Northern CA Saltwater

Season ends with a bang

BY MERIT McCREA/WON Staff WriterPublished: Jan 02, 2019

MORRO BAY/AVILA — All along the southern Central Coast the season's strong rockfish bite rolled on at limits the rule right to the end. There were a few fewer lings landed than the previous two seasons, but as good as it's been, there was a lot more room under those historic high counts. Nevertheless all one had to do was make the run up the Big Sur coast and the big lings were on tap, along with monster reds.

A FINE BRACE of lings at Port San Luis Sportlaunch during the final weekend of the 2018 season.

In addition to rockfish, a continued sprinkling of ocean whitefish and sheephead, more southern species for sure, continued to be caught. And this week one lucky angler, Ryan Keck, boated a 26-pound party boat white seabass aboard the Morro Bay Landing boat Avenger.

So as the bottom fish season ends, private boaters may be in for a Cayucos treat once again.

As far as the rockfish scores went there wasn't much to say but continued full limits scores across the board.

The 2019 season will kick off in April as last year, and will start with waters out to the PFMC 50-fathom line opened to recreational anglers. But unlike last year, it's likely the Central Coast will see that access continue for the full season, rather than be cut short as the yelloweye rockfish cap is reached. This number more than doubled during the most recent management cycle.

For party boat anglers looking for a post season interim angling option, look for the Patriot to run a crab-n-dab trip a couple of times each week out of Avila/Port San Luis.

RON AND RYAN Keck aboard the Avenger — 26-pound seabass and lings in hand, reds littering the deck at their feet.

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