Big Bluefin Tuna Are Still Around

Monterey Bay

Zealand Hunter from Capitola won the battle with this giant Bluefin tuna last week while fishing with Buddy Griggs on the Angela Lee. The pair boated two tuna on cedar plugs while fishing off of Cypress Point.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Let's Go Fishing Radio Show

by Allen Bushnell

Strong blustery winds kept most boats at the docks, or fishing inshore this week. The big bluefin tuna are still around, moving mostly along the canyon edges from Point Pinos up to the Farallon Islands area. Despite all the hoopla of having 150-200 pound tuna in our area the reality is, not a whole lot of them have actually been caught. Difficult to locate and hook up under the best conditions, the high winds and choppy seas ensured a low count of tuna for our extended fishing area. The coming weekend looks to have more favorable weather lasting into the following week. Hopefully these giant tuna will hang around, and anglers will be able to dial in the location and techniques for more “lifetime achievement” hookups.

One of the few charter fishing operations that will take the gamble to pursue big bluefin in our area is Fish On Sportfishing with skipper Tom Joseph at the helm of Sara Bella, a speedy 23-foot Steiger Craft. Joseph was disappointed this week, having to cancel planned bluefin trips due to the impossible conditions offshore. Mooch Better Sportfishing from Half Moon Bay will also run charters for bluefin. We would advise trying to book as soon as possible, before these fish slip away. We may never see fish like this again in the Monterey Bay area.

Inshore fishing is still going strong. Winds were high enough this week to keep even some salmon boats off the grounds, but most mornings were fishable. Salmon are still being caught along the canyon edges in Monterey Bay, and a bite has developed to the north of Santa Cruz, according to Todd Fraser at Bayside Marine. On Saturday Fraser reported, “The salmon fishing was good in 200 feet of water near Four Mile Beach.” On Monday Fraser indicated the bite was still on in that area saying, “Salmon are still being caught on the bottom from Three Trees to Davenport.” Halibut fishing is still going gangbusters. The top spot is near Capitola down to the Cement Ship in Santa Cruz, and from DelMonte Beach up the Tioga Road area in Monterey. Quite a few halibut were reported caught by surfcasters using Lucky Craft lures, KastMasters or dropper loop fluke setups. Surf perch are getting bigger, and stripers are moving closer to the beach as they chase the growing schools of anchovies.

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