Bonito Action This Week on The Kahuna

Santa Cruz - Santa Cruz, CA

Lucky anglers aboard Moss Landing’s Kahuna enjoyed tuna-type action when they found a large school of bonito near Point Sur on Tuesday.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Let's Go Fishing Radio Show

by Allen Bushnell

Mostly calm conditions provided some great days of fishing for anglers on Monterey Bay this week. Low swells and wind waves are predicted to continue through the coming weekend. Winds are forecast to be mild as well, with the mornings especially calm. Rockfish remain the primary prey for boaters launching from Monterey, Moss Landing and Santa Cruz Harbors. While a good number of rockfish are scattered across the 60 to 70-foot reefs, the deep reefs just outside the bay are where the big bottom dwellers are being caught right now.

Go Fish Santa Cruz Charters found the area near Franklin Point to be particularly productive last week. On Friday owner Beth Norton reported, “Miss Beth headed north of Santa Cruz to fish today. The bite was slow, so Captain JT headed to Franklin Point. The bite was HOT. The clients caught limits of rock fish.” Saturday, JT, went directly to Franklin where, Norton says, “The clients had limits of a variety of rock fish including vermilion, blues, blacks, olives and chinas.” On Monday, they found limits closer to home, near Natural Bridges.

From Monterey, the story is much the same. Plenty of rockfish on the nearby reefs, but bigger and faster limits while fishing the rocky areas outside the bay. Chris’ Fishing Trips counted limits of rockfish for every trip last week, numbering up to 230 fish on Tuesday’s trip aboard the Star of Monterey. Lingcod are still slow in moving in towards the shallow waters. We have yet to see a real “lingfest” yet. But, it’s still early. Rockfish and lingcod season stays open until December 31.

Launching out of Moss Landing, the Kahuna makes regular trips to the Carmel, Point Joe and Point Sur area, on the hunt for big fish action. On Tuesday, lucky Kahuna anglers had a somewhat unusual treat. Owner Carol Jones reported, “The anglers on the Kahuna today got a surprise visit by a large school of bonito. They ended up landing 16 and losing at least 25 all the while having a blast. Sixteen anglers caught 135 rockfish, 16 Bonito and two lingcod for the flat calm day at Sur.”

Pacific bonito are related to tuna and can grow to 20 pounds. Most bonito we see in our area are schoolie-sized in the four to 10-pound range. They are ferocious fighters and a blast to catch on light tackle. Once considered to be “trash fish,” better handling techniques such as immediate bleeding and icing freshly caught fish results in a very edible product. Bonito is especially valued in recipes for sashimi, poké and ceviche. With any luck, the bonito schools will move into the bay and provide some tuna-type action closer to home.

< Previous Report Next Report >

< Previous Report Next Report >

More Reports

For Northern California and Monterey Bay, no species historically defines fishing more than the Dungeness crab.  It is right up...... Read More

Thanks in part to mild weather and ocean conditions, fishing remained productive all across Monterey Bay this week. On Wednesday,...... Read More