Accurate Fishing Products


Central CA Saltwater

Halibut were the main target for Santa Cruz area boats

BY CAPT. DAVID BACON/WON Staff WriterPublished: Sep 12, 2018

SANTA CRUZ — The main target of the private boat and kayak fleet out of Santa Cruz and Capitola was halibut because the September bite continued unabated. Partyboats and some private boats fished either locally or up the coast to get in their rockfish and lingcod counts before the afternoon winds came up.

halibutwereHALIBUT WERE CAUGHT out of Santa Cruz, and Regina Dingillo caught a 36 pounder on smelt drifting in local waters out of Santa Cruz. Boyfriend and WON source Todd Fraser at Bayside Marine in Santa Cruz sent in the photo.

Halibut fishing kept going strong well into September. Todd Frazer of Bayside Marine in Santa Cruz said, “Afternoons are getting windy, which is slowing the halibut bite a bit, but mornings are good. My girlfriend Regina Dingillo caught a 36 pounder and in the picture we took of her, she was hiding behind that big fish and it looks like the halibut had legs.” Her nice fish bit a drifted smelt out front of Santa Cruz. At Capitola Boat and Bait, Ed Burrell reported that he went out during the week and got two keeper halibut, a 23 and a 28 incher. There were a number of other reports of flatties being caught from boats and kayaks, plus quite a few (mostly short) ones being hooked from the Wharf in the surf zone.

A group visiting from Connecticut chartered Miss Beth and found some fun fishing on local spots in Monterey Bay. Beth Norton said, “They caught limits of quality rockfish including blues, blacks, olives and vermillion. Jason Atkinson got a nice 16-pound lingcod that bit a jacksmelt.” Fraser reported that many boats ran up the coast to fish rockfish and lingcod near Davenport and they did well in the mornings before afternoon winds sent them back towards home.

Surf fishing was excellent for barred surfperch enthusiasts from Santa Cruz on down to Manresa and below. Towards the southern range of that perching territory, striped bass casters wielded hardbait lures for fish generally running 5 to 8 pounds but occasionally hooking into bigger units.

* * *

We hope you enjoyed this article on our no-charge website Of course, this site contains only a small fraction of the stories that Western Outdoor Publications produces each week in its two northern and southern editions and its special supplements. You can subscribe to the print issue that is mailed weekly and includes the easy flip-page full-color digital issues, or you can purchase a digital only subscription. Click here to see the choice.