MONTEREY TO SANTA CRUZ — Boats from all over Monterey Bay worked together to monitor the location of schools of salmon but weather late in the week kept boats in the Bay, while most salmon ranged outside. One group of fish moved up coast, while another body of fish moved into the Bay from the south.
“We started the week like gangbusters and caught limits steadily, but then it slowed by Wednesday,” reported Carol Jones of Kahuna Sportfishing in Moss Landing, adding, “Salmon feeding on krill feed high in the water column and move fast.” This explains how fast the fish departed, with the fleet chasing them to off of Davenport late in the week.
Rough weather forced boats to stay in the Bay over the weekend. An old saying has it, “Northwest winds blow the bait in.” The logic is that northwest winds cause upwellings, which bring plankton-rich waters up and baitfish move in to feed on it. That summarizes the positive expectations of the salmon fleet for next week.
Capt. Brian Cutting of the Chubasco similarly saw a great bite diminish from 1.5 fish per rod early in the week to a pick by mid-week. As with other area skippers, he expects the bait to show and a new group of fish to move in after the strong winds subside. Chris’s Sportfishing in Monterey had 8 anglers catch 8 salmon on Friday aboard the Checkmate, 8 people boated 7 fish aboard the Caroline and 22 people boated 11 fish on the Star of Monterey, demonstrating how the bite quieted with big weather and moving fish. Todd Fraser of Bayside Marine in Santa Cruz said, “Things are slower on the salmon but Mulligans had some fish today (Saturday).”
Gianfranco Guarrera of The Compass in Seaside said, “I noticed a shift in boat activity during the week, from Soquel Hole early in the week to Pebble Beach and Cypress Point where a new school of salmon were moving into the Bay late in the week.” Hopefully, there will be sufficient bait after the winds to tempt the fish to stay. Guarrera also noted that fishers are busy shopping and gearing up for the rockfish opener, May 1.
“The school of fish we have been fishing moved to an area off of Davenport and may move on up-coast. Private boaters are mostly trolling now to cover more area since the fish are spread out and on the move,” said Will Graham at The Tackle Box in Salinas. Graham also provided good info on what has been getting bit, “Purple haze hoochies are hot and half-and-half spoons (chrome/brass flutter spoon) are effective as are Rotary Salmon Killers with anchovies or herring.”
Kristen Gonzalez and her husband Calder Deyerle (a commercial black cod/rock fish and crab fisherman in Monterey Bay) took their 5 month old boy, Miles, for a day out with friends on the family’s boat, Sea Harvest 1 to catch a fresh king salmon dinner. Young Miles is already an experienced angler as he was out on the boat pulling crab traps at 3 weeks old. This is a fishing kind of family… from stream trout fishing to surf fishing on the beaches of Moss Landing, to sport fishing for fun or commercial nearshore skiff fishing at Pebble Beach. The family caught a nice 12-pound salmon on the North side of the Monterey canyon at 45 feet after trolling for about 2 hours. Calder went out again a few days later with a buddy and they caught their limits of 4 fish in about 4 hours. Calder is a subscriber to Western Outdoor News.