View Full Version : Santa Cruz Wharf report 9-20-08

09-20-2008, 06:44 PM
I went to SC wharf on Saturday to get some fresh anchovies with my cast net for an upcoming striper trip in the delta. *Unfortunately THERE WEREN'T ANY THERE.

However, I managed to salvage the trip by catching a few jacksmelt. *They turn out terrible when I try to cook them, but my vietnamese buddy has a magic soup recipe that turns trash fish into tastiness. *This is the biggest one I have caught yet- he was 15 inches.


Strangely enough, they were on the bottom this time, and far away from the wharf. *Usually people throw sabikis on the top with a large float and wait for a school to show up. *Today, the only bites came with bait on the bottom, and about as far as you could cast away from the wharf. *As soon as it got in close, nada. *Massive kingfish schools as well, although I didn't see any big ones caught. *The croakers ranged from 6 - 11 inches. *Very windy in the afternoon.


09-20-2008, 06:48 PM
They look like salt water Kokes! Thanks for the report.


09-20-2008, 06:51 PM
How big do the Kingfish get out there?

09-20-2008, 08:08 PM

Those smelt, cleaned and chopped into 1" steaks and deep fried would be some GOOD EATIN' !!

We would fry them up whole if they were 14" or less!! Good stuff!!

I also threw one out there alive, just to see what might bite... ;)

It is kind of strange to find them on the bottom...I've only ever seen that down south of Avilon...towards Santa Barbara... :-?

09-20-2008, 10:53 PM
I remember when I was younger, my dad used to catch about 30 or 40 young smelt at a time and just roll the whole fish in batter and fry it. Very Yummy! We would eat the head, bones...everything.

09-21-2008, 09:47 AM
How big do the Kingfish get out there?

I guess they can get up to 15 or 16 inches, but I have never seen one caught there bigger than 9:


09-21-2008, 09:50 AM
Yea I think the ticket is to cook it in such a way as to where you can eat the bones. When I tried to clean and eat them, I had a helluva time trying to separate the meat from the bones, because I baked them and the bones were not soft enough to eat.

A lot of people get grossed out because jacksmelt are prone to have "worms" in the flesh, but this is a small harmless parasite that has no detrimental quality towards humans besides shock value.

09-23-2008, 10:19 AM
Nice looking smelt! Croakers (AKA kingfish) tend to be wormy too. Just freeze 'em and cook 'em the next day.

Not a big jacksmelt fan for eating, but they are tons of fun on UL gear!

09-27-2008, 11:42 PM
What were they catching the kingfish on?

10-01-2008, 11:45 AM
What were they catching the kingfish on?

Sabiki with shrimp pieces.