Capitola Halibut

by Thomas Beutel

I had a splendid three hours today with Eli on a skiff out of Capitola Wharf. The crew there is fantastic and I highly recommend it. This is one of those operations where you load up the boat and then it is lowered into the water. Once it is in, you climb down a ladder to get in the boat. It’s a bit scary at first but once you’re in it’s OK.

The skipper at the store suggested that we could get some live bait (kingfish) at Tankhouse reef which is just south of the wharf. We got near the reef and drifted a bit. In fact we drifted right into the kelp and got our lines tangled. Once we got away for a bit I managed to pull up a 7 inch kingfish, just the right size.

We then went to Mile buoy and drifted. After about 20 minutes Eli had the first fish, a healthy halibut that chomped on the kingfish. We managed to get it near the boat but it surged and snapped the line. At least we got to get a good look at it.

Along with the kingfish we drifted frozen anchovies. Not too long after I pulled up a 23-inch lingcod as we drifted west over Mile reef. We then motored over to Mile buoy and did several more drifts. We pulled up an octopus, a small brown rockfish and shortly before we left, a nice 25-inch halibut. So we came home with a halibut after all.

California Halibut caught on June 15, 2017 at Capitola, CA