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.
Good luck with the halibut fishing!