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.