Sentinel/Herald Fish Report

by Allen Bushnell

We are officially into autumn now. The fall fishing season can be incredibly productive, and can feature days of the most pleasant ocean conditions for the year. Fall can also host nasty weather with big swells and wind chop, making fishing inadvisable if not impossible. This week was somewhere between those two extremes. We had some wind, and some steep chop on the ocean, but also enjoyed a couple days of relative calm. Fishing was possible every morning, and productive as well.

Now is the time of year that the big rockfish will begin to move out to deeper reefs. Working the spots from 80-120 feet of water will likely get the best results for those chasing cod, Halibut will be moving deeper also, though plenty of small to medium sized flatties were hooked this week from flat sandy areas both in Santa Cruz and Monterey. Conversely, big lingcod are now moving in, towards their shallow winter spawning grounds.

Skipper Tom Dolan is well aware of lingcod habits, and treated his weekend clients aboard the Mega Bite to a lingcod clinic. He reports,” Water was flat as a pancake today and the ocean was full of life with dolphins, whales, otters, sea lions, and great white sharks! Took a ride up the coast to one of our BIG fish honey holes and as soon as we dropped in it was game on. We slammed big blues for a couple hours then focused on lingcod with our lives and dab bait. It was truly a MEGA-BITE! Came home with over a 100 pounds of blue rockfish to three pounds and lingcod.”

The lings are on the bite near Capitola, according to Ed Burrell from Capitola Boat and Bait. He reports a steady number of lings caught on live kingfish from the Boomer’s Reef area and continued catches of small to medium sized halibut from the Mile Reef area. Bayside Marine owner Todd Fraser includes good halibut reports from the long stretches below Capitola, saying, “Pajaro is still producing some nice halibut for the anglers trolling. There have been a few sea bass caught at Pajaro and near Marina.” Fraser also notes anglers doing well for halibut while fishing up the coast near five-Mile Beach. Best bet for that area is to target the 60-75-foot depths right now.

Launching from Monterey, the Check Mate and Caroline from Chris’ Fishing Trips provided cookie-cutter reports again. Full limits of rockfish and lingcod catches ranging from four to 34 per trip, with the biggest weighing in at 40 pounds. Moss Landing’s Kahuna fished further south for bigger rockcod. Owner Carol Jones reported on Wednesday, “Finally some nice calm seas enabled us to get down the coast to Sur. Our 23 anglers landed limits of rockfish and lingcod to 22 pounds. Added attraction some nice petrale sole.” To be more specific, that was five petrale sole, 46 lingcod and 230 rockfish for the 23 clients aboard the Kahuna.

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