Let's Go Fishing Report

Monterey Bay

Myron Larson from Capitola Boat and Bait hoists another big halibut caught near the Cement ship this week.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Capitola Boat

by Allen Bushnell

This week featured some bothersome winds, especially in the afternoons and evenings. Along with combined south and west swells this made for less than ideal fishing conditions. Still, anglers who made it out early reaped their rewards. Fishing on the Monterey Bay remains very productive.
From the southern region of the bay, Chris’ Fishing Trips has all three of their big boats working. As usual, they are reporting limits of rockfish and plenty of lings caught by their clients. Owner Chris Arcoleo is loving it, reporting “Rockfishing has been fantastic. We’re doing a lot of Point Sur trips, producing limits of lingcod and big vermilion.” Arcoleo added the sport salmon fishing has slowed in that area. “The commercial guys are doing good. It’s hard for the sport anglers because the fish are so deep. We’re talking 300-400 feet.”
Arcoleo is predicting good salmon fishing in July, saying “There’s plenty of bait showing already, we’re seeing anchovies for miles. All on the surface, too.” Sport anglers are catching fish near the Soldier’s Club and along the deep edges of the Soquel Hole according to Todd Fraser from Bayside Marine. Fraser said, “The Soquel Hole had a few single fish reports down in 250 feet of water. The Mulligan to Soldier’s Club sounded a little better with a few reports of 3-4 fish caught. The salmon are still being caught near the bottom in 190-250 feet of water. The salmon are feeding on big balls of anchovies and the fish that were caught today were full of anchovies.”
Captain of the “Four-Pack” Sara Bella from Fish On Sportfishing, Tom Joseph has been doing limit-style salmon fishing this week launching from Half Moon Bay. “Fished out of HMB and went south today, our party of four boated limits (eight) salmon from eight-20 pounds,” Joseph reported on Sunday. Monday’s trip was just as good according to Joseph who     pounds.”
Fishing for halibut is still going strong all around the bay. Depending on the tides and current swell, legal halibut have been caught from the beach by surfcasters, on out to 70 feet of water. Halibut must be 22 inches long to be legally kept, and the daily bag limit is three fish. Trollers using the bounce-ball technique with a dodger and hoochie cover the most territory and account for most of the reported catches recently. Other trollers report using anchovies or Rapala-style plugs behind their dodgers for successful hookups.
Probably the most exciting and fulfilling technique for flatty fishing is drifting with live bait. Using a three-way swivel setup or a sliding egg sinker, anglers use the wind and water currents to slowly cover likely halibut territory. It’s pretty amazing to feel the bite, feed the fish and set the hook, especially while using lighter gear and line than is possible while trolling the big heavy weights that bounce balling requires.

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