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Santa Cruz Fishing

Santa Cruz Fishing

Beautiful beaches and weather make Santa Cruz a popular tourist destination. Fermín de Lasuén from Spain established Mission Santa Cruz in 1791. Some time after the Conquest of California, Santa Cruz was incorporated as a city. In 1907, the city constructed the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, and Santa Cruz soon became recognized as a seaside resort community. Monterey Bay and the San Lorenzo River are two major bodies of water, where you can go fishing.

Popular inshore species you may catch while Santa Cruz fishing include Bluefin Tuna, Cabezon, Flounder, Halibut, Lingcod, Rockfish and Sea Bass. King Salmon is a highly sought after fish that you could target nearshore. Other species that you have a good chance of catching while nearshore Santa Cruz fishing are Cabezon, Halibut, and Lingcod. Albacore Tuna and Bluefin Tuna are plentiful much of the season offshore. If you are in Santa Cruz during fall, you may want to head to the mouth of the San Lorenzo River to target Silver Salmon. In 2011, a record White Sea Bass was caught off of the Santa Cruz shore that weighed 79 pounds. It was also one of the largest Sea Bass to be caught on rod and reel.



Santa Cruz Fishing Forecast

Target Species of Fish

Based on historical data for fishing Santa Cruz, you should target one of the following species for this time of year:
  1. Cabezon

  2. Cabezon

    There is a 19.2% catch rate for Cabezon, based on 24 Cabezon counted.

    Santa Cruz Cabezon Counts Chart
    Cabezon

    ENLARGE SANTA CRUZ CABEZON COUNTS CHART


  3. Lingcod

  4. Lingcod

    There is a 12.8% catch rate for Lingcod, based on 16 Lingcod counted.

    Santa Cruz Lingcod Counts Chart
    Lingcod

    ENLARGE SANTA CRUZ LINGCOD COUNTS CHART


  5. Coho Salmon

  6. Coho Salmon

    There is a 12% catch rate for Coho Salmon, based on 15 Coho Salmon counted.

    Santa Cruz Coho Salmon Counts Chart
    Coho

    ENLARGE SANTA CRUZ COHO SALMON COUNTS CHART


  7. Rainbow Trout

  8. Rainbow Trout

    There is a 11.2% catch rate for Rainbow Trout, based on 14 Rainbow Trout counted.

    Santa Cruz Rainbow Trout Counts Chart
    Rainbow

    ENLARGE SANTA CRUZ RAINBOW TROUT COUNTS CHART


  9. Anchovy

  10. Anchovy

    There is a 6.4% catch rate for Anchovy, based on 8 Anchovy counted.

    Santa Cruz Anchovy Counts Chart
    Anchovy

    ENLARGE SANTA CRUZ ANCHOVY COUNTS CHART


  11. Bocaccio

  12. Bocaccio

    There is a 5.6% catch rate for Bocaccio, based on 7 Bocaccio counted.

    Santa Cruz Bocaccio Counts Chart
    Bocaccio

    ENLARGE SANTA CRUZ BOCACCIO COUNTS CHART


  13. Shortspine Thornyhead

  14. Shortspine Thornyhead

    There is a 5.6% catch rate for Shortspine Thornyhead, based on 7 Shortspine Thornyhead counted.

    Santa Cruz Shortspine Thornyhead Counts Chart
    Shortspine

    ENLARGE SANTA CRUZ SHORTSPINE THORNYHEAD COUNTS CHART


  15. Common Carp

  16. Common Carp

    There is a 4.8% catch rate for Common Carp, based on 6 Common Carp counted.

    Santa Cruz Common Carp Counts Chart
    Common

    ENLARGE SANTA CRUZ COMMON CARP COUNTS CHART


  17. Largemouth Bass

  18. Largemouth Bass

    There is a 4% catch rate for Largemouth Bass, based on 5 Largemouth Bass counted.

    Santa Cruz Largemouth Bass Counts Chart
    Largemouth

    ENLARGE SANTA CRUZ LARGEMOUTH BASS COUNTS CHART


  19. Starry Flounder

  20. Starry Flounder

    There is a 3.2% catch rate for Starry Flounder, based on 4 Starry Flounder counted.

    Santa Cruz Starry Flounder Counts Chart
    Starry

    ENLARGE SANTA CRUZ STARRY FLOUNDER COUNTS CHART


Recommendations above based on 22 species of fish and 125 fish counted for April around Santa Cruz.

To date, there are 70 species of fish and a total of 91292 fish counted for Santa Cruz and within a 30 mile (48 km) radius since 1/1/1860 (164 years).

Last Update: 4/18/2024 3:10:40 PM

*** PLEASE NOTE ***
Please check local, state/province, and federal laws before fishing for any species found on this site. All data is based on historical data found for this area, and in some cases as far back as the year 1600.

View full Santa Cruz Fishing Forecast to see all species.

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Top Santa Cruz Fishing Spots

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The Top 10 Fishing Spots for Santa Cruz are the following:

  1. Soquel Hole
    Soquel Hole 36.52.00 / 121.57.00 Popular King Salmon and Silver Salmon hole for trolling and drifting. 


  2. Mulligan Hill
    Mulligan Hill 36.44.98 / 121.52.


  3. Soldier’s Club
    Soldier’s Club 36.41.14 / 121.52.28


  4. 601 South Rock
    601 South Rock 36.55.00 / 122.01.00


  5. Adams Reef


  6. Three Trees


  7. Manresa State Beach


  8. Three Trees


  9. Moonglow Point


  10. Park Reef Kelp


View more Top Santa Cruz Fishing Spots


Latest Santa Cruz Fishing Reports

  • February 5
    We’re still waiting for the official word when fishing season will open. I expect May 1st we can fishing for everything except salmon. Salmon will probably remain closed for


  • 2023
    That’s a wrap folks! We had a wonderful year of fishing and meeting up with both old and new friends. Lot’s of fish caught and lot’s of fun. Tyler Greg Rodney and I appreciat


  • November 21
    Big water today and big fish too for grandpa Tom and eight year-old grandson Tom (aka Hook). Great time. Lots of fish for the holiday. The post November 21 appeared first on


  • October 11
    Out to the deep for lings and things today. Got our bait then tried for lingcod but they weren’t biting. Ran up the coast for rockcod and did okay. Water was a wee bit bUmPy


  • November 1
    Out to the deep today with high hopes of big fish. Mother nature had other plans for us. East wind made fishing difficult but we did manage to knock out limits of chili peppe


  • October 29
    Out to the deep again for lingcod and rockcod. Water wasn’t very nice so it was a bumpy day. Got to the lingcod grounds and the mackerel have taken over the area. Mackerel we


  • October 28
    Ran out for lingcod today and made bait but the mackerel were thick! Turns out the lings already had their meal for the day so we headed up the coast and got into the chili p


  • October 22
    Out to the deep lingcod part of Jurassic Park today. After making bait we drop in our lines and picked away at the lings. Water and wind were ugly but we managed to get some


  • October 16
    The bluefin are now starting to show up in consistent numbers. My buddy Josh landed three and lost one in the past 48 hours. Other boats are also getting fish. We’re ready to


  • October 14
    Our first bluefin tuna trip of the season. Water was perfect. Quite a few boats fishing but not a lot of fish caught today. Water looked good so maybe the big tuna bite will


View Santa Cruz Fishing Reports

Top Santa Cruz Bait & Tackle Stores

  1. Coyote Discount Bait & Tackle
    A local tackle shop with deep roots in the fishing community for over 40 years. Swing by and test our knowledge!

  2. Fisherman's Warehouse
    In 1982 we started as one small store, Delta Bait & Tackle, in Manteca, California. Since then, we’ve changed our name and grown into the largest tackle outfitter in Northern California. At Fisherman’s Warehouse you’ll find our staff are experien

  3. Sportsmen's Supply


View more Santa Cruz Bait & Tackle Stores

Top Santa Cruz Fishing Charters & Guides

  1. Monterey Bay Charters
    MEGA-BITE is the premier 6-pack charter boat located in the Santa Cruz Yacht Harbor and we fish the Monterey Bay. We provide all types of charters aboard our spacious 32x12 foot 630 horsepower Sport Sedan. We can take up to six people fishing for sa

  2. Capitola and Santa Cruz Boat Rentals
    Santa Cruz Boat Rentals and Capitola Boat and Bait have the only motorized ocean skiffs for rent on Monterey Bay, so if you want to get out there, you want to come here! Our shops are located on the Santa Cruz and Capitola wharves, making them the pe

  3. Fish On Sportfishing


View more Santa Cruz Charters & Guides

Top Santa Cruz Marinas

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Download Santa Cruz Fishing Spots

Latest Fishing Spots

Brook Trout

Brook Trout

Brook Trout

Brook Trout

Brook Trout

Brook Trout

Coho Salmon

Coho Salmon

Coho Salmon

Coho Salmon

View more Santa Cruz Fishing Spots

Bouy Conditions


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Waxing Gibbous Moon

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