SOQUEL — Last week the hot salmon bite was off of Moss Landing, over the deepwater canyon and the productivity rate was a little better than a fish per rod, but fishing pressure migrated to Soquel Hole this week and productivity increased to full limits for many boats. The fish seemed willing to bite almost anything, and there are reports of kings "all over" Monterey Bay.
Capt. Brad Miller of Ultimate Fish Charters reported easy limits by the weekend. Earlier in the week it was good, but by the weekend it turned wide open. “We’ve had 150 salmon aboard my 6-pack boat, Ultimate, since the opener,” said Capt. Miller, adding, “The average size is increasing to 10 to 20 pounds.”
Capt. Chris Arcoleo of Chris’ Sportfishing provided his recent numbers, “Today the Star of Monterey was home by 10:30 a.m. with limits for 34 anglers. The Checkmate had 46 fish for 24 anglers and the Caroline caught 45 fish for 23 people.” The scores from the previous day were similar; Star of Monterey nailed 55 fish for 29 anglers, the Checkmate found limits for 26 people and the Caroline managed 43 fish for 23 fishers. “All our fish were caught on the mooch just 30 feet down, at Soquel Hole,” noted Capt. Arcoleo.
“There have been fish caught absolutely all over the Bay,” said Capt. Brian Cutting of Randy’s Sportfishing. Most fishing pressure, however, centered on Soquel Hole with the west side being the spot within the spot. Chubasco anglers enjoyed limit-style fishing using 4-ounce banana sinkers, 6 feet of leader and a 3/0 or 4/0 barbless circle hook. Mainline ratings were 20- to 25-pound test with leaders slightly thicker to withstand sharp salmon teeth. “Flourocarbon leader helps when the bite is slow, but right now it just doesn’t matter," said Capt. Cutting.”
Angler Ron Martin of Capitola e-mailed WON saying, “I fished on the Chubasco out of Randy's Fishing Trips in Monterey and we had a good day. It was a steady pick all morning with a good afternoon snap to finish up with. The boat caught a little over 1 fish around for 29 passengers of a nice grade of fish from 8 to 14 pounds. Captain Brian Cutting kept us on fish all day and deck technician, Josh, made sure the hooked fish made it into the box. The fish were right on top from the surface down to 40 feet and a little wild when hooked. My fish were caught on a Calstar GX8 I built myself, an Ambasssdeur 6500 reel and 20-pound clear Sufix line. All the fish were taken mooching with anchovies. The weather was great and the seas were pleasant with a little wind late. There seems to be a lot of fish in the bay right now and in my opinion it looks good for the rest of the season.”
Carol Jones at Kahuna Sportfishing reported a 23-pound salmon caught by Howard Young of San Jose, while fishing aboard the Kahuna at Soquel Hole. On Saturday the Kahuna had a private charter with 19 fishers aboard and returned to dock with limits by 10 a.m. Yesterday the boat accounted for limits with 28 passengers aboard and the fish bit happily all day long. “It’s like 10 years ago right now, like days gone by and it’s great,” said Jones!
“The Becky Ann was done today at 8:15 a.m. with limits for all,” said Capt. Jim Rubin of Capt. Jimmy Charters in Santa Cruz, who continued, “We were done by 11 a.m. at the latest, all week. We troll and the fish bit white flutter spoons and silver spoons. They all seem to work right now, with no flashers or dodgers needed.”
“Velocity had 35 salmon for 30 fisherman on Sunday of last weekend. Wide open action early, then tapering of to a slow pick in the afternoon. We were fishing the west side of the Soquel Canyon and most of the action was 40 to 60 feet down. Average weight was 10 pounds up to 15-pounds,” reported Capt. Ken Stagnaro of Stagnaro’s Charters in Santa Cruz early in the week. Action improved as the week progressed, to limit-style fishing by the weekend when on Saturday the Velocity scored limits by noon for 17 people fishing just 20 to 50 feet down.