Going to Be a Great Weekend to Fish

Santa Cruz - Santa Cruz, CA

Surfcasting is productive these days. Here’s Ron Martin with a nice striped bass he caught this week from a beach south of Aptos.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Allen Bushnell

by Allen Bushnell

Good news- winds and swell are dropping. It looks to be very pleasant for this weekend’s fishing on Monterey Bay. Better news- there are tons of fish and they are biting!

Rockfishing continues to produce limits with a wide variety of subspecies being caught. Of course, the further you go north or south beyond the bay, the bigger and more numerous the fish will be. Beth Norton from Go Fish Santa Cruz reported limits of fish caught near Davenport on Tuesday, including a number of vermilion weighing up to six pounds each. On Wednesday Norton added, “Captain Greg took the clients to the area north of Santa Cruz referred to as Five-Mile. They caught limits of a variety of rock fish including canaries, yellow tail, green spot and vermilion.” She then added some useful culinary advice. “Yummy fish and chips. Delicious fish tacos. Put filets in a skillet with butter, garlic, capers and lemon juice and you will have a great dinner.” The Kahuna from Moss Landing and Chris’ Fishing Trips from Monterey also reported limits for all their rockfish trips this week.

Rockfish abundance is such that the California Department of Fish and Wildlife announced an in-season regulation change, easing the rules on a few bag sub-limit numbers. Effective June 1, 2019 we may now retain four black rockfish, three canary rockfish and two lingcod.

Halibut are back on the bite since the swell has died down. The hot spot seems to be centered near Capitola. There is tons of bait in that area, including mackerel, smelt and anchovies. Numerous halibut were reported caught by private boaters, kayak anglers and even pier fishers using live bait, trolled hoochies and swim baits. The Del Monte Beach area in Monterey continues to produce limits of halibut for anglers working the shallow water inside of and beyond the kelp beds, towards the “Hotel” area.

Even salmon is on the upswing this week. The new school that came into Monterey Bay last week is still hanging around. Good reports were submitted from anglers who worked the Soquel Hole area, especially the east side of the Hole. Private boater Mick Routh from Santa Cruz managed to net one of the larger fish reported this week. He said, “I caught this 21-pound salmon on Wednesday 6/5, Soquel Hole on a watermelon Apex. 110 feet on the wire. Fishing on my boat “Top Gun”.” On Monday Todd Fraser at Bayside Marine noted, “The salmon fishing is good here in Santa Cruz. There are salmon being caught straight out in 130-220 feet of water. This is good news for small boaters.” Fraser also received reports of at least one bluefin tuna hooked and lost by a salmon angler in the Soquel Hole area. Hopefully those tuna will stick around.

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