Heavy winds to hinder boating action this weekend

Santa Cruz - Santa Cruz, CA

Heavy winds to hinder boating action this weekend
Santa Cruz Coastal Fishing Charters are game. They had no problem with this weekend client using his trout rod to catch…A 14-pound halibut!

by Allen Bushnell

Once again, weather takes top billing for the week’s Monterey Bay fishing report. After a few days of record-breaking heat and sloppy ocean conditions, we now have a persistent low pressure system hovering over our coastal regions. With a powerful high pressure system hovering offshore, this means we get to look forward to big west winds over the weekend. We might even get some rain. Because the onshore winds will be blowing day and night, expect large, choppy wind swells to make boating in the bay even more unpleasant. Friday and Saturday forecasts predict sustained winds from 10-25 knots with gusts up to 30. Boat anglers should exercise caution and good decision making before heading out.

And, the kicker is that fishing has been pretty good all around the bay. Rockfish anglers are reporting full limits more often than not. The charter boats are getting limits every day. Chris’ Fishing Trips from Monterey reported full limits of up to 250 rockfish on their trips this week, with a high count of six lingcod. Six-pack charter Go Fish Santa Cruz made their way past Ano Nuevo where the fish are bigger and the limits come quicker. Skipper JT Thomas related from Sunday’s trip saying, “We went back to Franklin Point today. The clients had limits of rock fish including big vermillion, canaries and yellow tail. They landed a nice ling cod weighing in at ten pounds. It as a little windy but everyone had fun.” Private boaters continue to find quality halibut biting from Pajaro up to the West Cliff area in Santa Cruz, and all along DelMonte Beach and past Sand City for boats launching from Monterey.

We’ve been teased with tuna reports lately. A few bluefin tuna and a couple albacore tuna were boated over the past few weeks, mostly from the “601” weather buoy area some 60 miles offshore. Dedicated tuna hunters are out there searching for the big schools but as of this writing have had no luck. There’s plenty of warm water offshore and lots of bait as well. Conditions are promising but the big pelagic fish remain elusive so far. Historically, tuna bites can develop from the fall into winter months in our area, so hope is not lost for some genuine big game experiences this year if things go right.

On the beachfront the news is good and getting better. Barred surf perch are on a ferocious bite. It all depends on the particular location along with the tides. Hit the right spot at the right time and you are looking at a bite for every cast. Most of the perch are still on the small side, which makes them no less fun to catch. There’s always a few heavies in the mix. This week’s surfcast reports indicate an increase in the number of larger perch in the 12 to 15-inch category being caught. Over the next few weeks, catching halibut from the beach is still a possibility. A few days of calm waves and clear water encourages these smaller halibut to come quite close to shore for feeding.

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