Central CA Saltwater

Monterey: Rockfish fill Monterey and Moss Landing partyboats

BY CAPT. DAVID BACON/WON Staff WriterPublished: Sep 04, 2019

MONTEREY — The week began for Monterey and Moss Landing boaters with a flurry of salmon action nearby and then, after the season closed on the 28th, private boater attention shifted to halibut, which were also nearby. Partyboats made runs for the southern points on all-day trips with calm seas or made visits to local reefs in the Bay.

It was a great early week for salmon fishers, who were wishing the season was longer so they could stay on the good bite off Soldier’s Club. The fish were deep and nailing a variety of bait hoods, hoochies and spoons.

seeingredSEEING RED — Willy Pasqua used a 10-ounce bar, jigging aboard the Kahuna out of Moss Landing during what they term a “long range” trip down the coast around Lopez Point where few boaters go, and caught these two beautiful vermilion rockfish among others for his limit.

Once salmon season closed on the 28th, those same private boaters were drifting or bounce-balling shallower water for halibut. Good counts of flatties were taken near Moss Landing, off the local State beaches and Fort Ord. Monterey boaters also got into them at Marina State Beach. There were lots of short halibut, which is always a blessing for the future, however some nicer specimens up into the twenties were also taken. Bounce-balling and drifting with bigger baits both worked, however bounce-ballers tended to catch more of the larger fish.

On a Kahuna trip to Point Sur, a young kid named Weston Curci had a good day catching rockfish up to 5 pounds, using shrimpfly rigs. Capt. Carol Jones at Kahuna Sportfishing said, “Once his Dad figured he had that down, he let Weston use a bar and darn if the kid didn’t master that, too, and bring in some good fish. Overall, the boat had a fabulous day with big reds and coppers, olives and some lingcod.”

Monterey boats from Chris’ Sportfishing and J&M Sportfishing targeted reef zones inside the Bay on shorter trips or when the winds and seas were up. Full-day runs on days featuring calmer conditions meant opportunities to run south and target the bigger fish at Point Sur and other hotspots down the coast.

People fishing the beaches above Monterey found fun and steady action on barred surfperch, with the best action on an incoming tide, over high tide. The perch were eating sandcrabs or Gulp! Sandworms. Casters working hardbait lures, bucktails and swimbaits saw their rods bend deeply when their lure was attacked by striped bass.

BIG HEAD LING — Lingcod have big heads and thin bodies, but they are great eating. Richard Do of Santa Cruz fished aboard the Kahuna out of Moss Landing and caught this nice-sized lingcod, estimated in the 20s. He was using a 10-ounce bar near Lopez Point.

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