Allen Bushnell Fishing Report

by Allen Bushnell

Well, the weather hasn’t been “perfect,” it’s been a little windy even in the mornings. But, it certainly has been good enough for boats to get out to deep water in pursuit of coveted king salmon. The epicenter of action is still the Moss Landing area, though reports of limit-style fishing have come in from both north and south of that region.

Carol Jones from Kahuna Sportfishing in Moss has been waiting a couple years to post a report like she did on Wednesday. “17 lucky anglers got on the Kahuna busted wide open! The salmon were feeding on top of the water column and it was a frenzy!” Like most of the large charter boats on Monterey Bay, the Kahuna mooches for salmon. Drifting rather than trolling. When mooching, you are in direct contact with your line. Using small weights, and lighter gear overall you actually feel the bite, set the hook and fight the fish solo. Lighter gear usually means using a lighter drag as well. This can prolong the fight with a big bright hot king salmon, and makes the catch all the more rewarding.

The Check Mate from Chris’ Fishing Trips in Monterey took a big load of 34 anglers out on Wednesday to mooch for the big kings. There’s has to be a lot of salmon in the bay because they came home with full limits. On Monday, the Check Mate only managed to net one fish for the boat. Either this is a fresh school flooding into the bay, or the fish decided to start biting. Either way, we’ll take it and be grateful!

Some Santa Cruz anglers are traveling all the way down to Moss Landing and the Mulligan’s area for fish, but others are finding limits closer to home. Captain Joe Baxter on the private boat MeatHunter is getting out for salmon as often as possible. Baxter provided a rundown on last weekend’s fishing. “Friday was great at Mulligans Hill. Saturday was fair, and Sunday was hard. The fish finally popped up in the canyon on Sunday, straight out of Moss. We had eight fish on Saturday but had to fish until 1 pm to get them. We trolled 170 feet of water,100 feet down on the wire using flashed bait, purple haze hoochies and Krokodiles. Another private boater from Santa Cruz reported early limits for three anglers aboard on Wednesday. They were fishing near the Soquel Hole, trolling flashers and hoochies and had six fish in the box before 10am.

We don’t want to get too excited, or start making big predictions of a banner salmon year in 2019. But, if it does turn out to be an awesome year, this is the way it would start off.

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