Dungeness crab on the menu; abundant rockfish, too

Santa Cruz - Santa Cruz, CA

Dungeness crab on the menu; abundant rockfish, too
Blues, browns, reds, blacks and lings were the reward for traveling up to the Ano Nuevo area for captain Rodney Armstrong from Santa Cruz Coastal Charters on Saturday.

by Allen Bushnell

Dungeness crab are definitely on the menu around Monterey Bay. There’s plenty of crab crawling on the flat areas near our multiple marine canyons throughout the bay. In Santa Cruz, the West cliff area down to the harbor area seems best right now. Monterey crabbers are heading slightly north towards Moss Landing to fill their hoop nets. Best depths at this time seem to be from 160-200 feet of water. Rockfish are still abundant with the majority of catches featuring the schoolie blues and blacks. Lingcod numbers dipped this week, but they will continue t move onto the shallower reefs for the next couple months for spawning. In Monterey, Chris’ fishing Trips posted reports of rockfish limits, an occasional ling and a couple bonus bonita on Friday’s trip on the Check Mate. In Santa Cruz, the big numbers were claimed by Rodney Armstrong from Santa Cruz Coastal Fishing, who made the long trek up Ano Nuevo for full limits of rockfish. Armstrong reported, “The Island did not disappoint. Wide open rock fishing. We had three keeper lingcod and chances at a few more.”
Bluefin tuna remain in the area to the delight of serious big game anglers. In general, it’s a low-percentage proposition resulting in a skunk more often than a fish. But, when a boat does get a fish the reward is huge. The grade of tuna this year ranges from 70 to over 200 pounds each. Todd Fraser at Bayside Marine reported for the tuna chasers this week saying, “The blue fin continue to bite near the Davenport Fingers. I spoke to one boat who hooked three and landed two nice tuna. There were a few other fish caught by the anglers who went looking.” The fact that these bluefin stuck around through last weeks big northwest swell and temperature drop suggests they’ll be around for a while yet. Enjoy them while you can. 

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