Central CA Saltwater

Squid perk up the lingcod bite near Monterey

BY CAPT. DAVID BACON/WON Staff WriterPublished: Dec 18, 2018

MONTEREY — Squid was available near Monterey and the fresh candy bait made a profound difference in the size of fish caught. Some weekdays featured calmer water for fishing, but the weekend sea fan was set on high, limiting activity. Perch fishing along local beaches was excellent.

Jigging up live squid is exciting because it means larger fish will be more aggressive. The party boat fleet used them at times, but some of the private boaters were all over the squid and then went fishing. WON Field Reporter Daniel Gross said, “Squid are high and low and easy to come by during the weekend and still manageable for any angler willing to manage the seine fleet during the week. Live squid have kicked rockfish and lingcod counts higher as well.”

BIG LINGCOD LIKE this 31 pounder don’t often come from as far south as Lopez Pt., but Caesar Ruivivar of Daly City caught this one while fishing aboard the Kahuna out of Moss Landing.

With or without live squid, boats like Kahuna, Caroline, and Star of Monterey were able to get on rocky structure, mostly inside the Bay and put half to full limits of rockfish onboard, plus a few lingcod. The lingcod counts went up, as well as the average fish size when the boats stopped for live squid before hitting the fishing spots. Fabled local angler Kathy Wilson, covering the counter at Kahuna Sportfishing while Capt. Carol Jones was on a little vacation, reported good fishing but limited opportunities. “We had a Point Sur trip early in the week and the boat got limits of rockfish and lingcod up to 18 pounds,” said Wilson who has graced the whopper list many times herself.

Crabbing was good throughout the period. Partyboats that spent their time at pulling pots were able to pull limits. Besides the crabs, boat got good rockfish counts, so the crews could send passengers home with appreciable amounts of seafood.

Surf fishing was rated fantastic by enthusiastic beach casters who came up the beaches with some very sizable barred surfperch. Gross said, “Perch have been plentiful with a good number of 2-plus-pound breeders in the mix for those fishing Lucky Crafts and sand crabs in the surf. Salinas River State Beach south to Fort Ord Beach was a very productive stretch.” Allen Bushnell of Santa Cruz Kayak and Surf Fishing Guides shared that Matt Mitchell caught a very large barred surfperch near Moss Landing.

Monterey bait & tackle store Out to Sea hosted it’s second Bring the Ling Tournament recently. Daniel Gross, reporting on the event, said, “We had a great a great time and saw some awesome fish brought in. A total of 35 participants, with 30 anglers and 5 free diver spear fishermen. Over the two days we had a total of 64 fish weighed in, 47 fish on day 1, and 17 on day 2. Biggest fish was 29 pounds and 39.25 inches, with the same angler catching a 22.2-pound, 39.25 incher for a 51.2-pound bag limit (the biggest bag limit overall).”

Bring the Ling featured some very nice fish. Joe Legge of Stockton fished a swimbait aboard Irish Wake, when he caught a 39.25-inch, 22.2-pound and a 39.25-inch, 29-pound lingcod, earning him first place with a bag limit of 51.2 pounds as well as biggest fish overall. John Mardia of San Jose fished Lingcod Jig's “LivingSquid” lure aboard Reel Affair, when he caught a 34-inch, 14.9-pound and a 36.25-inch, 17.8-pound lingcod for 2nd place. Mike Ham of Monterey fished a bar jig aboard Fishaholic, when he caught a 39.25-inch, 24.6-pound and 34.25-inch, 15.8-pound, and a 34.5-inch, 16.9-pound plus a 32.25-inch, 12.1-pound lingcod, earning him 3rd place overall with a 41.5-pound 2 fish limit.

FIRST PLACE IN the Bring The Ling (BTL) derby from Out To Sea in Monterey was won by Joe Legge of Stockton who was using a swimbait aboard the Irish Wake when he caught a 39.25-inch, 22.2-pound and 39.25-inch, 29-pound lingcod with a bag limit of 51.2 pounds as well as biggest fish overall.

lingderbysecondplaceSECOND PLACE WAS won by John Marfia of San Jose who was fishing Lingcod Jig's “LivingSquid” lure aboard the Reel Affair, when he caught this 34-inch, 14.9-pound and 36.25-inch, 17.8-pound lingcod. He also caught a second limit of a 37.5-inch, 21.8-pound and a 40-inch, 22-pound lingcod for a 43.8-pound bag limit and second biggest overall.

lingerbythirdplaceTHIRD PLACE IN the Bring The Ling derby was won by Mike Ham of Monterey who used a bar jig aboard the Fishaholic, landing lingcod of 39.25 inches, 24.6 pounds, and 34.5 inches weighing 16.9 pounds for a 41.5 pound limit.

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