Let's Go Fishing Report

Let's Go Fishing Report

Allen Bushnell
(831) 423-4242

Just as it has almost every aspect of global society, the COVID-19 virus is having a massive effect on the sport fishing industry. We will see bait shops closing, harbors reducing services and severe limitations on charter boat operations during the next few weeks at least.

Monterey Harbor announced “”Harbor is open, office is closed. We currently have reduced staffing but there will be Harbor staff available 24/7. If you are a visiting boat or need assistance, call 831-594-7760. For emergencies, dial 911.” Santa Cruz is taking a similar approach, including closure of the harbor office customer service counter, closure of the Santa Cruz Harbor Boatyard customer service counter and closure of the concession parking lot kiosk. Essential needs will continue to be met at the Santa Cruz Harbor including law enforcement, marine search and rescue and security services, monitoring VHF channels 9 and 16, dredging operations, fuel service on call basis (VHF channel 9)

And of course, emergency response (such as hazmat, emergency vessel haul-out at boatyard, etc.)

With rockfish season opening in our area April 1, followed closely by salmon season on April 4, charter boat operators are scrambling for alternatives. The larger charter operations including Chris’ Fishing Trips in Monterey and Kahuna Sportfishing in Moss Landing have announced all trips cancelled until April 7 and 8, respectively. Carol Jones from Kahuna said, “With shelter in place orders due to COVID-19 we will be temporarily closed at least until April 8 and may be extended beyond that. Although we are all anxious to get out on the water and looking forward to the opening of our season we are unable to as ordered. All of our lives will be disrupted for a time but the priority is our health and the health of others. If you are booked on any of the first several trips of the season you will be contacted soon.
The fish will still be in the ocean once we get back out there, just a bit hungrier!
Hang in there....stay safe........be kind.”

The smaller 6-pack charter boats Have a little more leeway with fewer than 10 people aboard. Go Fish Santa Cruz plans to run the Miss Beth for salmon fishing, with an eye on possibly limited loads to maintain distancing on the boat. Tom Dolan will be running the Mega Bite, also with extra precautions. Dolan reports, “We keep being told, by the powers that be, that we should continue with our work and routines but use common sense, stay away from gatherings of more than 250 people, and exercise maximum hygiene practices.”

I want everyone to know that we have taken these extra steps to ensure your health safety and peace of mind by adopting the following: All guests will have access to hand sanitizer while on the boat. We have disposable vinyl gloves for anyone who wants while fishing.

Mega-Bite itself will be sprayed with disinfectant before and after each charter. I believe these added precautions will help make your fishing trip a very happy and healthy experience. Especially since we'll be away from any crowds while fishing!”