santa cruz fishing report


santa cruz fishing report

Santa Cruz is an excellent destination for anglers who want to enjoy deep sea fishing. The area offers diverse marine life, making it possible to catch a range of fish species. Furthermore, Santa Cruz fishing is supported by a fantastic climate, making it possible for anglers to fish all year round. This fishing report will provide you with all the information you need to know about Santa Cruz fishing. Read on to learn more about the best season for fishing, locations to fish, fish species to target, and recommended fishing techniques.

The Best Season for Santa Cruz Fishing

santa cruz fishing in october

The best time to fish in Santa Cruz is during the fall season (between September and November). During this period, the ocean currents in Santa Cruz are favorable, resulting in a rise in water temperature. This increase in temperature prompts a surge in plankton, which attracts a lot of fish to the area. Some of the fish species found during this season include Halibut, Salmon, Rockfish, and Lingcod. Anglers can also experience calmer waters and a lesser crowd during the fall season, making it an ideal time to go fishing.

Winter, between December and February, can also be a great time to fish in Santa Cruz. During this period, the area experiences the migration of certain fish species, such as Herring and Sardines. These fish, in turn, attract bigger fish like Salmon, Stripers, and Tuna. Fishing during the winter season may require anglers to use live bait and drop-shotting techniques.

The Spring season (March to May) can be a bit tricky as it is viewed as a transitional period between winter and summer. However, anglers can still target certain fish species like Halibut, Rockfish, and Lingcod using jigs, live bait, and lures.

The Summer season (June to August) is characterized by warmer temperatures, which is favorable for inshore fishing. During this period, anglers can target various species like Bonito, Tuna, and Albacore, among others. Anglers can use various techniques, such as trolling, drifting, and casting, to catch fish.

In summary, there are ample fishing opportunities throughout the year in Santa Cruz. Fish species, fishing techniques, and fishing locations may vary depending on the season. We recommend that you check the weather forecast and consult with local experts to plan your fishing trip properly.

Weather Outlook

Santa Cruz Fishing Weather Outlook

Before heading out on a fishing trip, it is important to know the weather conditions in the area. In Santa Cruz, the weather can be unpredictable and can affect the success of your fishing expedition. Currently, the weather is sunny and warm, making it an excellent time for anglers to head out to the waters.

The forecasted outlook for the coming days is also expected to be sunny and warm with temperatures ranging from 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. The Santa Cruz area could see some low winds for a few days, which can make for great fishing conditions. However, it is important to check the weather forecast regularly as it can change quickly, and anglers should always be prepared for any weather conditions they may encounter.

It is advisable to pack some extra clothing and rain gear in case the weather turns sour. A good pair of sunglasses, hats, and sunscreen are also necessary when fishing during the day in sunny weather. Anglers should also bring a windbreaker or light jacket to wear when it starts to get chilly in the evening.

Another important factor that anglers should consider when fishing in Santa Cruz is the tide. High tides can make it challenging to fish, while low tides provide some of the best fishing opportunities. Checking the tide chart before heading out is recommended to ensure the best fishing experience.

In conclusion, the current weather in Santa Cruz is sunny and warm, with a forecasted outlook for the coming days also predictably warm and low winds. Anglers should keep an eye on the weather forecast and come prepared with appropriate gear to make the most out of their fishing experience. With the right preparation and knowledge of the weather and tide conditions, fishing in Santa Cruz can be an enjoyable and exciting experience.

Best Fishing Areas in Santa Cruz

Capitola Beach Pier Santa Cruz Fishing

If you’re headed to Santa Cruz for fishing, there are plenty of great spots for you to try out. One of the best is undoubtedly Capitola Beach Pier. This pier is known for producing an excellent variety of fish, including rockfish, halibut, and sanddabs. The pier stretches out 1,000 feet over the ocean and offers plenty of space for anglers to set up their rods.

Another fantastic location is the Santa Cruz Wharf. This wharf is 2,745 feet long and offers plenty of opportunities to catch a variety of fish. You can expect to find halibut, lingcod, and plenty of other species. This location has received some recent attention and improvements, so the Wharf promises to be a fun place to fish for beginners and experienced anglers alike.

Lastly, for shore anglers, Pleasure Point Beach in Santa Cruz offers fantastic surf fishing. Here, you can hook perch, halibut, and stripers by using sand crabs or pile worms as bait. The beautiful and wide sandy beach allows for ample space and offers some spectacular views of the Santa Cruz coastline.

Fish Species to Expect

Santa Cruz Fish Species

There are plenty of fish species in the Santa Cruz area, so you can expect quite a varied catch depending on where you’re fishing. Along the pier at Capitola, you can expect to catch rockfish, sanddabs, and if you’re lucky, a halibut or two.

At the Santa Cruz Wharf, you’re likely to come across a diverse range of species, including perch, kingfish, halibut, and lingcod. You may even spot sea lions and harbor seals as you fish!

If you venture out to deeper waters, you have the chance to catch even larger species. Out in the Monterey Bay, you can come across different types of tuna, salmon, and shark. You may even be surprised by a catch of Squid, which are plentiful in the area!

Best Time to Fish in Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz Weather

As with fishing anywhere, the best time to fish in Santa Cruz can depend on several factors. The season is one crucial thing to consider. Winter and early spring can be great times to fish. This time of year sees plenty of Steelhead trout running in the rivers and lagoons.

Additionally, summer and fall see different fish species move closer to the shore, including salmon and halibut. The reputation of the location you are fishing at will help determine the season and time of day best to fish. That said, locals recommend visiting in the morning – when the water is calmer and cloud cover is worst it’s still a Great day to Fish! Alternatively, heading out towards the evening may express favorable wind and tide conditions, cooling temperatures and a perfect sunset view.

Latest Catches

Santa Cruz Fishing Report

Fishing in Santa Cruz has been consistent over the last few weeks with anglers catching a variety of different fish in different locations. The waters have been full of fish, making it an excellent place for fishing enthusiasts to cast their lines.

Rockfish and Lingcod


Rockfish and lingcod have been the most commonly caught fish in Santa Cruz. Both these fish species are found in rocky areas, mainly in deeper waters, making it important for anglers to use heavy tackle to reach them.

The best spots to catch rockfish are in the kelp beds, drop-offs, and around structure. Using bait like squid or anchovies on a three-way swivel rig has been successful. Lingcod, on the other hand, prefer to hide in rocky crevices and wait for prey to swim by, so jigs tipped with squid or octopus have been the go-to bait for these fish.



Halibut has also been caught in Santa Cruz, but not as frequently as rockfish and lingcod. Halibut can be found on sandy bottoms in depths of 20-80 feet and are often caught using live bait or lures.

The best areas to catch halibut are in the shallow waters near the beaches, including Capitola and Seacliff. Using squid, anchovies, or sardines as bait has been successful when fishing for halibut.

Sanddabs and Perch


For those looking for a more relaxed fishing experience, sanddabs and perch have been plentiful in the area. Sanddabs are small flatfish that are fun to catch and make for an excellent fish fry. They are usually caught using small hooks and fresh squid or cut anchovies as bait.

Perch, on the other hand, are found in the shallow water and can be caught using sand crabs, worms, or pieces of shrimp as bait. The best spots to find perch are the beaches and the docks along the Santa Cruz harbor.

Salmon and Tuna


For those interested in salmon and tuna, the season for these fish is just beginning to pick up. Fishing for salmon and tuna requires a bit of patience and preparation, but it can be a thrilling experience.

Salmon is mainly caught using a trolling rig with herring or anchovy bait in deeper water. Tuna requires a boat to reach its location as it is usually caught in offshore waters. The most common way to catch tuna is by trolling using a combination of lures and bait.

The best areas to catch salmon and tuna are in the Monterey Bay and the waters between Santa Cruz and Half Moon Bay.

In conclusion, Santa Cruz has been a great place for those who love fishing nature. Different fish species can be found in various locations, and each requires different tactics and bait. No matter what type of fish you are looking for, you are bound to have a great time fishing in Santa Cruz.

Select the Right Bait and Lure

Select the Right Bait and Lure

One of the essential factors when it comes to successful fishing in Santa Cruz is selecting the right bait and lure. Different types of fish respond differently to various bait and lures, so it’s crucial to do your homework before heading out on the water. Some of the popular bait choices in Santa Cruz include live shrimp, squid, anchovies, and mackerel, while popular lures include topwater plugs, jigs, and crankbaits.

It’s crucial to match your bait and lures with the type of fish that you are targeting. For example, if you’re targeting halibut, you’ll need to focus on using baits that are similar to the fish’s natural prey. Squid or anchovy-like lures would be a great option for catching halibut, while topwater plugs may work wonders if you’re trying to catch salmon.

Another important consideration is the color of the bait or lure. The choice of color can make a significant difference in attracting fish, and the color you choose should depend on the water conditions and the species of fish you want to catch. Brightly colored lures are more visible in murky water, while darker shades can help catch the attention of fish in clear water.

Lastly, always ensure that your bait or lures are fresh and in good condition. Damaged or stale bait can quickly put fish off and reduce your chances of catching anything.

Fishing in Santa Cruz: Where to Fish and What to Catch

Fishing in Santa Cruz

If you’re a fishing enthusiast, Santa Cruz is the perfect place to pursue your passion. Located on the southern coast of California, Santa Cruz boasts of a wide variety of fish attracting thousands of anglers every year. With its rich marine life and fishing opportunities throughout the year, Santa Cruz promises a challenging and rewarding experience for both novice and experienced anglers. Here are some of the places you can fish and what you can expect to catch in Santa Cruz.

Santa Cruz Wharf

Santa Cruz Wharf

Santa Cruz Wharf is a major California landmark stretching half-a-mile into the Monterey Bay. It is a popular fishing destination for locals and tourists alike. Anglers can catch a variety of fish including herring, halibut, rockfish, Chinook salmon, perch, and crab. The wharf allows fishing throughout the year, but it is better to go during late summer and early fall when salmon and rockfish are more abundant.

Capitola Pier

Capitola Pier

Capitola Pier is another popular fishing spot in Santa Cruz. It is also a great destination for family outings as it is easily accessible and offers stunning views of the Monterey Bay. Capitola pier is known for its abundant perch, kingfish, flounder and some larger species such as halibut and salmon. If you’re looking to catch some big fish, it’s best to go during the winter months.

Pajaro River Mouth

Pajaro River Mouth

The Pajaro River mouth is a popular destination for surfcasting enthusiasts, especially for those looking to catch striped bass. Here, anglers can catch other species such as halibut, flounder, jacksmelt, and surfperch. It is best to fish the Pajaro River mouth during medium to high tide, and use baits such as sand crabs and shrimp.

Monterey Bay Canyon

Monterey Bay Canyon

If you’re looking to catch some bigger fish, consider fishing at the Monterey Bay Canyon. This underwater canyon is home to a large number of species including rockfish, salmon, halibut, and lingcod. Fishing at Monterey Bay Canyon is best done on a charter boat as it requires specialized equipment such as electric reels.


Santa Cruz Fishing

Santa Cruz is a paradise for those who love fishing. It offers a wide variety of fishing sites throughout the year, promising anglers a thrilling and successful experience. Whether you are a novice or experienced angler, there is a fishing spot in Santa Cruz that suits your skill level. So pack your bait and fishing gear, and head out to Santa Cruz for a memorable fishing adventure.

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