A Trip To Santa Cruz — Day 5 — Monterey Coast Guard Pier

Ken Jones

Staff member
The last day of my trip was devoted to fishing and it was at one of my favorite places, the Monterey Coast Guard Pier. Although a slow day, I was able to get some variety and had the time to meet and chat with a new fisherman who I hope joins the board. I fished from 8 until 11:45 when I had to head back to Fresno (and I wasn't looking forward to the 90+ degree hear after the cool weather at Monterey).

The good news was that there were not the bothersome small juvenile rockfish that sometimes seem to infest the waters during the summer months. The bad news, as mentioned, was that it was fairly slow. Although there was a rising tide that morning there was virtually no current and that's usually not a good sign. Fish normally like a little moving water.

Instead of a normal high/low, I used only one hook. It was a size 4 hook (baited with bloodworms or shrimp) up above a small torpedo sinker; nevertheless, I managed to lose about a half dozen sinkers. Unfortunately the pier is much harder to fish since they installed the fence a few years ago. You used to be able to sit on the concrete and you could better spot the good spots and it was easier to retrieve large fish. Today it's hard to spot the crevices I like to fish and you need a long-handled net. As said, I did meet a man from San Jose who fishes the pier just about every week and he had both the long-handled net and a way to get a good view — a small kitchen ladder.

Total for the day: 3 gopher rockfish, 3 cabezon, 2 kelp rockfish, 1 striped seaperch, 1 giant kelpfish, 1 crevice kelpfish, 1 bull sculpin and 1 black & yellow rockfish.


Teru Harada

Small Red Cabezon

Giant Kelpfish

Crevice.Kelpfish_MCGP_2018.5_X copy.jpg

Crevice Kelpfish


Striped Seaperch


Bull Sculpin

Kelp Rockfish


Gopher Rockfish

Gopher Rockfish


Black and Yellow Rockfish