Centeral CA Saltwater

Monterey: Dependable rockfish sustain Monterey boats

BY CAPT. DAVID BACON/WON Staff WriterPublished: Sep 11, 2019

MONTEREY — With private boat activity tapering off, Monterey boats put their full attention on rockfish and lingcod, but the weather dictated the destination on full-day trips. Fishing halibut in the shallows was a favored pastime for skiffs and kayakers and people caught rockfish and cabezon below town, or perch and stripers north of town.

FIRST TRIP — Dustin Curci took his son, Weston, on his first fishing trip aboard the Kahuna out of Moss Landing where he used shrimpflies off Pt. Sur at first, then graduated to a bar, catching this nice red.

Overall fishing pressure tapers down after Labor Day Weekend, so not as many boats were out on the water. That trend was exacerbated this year by wind and rough seas, which kept many trailer boats and smaller slip boats off the open water. Charter boats and partyboats however made it out and made the best of what they had to work with.

Kahuna , after wrapping up salmon season successfully, is focusing on long-range rockcod trips down the coast to the major points. Kahuna Sportfishing owner Capt. Carol Jones said, “We had long-range trips planned this week but had to cancel due to the wind and seas. We are concentrating on those fabulous trips to Lopez Point, Point Sur and secret spots Capt. Brian knows about where the quality of the rockfish has to be seen to be believed.”

Local reef zones near Point Joe and just a little farther southward, were productive for medium-size rockfish. Shrimpfly rigs tipped with squid strips were the rage and accounted for a majority of the overall catch, which consisted or reds, coppers, browns, blacks, olives and a sprinkling of lingcod and cabezon.

Surf zone fishers working down near Pacific Grove and beach access spots to the south used heavy leaders and two-hook rigs baits with chunks of squid. They caught good numbers of shallow water rockfish and also some nice cabezon up to 8 pounds. Hank Armstrong took an 8-pound cabby.

To the north of town, sandy beaches meant great surfperch and striped bass fishing, with top of the tide being a good time to target the fish in the surf zone, with Bill Varney signature series surf rods made by Vague Rods. Perch were tempted with Gulp! Sandworms and striped bass wanted swimbaits and hardbait lures.

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