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Central CA Saltwater

Swell and tide a poor combo

BY MERIT McCREA/WON Staff WriterPublished: Dec 06, 2017

MORRO BAY — The surf was up at the entrance to Morro Bay several afternoons this past week, as a North Pacific swell met up with big tides exiting the Bay. So, the fleet missed a few opportunities. But when the channel was clear, the fishing was excellent. And down at Avila Beach it's not a problem, so they had a boat or two out each day but Thursday.

AURIE HENRY OF Santa Maria was out on her first fishing trip ever when she hit the jackpot. On a ¾-day private charter aboard the Fiesta, she was fishing shrimp flies with squid strips when she got the drop on this 16-pound gator.

WON source Bruce Harwood, Manager at Virg's Landing, had the low-down. But first, surf anglers had the hot bait again, as Virg's had a fresh load of lively lugworms.

Harwood said that while the hot local bite on lings of the past few weeks finally ebbed some, the gators up at Cape San Martin were on a tear.

He highlighted the most recent voyage to that area aboard the Fiesta. With Capt. James Ottens at the helm, 25 anglers were aboard. They pulled 30 big lings along with 250 rockfish, including 150 fat reds. Elsa Flores of Southgate pulled in the biggest ling, a 17 pounder.

The final qualifier in the John Rowley Biggest, Baddest Lingcod Tournament was Reynaldo Hernandez of Santa Maria with his 20.4-pound ling. The Fish-off is this coming Saturday.

It was early in the week when both the Avenger and Endeavor were out that the ling bite went ballistic. With 29 anglers fishing aboard the Endeavor, they limited the whole boat on lings, totaling 58 gators. Their rockfish limits also included 240 reds.

At Avila, the Crab and Cod trips left the dock light, but anglers’ catches were heavy, as just 6 divvied up 20 Dungeness and 5 rock crab, plus sacked rockfish limit and 3 lings. A gander at the numbers revealed limits of rockfish once again the rule, regular as clockwork. Apparently, just a few hours on the local spots was all it took.

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