Monterey Bay Fishing Report

Monterey Bay

Barred Surfperch, Barred Surfperch
Mark Idemoto from San Jose caught these 14-inch barred surf perch slabs using motor oil grubs on Wednesday. Mark was fishing a deeper spot on a lower tide.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Let's Go Fishing Radio Show

by Allen Bushnell

Uncomfortable, even dangerous weather conditions persisted over the Monterey Bay area this week. The coming weekend weather is forecast for much lighter winds, and much smaller swell. Despite the ongoing “gnarl factor,” a few dedicated anglers are still getting out, and enjoying some good catches as well. Perch fishing is getting more consistent on beaches around the bay. Most productive reports have been coming from surfcasting spots close to the cities of Monterey and Santa Cruz. The bigger, broader beaches in the middle of the bay must be holding perch at this time, but we have received no reports of action from those areas. It may be that with this weather no one is making the “long walk” necessary to fish those spots.

And, what about striped bass from the beach? We should expect to see beach reports of stripers very soon. Again, weather is a primary factor along with the stripers’ yearly patterns. An anadromous fish, striped bass head for fresh water in the winter to spawn. In late winter/early spring they return to the salt for feeding. Anglers who understand species’ patterns are the ones who catch the most fish. Noted nighttime striper fisherman Glenn Sales from Seaside commented on what we might expect on that front. Sales said, “My buddy who fishes the Sacramento River area calls me when the big run of stripers head down stream. We start to see them down here about three weeks later. That usually happens in May (ish). If we get a lot of rains that open up the local rivers then we can see those skinny stripers that were stuck in the rivers all year out in the bay but we haven’t had that much rain so I’m thinking we will see them a little later.” Hopefully the rains from this week were sufficient to break open the Salinas and Pajaro Rivers to the sea, allowing wintertime stripers to escape to our local beaches.

Deep-sea fishing continues with Chris’ Fishing Trips in Monterey remaining as leader in the field of charter operations for our area. Last week 14 anglers aboard the Check Mate landed an astounding 560 sand dabs along with 27 Dungeness crab on a Chris’ combo trip. On Saturday, 19 anglers on the Check Mate counted 400 ‘dabs with 39 crab, while Sunday’s trip provided seven anglers with 100 sanddabs and 37 crab to share.

The Santa Cruz Harbormaster’s Office issued a reminder warning on Monday this week to all boaters regarding the extreme shoaling of the Harbor entrance channel. The Harbormaster’s message included, “The sandbar present across the harbor entrance is expected to worsen over the next week as a series of storms are forecast to impact our area. Please be advised that the entrance is impassable. Mariners are advised not to transit the entrance for their safety and the safety of their vessel.”

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