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Carmel By The Sea Trip Report


The city of Carmel, CA, nestled along the coast between Monterey and Pacific Grove is a great stop for any visitor to the California coast, and as a kayak angler it should be high on your list of places to fish. Unlike other of-the-beaten-path kayak locations, Carmel can provide family and loved ones numerous restaurants and shops to visit while you wet your line. Another cool benefit of Carmel is the dog-friendly nature of the city. Most restaurants will allow you to bring the pup in, and the main beach is a dog friendly beach where a leash is not required. There are plenty of day trip options as well, as you are situated along the PCH and have a short drive to state parks like Garrapata or a bit further south to Big Sur.


Hanging out on a hike down beach south of Garrapata State Park.

Fluff enjoying the sand.

I’ve recently made contact with a great group of anglers and spear fisherman from California. The Norcal Kayak Anglers Forum is a vibrant online community of anglers from all around central and northern California. For this trip I met with Big Jim and his buddies Brian and Matt at 17-mile drive. The beach access around 17-mile drive is protected from heavy surf and was the starting point for the offshore trip. Big Jim from the Norcal Kayak anglers group put us on one of his waypoints that had good pinnacles in about 30-60ft of water. Jim, Matt, and Bryan, jumped in and I stayed above water jigging some big metal to see what I could pull up.

Nice Blue Rockfish.

Starting to fill up the limit.

My first lingcod just met the legal requirement at about 23″. Very cool coloring on these fish, and they have an interesting look to them.

Matt with a fat 33″ he speared

There are so many different species of rockfish, for a first timer its hard to distinguish between species that look similar. Here is a good identification chart, and this is my best guess at the species I caught. From right to left: lingcod, blue rockfish, olive rockfish, gopher rockfish, black and yellow rockfish.

The lingcod and rockfish have a soft white meat. They tasted good baked and even better as ceviche.