Sentinel Fish Report

by Allen Bushnell
(510) 652-3403

The weather and sea conditions remained calm this week, which made for another stretch of fine fishing conditions. Rockfish are getting a little easier to find, and the halibut counts keep climbing. The only question is: where are the lingcod?

Lings remain somewhat scarce in our area, according to the past few months' reports. Usually by this time in late summer the counts are solid for keeper lingcod. Fall brings in the spawning lings, though we may expect somewhat lower counts this year, judging on the season so far.

Rockfishing is getting better as the water continues to warm, and the bait remains abundant. Ed Burrell at Capitola Boat and Bait notes a big increase in brown, or Bolina rockfish this week in his area. On Sunday he reports "about half the rentals came in with brown rock cod today - they seemed to be on the bite." For local action, the best rockfishing spots remain the West Cliff reefs, South Rock and of course the rocky areas north of town. While fishing the local spots, or his favorite location near Davenport, Skipper Ken Stagnaro is making limits seem easy, bringing home as many as 370 rockfish per trip, usually assorted browns, blacks, coppers, reds and yellow rock cod.

Halibut action is showing no signs of slowing down. This is proving to be a banner year for flatties, and not only in our area. The San Francisco Bay has enjoyed great halibut fishing since early May. Captain Jay Yokomizo from Emeryville Sportfishing has been fishing for the flatties every day since April with great success. Last week, Yokomizo found limits of striped bass for his clients in the Bay, then went out the Golden gate for 52 halibut in the 20-30-pound range caught off the Marin coast. Locally, the stretch from Capitola to the Mile Buoy seemed to be the most productive area last week, with numerous large fish reported caught. Saturday's report from Capitola indicates 18 halibut caught in the 20-25-pound range. Numerous smaller fish are also being caught from the wharf and the beach, though most of these are too small to keep.

If that is not enough, anglers are still getting white sea bass and thresher shark near the Cement Ship. Burrell brought in another jumbo bass that exceeded the wharf's 50-pound scale. Dan Williams and Kurtis Williams brought in three additional sea bass on Tuesday weighing 20-30 pounds each. Threshers are being caught by anglers in 30-50 feet of water from the Cement ship up to Pleasure Point, according to Todd Fraser at Bayside Marine.

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