Let's Go Fishing!

Monterey Bay

Rockfish, Rockfish
Ava Neely outfished her dad John aboard the lovely Miss Beth this week. Here she hoists her jackpot vermilion rockfish.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Ava Neely

by Allen Bushnell

It’s hard to believe, but summer is coming to an end soon. Good news is, that means the fishing is just going to get better! Fall is often the best fishing season for Monterey Bay anglers.

It’s been a great year for halibut fishing, and the bite resurged this week as ocean waters calmed and cleared. Capitola continues to be halibut central. Ed Burrell at Capitola Boat and Bait reported multiple catches of the big flatfish this week including a 23-pound fish for Jeremy Bryan of San Jose using a live kingfish, and two halibut in the eight-pound range for Don and Marisa Nakanism who were fishing near the Mile Reef. 

Todd Fraser from Bayside Marine reported, “Halibut fishing is good in front of the harbor and in Capitola due to all the anchovies that are here.” Fraser also hints the north coast is heating up as we move into the autumn season saying, “There have been some big white sea bass and halibut caught up the coast.”

Kahuna Sportfishing’s Carol Jones from Moss Landing has been particularly busy these past few weeks. Balancing research fishing trips with local and long-range Point Lopez rockfish forays, Jones is most excited about the improving salmon bite in her area. She reports, “Boats are kicking butt on the salmon lately. These fish have been here all year, it’s just a matter of finding them. They’re starting to congregate now which makes it great for mooching. The bite has been best between the Soldier’s Club and Mulligan’s Hill. And, these are fish in the 18-20-pound class! Now is the time to get out there.” The Kahuna is booked up for either salmon or Point Lopez trips through this weekend, but spaces are still available during the coming week.

Ocean salmon fishing season ends in our area on August 28th, so it’s best to act quickly or miss the boat. Chris’ Fishing Trips launching from Monterey did well this week, mooching for salmon in the Marina Beach area. On Wednesday, the Check Mate caught 19 king salmon for 18 anglers, while Tuesday’s trip scored limits for all 16 clients board. 

Beth Norton reported for Go Fish Santa Cruz on Tuesday saying, “Captain Greg and deckhand JP took the clients to fish at Natural Bridges. They caught rock fish consisting of blues, olives, a nice vermilion and a ling cod. You couldn’t find a nicer day to be on the ocean.” Chris’ Sportfishing in Monterey counted limits of up to 240 rockfish and 21 lingcod for their bottom-fishing trips this week. Ken Stagnaro sent the Velocity north and reports, “Best North Coast trip this season yet! We saw a lot of action and came back with 28 lings a handful of those were some really nice sized fish.”  

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