Pleasant Week For Fishing Along Monterey Bay

Santa Cruz - Santa Cruz, CA

Moss Landing’s Kahuna is fining good quality bottomfish on their forays to the Point Sur area.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Let's Go Fishing Radio Show

by Allen Bushnell

Local anglers enjoyed a pleasant week for fishing all along the Monterey Bay this week. Rockfish remain plentiful, especially on the deeper reefs, halibut are still in the mix for those fishing 60-80 feet of water on the broad sandy stretches below Santa Cruz and above Monterey. Charter operations across the bay took full advantage of the conditions and all forwarded good reports during the past week. Surfcasters are finding more, and bigger barred surf perch from the beaches near Santa Cruz and close to Moss Landing.

The Kahuna from Moss Landing enjoyed a Halloween treat Saturday. Sixteen anglers aboard caught limits of rockfish (160) and five lingcod weighing up to 14 pounds. In Santa Cruz, the beautiful Miss Beth headed north to find success on Saturday. Beth Norton reported, “We fished north of Davenport today. The bite continues to be HOT! The first drift yielded 33 rockfish. The clients caught limits of quality rockfish including big vermilion, nice browns and coppers. Sheree from Santa Cruz caught a 22-inch vermillion. As a side note Dungeness crab season opens November 7th. We will be dropping baited pots that day and running combos trips after then.”

Sport fishing for Dungeness is highly anticipated every year and 2020 is no different. This year,  extreme caution is advised as weather and sea conditions are forecast to be dangerous, with high winds and a significant swell. Sunday looks especially risky with winds gusting 20 miles per hour over a 9 to 11-foot swell. Wise anglers will let things settle before dropping their pots to start crabbing this year.

Sport crabbers have a little breathing room, as the commercial season was delayed by the California Department of fish And Wildlife. The CDFW announced this on Wednesday saying, “The commercial Dungeness crab season in the central management area, which was scheduled to open Sunday, Nov. 15, will be delayed due to the presence of whales within fishing grounds and the potential for entanglement. In mid-November, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Director will re-assess entanglement risk in the central management area and evaluate risk in the northern management area, which is scheduled to open Tuesday, Dec. 1. CDFW Director Charlton H. Bonham added, “The fleet has gone to great lengths to be more nimble in order to protect whales and turtles, and the results are promising. This year for the first time in a long time it looks like we don’t have to worry about domoic acid, which is good news.”

In other good news, COVID restrictions are easing for the Santa Cruz Small Craft Harbor. Port Director Marian Olin announced “The harbor office resumed regular operating hours on November 1, 2020, and is once again open daily from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Please respect social distancing guidelines! Customers must wear a mask and the customer service counter is limited to serving one person at a time.” 

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