Deep reef boaters continue to find fast frontiers

They were drinkers, residents of the nocturnal beaches, with a huge local bar. “It was a season… definitely enjoyed it,” he said. (Contributed)

Ocean fishing remains steady in Monterey Bay as we move into fall. Weather and sea conditions were somewhat chaotic last week, with some very stormy days, some night winds, and mixed waves from the south and west.

Most boaters can head out onto the deep reefs as fast boarders have been the norm all season. Fishing for rockfish and cod on the beach is now closed this year, but a number of boats fish in the shallows hoping to catch halibut, white sea bass or thresher shark.

Charter boats continue to post the frontier of fish for their customers. Chris’ fishing trips from Monterey had limits per trip in the past week, up to 220 cod fish on Sunday’s trip aboard Check Mate. Rodney Armstrong of the coastal six-pack Santa Cruz reported on the duo having good days fishing off the sixty fathom line.

“Lots of great chili peppers today,” Armstrong said Monday. Another wide open business day. We had clouds of fish about 200 feet below the boat. It’s absolutely crazy to see how many fish are under the boat.

On Wednesday, this reporter noticed the beautiful Miss Beth of Go Fish Santa Cruz returning to port just before 11 am. Considering the time it takes them to travel to and from the deep water areas they fish in these days, I would say they enjoyed a pretty fast frontier.

Skipper JT Thomas reported: “We did deep water fishing today with Harry and his team. The boarders caught are top quality rockfish including scarlet, canary, green spot and chili pepper.

Large halibut are still caught in waters between 40 and 80 feet deep. The most productive areas include the Mile Boy area of ​​Santa Cruz, the North Coast beaches above Santa Cruz, Capitola, the New Brighton area, and Sand City and Tioga Street, near Monterey. These areas also happen to have the highest amount of bait lately. Not only large group schools of anchovies, but quite a few good groups of Spanish mackerel as well.

The anchovy crisis has abated within the port of Santa Cruz. Port officials managed to turn off the ventilators last Friday. The strong southern bulge may have something to do with all the anchovies returning to the open waters. Death was avoided, thank God. One possible reason for the massive influx of anchovies into the harbor that occurs every few years is because predators drive them into shallow waters. We saw huge schools of anchovies in the surf line the week before last, with quite a few hungry anchovies feeding. And when big waves hit the weekend, those predatory fish moved away from the shore.

The potent mix of southern and western swells has not done our surfcasters any favors. Casting behind the breaking waves was a challenge, and the amount of kelp and seaweed in the waves made surfing problematic, if not impossible, on most beaches. The water is clearing now and it’s a great time to go to the beaches as the sharks continue to feed near the shore and the perch are getting bigger every week.

Allen Bushnell also operates Santa Cruz Kayak’s fishing and surf broadcasting guide service. Please send your reports, photos and questions to

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