Let's Go Fishing Report

Monterey Bay

Israel Montemayon caught first salmon on the last day of the 2019 season while mooching out of Captiola.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Israel Montemayon

by Allen Bushnell
8-30-2019
Website

The 2019 king salmon season closed for all areas below Pigeon Point on Wednesday. This brought the curtain down on what was “a pretty darn good year,” according to private boater Albert Schnell of Aptos. Yes, there were ups and downs all season and the fish moved around so were sometimes hard to find. But, salmon schools maintained a consistent presence for the entire season as anglers got their last licks in this week.

Most party boats working the Monterey Bay mooch, or drift fish for salmon. Mooching works best when the schools of fish are concentrated. Some years the only way to catch king salmon is by trolling, where the boat is constantly moving and covering territory. It’s a testament to the quality of our season this year that the party boats were able to book a good number of salmon trips. Most trips averaged at least a fish per rod and limits were not uncommon.

This week the Kahuna out of Moss Landing took a final whack at kings and were rewarded with a very decent score for their efforts. Owner Carol Jones reported, “23 anglers tried their luck on the final day of our salmon season for 2019. They landed 18 king salmon and lost just about that many to sea lions. They also caught six petrale sole. The salmon were deep, making it hard to get them past the sea lions and tangles.” Chris’ Sportfishing from Monterey counted 26 salmon for 19 anglers on Wednesday aboard the Check Mate, and limits (26) for 13 anglers on Tuesday. Not a bad way to end the season in our area.

Should your salmon bug keep biting, a quick run up to Half Moon Bay might be in order. The season remains open from Pigeon Point up to Point Arena until October 31, 2019. It’s really good fishing in that area right now, and should continue to be productive for the next month or so. Trailering a private boat up to Princeton Harbor is always an option for the dedicated salmon hunter. There are also a couple very good party boats operating in that area. For a big boat and economical fee, try the New Captain Pete. Dennis Baxter owns the big boat capable of serving 30-plus anglers. Owned and operated by Tom Joseph, Fish On Sportfishing runs the Sara Bella. This speedy four-pack costs a bit more, but provides a higher quality private boat experience. Captain Tom gets there quickly and is well known for his tenacity in locating fish for his clients.

There is still plenty to fish for in our area. Halibut season has been remarkable. And they are still on the bite. Capitola remains the hot spot, but expect to see more of the big flatfish coming from the North Coast Beaches like Four-Mile and Davenport in coming weeks. Rockfish season stays open through the end of the year, and fall is often the best time for big rockfish. Larger lingcod will also move in as we progress towards winter.



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