Jurassic Park & Deep Reef Trips (long range nearshore fishing)Long Range Potluck trips are the same fishing style we use around Santa Cruz with the only difference being we travel a good distance to get there and the fish we catch are much bigger. Up to two hours travel time each way. Rockcod averaging three pounds and lingcod averaging nine pounds.
Deep Reefs are new territory for us to fish since Fish and Game extended our fishing depths from 240 to 300 feet this year. These reefs have been off limits for some 20 years until now. The fish are big and plenty. We use big baits and you are encouraged to bring some of your lucky gear. Remember, we are fishing in 300 feet of water so reeling up fish can be a little more daunting than you may be accustomed to.
Año Nuevo, also called New Year’s Island (or Jurassic Park by me), is a California State Park. In the waters adjacent to Año Nuevo State Park, there are two MPAs, Año Nuevo State Marine Conservation Area and Greyhound Rock State Marine Conservation Area. We fish just outside of the Año Nuevo State Park. The fish in this area are plentiful and can be very large hence the moniker Jurassic Park.
Pacific Snapper/rockcod/rockfish are all the same fish. Año Nuevo rockcod are the same species as found near Santa Cruz and they are abundant, just like Santa Cruz. The reason we catch the larger fish is primarily because we use larger baits and this area is only fished by a handful of boats due to its long distance from Santa Cruz and Half Moon Bay. We typically use jigs (metal lures) or shrimp fly jigs with large strips of real squid or live anchovies. They love it. If you have jigs by all means bring them! We do not supply jigs due to their high cost. We do hold the IGFA world record for olive rockcod just north of Santa Cruz. In 2016 we have the pending IGFA world record brown rockcod that we caught in July up at Jurassic Park.
The lingcod we catch are usually large and we use jig bars or bait, typically live mackerel, squid or sardines. Lingcod have to be a minimum of 22 inches to keep. We usually see lingcod in the 30 inch range and we have gotten some well over 20 pounds. Lingcod do put up a good fight and you’re going to need your game on for these monsters. Lingcod can be so aggressive and they’ll hit anything that comes in the territory. We have even found legal size lingcod in the stomachs of lingcod we caught. Think Godzilla.
This trip is not for the faint of heart. It’s a long ride and not always calm water to travel or fish in. I recommend seasickness meds for those of you who are uncertain and lots of rest the night before. It’s also a good idea to bring your favorite lucky lures (must be 8-12 ounces) as we only provide live or fresh dead bait.