When tournament day comes around, the surf at Leffingwell Landing tends to get mean.

When tournament day comes around, the surf at Leffingwell Landing tends to get mean.

Photos courtesy Cambria Slam Down

In its third year, Central California’s Cambria Slam Down has become notorious for a punishing shore pound that demands a costly toll when tournament day comes around. On Saturday, September 27 more than 150 competitors took a turn at the dicey landing at Leffingwell. Some were immortalized in incredible, wince-inducing surf carnage photos and video.

The Cambria Slam Down is much more than a surf gauntlet. The area offers rich fishing that doesn’t see much pressure from power boaters. Tournament director Ryan Howell sent us this account of a day that featured 20+-pound lingcod and rockfish pushing 8 pounds. -KF

Back-to-back Cambria Slam Down winner Ricci Chavez shows off his hefty catch.

Back-to-back Cambria Slam Down winner Ricci Chavez shows off his hefty catch.

Cambria Slam Down III Re-Cap

The Cambria Slam Down was a great success! Anglers braved high surf and heavy wind with weather being pretty much unfishable by noon. 156 anglers came together and were able to raise over $4,000 for the Central California Heroes on the Water chapter, which will give this chapter a jump start and put many troops in the seat of a kayak.

Similarly to last year's Cambria Slam Down, the surf played havoc on anglers coming in but they didn't let this stop them. Even with a decent 6- to 7-foot swell and winds hitting 20 knots early in the day, anglers still set out to partake. Most anglers stated that getting a limit of standard-sized rockfish and lings were pretty easy. This year, the same guy that had only fished the spot twice, the first time when he won the tournament last year, again traveled down from Sacramento and won this year's tournament.

Carlos Cantu's big ling weighed in at just over 22 pounds.

Carlos Cantu’s big ling weighed in at just over 22 pounds.

Ricci Chavez was able to bag a 31-inch lingcod, 20-inch rockfish, and 23-inch cabezon to take first place. Andrew Deck was right on Ricci's tail with a 28.75-inch lingcod, a 17.25-inch rockfish and a 24-inch cabezon and also won a side bet for largest cabezon and $600 in cash for that alone.

Carlos Cantu came in with a 37-inch lingcod that weighed just over 22 pounds, and a 22-inch rockfish that was pushing 8 pounds. Both these were the big fish in their category and Cantu won both side bets, earning $1,500 in cash.

To top off a great day, many got to listen to some great tunes live back at camp by Joe Koenig and The Homewreckers.


I'd like to thank all of our sponsors this year for donating to such a great cause. We couldn't have done it without you.

This year's event was sponsored by Central Coast Kayaks and Jackson Kayaks, which donated a Jackson Cuda 14 as the grand prize. Central Coast Standup Paddling and Hobie Kayaks donated a Hobie Outback which was used as a raffle prize. In addition, Total Kayak Obsessions and Malibu Kayaks donated a Mini-X which was used as a raffle prize as well.

Konig Media, Fisheye Channel, Been There Caught That, Accent Paddles, Yakattack, Big Hammer, Pro-Cure, B2 Squid, Surf to Summit, Polar Bear Coolers, Sea Specs and Kayak Fishing Supplies, were just a few of the over forty sponsors for this year's Cambria Slam Down event.

A big thanks goes out to Columbia, Chums, Denman King Jigs, Scotty, Kelp, Skwoosh, Rite in the Rain, Waterbug Rescue Ladders, P-Line, Bending Branches, Plano, Sanpei, Lucid Fishing Grips, Boonedox, Mementum Paddle sports, Jurassic Sportfishing, Johnson Outdoors, VCGurlz Fishn, Savage Gear and Lingcodjigs.

If you have not attended the Cambria Slam Down, we encourage you to attend next year. See you on the Central Coast.