Most anglers have their own idea for fishing a particular fish. The calico bass is no different. This fish, also known as kelp bass is found in the waters from California to Baja. It is found in depths up to 150 feet. Although it is known as a surface fish and it most active in Spring and Summer during the spawning season, even though the species can be caught year round.
The Right Equipment
The first and foremost tip for fishing for the calico bass is to have the proper equipment. The tackle preferred is a standard light saltwater bait caster. The reels are salt water reels, light and easy to cast and retrieve the bait, the rods are basic 8 to 9-foot graphite rods. The reels should be spooled with a 12 to 15-pound test line. Most anglers agree that artificial lures are the best for nabbing that big calico. The most popular by far is the Wham Fisheeze. This brand of lure is a soft squishy almost gel like lure. It has a rounded head and a squiggly tail. It comes in a variety of colors and size.
Most anglers believe time plays a big factor when fishing for calico bass. Try for Spring and Summer when the calicoes are spawning. Usually with your gear all set up, try for early morning. When casting, let the lure sink before retrieving it. Sometimes the fish will pick it up on the fall, but a good tip is to jig it on the bottom before reeling it in. There are other lures that are favored for calico bass, such as the swim baits, 4 to 5 inches long. Big Hammer Lures makes some great swim baits; colors vary but some anglers prefers the reds, browns, greens and the sparkles. Fish around the kelp beds, where the calicoes like to hide and use the flashier lures in these areas. As the weather gets colder the fish will stick to the hard ground and deep water structures.
Timing is Everything
The most important tip to remember is the time of year. Late Spring to early Fall is when you want to go for that big calico. Although they can be caught all year round, this is when they are most vulnerable as this is the season for spawning. They can be caught in the shallows, which always makes it easier. When fishing the kelp beds, stay on the kelp line and retrieve the bait in the direction the kelp is laying. There are also scents that can be used for calico fishing. There is one called the calico cocktail, and the scent of shrimp and crawdad is also a favorite of anglers. Have confidence and know your fishing gear and lures. Don't be afraid to try something new, you may just find the right lure that works best for you.