fish.

    Thanks, Ken
  6. Bill McIntyre

    Bill McIntyre San Clemente, CA Staff Member Supporter Forum Mentor

    The good news is that most white sea bass are in the top 25 feet, especially if they are in a kelp bed. It doesn't matter if the bottom is 80 feet, they will be close to the surface. Of course there are exceptions when they are deep, but I know some successful hunters that say that they generally don't even bother to dive, but count on seeing fish from the surface. Being quiet and not making a ruckus is usually important, and of course not diving sure reduces the commotion.

    I have taken many fish with surface shots, and summer before last the majority of my fish were shot from the surface. I was diving just as often as usual, but the damn things insisted on coming under me during the surface interval, and I am not such a sportsman that I will turn down the surface shot.

    The bad news is that unless you stone the fish, it heads for the bottom and wraps up in the kelp, so it can be dangerous if the water is deep.
  7. AB Diver

    AB Diver New Member

    Thanks for the advice. I will definitely look into getting a wong, and a reel for the gun. It sounds like a good idea. . . although I don't know how well it works for getting the gun through the kelp stocks trying to track down the fish/ spear.

    How do you rig a reel to the gun? I have never done that before? What color and size of line do you use? I would guess the brighter the better?

    thanks, Ken
  8. Bill McIntyre

    Bill McIntyre San Clemente, CA Staff Member Supporter Forum Mentor

    You don't get the gun through the kelp. You loosen the drag on the reel, leave the gun on the surface, and follow the line down to find the fish. Then you brain the fish to make sure its dead, detach the shooting line from the snap on the reel line, and pull the shooting line after you as you ascend with the fish. Of course most of the time you will have to do some cutting to get the shooting line out of the kelp.

    I use 3 mm Spectra on reels big enough to hold at least 110 feet of it, and 2.5 mm and 2.0 mm on smaller reels. I prefer to have at least 150 feet of line. I'm using bright yellow and pink lines.

    I'd like to show photos, but I'm at my daughter's house in Germany using her computer until next Tuesday. If you will post again then or send me an email, I'll be able to answer questions better and show photos.

    BTW, I'm a big Wong gun fan, but of course there are other guns that work. I got my first several white sea bass with a Riffe Island, but ended up selling it because its underballasted and shoots low, and will knock your teeth out if you forget to lock your elbow.
  9. AB Diver

    AB Diver New Member

    I didn't know these guns had enough kick to hit you in the face??? Like I said before my only expierence is with a JBL explorer 22. . .

    Sounds like a load of fun. . . gonna have to get a gun on it's way. I will certainly email you with more questions/pic refrences when you get back stateside!

    What time of year is the best for clarity/spearing in so cal? I don't want to buy a fishing liscense until the 1st of the year but if it's happening now then I will get my act together. . .

    thanks, ken
  10. Bill McIntyre

    Bill McIntyre San Clemente, CA Staff Member Supporter Forum Mentor

    The season is about over now. Not that someone somewhere won't get a fish now and then, but the odds are poor.

    Things get started pretty good again in March, and continue through September or maybe October.
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2006
  11. Ron S

    Ron S New Member

    BTW, I'm a big Wong gun fan, but of course there are other guns that work. I got my first several white sea bass with a Riffe Island, but ended up selling it because its underballasted and shoots low, and will knock your teeth out if you forget to lock your elbow.[/quote]

    Hey Bill, are you gonna mention the lower gun in your avatar???
    Hope you'r havin' some fun in Germany, and not spending ALL of your time on the computer...:)

    AB Diver, if you really want to shoot WSB, you've certainly connected with the right guy. Bill's an absolute wealth of knowledge and has probably helped more spearo's than anybody on this board or spearboard. If you want to learn a lot in a short time, log onto Spearboard.com, go to the California section, and type in White Sea Bass. You'll have a lot of reading to do, and most of the posts will have Bill's info in them.
  12. Bill McIntyre

    Bill McIntyre San Clemente, CA Staff Member Supporter Forum Mentor

    OK, someone sneaked a Rabitech aboard. :) In fact, the only white sea bass among those dorado and yellowtail was taken with the Rabitech.

    And come to think of it, that fish came very close to killing the guy who shot it. He made a dive to untangle it from the kelp, and on the way up got tangled in the mono shooting line.

    I'm drinking some good German beer, but otherwise not doing much but baby sitting my grandsons, so I'm even more time on the computer than at home.

    All of which translates to the fact that I spend too much time on the computer.
  13. AB Diver

    AB Diver New Member

    Bill, and Ron:

    I can't thank you enough for the info you have given me. . . I can't wait to get set up to shoot something bigger than the 5 pound carp in the colorado river. . . not to mention. . . SOMETHING EDIBLE!!! I tried some carp but :yack

    This fresh water thing is killing me. . . I gotta get back to the salt. There is just not enough to see in fresh water lakes. . .

    Later, Ken
  14. Fondueset

    Fondueset Carp Whisperer

    Obviously not into plugging himself - Metelin above makes some very nice guns - check the site in his sig. fyi- the riffe metal techs have less butt overhang - I have mine rigged light and it has no recoil.
  15. colt.45

    colt.45 freshwater fanatic

    75cm sporasub viper, use it on the lowest power setting every time and havent come acrost a fish yet that it wont shoot trough plus it's bouyant so when you shoot the fish you can just let it go and it will float to the surface. verry accurate and reliable to.
  16. Spinal Tap

    Spinal Tap New Member

    :confused: :confused: What's the biggest fish you've shot through with with that gun? How do you set it on the lowest power setting?

    A 75cm gun is about 30" which if far from the 50" recommended by Bill and Steve.


    I live in San Diego, so send me a PM when you come. If I can't go out with you, I'll try to give you conditions and point you to someone else's secret spots.

  17. Ron S

    Ron S New Member

    For what it's worth, (and with my limited experience, that's not much), I use a 75cm gun in Norcal, and it's always felt like a good size gun, almost too long a good part of the time. When I went on a trip to the Channel Islands last year I followed the advice of some folks in the know and bought a 110cm gun. I thought the thing was a cannon! When I got to the islands, I quickly learned that my little 75cm Sporasub was waaay too small for the clear vis and skittish fish. The 110cm gun was about perfect. I don't know how my 110cm gun translates to inches, but it shoots a 59" shaft, whereas a 75cm gun shoots a 44" shaft. I'm told that my 110 is a bit short for white sea bass and yellowtail. If these guys say 50" gun or longer, then I'd say that's what you need.
    Just another perspective from a "short gun guy"...
  18. Bill McIntyre

    Bill McIntyre San Clemente, CA Staff Member Supporter Forum Mentor

    Respectfully, you just haven't come across a very large fish. A 75 cm gun is not going to get it shooting white sea bass and yellowtail. Its not "sporting" to wound a fish and then have it tear off.

    Or maybe you are so good that you can always place the tip against the side of the fish before pulling the trigger. I'm still not sure the gun would shoot though a large fish, but in any event I can't always get that close.
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2006
  19. AB Diver

    AB Diver New Member

    :) :) rofl I would like that very much!

    Thanks for the offer, I will CERTAINLY pm you when I plan a trip over. Probably will be this spring time cuz it sounds like not much is going on over there right now. . .

    THanks, Ken
  20. Bill McIntyre

    Bill McIntyre San Clemente, CA Staff Member Supporter Forum Mentor

    Spinal Tap is the man to go to!!!!!

    I just wish he would call me when things are hot down that way.:)