Visitor Comments and Letters - January '98

These messages have been edited. Although I feel the content is of interest, Iwant to provide as much privacy as possible to the various people who have takentime to comment. Let me know if you feel this is an interesting page. KJ


Date: January 1, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Matt S
Subject: Thanks, Ken

Thanks for answering my questions Ken. I'm thinking of being an outdoor writer for a career when I'm older. I think I am also going to follow your footsteps and attempt to fish every pier in California with my friend Jimmy whom I always go fishing with. Anyway, Jimmy and I sometimes want to maybe meet you at a pier sometimes. Possibly Pacifica?

Matt


Matt,

Glad to get your note.

Writing about the outdoors is a good, but also tough, profession. I first worked in private industry, then owned a business, and now I teach. However, I've long had an interest in both fishing and writing so I did a little free lance writing and sold some articles to various magazines. But, it was never something that I relied upon to pay all the bills.

If you truly want to write about the outdoors for a career, I would recommend you do the following:

  1. Develop your writing skills -- including good basic punctuation and grammar; develop a good relationship with your English teachers and ask them to critique sample articles that you draft.

  2. Learn as much as you can about the outdoors, i.e., fishing.

  3. Read articles in magazines and newspapers, study the slants the writers take, figure out what makes the different articles different, and then perfect a style of your own.

  4. Cultivate a network of experts.

  5. Realize that when you submit an article the magazine will be looking for something different -- they don't want to publish the umpteenth article on how to fish for rockcod in California, you need something that is new or you need to be able to present something old in a new fashion.

  6. Don't give up. If you send in an article that is rejected, find out why it was rejected and then try to improve it. Keep submitting articles (and usually today they also want some pictures and/or line drawings) until you finally sell one. Once started, you have a better chance to sell more.

  7. Be disciplined! To be a published writer you need to set aside time to write and then stick to it. Of course you need time to fish and do the other necessary activities but if you don't discipline yourself to actually write the articles you can't sell them.

  8. Keep a sense of humor because a bit of luck is also needed even when you have the other attributes.

Enough advice!!!

I hope you do fish every pier. I take at least one trip every year down the coast and one trip up the coast to fish the piers. My trip south takes a couple of weeks and includes fishing 4-5 piers a day. My trip north takes about 3-4 days and usually means 3-4 piers a day. Unfortunately most visits are short but I can usually tell after a couple of hours what is biting and what changes have taken place at the pier. Usually when heading south I start at the San Simeon Pier and fish all the way to Imperial Beach; on the way back I swing over to Monterey and hit the piers along Highway 1 north to Piller Point. Although I only live a couple of hours north of the Bay Area, the hardest area to hit in the last few years seems to be the piers in San Francisco Bay; this year I only fished at 12 piers in the Bay Area, last year it was 19.

Lastly, I also hope to meet you on one of the piers -- perhaps next summer.

That's about it for now.

Best wishes, Ken


Date: January 1, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Andy
Subject: Pier updates

Hi,

Just wanted to give you an update on some local piers that I regularly fish.

Berkeley 12/31. As the tide is coming in, you can easily pick up bullheads, smelt, and sand dabs. You can pick these up with a surf rig, about 1, 2 and 3 feet off the bottom. Be wary, at the end of the pier on the left side is snag city, a major kelp bed. On the right side is a navy channel for boats, stay away from the end. Sturgeon were not present. Someone called the "Multi-tasker" caught a 15-inch bullhead. That was highly unusual.

San Mateo Pier. Will be closed for retrofitting of the bridge for one more year until 11/98, as Cal Trans stated.

Candlestick Point Pier. Should now be called 3Com point pier. Fishing is very slow.

Oyster Point Marina Pier. Local people here are idiots that cast over your line on a daily basis.

Hi Andy ,

Thanks for the information. When did San Mateo close? I was getting reports from there last summer.

Also, even though the park is now called 3Com Park, the point is still officially Candlestick Point.

Good luck and hope you catch a big one.

P.S. Would you like to be a reporter for the South Bay Piers? I'm having trouble finding reliable people to report in that area?

Ken Jones, The Pier Fisherman


Hi Ken,

I first visited San Mateo pier in the summer. All I know is that they are retro-fitting the bridge for earthquake damages, and both sides are closed. It's barbed-wired twice and the parking lot is closed. Last time I tried to go there was Nov. 30 - closed. Cal Trans online says west side pier is closed for another year! Perfect timing, sturgeon season here. If you want exact dates, use http://www. metacrawler.com and search for "San Mateo bridge pier", the information is all at Cal-Trans.


(< Also, even though the park is now called 3Com Park, the point is still officially Candlestick Point. I sit corrected. I didn't know this. I hated the 3com renaming anyway....)


(< Good luck and hope you catch a big one. I hope so.)


(< PS. Would you like to be a reporter for the South Bay Piers? I'm having trouble finding reliable people to report in that area? Sure, How often do you want a report? Weekly? I'm quite a newbie to fishing, only about 6 months experience, but I fish 3-4 times a week. Last decent fish I caught was a 17-LB spotted ray at Berkeley Pier, and 3-foot -long 7-gill shark; that was last weekend.


1/3/98 Candlestick-parking lot only open sunup-sundown, park and pier is open 24 hrs, park on street and hike! Absolutely skunk city right now, but the local owner of Jailhouse bait in Brisbane pulls sturgeon in all the time off of a boat, on the waters near candlestick. !@#@? All I caught was

kingfish and sand dabs, using anchovies about 3 feet off the bottom.


1/4/98 Oyster Point Marina-closes at 9:40 P.M. Barely any action. No bites. 1-foot flounder and 3 jack smelt pulled in today (Sunday) using anchovies on the bottom. If you are on the bottom, check bait often, lots of crabs.


These are the other piers that I usually fish: Pacifica, Berkeley.


Andy,


Thanks again for the information. As for the reports, I do the monthly report the last week of each month. So, a report at the start of the fourth week each month would be fine -- or you can drop me a line a couple of times a month, which ever is easier for you.


Best wishes, Ken


Date: January 2, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Matt S
Subject: Pier Report (sort of)

Hey Ken.

I only have two days left of my break from school and I am trying to get as much fishing in as possible. I have recently been going to the Pillar Point Harbor Pier a lot. I caught lots of perch and kingfish. One day when the tide was going out, a large school of jacksmelt was in the area and all I did was toss out a bobber with Lucky Laura rig out with bait and watched my bobber sink 2 feet under the surface every time until the school left. It was great and my friend and I landed about 23 of these fish all over 11 inches. I also caught a huge 8 inch Red Rock Crab. Everyone on the pier was amazed at the sight of it when I pulled out my star crab trap. Anyway, I don't know about the weather up there in Boonville, but down here in Montara we are experiencing showers. But now it's clearing up and Me and Jimmy are planning on going to Pacifica Pier for a few hours. Anyway, I am starting to get into fishing for bigger game like sharks rays and bass. I am tired of all the little fish. I want something that will fight and be more value. Anyway, hope to hear a response for both of my mails!


Matt


Hi Matt,


Thanks for the new information! Also, you should have received a message to your last notes.


Best wishes, Ken


Date: January 2, 1998
To: Ken Jang
From: Ken Jones
Subject: Links

Hi Ken,

Would you mind if I put a link to your site from my site?


Hi Ken,

Yes, You may link it to yours. How is the pier fishing going lately ?

Regards.

Ken Jang


Ken,

Pier fishing is good at some Bay Area spots; sanddabs cover the bottom at piers out toward the Gate and perch are starting to show up. However, most action at this time is on the smaller species -- too late for stripers, too early for sturgeon. Oh, and crabbing seems to be getting better and better, at least when the weather cooperates.

Best wishes, Ken


Date: January 3, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Mike Katz
Subject: White Croakers

Dear Ken:

I suppose by now you have heard the latest on fish limits: "White Croakers - limit 10 fish."
Who in the hell would want to keep ten Ronkies?

Mike


Hi Mike,

I hadn't heard that, when did it start?


Ken

Evidently January 1.


Date: January 3, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Matt S
Subject: My First

Hey Ken, Sorry to bother you again, but I just got back from fishing with Jimmy at Pacifica. We fished for about 4 hours and caught lots of perch. I caught a perch that put up a huge fight and was 12 inches long and 6 inches high. There was also a bait stealing sea lion that totally dampered down the fishing. Then we went to the beach behind Jimmy's house and surf fished. It was my first time doing it and I caught my first leopard shark! It was really big and neat. In all I caught 3 leopard sharks and a bullhead. Jimmy had a huge "thing" on but it flopped and broke the line before we could clearly see it in the white wash. Well, that's it!

Matt


Matt,

Sounds like you had a great time -- I think you're hooked on fishing.

Best wishes, Ken


Date: January 4, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Vincent S
Subject: Basic Questions

I enjoyed reading the information you had on pier fishing. I've recently got "on line" and have been overwhelmed by the amount of fishing information available. Although I've primarily been a freshwater fisherman, saltwater fishing here in California has always been of interest. Do you or your contacts have any basic start-up information for individuals like myself who would like to get started?


Hi Vincent,

I'm a little biased but I think the best place to learn about California saltwater fishing is on the piers. You don't need a license, need a minimum amount of equipment, and you're surrounded by many, many experts (regulars) who should be willing to help you out. What they don't teach you can be learned at tackle shops, from my web site, or from my book Pier Fishing in California. Best of luck and hope you give it a try.

Don't know if this fully answered your question but hope it's a start.

Best wishes, Ken Jones, The Pier Fisherman


Date: January 5, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Brad
Subject: Oceanside


Sir,

I am a Marine who has lived in the Northeast my whole life and lived off of Flounder and Cod. Since arriving here in California I have tried to get into fishing again but, am not having much luck. I frequently fish off of the Oceanside Pier. Can you give me any pointers for fishing this time of year (I already have your book). Basically, I've been using bloodworms but, have caught nothing but jacksmelt. Thanks.

Brad T

Captain USMC


MR. T,

I wish I could help you but what my reporters tell me is that things have slowed down a bit. They say a few bass are still hitting out toward the end of the pier, as are a few sheephead, but it's nothing to count on. Also slow on halibut and most of the large croakers (although there are still reports of small yellowfin croaker in the shallows). However, barred surfperch should start hitting in the surf area and when they do some nice sized perch should be grabbing baits. They should hit on bloodworms but also LOVE sand crabs and ghost shrimp.

Unfortunately it sounds like the wintertime blues but don't give up on our piers just yet -- the fish will return.

Best wishes, Ken Jones, The Pier Fisherman


Date: January 5, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Mark Grim
Subject: Pier Fishing in Puget Sound

Hi Ken,

Here is my experience with fishing in Washington State at the Indianola Pier on the Kitsap Peninsula across the Puget Sound from Seattle. We were staying with my wife's grandmother at her beach house in Saquamish. I had decided to get some fishing in after hearing so much about all the great salmon that can be caught in this area. I had noticed a pier nearby and asked a few of the locals if it was any good for fishing. They suggested that I go out on a boat if I wanted to really catch fish. There was quite a crowd out there and it didn't look like much fun so I decided to go out to the pier. I bought a non-resident fishing license ($12 for a year) and drove over to Indianola. There was a small market at the foot of the pier where my son and I bought snacks and bait (worms and frozen anchovies). We walked out onto the wooden pier. It seemed to be as long as the Antioch Bridge Pier and seemed to be somewhat shallow all the way out to the end. We were able to see the bottom clearly (Puget Sound is extremely clear and cold!). Pebbles and sand along with occasional larger boulders made up the condition of the bottom around the pier. There seemed to be a lot of seaweed growing up from the bottom and the pier pilings had a lot of barnacles, mussels, and small plants growing from them.

We decided to set up with high - low leaders and cast out and about the pier. We didn't even get a bite. We were able to see our bait sink down to the bottom and any fish that we saw simply swam by uninterested. After trying this for awhile we tried bobbers and artificial lures with the same result.

I then noticed the only other people on the pier were pulling in these huge perch. They were huge -- about a foot long and heavy enough to bend their poles to nearly breaking. I observed them going from piling to piling and lowering their bait down near the pilings. We tried this with no success. It was the bait, I deduced. They were using small crabs which are under nearly every rock in the tidal areas along the shoreline in this area. We walked off of the pier and gathered some crabs and did our best at duplicating the other fishermen. Right away I hooked the biggest perch that I had ever caught. It was at least a foot long, ten inches tall and 3 inches wide. We both caught three each in a matter of a half an hour and headed for home.

Our relatives were very surprised with our catch. None of them had ever heard of anyone catching anything from off of that pier. They had always thought of it as a "walking pier" for sight seeing. It did offer some great views looking back toward the land at the beach houses, seeing boats, and even seeing portions of the Seattle Skyline (Space Needle, etc.). But I had found it a great place to catch fish by being persistent and by being willing to try other baits and learning from other fishermen. We had a delicious fish dinner for the six of us.

I am looking forward to going up to Washington again this summer and will definitely visit the Indianola Pier again.

Mark

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H H H H H H H H H H H H H H pierangler@juno.com
~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~ Mark Grim ~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^
~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~ Antioch CA ^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~
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Hi Mark,

An interesting tale! It shows what I always preach -- watch the locals. By the way, the t-shirts are in and I think they look great. I'll send you some more information in a couple of days.

Thanks, Ken




Date: January 10, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Robert K
Subject: Great site!!

Surfing the web for months, I had failed to search for a site on pier fishing. It had never crossed my mind to find pier fishing info. on the web until today. Me and my buddy, who told me to search for this site, fish anywhere and anytime we get a chance. We have fished just about every pier in so. Ca. and a few in central and no. Ca. but we usually stick to the ones that we've had our best luck on (Gaviota, Goleta, Port Hueneme, and Malibu when it was open.). I used to have to look in ten different newsletters and magazines to get a report on the ocean and try to apply it to what the pier would be like. Now, I can see updates on my favorite piers quick and easy. I also keep a copy of your book rolled up in my tackle box when I go fishing.

I am primarily a shark and ray fisherman when I go to the pier (for fun, not for keeps) and I have concluded that Goleta Pier is one of the best piers around. There's nothing like a bat ray going for its initial run or a shovelnose digging its nose into the ground trying to resist your pull. On Goleta you can have it all. We always fish far out even though large halibut are often caught in the shallows. We always cast one line out into the kelp which grows on the pipeline which parallels the pier about 30 yards out. Here we almost always catch a few kelp rockfish and other types including occasional sand bass, calico bass, and scorpionfish. When the fishing is slow we fish mid-pier by the crane for perch which can run pretty big at times. At the end we catch mackerel and smelt for bait during the day and at night we put them to use for sharks. My best catch on Goleta was a 4-foot by 4-foot big skate which is not very common in so. Ca. It broke my little hand scale which measured up to 50 lbs. My buddies best catch was a shovelnose shark which was little over 6 feet and also tipped my hand scale over the max. It was the biggest guitarfish I had ever seen. One local told us to get it checked out to see if it might have been close to a record fish. However we had no cooler and live over an hour away from the pier so we decided to take a few pics and let someone else get the chance to catch it.

If you have any info. on Malibu Pier, its condition, or future plans for it please let us know. Malibu was a good pier and hopefully we can fish it again someday soon. If you would like any info or pics on our experiences on So. ca. piers, let us know.

Keep up the good work,

Robert and Demetri -- "pier rats"


Hi Robert,

Thanks for your kind comments; I'm glad the site and the book have helped you out. Also thanks for your information on the Goleta Pier, it's one of my favorites and a place I visit at least once a year.

As for Malibu, things seem to be on hold. The city manager had elicited comments on how the pier should be rebuilt and was planning on rebuilding it. However, funding seems to be a problem and it appears the pier may now be given back to the state (or it may already have happened). I'm trying to find out the answers myself since I'm in the final stages of an update on my book. I'll let you know what I find out.

As for your stories and pictures. I'd appreciate anything you have. I hope to have a comments page up within a month which will contain letters of interest like this one, and I also plan to add a section on the Potpourri Page (Game 'N Things Page) for reader stories -- which would be a natural for your insights. Pictures are always welcome. I can scan them and then return them to you. I was hoping that the Pictures Page would be more reader initiated than it is (so far most of the pictures are my own or ones I have borrowed from tackle shops). Anyway, send them in.

You can send them to me at:

Ken Jones
P.O. Box 529
Boonville, Ca 95415

(And rest assured that I will return you the originals.)

So long for now and best wishes on your fishing adventures,

Ken Jones, The Pier Fisherman


Date: January 10, 1998
To: Boyd Grant
From: Ken Jones
Subject: Goleta Pier

Boyd,

Thought you might like to read the attached message since it concerns your favorite pier -- Goleta. What do you think? Also, if you would like to contact him let me know and I can check with him to see if he wants to give his address out.

Best wishes, Ken


Ken,

Thanks for passing Robert's message on to me -- sounds like he knows the Goleta Pier pretty good.

I agree with his descriptions of the hot spots..

The pipeline is to the west of the pier (on the right going out looking directly across to UCSB). The two best places on that side are mid-point across from the restrooms and at the three-quarter point next to the light. My all-time best was at that point one late morning in 1989. Within two hours I had caught three 10# shovel-noses.

But the trick is to cast out as far beyond the kelp as possible (I think there is substantial sandy bottom there). I use a 10' surf rod and 3-4 oz of sinker. Not easy to do because you're casting directly into the prevailing winds. But when the wind permits and the sea is glassy then it's almost a sure thing.

A lot of kelp bass just above the pipeline -- bait gets nailed just as it starts dropping through the canopy but it's hard to keep them from wrapping themselves in the stalks. Took a 3# calico there last spring.

Loved the fisherman's tale out of Berkeley -- laughed so hard I think I did personal damage. That's a pier rat at his best!

Was at Goleta for 4 hours last Monday - five 12" thornbacks. Felt like I was fishing in a nursery. For the last two trips out, on practically my first cast, something big has picked it up and then started to slowly move parallel to the pier until the line snapped (had the drag set too tight - 20# test.) Didn't act like it was hooked or anything -- rather like it was just moving on anyway. Didn't see any seals in the area -- wonder what it might have been.

What do you advise on mid-winter perch fishing -- I understand they spawn pretty soon?

Later, Boyd


Date: January 10, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Blaine B
Subject: Pismo Beach Pier

Mr. Jones,

Your web site is fantastic!!!! I will be showing this to my friends (maybe, you know how competitive fishin' buddies can be) I live in 5-Cities and usually fish out of Avila or off Virg's or Perch fishin' off the beach near Oceano State Park. Anyway, I was hoping' you had a report from Pismo Pier, I have seen a couple sharks taken and smelt perch etc. Jest thought I'd ax.

Thanks again, I have your site "booked marked"

Blaine B


Hi Blaine,

Thanks for your comments!

There is a short report on Pismo in this month's Monthly Report Page:

Pismo Beach Pier - Troy, from Sheldon's Clam Stand, reports that action is centering on two species, jacksmelt and perch. Anglers are catching BIG jacksmelt on worms and pieces of clam or shrimp from most areas of the pier. Inshore, anglers are picking up some barred surfperch on pieces of clams, shrimp, or fresh mussels; further out on the pier anglers are getting plump walleye surfperch on a variety of bait.

It sounds like mostly small species at this time -- although some big perch should start to show.

I would be very interested in getting some reports when you visit the piers; I can add it too what the tackle shops tell me. I'm also looking for pictures for the Pictures Page; I can scan the pictures and return the originals when I am done.

Best wishes, catch some big 'uns, and let me know how you do.

Ken Jones, The Pier Fisherman




Date: January 12, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Matt S
Subject: Fort Point Pier

Ken, My friend and I are going to go to the Fort Point Pier this weekend, can you give us any tips?

Thanks, Matt


Hi Matt,

Your best bet for this time of the year is perch. Use small hooks, pile worms, and fish straight down around the pilings (keep your bait by the pilings). You should catch some perch. The best spot is probably just where the pier makes its turn at the end section -- right down in that corner.

Sanddabs were in abundance a few weeks ago; not sure if they still are. They were all over the bottom and falling to almost any bait.

Good Luck, Ken Jones

Fort Point Pier

Fishing Tips: The best time to fish this pier is in the winter and spring. Mid-to-late winter can produce decent catches of flounder (although there seem to be less and less each year); similar times will also see blackperch, striped seaperch, rainbow seaperch, pileperch and rubberlip seaperch. For flounder, fish on the bottom using a sliding sinker rigging baited with pile worms, grass shrimp, ghost shrimp, or anchovies. For perch, attach a couple of size 6 hooks directly to your line or use a high/low leader baited with pile worms, grass shrimp or ghost shrimp. If bait doesn't work, try plastic grubs (although expect to lose a few to the debris on the bottom).
For perch, I've had best success fishing the inner side of the L-shaped pier -- just where the pier branches to the right. At that point there are three series of old pilings. The water between those pilings and the pier is often very productive. Fish straight down or let the current carry your line under the pier.
Summer produces mainly white croaker, jacksmelt, walleye surfperch, silver surfperch, Pacific tomcod, brown smoothhound sharks, leopard sharks, bat rays and skates. For jacksmelt, fish on the top with pile worms and small hooks. For walleye, silvers, and tomcod, fish mid-depth with worms or strips of anchovy. For the kingfish (white croaker), fish on the bottom with pile worms or cut anchovy and be prepared to hook them as the cast is settling to the bottom. For sharks and rays use anchovy, squid, or ghost shrimp; they are fairly non-discriminatory. A lot of immature rockfish and cabezon are also caught while fishing under the pier using pile worms or shrimp but almost all are too small to keep. A common problem throughout the summer can be keeping the bullheads (staghorn sculpin) off your hook.
Every year a few striped bass and halibut will also be caught at the pier, usually in July or August. The best bait for either of these is a live shiner or live smelt fished near the bottom. A few salmon may also enter the catch as they pass through the bay in September and October. Most salmon are caught on frozen anchovies fished a few feet under a bobber.
This is also one of the piers in the bay to catch rock crabs; in fact, there seem to be as many people crabbing as fishing on many days.

Special Recommendation: Always bring warm clothes with you to this area since the winds can be very strong.




Date: January 17, 1998
To: Blain B
From: Ken Jones
Subject: Games 'n Things

Hi Blaine,

Just uploaded the new Games 'n Things page; check it out and let me know what you think.

Best wishes, Ken Jones, The Pier Fisherman



Cap'in Ken,

What is the address/www site for "games -n- things" that you wrote about above??/ Kindda windy up here this weekend whadda 'bout choo?

lemme know

B2

PS: You ever get up this way? i.e., Pismo/Grover/Avila etc.


Blaine,

Just go to the bottom of my page and hit on Games 'n Things, it should take you right there. If it doesn't, let me know. As for my visits to Pismo, yes I hit it a couple of times per year, usually in the summer and either around Christmas time or during Easter week. By the way, I live in Mendocino County about 7 hours north of you.

Best wishes, Ken Jones




Date: January 17, 1998
To: Mark Grim
From: Ken Jones
Subject: Games 'n Things

Hi Mark,

I finally got the new Games 'n Things page uploaded, let me know what you think about it.

Best wishes, Ken

PS -- how is fishing?



Hi Ken,

I think that your new Games and Things section is great. I'll try my luck at the Nitty Gritty Pier quiz. I am looking forward to more questions for pier fishermen to answer (like what our favorite piers are).

Mark

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H H H H H H H H H H H H H H pierangler@juno.com
~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~ Mark Grim ~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^
~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~ Antioch CA ^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~
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Date: January 17, 1998
To: Matt S
From: Ken Jones
Subject: Games 'n Things

Hi Matt,

I finally got the new Games 'n Things page uploaded so check it out and let me know what you think. Also, let me know how you did at Fort Point.

Best wishes, Ken



Hey Ken,

Well, I just got back from Fort Point. It was pretty neat there. We caught a lot of sanddabs and rock crabs. There were a few perch hitting. I was amazed at the view of things. I caught a small fish that looked like a midshipman and it bit my finger. I then booted it back to sea. My friend also caught a 15-inch lingcod that had a blue belly. About an hour before we left, I had a huge lingcod on. It had to be about 30 inches long because I got it out of the water and it was clearly bigger than my tackle box which is almost two feet long. Right before I got it up, it gave one flap of hope and splash. I lost a big one! I am still not over it. Oh well, I guess I go back and catch him again some time. Someone else also caught a kingfish that could've been mistaken for a salmon. A guy next to me also caught a octopus that he almost had to beat to death to unhook. That's about it. Not the most exciting day at the pier today but it was fun. I'll check out the page too.

Matt


Hi Matt,

Any new fish reports?

Best wishes, Ken Jones



Hey Ken.

I don't know if you got my last mail but I was just talking about Fort Point so I guess if you got it you can add it in on the reports. If you didn't, I will just restate it. Anyway, my friend Jimmy and I took our small 9-ft aluminum boat into the Pillar Point Harbor on Friday and we caught huge kingfish. It wasn't the greatest day though. Weather was chancy and after the morning bite (when we caught the monster kingfish), fishing was really slow. When our battery died, we beached up onto the little beach at Barbara's fish trap. I cranked in my line since I was trolling some pile worms and to my surprise, I brought in a 15-inch starry flounder! I had never caught one of those before and It was really neat. I walked to the pier and found that only two fish were caught and a couple of crabs that people were keeping that were not only illegal, but also pointless since there's hardly any meat inside. I didn't say anything because last time I tried to tell someone, they ignored me and told me off. So, I tried the rocks with a small hand line going for eels and I caught a shrimp, a couple of fish that looked like largemouth bass and a few crabs. I also went to Pacifica and it too was slow. Beautiful day, bad fishing. And to add insult to injury, it was packed with people at the very end, just where I like to fish. I asked around about the action and everyone kept on going about how some lady at the end caught a perch that was 17 inches or something. All I saw were a few big crabs and some small perch and sanddabs. I caught a few large walleye perch (after I managed to squeeze into a spot), a jacksmelt, and a few kingfish. I didn't stay for long. Only an hour, an all time low since normally we stay for 8-12 hours. That's about it. Hope to hear from you soon!

Matt P.S.- sorry that this is sooooo long!


Matt,

Sounds like you had some interesting days.

Good fishing, Ken




Date: January 17, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Dan and Teresa McIntyre
Subject: Pier's End, Oregon

Greetings,

Came upon your Pier of the Month page -- neat idea. Wondered if you have been to Pier's End in Garibaldi, Oregon or is this only for site in California? We have a unique business opportunity -- popular tourist attraction located in historic USCG Boathouse at end of 750' pier in Tillamook Bay, 70 mi. W of Portland, Or. Please visit out web site and pass on the info. to anyone you know who may be interested: http://www.oregoncoast.com/piersend -- link to PEsale page at bottom of home page. Any chance of your adding a link to our page. Thank you in advance, wishing you the best,

Teresa


Hi Teresa,

No, I'm afraid I've never been to your pier although I have been to several in Washington and British Columbia. I wouldn't mind putting a link to your site although I can't do it until the end of the month.

By the way, what do anglers catch from the pier? I would imagine it is mainly perch, flatfish, smelt, tomcod, skates and a few rockfish but I could be wrong.

Best wishes, Ken Jones, The Pier Fisherman

PS -- Maybe I can make it up there next summer.



Hi Ken,

Thank you for responding. Perch is the main catch out here, and an occasional greenling. The pier is used mainly for crabbing. We hope to have it sold by this summer but if not, we will be happy to meet you.

Take care, T




Date: January 18, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Dan G
Subject: Site

First as a web master and so on, let me congratulate you on a very nice site...the only thing I was unable to locate was a listing of piers by region...

Many years ago I lived in this area and spent many hours on the Santa Monica and Venice Pier back in the hey days when the boats were running hard and heavy out of Santa Monica and fish came with few warning labels...but upon my recent return I have found that things do change and boy have they changed...

Anyway, what I am trying to do is find a starting point so to speak and eventually settle into a regular fishing hole as well as the occasional 1/2 day or 3/4 day boat trip...

So if your book does contain information that would meet my need let me know...and any other links or advice you can provide will be greatly appreciated...will also be glad to give you a report on any place that I go to..

Look forward to your response...by the way I live in the North Hollywood area so hope to find a favorite fishing spot within reason...

Thanks in advance, Dan


Dan,

Thanks for your message. In regard to my book, I think it would meet your needs since it lists 92 piers from Imperial Beach in the south to Crescent City in the north. Of course many are in your area and I imagine you have tried most of them.

Places I would try are the Venice Pier (which recently reopened after being closed for many years), Manhattan Beach (which has good fishing but is rarely crowded), the small pier at Redondo Sportfishing (which has the best wintertime fishing for bonito in the state) and of course the big piers at Santa Monica and Redondo Beach. A couple of sleepers are the small Burton Chace Park fishing platform in Marina Del Rey (From Lincoln Boulevard turn west on Mindanao Drive and follow it to the park), and the Paradise Cove Pier (if you don't mind paying the hefty $10 entry fee -- although you can park out by the highway and walk in for a lesser fee).

You should find action at almost any of these piers.

As for the boats, your best local bets are probably the landing in Marina Del Rey and the one at Redondo Beach.

Best wishes and good fishing,

Ken Jones, The Pier Fisherman



Ken,

I did manage to find a copy of your book at a Big 5 sporting goods store and after a quick peruse elected to buy it...I thank you for taking the time to write it; it does answer a lot of questions meeting at least the basic needs of what, where, when, and some of the how...which I didn't need much there grew up with a fishing pole in my hand.

I did manage to get out to the big Redondo Beach Pier and it was a slow day...I caught some mackerel but not much else...but the worst day of fishing is better than the best day of most things I can think of...So you will know, they were throwing everything but the kitchen sink at em...from bait, to clams, shrimp, anchovies and lures (mostly spoons) but the fish weren't responding well.... some schools of anchovies were mulling in and out around the far end of the pier as were a few seals and the added bonus of a small whale made a quick cruise by....but the weather was great and a good time had as always fishing....

Thanks for the response, I will check out the locations you recommend....years ago I used to fish Venice for shark at night.....next step is to figure out which of the piers will allow me to bring my mutt; she doesn't understand the "no dogs" signs... thinks she is supposed to go where I go...kind of spoiled...

Thanks again, holler if you have any questions of I can be of any assistance...

Dan Garrett


Dan,

Glad things worked out and hope you do give some of the other piers a shot. By the way, if you send me the reports of your pier visits I will make them part of my monthly reports (so you'll be helping out others).

Thanks, Ken



No problem...don't mind sharing with fellow fishermen and women and just knowing what has been going on at a place can make for an even better trip...Feel free to holler anytime...

Dan


Thanks Dan, hope you catch some big 'uns!

Best wishes, Ken




Date: January 20, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Boyd Grant
Subject: January Report

Ken -

Fished Goleta last Sunday and the previous Tuesday. Caught 5 small (12") thornback sharks and one croaker. Very little bait fish in water. Hearing rumors though that its just about time for the bigger halibut to make an appearance. My brother assures me that the biggest one's are caught in January/February ... Going to Gaviota with him Friday to test it out. Will send an addenda to this report if it is a productive day.

How are the shirts coming? ... I'm looking forward to getting one!

Boyd


Boyd,

Find attached a picture of the new Pier Rat Logo; what do you think?

Best wishes, Ken


Ken -

Gorgeous picture! I can't wait to get the shirt.

I converted the image into a .gif - makes it a little more portable as well as reducing it in size from 189K to 21K. I checked them side by side and I couldn't tell the difference. What do you think?

Re: fishing. Went back to Goleta on Sunday and caught a 14" Calico which I fed to the raccoons that live underneath my mobile home. Also caught 4-5 herrings and a croaker. While there, I got to talking to one of the "regulars" and he said that the 38", 34# halibut I mentioned in a previous report was caught by a friend of his. Said the guy saw it feeding at the surface and snagged it .. is that legal? Doesn't seem sporting.

Hope all's well with you,

Boyd


Hi Boyd,

Thanks for your reduction on the logo -- it looks good. The shirts look beautiful too -- what is you address and your size? Let me know.

By the way, it is legal to snag most fish, even halibut, but I agree, it isn't very sporting.

Best wishes, Ken




Date: January 22, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Blaine E. B
Subject: Nice action

Hey Cap'n Ken,

Thought you'd like to know...Nice Perch hittin' off the surf @ Pismo (actually Oceano..just south o' Pismo). Anyway, went down tonight and caught supper. It was sooo nice out, I was using blood worms. Caught four really nice ones and a couple of smaller ones just before sunset. Lots of fisherman out.. at least 10.. Anyway, BIG swells earlier in the week but calmin' down as of late.

I'd a probably caught more, however, Ray this ol' salty dog that is thee Perch Master, got his GMC soaked up to the axel. We tried digging to no avail so he walked off and made a call to get towed out and asked me to "watch his poles." It wasn't long before I was jugglin' all three rods. I hooked and landed one off mine as his 15' Surf Master was steady tappin'. I managed to bring that one in as his 2nd rod was starting to bounce. Enough was enough, I did not cast his lines back out for fear of having to do another juggling act. To make a long story longer we got ol' Ray out of the sand courtesy of a 4wd Chevy Truck, came home and cooked up some mighty fine fillets..

Thanks for listenin'

Gone fishing,

Blaine

Let me know if your comin' this way, we'll drop a line if'n you'd like.


Hi Blaine,

Sounds like good action on the perch. Are they all barred perch or do you also catch a few calicos?

I've never fished at Oceano although I've heard it can be pretty good there. I also heard people were killing them up by Cayucos -- even some commercial guys. I think my source said it was at Third St. but I would have to check my notes.

Unfortunately I probably will not make it down there until the spring but I'll let you know when I'll be in the area.

Best wishes, Ken




Date: January 25, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Gil Pesca
Subject: Pre Super Bowl hello

Took my grandson to the San Clemente Pier yesterday. Jack smelt was about all that were caught; most of the fishermen were feeding them to the pelicans that were waiting for their lunch on the roof of the bait shack near the far end of the pier. One pelican bit off more than he could chew (swallowed the fish whole with the tail first) and couldn't make it work. A good lesson for my four year old who tends to have eyes bigger than his stomach (didn't we all, at one time?).

It appears as though we will definitely do a pier fishing show this summer (July) and would like you to get involved. Probably Pacifica, I would imagine. When you get a bit of time, give me a holler.

Enjoy the game. Since we don't have a team in LA, I usually root for the underdog and the oldest quarterback, although Green Bay appears to have the better team.

We'll see...

Tight Lines, Gil




Date: January 26, 1998
To: Ritchie Reano
From: Ken Jones
Subject: Ferry Landing Pier

Hi Rich,

Did you survive the Super Bowl and the hoards of people visiting San Diego? I guess it is an economic boost but San Diego seems pretty busy even without such events.

Also, have you checked out the Ferry Landing Pier lately?

Best, Ken



Dear Ken

The whole Super Bowl experience was pretty exciting. The whole city was in a festive mood. I stayed away from the venues because I am not too big on crowds.

It definitely was an economic boost for San Diego. I heard we are in the running to host it again in 2002.

I haven't been to the Ferry Landing lately, but I have talked to someone who has and it is pretty dismal. I miss the wide-open bite of spring and summertime. The only consistent catches seem to be large smelt and sand bass. I've been going on half-day boats to satisfy my fishing urges. Even that is
pretty dismal. Speaking of the Super Bowl, we had a TV news crew from Denver do a story on our trip. They wanted to show Denver some San Diego stuff. We were hooking up on a few yellowtail, but all we pulled up to the boat was only the heads. The sea lions took advantage of an easy meal.
I did manage to land a pretty hefty Calico bass using an iron jig.

When are you going to make another fishing trip down to San Diego?

Have a great day

Sincerely, Rich Reano




Date: January 26, 1998
To: Mike Katz
From: Ken Jones
Subject: Santa Barbara Wharf

Mike,

How has the fishing been down there lately?

Ken



Ken,

We are limiting out on ronkies every day.

Mike


Mike,

Who wants Ronkies?

No keeper white seabass, yellowtail or 30-pound halibut?

Ken



Ken,

They are in midst of repairing the wharf (as they do every winter) and all of their cranes, trucks, pilings , stringers and lumber are piled all around my shop and the end of the wharf so fishing and fishermen have been limited. Also we seem to be having an underwater storm. There were huge swells all day today that rocked the wharf. Great for surfers but bad for fishing!

The most I've seen lately are huge (and I mean HUGE) sardines and very large piling perch. One fellow walked by my shop holding up a plastic bag filled with what I thought were medium sized mackerel. They were sardines!

Cute one I read last week: Teacher asked her grammar school class to write a paper on the effects of oil on fish. One kid wrote, "Last night my mother opened a can of sardines. The can was full of oil and the fish were dead."

Mike




Date: January 26, 1998
To: Steve Lau
From: Ken Jones
Subject: Pier Fishing

Hi Steve,

Heard they're still catching sanddabs and perch at Pacifica; how'd you do on the crabs?

Best wishes, Ken



Hi Ken,

I never went to the Pacifica Pier that day. The weather and waves weren't cooperating. I'm sure the crabs are down. But if the waves are high, you can't keep your crab nets down.

STEVE "the FishMaster" LAU
---------------------o <'}}}#< <'}}}#<


Hi Steve,

Don't know if I told you but there is also a new Potpourri Page (now called Games 'n Things). It has some interesting old Santa Cruz pictures this month.

Also, I haven't seen the fish dialogue page for a few days. Is the page still up or is it simply not getting many letters because of the weather?

Best wishes, Ken



Hi Ken,

I'll take a look at your new changes.

What is the fish dialogue page that you're referring to? Since there were three different saltwater fishing web sites in the SF Bay area, we agreed to combine our posting board into one. So I don't have it anymore. Mine just links to Mike Watson's board. Is that what you're referring to?

STEVE "the FishMaster" LAU
---------------------o <'}}}#< <'}}}#<


Hi Steve,

I was referring to the sf_saltwater_fishing page which I see now is still working. Sorry for my confusion.

Best wishes, Ken




Date: January 27, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Mark Grim
Subject: Pier Fishing

Hi Ken,

I have been able to get several fishing trips in this month. It sure is cold and windy out there - but it feels so fresh and clean between the storms. I just bundle up as best as I can and enjoy my favorite past- time. Here are my reports for this month. (see February '98 Report)

Hope that you are well and have made time to get some fishing in.

Mark
_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-]
H H H H H H H H H H H H H H pierangler@juno.com
~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~ Mark Grim ~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^
~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~ Antioch CA
^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~
~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^


Mark,

Thanks again for an interesting report!

Catch a big 'un, Ken




Date: January 28, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Corey G
Subject: First Time

This is my first time to your site and I find it very interesting. I will be adding this to my bookmark list. I have been fishing on the south bay area piers all my life. My father first introduced me to fishing on Belmont Pier in the late 60's. I've fished Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach, Seal Beach, Balboa and Cabrillo.

I'm currently introducing my family to fishing. The fishing has been slow recently so they don't know what it's like to catch a fish that is above 1lb. I will be recommending your site to my fishing buddies.

Thanks


Hi Cory,

Thanks for the kind words and hope that the site helps you catch more fish!!!

Best wishes, Ken Jones, The Pier Fisherman




Date: January 31, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Robert K
Subject: Re: Pier Fishing

Hi Ken, how's it going?

I finally got a chance to reply to all of my e-mail messages today. I've been really busy with school. I went to Goleta on Jan. 16-17 with my fishing/hunting buddy. By the way, are you into hunting? We got to Goleta on the night of the 15th and had some left over bait from our last trip so we got started right away. The tide seemed perfect (full moon) but we didn't get a bite all night, not even in the kelp! I suggested we go to Gaviota but my buddy told me to wait and give the morning bite a shot. We did, and to my surprise, the morning was nothing like the night before. We went first to the crane (perch spot) and yanked some mussels from the pilings. Caught about 10-12 small ones, 4-6 inches long, then my buddy got a 1 1/2 lb. butterlip. We then went to the end and started fishing for bigger stuff (preferably shovelnose). I cast one pole in the kelp and soon caught a nice cabezon about 12 in. Kept it of course! I love the way they taste. Then my other pole caught me a 12 lb bat ray. To make a long fishing day short, we caught three more bat rays that day, one which was 40+ lbs. My buddy and me each caught one shovelnose (14 lbs.& 19 lbs.) that night. My buddy slept in the car as I fished and I managed to catch five edible size rockfish out of the kelp and three barely undersized calicos. Earlier, a guy fishing the kelp caught a 4 lb sandie and two keeper calicos. The next morning, we made a quick run to Gaviota for some halibut action. I caught some nice live bait size smelt and we tossed them out. Soon, I left my pole and came back to see my buddy fighting a 37 in.-15 lb. halibut. I baited and cast, he hooked and reeled, so we called it as being caught by both of us. That was all for my last fishing trip. I plan to do a one-nighter to Port Hueneme one of these days. I did go hunting last weekend if you want to hear about that... let me know... by the way, where is Boonville?? Also, the whole time we were out there fishing there wasn't a single sign of the mackerel. There were a lot of ronkies and crabs at night, however...

P.S. I am sending you pics from my last trip!!!

"ROB AND D"
"THE FISHERS"


Hi Robert,

Thanks for the report! Sounds like you had some interesting trips and I'm jealous because I'm stuck here in Boonville which is about 450 miles north of you guys. It's been nothing but rain, rain, and more rain lately.

Best wishes for good fishing, Ken