St. Croix


Central CA Saltwater

Santa Cruz: Halibut and salmon share the spotlight

BY CAPT. DAVID BACON/WON Staff WriterPublished: Jul 03, 2019

SANTA CRUZ — There were halibut catches galore out of Santa Cruz and Capitola, and there were also a good number of salmon caught, giving boaters some fun options. Nice weather and seas allowed for comfortable trips up the coast for rockfish and lingcod.

vermilionrockfishVERMILION ROCKFISH WERE prevalent during a trip aboard the Miss Beth out of Go Fish Santa Cruz Charters when they went up the coast to Davenport and loaded up with canaries, olives, green spots and big vermilion rockfish to 6 pounds.

Good weather, good sea state and lots of life in the water equated to great fishing. Ed Burrell at Capitola Boat & Bait said, “It’s turning wide open here… busy, busy, busy. We’ve got good halibut catches coming in regularly, some stripers inshore and salmon offshore. With anchovies almost everywhere, the whales seems to be all over the place filling their bellies.” Scooter Smith caught a 10-pound halibut from the Wharf using an anchovy under a bobber and Greg Gomes got a 10-pound striper the same way.

Mile Reef was a hotspot for local boaters out of Capitola and Santa Cruz. Boaters jigged up live bait like kingfish and jacksmelt to tempt some big halibut and lingcod to hook. Peter Sham Shum on his private boat Crime Scene, caught a 20 pounder and a 15 pounder. Burrell went bounce-balling in the same area to catch 2 keeper halibut and 3 nice petrale sole, and while he was at it, he released a number of short halibut.

Salmon were caught and some individual anglers reached limits. Larry Roland was one of the lucky anglers who trolled deep along the edges of Soquel Hole. The fish were widely scattered but tended to be concentrated near baitballs. Anglers trolled and watched for sign or kept their noses glued to their fishfnder to locate baitballs, then focused on trolling by those baitballs time and again until they hooked up with a salmon.

Beth Norton said, “Go Fish Santa Cruz Charters had charters all week with pretty much the same to report. We fished near Davenport. On Monday our repeat clients had limits of a variety of quality rockfish including canaries, big widows, greenspot and vermillion. Captain Greg headed back downhill and deckhand JP noticed the water looked like salmon. They stopped, he rigged the boat for salmon and before he could get to the other side it was fish on. It was non-stop for the next few hours. They hooked 20, lost 2 to sea lions, threw back short ones, lost some at the boat but landed 7. Whales provided some entertainment. All-in-all is was a great of catching.” Rob Pearson got an 11-pound salmon.

doublinupDOUBLIN’ UP — Bowen Call and father, Dan, caught nothing but doubles of blue rockfish during a trip aboard the Velocity out of Stagnaros in Santa Cruz. Deckhand BJ Sack worked overtime to keep up with all the fish being caught.

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