Get The Fish When You Can

Monterey Bay

Craig Pappas from Santa Cruz does it again! Bringing home dinner on a day most others were skunked.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Craig Pappas

by Allen Bushnell

We are pretty stoked with this successive series of storms blowing through northern California. The weather is bringing much-needed rain to restore aquifers and reservoirs. Raising water levels in all NorCal rivers is also beneficial to migrating winter salmon and steelhead. The big flows of freshwater can recharge the deltas and bays providing additional food levels, and improved spawning conditions for many of our saltwater sport fish. The storms can make things tough for fishing on the ocean, however. Some days are just too rough to go out on the ocean. Skippers need to pay attention to safety factors first, of course. And, the bite usually dies down under turbulent conditions. Despite recent adverse conditions of wind, rain and big swells, fish are being caught in the Monterey Bay.

In Monterey, Chris’ Fishing Trips ran the Caroline nearly every day this week. They caught limits of rockfish on Wednesday, plus eight lingcod. Tuesday’s haul included 14 lings, 80 rockfish and 12 Dungeness crab for 14 anglers. Adam Helm from Monterey Bay Kayaks worked the area off DelMonte Beach on Wednesday and submitted a positive report for other kayak anglers, advising “ Beautiful conditions but bite was slow. Few vermilions and a few ocean whitefish. Cycled through a few things and still slow. With the first can gone and fishing without a fish finder to find the shale it can make for a difficult time. Best bet is to go to 70 feet deep off of the big metal roof barn in between Monterey Bay Kayaks and Casa Verde and do transects north to south to 35 feet of water and repeat. You will find some shale and some fish.”

In Santa Cruz The story was similar, “get the fish when you can.” Tom Dolan from Mega-Bite Charters made it out on Sunday. He reported, “There was still a little slop on the water earlier in the morning but it leveled out nice throughout the day. Spent some time fishing at first until the weather laid down then ran out to the crab grounds for really big crab! Came home with blue, olive, canary and black pacific snapper and limits of big Dungeness crab for six.”

Thinking about Christmas presents for your favorite angler? Fishing equipment selection is usually very personalized for most anglers. If you’re considering hardware or tackle for your angler the best bet might be to give a gift certificate from one of our local tackle shops. Half the fun of getting new gear is picking it out! All of the fishing charter operations around Monterey Bay can provide gift certificates as well. Gift certificates for guided kayak fishing and surfcasting adventures are available from Santa Cruz Kayak Fishing. Remember, winter is the best season for surfcasting!

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