The Salmon fishing has been luke warm still in the Monterey Bay. The bets have still been the Soquel Hole off of Santa Cruz with some anglers catching their limits of reasonable sized salmon.
The fishing a bit north in Half Moon Bay has continued to be less attractive to the small skiff fisherman, and many have opted to launch their boats out of Santa Cruz in search of a faster ride to the more productive fishing grounds. But, this surely doesn’t mean that fishing has been a complete waste out of Half Moon Bay. There have been a few limits of salmon reported there as well.
The fishing out of Monterey has been reasonable, just under one fish per rod on some of the boats, and of course some limits and some skunked salmon fishermen mixed in too. Most of the party boats are dropping anchovies and sardines down to relatively low depths of 150 feet or more to find the salmon while on the mooching rigs. Overall, there seems to be a very high percentage of fisherman trolling hoochies and all sorts of other rigs for the salmon. One of the common lures last week was a yellow Crocodile lure.
This week coming up should have some decent days for getting out and making another stab at the salmon if you are still in search of your first fish of the season. There were several reports of boats who kissed their first salmon of the season over the weekend, and if you are still searching, don’t get discouraged.
There is all kinds of options so you better get your rod and reel ready. You can use lures, bait, mooch, troll, spinners, jigs, you can even spear fish for them if you are really quick.
Bait- This is the method that the majority of the fish are taken with. Many of the long long range fishing boats load up on this stuff, or catch more of it when they are out to sea. Live bait is usually a big bonus, and time and time again produces the best numbers. If you have a live bait well in your boat, definitely stock it up with some sardines or small mackrel, and the tuna will thank you for that.
Lures- For the people who want to cover a large distance during the day of fishing, lures provide great value, although they will hit your gas tank when trolled at high speeds compared to sitting still and mooching. But there is a time and a place for everything. Lures allow you to troll around and cover more ground if you are not certain where the tuna schools are located. Also, this will allow you to test out different colors throughout the day until you setttle on one lure that works well, or several that work well. There is nothing more exciting than trolling lures behind a boat and connecting with 3 or 4 tuna at one time. its VERY possible too, so be on guard
Jigs and other Casting Lures- these work well when you located a school of tuna. Tuna can be a bit picky on the jig that is thrown to them when they are jumping and nailing live bait, but they are very aggressive none the less. There have been many people who have had the most success with jigs being cast into schools of tuna. This can lead to less time spent re-baiting live bait which has the ability to either come off the line, or being stolen by a tuna fish.
IF YOU HAVE LIVE BAIT:
Once you make your way to a school of tuna, this is a critical time. You want to make sure the fish don’t go too far without having given yourself the chance to catch at least a few of them. So make it easy on yourself. Show up with some livebait. This way, you can try to keep the fish near your boat by throwing over some sardines for example every few minutes. Yeah of course you will be giving away some of your precious bait that has no hope of catching you a fish, but this will keep the fish near you. And in the long run, this will allow you to catch more fish from either bait on hooks, jigs, or any other way you plan on catching the tuna.
All too often people show up to a school of tuna where the fish are jumping like crazy, but they scratch their heads when the fish take off, and are off and lost for good. This has a great chance of being avoided if you just keep throwing over a few fish or bait in the water next to your boat at 3 or 5 minute intervals.