The halibut fishing has been pretty hot. Take a look at the guys filleting their day’s catch below. This group of guys went out on their private boat on Sunday before Memorial Day and caught 4 halibut. This was their first day fishing for halibut of the season, so my guess is that fishing must be pretty good right now if you know where to go for the halibut. They mentioned that they caught the fish just right off the Santa Cruz point, which I think is just south of Santa Cruz harbor less than a few miles.
Some other halibut fishermen from Santa Cruz harbor said they too had some good luck over the past few weeks fishing for halibut at the Santa Cruz Point. Most of them seem to be using live bait when its possible to get that. Others are using dead anchovies or sardines as bait and then just bouncing that off the bottom until the fish strike. The guys from the halibut video said that all of the fish gave them a pretty good fight, so get prepared for a little workout.
One quick fishing tip, be sure to only gaff the halibut that you are positive are legal fish. If you are bringing up a fish and you are not sure it is of legal size, you are better off netting it, and then measuring it. That way, it will if the fish is undersized, you will have a better chance of releasing it alive compared to if you have gaffed a hole inside of it already.
That’s right, its time to get your salmon gear together and make your way down to Santa Cruz or Monterey California to get your 2 daily salmon limit. The fishing has been the best its been all year for several days now, and its not too far of a crawl to get to the fishing grounds.
Most of the anglers are choosing to fish salmon at the Soquel Hole which is just a 30 minute run for most boats from the Santa Cruz harbor. If you are planning on coming from Monterey it will be a bit longer run to the fishing grounds. And of course if you are making the trip by boat from Half Moon Bay harbor, it will be even longer again. The Soquel Hole is known for great salmon fishing because it is a collection pot for all types of bait fish with the massive depth changes it has.
The sea conditions the past few days have been relatively nice and calm compared to several weeks ago. There has been a really nice calm feel out there early in the morning, and of course the afternoon winds have kicked up every single day so far this week, so get your fishing done early.
As the fish are now being caught closer to the surface, mostly between 30-80 feet of water, more and more people are stopping the trolling and opting to save some gas and energy with their mooching gear. Of course, you won’t escape the numerous troll fisherman who are have tons of success with rigs like pulling a anchovy around or pretty much any other lure these days.
Most of the fish that are showing up at the docs in Santa Cruz have been in the 8-14 pound range, with 20 pound fish coming in daily as well. Good luck, and if you are going out for the whole day and don’t catch anything, we’ll, better luck fishing next time.
Well, the salmon fishing has been decent for most people fishing near and around the Soquel Hole. But, weather has started to take the fish counts down. As the weekend went on, there wind and the waves and the rain made fishing conditions not worth it for many of the anglers, and the launch ramp at Santa Cruz harbor became a ghost town. A big difference from opening weekend a week ago.
The overwhelming majority of salmon being caught from private fisherman is happening with trolling gear. Most of these fish are being hooked at depths ranging from 120-200 feet down. There was even a report of a kid fishing for halibut near the Soquel Hole bouncing a anchovy off the bottom who landed a keeper salmon (not confirmed though)
It’s too difficult to say what is working best, there is the usual mix of hoochie and dodgers/flashers and dead bait being dragged off the downriggers for the trollers. And the few fisherman who are mooching are doing the typical sardine/anchovy rig with anywhere from 2-8 ounces of weight depending on the conditions. If you asked me, mooching with anything over 6 ounces is not too much fun, especially if you are down deep.
So here’s the deal, we are all going to hope for some good weather these next few days off of the coast of California, and if that works out, there just might be some reports of some 30 plus lb. salmon next week. If anyone has any reliable mile buoy reports for salmon fishing from either Monterey or Santa Cruz of even Half Moon Bay, please submit them via comments below. There are quite a few smaller craft fisherman who are dying to know if they can just creep out of the channel and have some decent luck at catching their first salmon of the season.
Been a long time coming, but theSalmon Season is arriving this weekend on April 3rd, 2010!
Going to be going out on a 17 foot Boston Whaler out of Santa Cruz, California early on Saturday morning in hopes of hooking up with a few of the red meat fish. It has been a few years for so many people to have the chance to go and do this once again, hopefully the weather will cooperate.
The latest reports from local friends along the Monterey Bay and Half Moon Bay parts of California is that the salmon are out there, so you bet my crew will already have the bait and gas ready when it comes time to go to bed on Friday night. Our current plan is to head down to water a few miles off Moss Beach and to do some mooching with dead anchovies. Mooching is fishing with the engine turned off with bait on a hook, and some weight to get the bait down to the desired depth. This method is my favorite for salmon in the ocean as it allows you to feel the bite and set the hook on your own. Also, it allows you to catch some sleep if you like with the hope of getting woken up by the sound of a fish pulling line against the drag. Some people like using sardines for bait, and yet a very select few will use dead squid for bait when hunting for salmon. I personally have never used the squid, but a few fishing buddies swear by it.
As for the fishing regulations, right now the rules for most of California are 2 salmon per person per day, and the minimum size is 20 inches. Coho need to be thrown back to get those growing in numbers once again.
My hope is to be able to bring you all kinds of reports of how the action is and how things go down on the fishing side of things, if you have any great news to report on your end, feel free to comment it below.