Great Bite for Perch This Week

Monterey Bay

Kris Victorino from Santa Cruz pulled this chunky redtail perch from the wild north coast surf on Wednesday.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Let's Go Fishing Radio Show

by Allen Bushnell

Within the parameters of the Covid-19 regulations, sport fishing is indeed permissible in our area at this time. Commercial fishing continues as an essential activity. Sport fishing opportunities, while somewhat restricted, remain available for us around the Monterey Bay.

The three harbors of Monterey Bay continue to be open for boat launching activities. All the harbor offices are closed, however. Santa Cruz Harbor published the most detailed information this week regarding the partial closure, saying “During the statewide shelter-in-place order, the following essential services and businesses are open. Please comply with all governmental orders and practice social distancing at all times (minimum 6′ spacing) when conducting essential activities. In support of fishing: Launch ramp is open; boatyard is open; H&H Fresh Fish resident buyer services and fish market (is open); Bayside Marine is open and Johnson-Hicks Marine Electronics is open for online and telephone orders.”

Salmon season will open in a week, on Saturday April 4.  Abundance projections are optimistic based on high returns of salmon to the Sacramento River system last year. Daily bag limit is two king salmon per angler, with a minimum size of 24 inches. California halibut season is open year-round, but most halibut disperse into deep waters through the winter. This year, we are seeing an early return and very positive signs of a productive season ahead for the big flatfish. Anglers fishing near Monterey Harbor, Pajaro and the Mile Buoy area in Santa Cruz have reported multiple halibut caught within the past few weeks. It might well be worth fishing from the wharves and piers soon. The past few years have featured outstanding halibut numbers form the Santa Cruz Wharf, Capitola Wharf, and Monterey’s Municipal Wharf 2.

For social distancing, our best bet is surfcasting. Even with dog walkers and surfers on the beach, it’s easy to keep at least six feet separation from others. And, things are heating up on the beaches. Reports from northern Monterey County and southern Santa Cruz County indicate a good if not great bite for barred surf perch this week. A good number of walleye perch were also caught from the surf, according to surfcaster reports. From the coast north of Santa Cruz, Captain Kris Victorino shared his surfcast report of chunky redtail perch from the Davenport area.

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