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CALIFORNIA'S ONLY SPORTSMAN'S NEWS SINCE 1953

Central CA Saltwater

Monterey: Salmon or dependable rockfish

Tough choice for Monterey party boats

BY CAPT. DAVID BACON/WON Staff WriterPublished: Jul 10, 2019

MONTEREY — Monterey and Moss Landing party/charter boat skippers had choices to make and fortunately there was rarely a bad choice, because fishing was good. Salmon bit locally and up by Soquel Hole and rockfish and lingcod trips down the coast were solid producers. Halibut was yet another contender for attention.

swimbaitlingsSWIMBAIT LINGS — Alex Niapas of Altaville is shown with a lingcod limit he caught on the Check Mate out of Monterey while using swimbaits.

Party boats went here and there, exercising their options. Kahuna from Moss Landing tried salmon and found them quite willing to bite. Check Mate from Chris’s Sportfishing also put some serious salmon on­board, with both boats making passengers grin with excitement. As you can imagine, there were many fish lost and loads of fast-paced action that came in waves as the fish came through. Private boats got into the act, making launch ramps very busy places.


Salmon were found outside of Moss Landing and up towards Soquel Hole. When the salmon bite slowed, boats busied themselves with a good, seasonal halibut bite just behind the waves.


Summertime rockfish and lingcod action was good. Spots down the coast at Point Sur were stacked with quality fish like vermillion, coppers and bocaccio. Lingcod fishing has been improving for weeks, as the summer wears on and the fish move shallower to claim their rocky lairs and stoically defend their territory. Caroline was one of the boats that got out for rockfish and lingcod, finding enough rockfish to fill limits.


Surf fishing was exceptionally popular and even the minus tides during the week didn’t keep people away. Surf perch bit very well, and people caught striped bass with sandcrabs and hardbaits like Lucky Craft Flash Minnows or Daiwa SP Minnow. WON Contributor Jacob De Leon said, “Striper fishing is still great on the beaches and people are hooking halibut, too.” Easy-to-access spots from Marina to Fort Ord saw lots of surf fishers.


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