Sentinel/Herald Fish Report

by Nor Cal Fish Reports

Saltwater fishing was very good all across the Monterey Bay this week, and promises to remain so for the foreseeable future. Mild weather and sea conditions combined with an abundance of bait has all of the usual species on the bite. A few reports are starting to filter in of more exotic species being caught as well.

Bread and butter for most anglers on the bay are rockfish and lingcod. As summer progresses and the water warms, these fish move into the shallows and bite more aggressively. Standard fishing fare for rock cod is the shrimp fly jig often tipped with squid strips. Lings will bite the shrimp flies, but are even more eager for Mega-Bait type irons or swimbaits. Live bait, of course, remains the top choice for big lings.

Stagnaro’s Sportfishing in Santa Cruz continues to report limits of rockfish for their clients aboard the Velocity and Legacy, fishing the local reefs near Natural Bridges on up to Davenport. Skipper Chris Victorino on the Legacy kept the ball rolling on Monday’s trip aboard Legacy. He reports, “We traveled north and pretty quickly got rockcod limits for 13 anglers, plus eight-10 lingcod up to 16 pounds.”

Chris’ Fishing Trips in Monterey continue to report limits of rockfish as well as averaging one ling per rod on their trips aboard the Check Mate, Caroline and Star of Monterey. Launching from Moss Landing and heading south, the Kahuna reported 16 rockfish limits including five cabezon to ten pounds, and 20 lings for last Friday’s trip.

Halibut are still in the mix. There is so much bait in the shallows it may be the big flatfish are slow to bite our offerings due to full stomachs, but reports remain steady. Nearshore waters are warm enough now that halibut can be found in 20-30 feet of water near the kelp beds, though most reports of big fish are still being generated from the 40-65 foot depths.

Squid spawns have come and gone, and are likely to return to the Santa Cruz area as well as the Point Pinos corner of the bay. When we see the big, lighted squid boats at night it can pay to fish that area the next day for tanker white sea bass that follow the squid. Though it is late in the season, albacore is still a definite possibility. Boats from Ft. Bragg and further north are catching the speedy longfins by the dozens 15-30 miles from port.

Locally, a few albacore have been caught on the troll by anglers searching near the Davidson Seamount and other spots 30-60 miles offshore. Reports indicate more of these searching boats are getting skunked than are getting fish. Hopefully this will change soon and a local tuna bite will develop. Reports also indicate some small bluefin tuna mixed with the albacore.