Fishing in Monterey Bay Has Been Productive This Week

Monterey Bay

Kai Adam-Chinn from Aptos proves that persistence pays. He used sand-crab bait for the gorgeous striper caught near Manresa last week.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Let's Go Fishing Radio Show

by Allen Bushnell

Despite a small but persistent ground swell and some gusty late-morning and afternoon winds, fishing the Monterey Bay has proven to be quite productive this week. Surfcasters continue to catch striped bass from beaches ranging from Aptos to Monterey. The hot striper spots this week remain on the Monterey side of the bay near Marina. Steep beaches in that area have been very consistent for stripers for the past few weeks. Anglers are finding success with a variety of lures and the “bait and wait” guys are doing particularly well with soft-shelled sand crabs that are in abundance in that area. Perch fishing is picking up now that we’re getting closer to summer season. Most perch reported caught have been barred surf perch and are small, though surfcasters working the sandcrab-rich beaches near Monterey have posted reports of limit-style fishing of BSP’s in the 13-15-inch range.

Salmon fishing has slowed somewhat. Trollers are averaging about a fish per rod or less, with quite a few skunks reported. Bayside Marine’s Todd Fraser gave this report on Wednesday, saying, “There were a few salmon caught on the west side of the Soquel Hole in 240 feet of water. The Mulligan area has been better (in) 180-240 feet of water. The majority of the salmon are being caught near the bottom and half way down. Halibut fishing has been good in Capitola and near Pajaro in 45-70 feet of water. The wind has been down but there has been some swell.  Striped bass and halibut are showing up near the wharfs due to all the bait fish moving in. There are anchovies from 30-160 feet of water.” Rockfishing remains consistent on the reefy areas near Monterey and Santa Cruz.

Perhaps the best news for the week is that charter boat operations are allowed to resume with the latest relaxation of State and County Covid regulations. Monterey County officials have yet to make an announcement, but Santa Cruz gave the go-ahead earlier this week. Ken Stagnaro from Stagnaro’s Sportfishing was relieved to report, “We are running. Fishing trips only at this time. Covid-19 and social distancing protocols are in place. Fishermen are not allowed aboard without a mask. Fisherman must bring their own lunch in SMALL coolers only. Cashless transactions are highly recommended. Seven-foot distances on the rail are required. Extremely reduced passenger capacity in effect. We will have salmon trips running, although the recent bite has tapered off quite a bit from what I understand. But we will be out there trying for salmon and also rockfish. We have both morning and afternoon half day cod available and seven-hour rockfish trips will be coming this month as well. Our nine-hour North Coast rockfish trips will be coming soon in mid-June also.” Beth Norton from Go Fish Santa Cruz says they will be up and running for the weekend as well. Norton reported on Wednesday,” We got the green light today. We are excited to get our clients out on the water to catch some fish and sanity. Yippee for the green light!

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