Seasonal Weather Changing The Bite

Santa Cruz - Santa Cruz, CA

One happy lady, Lisa Alexander pulled in this nice halibut while fishing aboard the Mega Bite out of Santa Cruz last week.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Lisa Alexander

by Allen Bushnell

Seasonal weather changes always come with some confusion and tumult. This year is no exception. On one morning the ocean will be calm as glass, and the next day winds can howl. Sometimes the winds are howling later that same morning. It sometimes makes for difficult trip planning. But, plucky anglers keep pushing forward.

Carol Jones owns the Kahuna the premier party boat running out of Moss Landing. For this week she reported, “Wind, wind and more wind. We managed to get out last Friday the 13th. Brian (Cutting) took the boat down to Point Sur. They got limits of rockfish along with 12 lingcod. We saw a great variety of bottomfish including nice reds, coppers, canaries and starries. On Saturday, Point Sur weather got ugly. We caught limits of rockfish but no lings. The rockfish bite was wide open, mostly schoolie olives and widows with a few blues in the mix. The wind got so bad it took Brian took four hours to get home.”

For Sunday, Tom Dolan on the Mega Bite from Santa Cruz found exact opposite conditions on this side of Monterey Bay. Dolan said, “Water was flat as a pancake again for our Jurassic Park trip. Got our live bait then headed for the lingcod. We nailed limits plus crew of lingcod then went for rockcod. The rockcod bite was slow.” Dolan usually jigs up sanddabs to use as bait for the lingcod this time of year. The ‘dabs are like lingcod candy. It’s well worth the time to hit a flat sandy area about 200 feet deep and rustle up live bait before hitting the reefs for lings.

California Halibut remain firmly on the menu. Most flatty reports these days are coming from the beaches north of Santa Cruz, or from Capitola down towards Pajaro as well as the Sand City area near Monterey. Commercial squid boats are working close to Pajaro at this time, and a few anglers are finding white sea bass by flylining fresh live squid in that area. Night fishing, especially with a big moon, is a good bet for the white sea bass. Surfcasters who take the P.M. shift are also doing well with striped bass. Anglers night-fishing the Seaside area beaches reported multiple stripers coming in measuring over 30-inches. On the north side of the Bay most striper reports lately have come from the Harbor and Rivermouth beaches. The stripers are elusive, with schools moving in and out. Persistence pays off.  Keep watching for nearshore bait and throwing those lures. The bite will come.

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