Let’s Go Fishin’: Get ready for a spectacular summer fishing season
by Mike Baxter
Jul 01, 2013 | 2618 views | 0 0 comments | 40 40 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Matt Hansman, left, and Mike O'Farrell display a fine catch of king salmon while fishing out of Santa Cruz on the Monterey Bay. Courtesy photo
Matt Hansman, left, and Mike O'Farrell display a fine catch of king salmon while fishing out of Santa Cruz on the Monterey Bay. Courtesy photo

It seems as though summer has finally kicked in with last weeks unseasonable showers behind us. Summer brings long days and many opportunities to go fishing and enjoy the outdoors. The ocean hosts chances at many types of fish and techniques this time of year. Due to low rainfall many rivers and lakes in the Sierras are also good for fishing right now because they are usually too high with snow melt this time of year.

Local fishing in the Monterey Bay has been good for most species including ground fish and migratory fish. Bottom fish like rock cod and ling cod have been biting and are plentiful. Halibut are starting to show as regular catches now. Anglers have been trolling for halibut from Santa Cruz to Pajaro in 50 feet of water and catching some nice fish. The Bay seems very healthy with huge schools of bait fish in the shallow water.

Flocks of pelicans have started to arrive and the feeding frenzies will begin with small anchovies at the lower end of the food chain. Striped bass have been caught along the beaches from Capitola to Moss Landing. Salmon are still caught in the bay, but they are far and few between most days. The majority of salmon are found north of San Francisco at this point in the season.

Fresh water fishing also heats up during the summer months. Loch Lomond has kept people active with stocked trout and as the water warms, sun fish and bass start to take over. There are good numbers of small bass in the lake at this time, while larger bass have completed their spawn. Sun fish are starting to show on the warmer days and will be around through the summer season.

Rivers from the Sierras have been good for trout with the unseasonably tame waters and with the lack of snow melt, some of these creeks are usually large rivers. The water to fish ratio is good, access, turbidity and water temperatures are also favorable for trout in this region.

With so many fishing and other water-based sports that we can enjoy during the summer, it is good to remember to be safe. I always leave a shore plan with someone and always have life jackets handy. If I take people out on my boat, I give them a quick run down on safety equipment and how to handle the boat if needed. Whether I am on the ocean, river or a lake, I try to have a back up plan in any situation. I hope we all have a fun safe summer filled with fishing, friends and family. 

- 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 captmikebaxter@yahoo.com. He also hosts a fishing show on radio station KSCO (1080) from 8:06 to 9 p.m. Thursdays April through the end of August.

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