Santa Cruz Saltwater Update

by Allen Bushnell
(831) 426-4690

The local mainstay, rockfishing, is slowly getting better in our area. A variety of other species, including some rather exotic sportfish is making the difference for local anglers. The current weather forecast is calling for moderate wind and swell, so conditions are good for weekend fishing in the Monterey Bay.

Todd Fraser at Bayside Marine fielded reports all week from successful anglers that stopped in at Bayside Marine at the Santa Cruz Harbor. According to Fraser, lingcod are starting to bite on the reefs including South Rock and up the coast to Four-Mile Beach. Rockfish reports are still somewhat spotty, though Fraser recommends working the kelp beds or the Mile Buoy area.

Most of the action reported has been from Pleasure Point/Capitola area. Ed Burrell at Capitola Boat and Bait reports increasing amount of baitfish in the area and some good catches by the local anglers. White Sea Bass have been on the move in the area and a dozen or so were caught on Monday by diligent anglers. One lucky angler caught a Sea Bass from the end of the wharf on his sabiki bait rig. A few legal halibut were brought in on the wharf this week, as well as a number of juvenile flatties that were released. The skiff anglers who know where to go and what to use are catching limits of rockfish and the occasional lingcod or cabezone. New Brighton and the Cement Ship area featured a run of thresher sharks with nearly 20 reported in the past week, as well as kicking out the occasional striped bass for the surfcasters.

If stripers are your preferred prey, San Francisco Bay is the place to be right now. While still catching a good number of halibut in the Bay, Captain Jay Yokomizo aboard the 56 foot New Huck Finn out of Emeryville is also racking up on the striped bass lately, working the reefs and rocky areas of the central Bay. Last Thursday, 25 anglers aboard had their limit of two striped bass, ranging in size from seven to 20 pounds each. Yokomizo remarked on the quality of these fish, as well as the numbers. "This is the best grade of fish I've seen in the past six years."

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