Monterey Bay Fishing Report

Monterey Bay

John San Filippo of Milpitas caught his personal best halibut at 21 pounds while trolling near Capitola on Monday.

by Allen Bushnell

Salmon fishing slowed down considerably along the Monterey Bay coastline just before last weekend. But boat-based anglers are finding plenty of rockfish, lingcod and cabezon closer to shore. And, we are getting off to a good start in hopes of another epic halibut season.

Blustery weather conditions may be keeping some salmon boats from putting in a full day of trolling or mooching but essentially the productive schools have dispersed for now. “They are scattered all over,” says Chris Arcoleo from Chris’ Fishing Trips in Monterey. “”We went down to Cypress Point and got nine fish one day this week, and then went north towards the Davenport area for a few salmon.” Arcoleo put it best while commenting on the current salmon conditions on Monterey Bay “No matter where you go you can catch one. But maybe ONLY one.” The salmon have moved up the coast, as they will do. The area from Ano Nuevo north to Pigeon Point is holding lots of salmon. Party boats from Half Moon Bay have been reporting limits from that area this week.

Ed Burrell from Capitola Boat and Bait is seeing good number of rockfish, lingcod and the occasional halibut come in on their rental skiffs. “”I got a really nice lingcod fishing near the Mile Reef in Capitola, and there’s quite a few boats trolling for halibut in that area.” The trollers are likely using frozen bait, hoochies or stickbaits behind a dodger. “It’s really hard to find live bait right now. I’m not seeing anything, not even jacksmelt or kingfish,” Said Burrell. Other anglers are limiting out on decent quality rockfish from the Mile Buoy in Santa Cruz and along the West Cliff reefs. Right now, the deeper reefs are the best bet, from 75 feet of water out to the 120-foot reefs.

Many charter operators are turning to bottomfishing while the salmon bite lags. Tom Dolan on the Mega Bite out of Santa Cruz is always ready to pivot and keep his clients happy. Last Friday he reported, “Beautiful water for our salmon hunt today. Tried a new area and hooked up right away for a nice nine-pound king. Within 30 minutes we’re hooked up again! Fish got on the boat but… it jumped off the swim deck. Tried for another couple hours and got a shorty. Then tried for another couple hours and no love. Fish are moving!” Saturday’s trip called for the pivot as Dolan recounted, “Salmon trip again and the bite’s still slow. Trolled for a couple hours then decided to run to Jurassic Park for a shot at lingcod. Lingcod were biting and so were rockfish. Came home with three nice lingcod and about a dozen bigger rockfish (snapper). Nice to come back with something for dinner. Great group. Dolphins hanging around the boat again.”


< Previous Report Next Report >

< Previous Report Next Report >

More Reports

Limited by a low-abundance forecast of Klamath River fall Chinook, North Coast recreational salmon anglers will have a little more...... Read More

We’ve seen better salmon fishing on Monterey Bay, but not a whole lot better and not for quite a while....... Read More