Rockfish and Lingcod Are on The Bite

Santa Cruz - Santa Cruz, CA

A new school of bigger, fatter king salmon moved into Monterey Bay last weekend, providing tons of action for anglers aboard Tom Dolan’s "Mega Bite."
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Allen Bushnell

by Allen Bushnell

Once again, Monterey Bay anglers have been frustrated by poor weather conditions. This latest storm included rain, high winds and a rare northwest swell forecast to include swells of up to 20 feet in some areas. Still, boats managed to get out and fish. Reports ranged from decent to very good for a variety of species.

In Santa Cruz, rockfish and lingcod are on the bite. The deeper reefs seem to be producing best right now. BJ Zach from Stagnaro’s Sportfishing reported, “On our last half-day trip we did really well for only three hours of fishing time. We hit the deep reefs north of Natural Bridges for big bags of rockfish, a good number of lings and one halibut. Chris’ Fishing Trips from Monterey noted limits of rockfish for each of their trips aboard the Check Mate and Caroline on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. They also brought in up to nine ling cod per trip.

After a fantastic start to the season, salmon fishing fell off a bit the past few weeks. Well, Tom Dolan from Mega-Bite Charters let us know that they are back. On Saturday, Dolan reported, “Hooked 14 salmon and brought home 11 and sealions took home three. Great day today with flat calm water until about noon then we decided to head back in. These are much bigger than the schoolie fish we had for the previous four weeks. High quality and fat fish.” So, don’t put that salmon gear away just yet.

Efforts supporting a year-round fishing license have made it to the California Legislature once again. Though no opposition to the bill was noted, the politicos in Sacramento shelved the bill last year. They probably are not used to dealing with proposals that actually make sense. 

Sponsored by the California Sportfishing League, AB 1387 is a bill that would “increase fishing license sales and revenue which fund the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, fish stocking and conservation programs – and increase fishing participation rates that support economic activity, outdoor tourism and jobs,” according to the official press release. Basically, a fishing license would be valid for one year from the date of purchase, instead of automatically expiring on December 31st for everyone. It would also include valid license possession via imaging on mobile devices and allow anglers to sign up for automatic yearly renewals. 

To avoid having this legislation put back on the “suspense file,” please contact your State representative, and/or sign the online petition at

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