Sentinel/Herald Fish Report

by Allen Bushnell

Sport fishing for Dungeness crab started last Saturday. Reports are filtering in as crabbers pull pots and search for the most productive areas. The Dungies are out there. They are big and firm. Most pots are yielding six to ten legal crab each. The usual 180-220 depths are prime hunting grounds for the Dungeness crabs.

Red rock crabs can be trapped in shallower water. Ed Burrell from Capitola Boat and Bait reports good takes of rock crab from 70 feet of water near the wharf. Burrell’s report looked very interesting this week. Anglers are still picking up the occasional halibut and seabass along with the usual rockfish and lingcod. The reef around Sponge Bob Buoy has been productive lately. Burrell reported, “Whole squid and white swim baits worked well this week. We saw a nice halibut caught there, and a rare calico bass. Earlier in the week, local angler Kevin Bennett picked up a 30-pound white sea bass as well as a 37-pound halibut while fishing a little deeper.”

Charter boats took advantage of good weather conditions this week. Ken Stagnaro from Stagnaro’s Sportfishing posted limits or near-limits of rockfish for all their half-day trips this week. Stagnaro added, “Nice conditions this weekend, with a side-show of humpback whales near Santa Cruz. We'll be running half-days this Saturday and Sunday mornings Nov 10th and 11th. Next weekend will be a half-day on Saturday the 17th and full-day (7-hour) trip up the coast for Sunday Nov 18th.

Go Fish Santa Cruz is running crab combo trips, now that the season is open. It’s a great way to get some fish for the freezer and some crab for Thanksgiving dinner. Owner Beth Norton says, “Yikes. What a great day of fishing and crabbing. Captain JT and deckhand JP took the clients to 10 of 30 crab pots set yesterday, which yielded 47 Dungeness crab. Yummy. From there they headed up the coast where the water was little bumpy but they caught limits of a variety of rock fish and three nice ling cod up to 12 pounds.”

Kahuna Sportfishing from Moss Landing reports the usual: Full limits of rockfish for all anglers aboard the Kahuna this week, with nine or ten lingcod caught on each trip. Chris’ Fishing Trips out of Monterey posted cookie-cutter reports also, with the addition of tasty Dungeness on their crab combo trips. They caught limits up to 250 rockfish and up to 90 crab for their clients.

Don’t forget, a few hours drive away, they’re catching king salmon on the Sacramento River. JD Richey Guide Service reports, “After the ugly winds earlier in the week, the salmon fishing on the Sacramento River started producing again, starting on Halloween when the weather was calm.

We continue to get fish on the troll with spinners, plugs and Brads Super Cut Plugs. With no rain in sight and fish still being caught in the ocean, we should see action well into mid-November at least.”

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