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Central CA Saltwater

Halibut bite picks back up for Santa Cruz and Capitola fishers

BY CAPT. DAVID BACON/WON Staff WriterPublished: May 16, 2018

SANTA CRUZ — Local halibut action picked up near Santa Cruz and Capitola with numerous catches reported. Salmon fishing was pretty much dead because of wind and seas. Rockfish and lingcod were ready to eat and some trips were run, mostly to local spots. White shark sightings peaked.

beachbassBEACH BASS — Jason Enevoldson hit the striper jackpot this week. He started catching them fishing a boat in the bay, but then went north of Santa Cruz and fished the beach with two friends, where he caught 3 legals and 2 smaller ones. Allen Bushnell sent in the photo.

There were scattered catches of halibut during the week and over the weekend. With wind and seas limiting boaters to local waters, there can be some question about whether halibut counts came up, because more boats were fishing local relatively protected waters. Nevertheless, halibut catches did come up, which clearly shows that local waters hold plenty of flatties. Todd Fraser at Bayside Marine in Santa Cruz said, “Boats are getting halibut on the troll and bounce-balling with hoochies over whole squid near the Cement Ship. I also heard of some halibut and stripers being hooked from the Santa Cruz Wharf.”


Frank at Capitola Boat & Bait also noted several halibut and a couple of striper catches from Capitola Wharf. He also reported that 4 or 5 white sharks were spotted right out in front and that 17 or 18 sightings were reported at Seacliff.


Salmon fishing was off and Fraser simply shook his head and said, “Windy, windy, slow, slow.” No boats were able to pound uphill to fish up near Pigeon Point. When winds and seas die down, locals expect the salmon fishing to get better again.


Surf fishing held up nicely for barred surfperch throughout area beaches. Striped bass hit near Pajaro and in the vicinity of Manresa.


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