fishing report: leffingwell landing, cambria, ca
Recently, I had the opportunity to kayak fish Leffingwell Landing while participating in the Estero Kayak Challenge Fishing Tournament. I had a blast and fished a new place. This involved a lot of paddling, covering a lot of ground and catching a lot of fish and fish species. Always a win in my book! Read my fishing report: Leffingwell landing, Cambria, CA below.
Leffingwell offers easy entry with a roadside boat ramp for small boats only, and roadside parking. I almost drove my truck down the cement ramp to the sand. At this point I could have offloaded my kayak 20 yards from the water. Even more, the bay protected itself, as it was a cove offering a point of land extending to the north.
Depending on what your fishing for, I fished water up to nearly half a mile out that offered bottom structure that fluctuated between 8-20’, with and without kelp. I caught Brown Rockfish, Tree Rockfish, Blue Rockfish and a few Cabezon throughout this area.
To the north of this zone, at about a mile out, is a wash rock. This rock offers a depth rise from about 35’ to 15’. Here, I caught a monster Brown Rockfish. It spun my drag and bent my 7’ medium-heavy rod with 30 lb. braid with little effort. It ended up being a 18” fish and 3-4 lbs. I caught a load of Blue, Gopher, and Brown Rockfish here as well.
Fishing the tournament, I did not travel south of Leffingwell. This area is consistent with the north zone I previously discussed and is covered in kelp beds and a wash rock or two. Many people fished this zone. I saw some large Lingcod, Cabezon, and Rockfish of varying species, including a Red Vermillion in the 20” range. I also saw a Halibut and a 21” Sheepshead caught from that area.
At one point I wandered straight out from Leffingwell Landing and slightly to the north, into about 100’ of water. Here I found an underwater pinnacle that rose from approximately 100’ to about 25’ of water. This pinnacle had multiple kelp beds on it. I drifted both sides of the kelp bed and fished right over the drop. At this location, I could not keep the Blue Rockfish off of my line! I caught multiple fish above 16” and many in the 7-9” range. It started off fun, however after a few minutes, it became annoying because I could not even get my bait on the bottom without hooking into a small rockfish.
While fishing I hooked up a smaller rockfish on my 8 oz. lead head and dropped it down somewhere around the 35’ mark of this pinnacle. Within seconds I hooked something big! After fighting it to the side of the kayak, I saw a large Lingcod was mouthing my bait but was not hooked. I muscled it to the side of my kayak and used my gaff hook to snag it and pull it into my kayak. I was stoked! The approximately 24”+ Lingcod then lost its mind! Because it was basically hanging over both sides of my kayak and my grip was horrible, the fish fought me. As a result of my poor fishing skill It slapped its way off of my hook back into the water. With a wave of its giant tail, it was gone… I may not have the trophy, but it was worth the fight!
The majority of the anglers in this tournament were fishing the same kind of gear. I was fishing a lead head jig ranging from 4-8 oz. with a 5-9” Big Hammer-type swim bait, and a shrimp fly on a dropper loop about 2’ above. I would tip both of these with a full-size, uncut frozen squid. Depending on the target species, some anglers used only iron jigs tipped with squid or anchovies. Others used double dropper loops with double shrimp flies/rubber crappie jigs/shrimp and squid with a weight on the bottom.
The bottom line is fishing Leffingwell landing, Cambria, CA, was a blast! Moreover I did catch a lot of fish, and a wide variety of species. In conclusion, from what I caught and what I saw, your options are not limited here. The landing offers amazing entry and exit – granted you still must pay attention to the weather and prepare your gear accordingly, the sky is the limit. Notably, If you are looking for a place south of Monterey that offers a solid Rock fishing experience, definitely put this place on your list.
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