Allen Bushnell Fishing Report

Salmon aren’t the only big fish being caught on Monterey Bay these days. Here’s John DelRosario with a fine striped bass he caught while surfcasting in Monterey this week.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Allen Bushnell

by Allen Bushnell

As usual, weather was the major factor for this week’s fishing on Monterey Bay. A low pressure system moved in, bringing with it gusty winds from the south. South winds make for choppy and uncomfortable seas. Low pressure often causes fish to go off the bite, and it looks like that was the case for us this week.
Last Friday our epic salmon bite was continuing into a fourth week of almost guaranteed limits for anglers trolling in the bay. On Friday, Tom Dolan from Santa Cruz Charters reported, “Salmon limits again on the Mega-Bite. Wow, doesn’t get any better than this. In fact, salmon catching hasn’t been this good in over twenty years. Limits for our party of six today plus crew limits. 16 nice salmon to 13 pounds and the boat got back to the dock early!”
When the weather changed on Saturday, catch numbers went down for everyone. Dolan’s report on Monday reflected the change. He said,” With the low pressure for the past couple days the salmon have been tough to find and get them to bite. We got lucky today and hooked into six and brought home four nice salmon. The low is supposed to be gone after tomorrow so salmon fishing should pick up.”
Mid-week, most charter boats on the bay were still reporting around a fish per rod for their salmon trips. The Check Mate and Caroline from Chris’ Fishing Trips in Monterey 14 and 13 salmon respectively for Wednesday’s trips. Captain Brian Cutting on the Kahuna out of Moss landing had 20 salmon on Wednesday for 17 anglers aboard. Their biggest weighed twenty pounds.
Go Fish Santa Cruz did better than most on Monday and Tuesday, only one fish shy of limits on each trip. Owner Beth Thomas said, “Another day of fishing for salmon today. We had limits short by one. The salmon are still here.” Ken Stagnaro checked in late last week. Anglers on the Velocity went for salmon and did fairly well. Stagnaro reported, “We caught 28 salmon for 23 people. Fish ranged in the 10 to 12 pound size. Many good signs this bite will continue!”
Perhaps the best news is that big salmon schools are not just hovering inside the bay. Anglers reported limits up the coast as well, near Wilder’s Ranch and above. Half Moon Bay charter boats did well fishing near Pigeon Point. Sounds like a classic springtime salmon bite. Dave Hurley from USA Fishing shared a report from Dennis Baxter on the New Huck Finn on Wednesday. Baxter said, “As far as you could see either way were humpbacks lunge feeding on anchovies. Today was a better grade of salmon with one out of five being 27 inches with lots of 26 inches. There will be fish on the 11 line which is Pigeon Point for both the commercial and sport anglers.”

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