Get it While The Getting is Good!

Santa Cruz - Santa Cruz, CA

Go Fish Santa Cruz Charters caught a Treefish this week that matches their crab pot buoys! A sub-species of rockfish the Treefish is somewhat rare for our local waters.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Go Fish Santa Cruz

by Allen Bushnell

Get it while the getting is good! We have only until the end of this month for rockfish/lingcod season, so it behooves us to make the best of any pleasant days we might enjoy between now and then. Weather and ocean conditions seem to be the only hindering factor for local fishing. The bite is still “ON,” and for a wide variety of species.

The dedicated angler can muster up limits of rockfish and lingcod from our local reefs. Fishing deeper is the ticket, from 70-300 feet of water. As usual the fish are bigger and more numerous the further one travels up the coast from Santa Cruz, or downcoast from Monterey. This week, Go Fish Santa Cruz Charters found plenty of rockfish while fishing the reefs near Davenport. Beth Norton reported the weekend trip saying, “The Dungeness crab continue to be abundant and big. The clients had early limits before heading out to fish for rock fish. They fished south of Davenport and had limits of a variety of rock fish.” Ano Nuevo and Franklin Point can be especially productive for rockfish, lings and cabezon right now. If the weather cooperates, and your boat has the “legs,” it may be worth a cruise up to these seldom fished areas. There have also been a few halibut caught by anglers looking for rockfish this week.

The early winter storms keep rolling through our area, and this week was no exception. Things will settle down after the weekend, and it may be a good time to walk the beaches, looking for new structure that holds feeding surfperch. One advantage of the big waves and heavy currents are the troughs and bumps they leave in the surfline, perfect underwater terrain for foraging perch looking for sandcrabs and seaworms caught in the currents. This week’s surfcasting was generally hit or miss. Many if not most of our Monterey Bay beaches were inundated with seaweed, grass and kelp from the big wave action. Still, some persistent surfcasters were able to find the right combination of beach and tide to cast for some big perch in clean water. Despite the rain and wind Wednesday afternoon, Glen Sales from Seaside worked one of the broad beaches closer to Moss Landing and found some action. He reports, “Big swell was back in but found a few bigger fish!“

And, as a reminder, the 16th Annual Sand Crab Classic Perch Derby is scheduled for Saturday March 14 this year. This is the biggest Derby on the West Coast for the smallest game fish. A family affair, the Sand Crab Classic raises support each year the Monterey Bay Salmon and Trout Project. Entries fill up super-fast, so keep an eye on the Sand Crab Classic website for entry opening, which will occur on or near January 1st, 2020.

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