Sentinel Fish Report


by Allen Bushnell
7-24-2008
(831) 426-4690
Website

Blustery winds and a south swell made for less comfortable angling this weekend. Despite the conditions, good scores were reported as the summer fishing season moves into full swing.

Water temperatures are hovering in the low 60's now, and rockfish are actively feeding on our local reefs. Many of the party boat operators are able to stay close to home for limits of fish. Ken Stagnaro from Stagnaro's Sportfishing has been working the Davenport area this past week and returning to port with as many as 34 limits for their efforts. "On Sunday we were fishing just above Davenport. We had steady fishing, not wide open, but not too slow. It was a relaxing feel with good quality fish being caught, mainly coppers, good bottom fish with reds and yellowtail in the mix. It was good day to be a rock cod fisherman." Captain Jimmy Charters had similar success on our local reefs last week with rockfish limits, one halibut and five lingcod released on Thursday. Sunday, Captain Jimmy fished the South side of the bay again for limits of blues, big olives, black rockfish and bocaccio.

Most exciting for serious local anglers is the ongoing halibut bite. Dozens of halibut were reported caught last week from Capitola to the Five-Mile Beach area. Scott Overton from Big Daddy Charters is known around the Santa Cruz Harbor as a highliner halibut hunter. Overton caught six flatties on Saturday from 12-27 pounds and an astonishing nine halibut that weighed in from 17-35 pounds each plus limits of rockfish for his clients on Thursday. By Sunday, he says he was "grinding" for the fish due to increased wind and swell, but managed five commercial fish for the day. "We had lumpy and confused seas, which made for really tough fishing," Overton said.

Ed Burrell at Capitola Boat and Bait reports the halibut are hitting hard in that area. "There's a lot of bait in the Marina, the pelicans are going crazy," Burrell says. Locals Kurtis Williams and Josh Larsen brought in a 20-pounder and 30-pounder respectively on Tuesday, and Williams is reported to have three fish on board by mid-day Wednesday. Burrell adds that thresher sharks are chasing bait and being caught from the Cement Ship this week, and the perch fishing is improving of the wharf, with good showings of black, walleye, split-tail and shiner perch being caught.


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