The ocean has been calm and has warmed up, showing signs of summer. The swells have been flat and the ocean has turned clear along the shore. Rockfish enjoy the warmer temperatures and ideal conditions.
A friend, Eden Bartlett, mentioned to me several times that she wanted to go fishing this summer. I realized she was serious about it and decided to have her and her older sister Selah and fatherOshjoin my son and me for a day of rock cod fishing.
The day started in a typical summer pattern, with heavy fog and light winds out of the south. We leftSanta CruzHarborand decided to try our luck off Natural Bridges in 120 feet of water. With the first drop, it only took seconds before Selah said, “I think I have one on already!”
This was followed up withEdenand my son Fisher landing rockfish, too. The olive and black rockfish were flying over the rail.
“As soon as I dropped it down, I had one on,”Edenexclaimed.
The day continued with the same theme as we tried different spots ranging from 60 to 120 feet of water from Natural Bridges to Lighthouse Point.Oshand I stood on deck baiting hooks and shaking fish while the kids had a blast dropping down and reeling them in. We were blessed with nice weather and eagerly biting rockfish.
As we motored the boat to a new spot,Oshexclaimed, “Look at that giant fish!”
I slowed the boat, wondering what he saw. As we circled back, we got an up-close look at a 6-foot-long, 400-pound mola mola, otherwise known as a sunfish. This docile giant is a plankton feeder and was dining on the surface. It was an amazing sight two miles from shore.
The day ended with a nice variety of rockfish, including olive, blue, black, bolina and gopher rockfish.
Everyone had a chance to steer the boat and learn a little bit about the ocean that is a part of where we live. We kept most of the fish we caught and released a few small fish. Fresh fish was enjoyed as a result of a fun day on the water with friends.
It is nice to have these opportunities where we live. I hope you can get out fishing with friends or family this summer.
Mike Baxter has fished in the Monterey Bay Area since he was a boy and has been a licensed charter boat captain for more than 20 years. Contact him at email@example.com. He also hosts a fishing show on radio station KSCO (1080) from 8:06 to 9 p.m. Thursdays through the end of August.