Salmon Fishing Report for Santa Cruz

The 2nd Week of April, 2010:

salmon dodger
A salmon dodger used for trolling for salmon

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.

Fishing Season for Salmon in California Begins Again

The Salmon Season has officially begun in the Monterey Bay of California in 2010.Here is a video of the first salmon of the year caught off of Santa Cruz, California.

We left the Santa Cruz, California harbor at about 8:30 in the morning and were back at the dock at 11:30am with just one fish, but it was a nice one, and the first in two years!
What was the most amazing part of the day was the number of boats who went out looking for salmon. There were literally hundreds of boats out on the water according to California Fish and Game officials. The boats started leaving Santa Cruz Harbor before 5am, and were nearly lined up heading out of the channel until around 7:30 when it finally slowed down.

Here is a picture of the salmon that we caught in about 300 feet of water at about 10:00am Saturday April 3, 2010 off Santa Cruz.

king salmon
King Salmon from Santa Cruz

As a bit of a follow up on how Half Moon Bay did with Salmon the first weekend, they did horrible compared to Santa Cruz.  Although I wasn’t up there, the reports are that the fishing was way less than one fish per rod, and more like 1 fish per 10 rods.  Also, the weather for the opening weekend was much nastier than down south in Santa Cruz.   So, if you are considering going fishing April 10th or 11th, my advice would be to fish Santa Cruz before leaving from Half Moon Bay.  The Soquel Hole was very nice to us, and to many other fisherman, and it sounds like the Soquel Hole might have been the best place in Northern California to be fishing for opening weekend of the Salmon Season this year.  If there are any other reports from Northern California salmon fishing trips, I will try to post them ASAP to get a better feel for what happened.  I am yet to hear anything from way up North at this point about the salmon fishing.