Cortes Bank [Cortez Bank] is a shallow sea mount, barely submerged, about 100 miles west of Point Loma, San Diego and 50 miles south-west of San Clemente Island. The shallowest peak of the bank, Bishop Rock, rises to between 3 and 6 feet from the surface, depending on the tide. It is famous as an extraordinary surf spot during certain conditions in which waves exceed 60 feet in height.
On February 27, 1968 the 14-gross-ton vessel Maestro (1946-1968), burned at Cortez Bank. [MVUS 1969]
In the News~
September 18, 1916 [LAT]: “Los Angeles harbor, September 17. There is much excitement among the fishermen here over the discovery of new fishing banks nearly 100 miles from port. The newly located banks are about fifty miles long and located southwest of San Nicolas Island. Fishermen returning from the shallow water report that never have they found so many varieties of fish in so great numbers elsewhere along the southern coast. Halibut caught in the new banks are larger than have been hooked in any other fishing grounds… The banks were discovered by tuna fishermen, who have been going farther and farther away from port each year in search of fish, which for several weeks have been very scarce. Most of the fish that have been caught by fishermen from this port have been captured around the Channel Islands and close to shore…”