Sentinel Fish Report

by Allen Bushnell
(831) 426-4690

Santa Cruz had another week of decent weather. With a calm ocean, this created ideal fishing conditions in our local waters.

Jim Rubin from Captain Jimmy's Sportfishing continues to mix it up in terms of fishing locations. Last week he headed down to the south side of the bay for his usual limits of rockfish. That area has featured quick catches of big fish for the past couple months. Last week was no exception. Rubin returned to port with full bags of black and red rockfish, as well as big bocaccios and jumbo olive rockfish. This weekend, Rubin stayed local for limits of rockfish, two lingcod to 15 pounds, and one halibut aboard the Becky Ann.

Stagnaro's Sportfishing had similar results on the local reefs. The Velocity caught limits of rockfish on Sunday, limits of rockfish on Monday, and followed that up with 210 rockfish for 30 passengers on their twilight trip Monday afternoon. Skipper Ken Stagnaro likes to work the reefs near Davenport, and was rewarded with a bonus 20-pound halibut Monday.

Perhaps the best area to target right now is the greater Capitola region. Saturday's fishing in the area was a bit slow, but since then the bite has taken off for a variety of species. Most notable are the halibut, back on the bite after last week's south swell. The entire area from the Cement Ship to Blacks Point near the Harbor saw a good number of big halibut caught last week. Ed Burrell at Capitola Boat and Bait reported numerous flatties in the 20-30-pound range brought in to the wharf since the weekend. Monday, Josh Larsen showed up with a 26-pounder caught on live bait in the Pleasure point area. Teenager Cole Kirby bested that with a 27-pound halibut later in the day.

Most exciting in the Capitola area is the return of the "ghost fish." White sea bass are back on the bite. The sea bass can be located lurking in the kelp beds, and on the open water chasing schools of bait. Ed Burrell and Dan Williams both caught a big sea bass on Monday, while Kurtis Williams brought in three of the elusive croakers. Big fish honors this week have to go to Josh Larsen again, who topped them all with a huge sea bass on Tuesday. "Josh's fish busted our scale." Burrell quipped. The scale only weighs to 50 pounds, so they are estimating Larsen's fish somewhere in the 60-pound region.

The abundance of bait in the area has brought some problems as well. The California Department of Fish and Game has closed the Capitola Wharf and the Cement Ship to all pier fishing for three days, in order to protect the diving pelicans getting caught up in fishing lines. The closure may be extended, or lifted depending on pelican numbers in that area. Fishing from boats in the area has not been affected.

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: Sentinel fish Report 7/31/08
: Sentinel fish Report 7/31/08