New Years Island, as it is referred to in the nautical world, is also known as Ano Nuevo Island. It is a 22 mile trip by boat and takes you past some scenic stretches of coast to get there. During the spring and summer the west winds make the trip challenging because the current also runs up the coast and creates steep seas off 4-mile beach and Davenport Landing. By late summer and fall, the water temperatures are warm up the coast and the water is clear. This creates ideal fishing conditions.
Most anglers are in search of rockfish and lingcod. They are also surprised by halibut and occasionally even larger fish. It is not uncommon in these waters to have the rare glimpse of a great white shark. From this time to early spring elephant seals form beach rookeries and the white sharks have a sweet tooth for these fat filled marine mammals.
The trip to New Years may bring a variety of fish and spectacular scenery.
There is a marine life protection area set up at New Years, and it is important to fish outside this zone. A line runs from the red buoy outside the island to Greyhound Rock and then up towards Franklin Point. If fishing near the island, it is best to stay west of the 122:21.00 line and refer to MLPA regulations and maps before you try to fish there.
The population of rock fish and ling cod are abundant and it is not uncommon to see schools of rockfish on the surface feeding right under the boat. By land or sea, this is a great spot to visit and is not far from town.
In other news, the Santa Cruz Harbor had a recent hearing on the issue of fishing for salmon in the harbor after last years banner return. We hope a reasonable decision is made that keeps the Harbor, fishing interest and the Monterey Bay Salmon and Trout Project happy.
The Coast Guard announced the possibility that they remove the 1 mile buoy that sits outside the Harbor and is an aid to navigate. This idea was received with great opposition by many different groups and hopes are that the Coast Guard will continue to keep and crevice this iconic buoy.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.