Visitor Comments and Letters - March '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: March 1, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Zoy
Subject: Gaviota, Goleta, and Stearns Wharf

The water above Pt. Conception is very dirty, south of that it is surprisingly clear as of today.

Fished, or tried to fish the following Piers:

Gaviota State park was Nuked by the floods; as of March 1 '98 it is closed. I drove up to gate and looked at the campground. There is lots of debris and fallen trees, and lots of mud. Looking down on the pier itself from Hwy. 101 it is largely if not completely undamaged.

Goleta Pier: calm seas and clean green water; it was warm and a great day to fish! No pier damage at all -- perfect! Saw one 15-20 pound guitarfish caught on squid, and many round and thornback rays. Also some surf perch, and jacksmelt; all I caught was perch on mussels and salted anchovy.

Stearns Wharf: under repair, only about 50 foot of the pier is open for fishing. Water was a little bit polluted, but green and a reasonably clear. Some surf perch caught, mostly lots of white croaker. The croakers were suckers for a piece of salted anchovy right on the bottom, caught so many I never did get to the Santa Barbara harbor breakwater to check for corbina.

Hi Zoy,

Thanks for a great report. Sounds like you really know these piers. I'll see if it's not too late to add your information to our monthly report.

Best wishes, Ken Jones, The Pier Fisherman

Date: March 3, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Shawn Cotton

Hey Ken,

Sat., the 28th of Feb., I went to the pier. The smelt were hitting slow. Some tom cod were hitting on anchovies and squid but it was a slow day. It was so bad that I went home by 1:00. The bait boats could not catch any bait. We saw another whale out there though and some sand sharks were caught on anchovies. One fisherman caught a spider crab. That was about it. Trying to go this coming weekend.
Thanks Shawn

Shawn, Thanks for the report, Ken

Well Ken,

I will be heading back to the pier again Sat. I have a question. Have you ever heard of anyone using beef liver as bait? Just thinking about it thought it might be good for shark. Do like the new look of your web page. And thanks for the recognition. You can use my full name if you like. Thanks again. Shawn Cotton.


Thanks for the comments. I've heard of people trying beef liver for bait but never really heard of any success. Sharks like a nice juicy and bloody piece of mackerel; bat rays prefer squid.

Best of luck, Ken

Date: March 4, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Robert K
Subject: just wondering

Hey Ken!

I was curious, did you get the pictures that I sent you? I sent them a while back and was wondering if you had a chance to look at them. Have you been out lately? I went up to Goleta during the last storm; seems like it is the only pier still standing after El Nino. All we did was stand in the rain for 5 hours. Caught a thornback and a couple of ronkies -- that's it. Some crazy guy was there who kept my skate and ronkies. He also caught a 5-inch calico and a few ronkies. He kept everything and said he had over 100 fish tanks (I asked him if he lived in the Monterey Bay Aquarium); he also said Sea World buys sharks from him. Based on what the guy was doing out there, the way he looked, and the way he talked, the only thing he was going to do with the fish was eat them.



Yes, I got your pictures and three will be on this month's Pictures Page. My webmaster is changing the look of the pages but unfortunately he ran into a little trouble -- which is why the pages are late. As soon as I see them on the net I'll send you back the originals.

I've gotten quite a lot of reports on damage to piers (including Santa Barbara and Port Hueneme) but most appeared to have weathered the storm. I'm just hoping we don't get any March surprise this year.

As for myself, I managed a couple of trips over to Point Arena but both times the wind knocked out any chance of good fishing. However, the last few days have seen fairly good weather so I'm thinking about heading down to San Francisco Bay this weekend for a shot at 2-3 piers. We'll see.

As for that guy you saw, I think you're right, he doesn't sound like a collector to me. Probably another guy breaking the law and eating everything he can get.

Oh well, keep the faith, catch some big fish, and enjoy a pier or two.

Best of luck, Ken

Date: March 5, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Kanjii
Subject: saltwater fishing rods

I am looking for another rod. Currently I have a Star rod with Penn 320 gti, should I stick with star rods, or do you know of something better? I mostly fish off the pier.


Hi Kanjii,

I think any good quality rod will work fine. Just try to match it to your reel and make sure it feels comfortable in your hand. Most rods today will last quite a while as long as you take care of them.

Best wishes, Ken Jones, The Pier Fisherman

Date: March 6, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Matt S
Subject: Nice page

Hey Ken! Love the new page. Although, when I tried to access the tackle tips and merchandise, it said an error occurred. Might want to check that. Anyway, I do not know if I already told you but I am still getting over a real bad case of poison oak I got while camping at Lake Chabot. But tomorrow I am going to try Pillar Point just for the hey of it. I was watching a local show called coastside fishing and they were nailing perch along the pilings in the Pillar Point Harbor. All of the perch were dropping babies too. I think I will give it a shot. I will send a report a.s.a.p. Just commenting on the page.


P.S.- Do you know of any type of particular jig or lure that works best for perch?

Hi Matt,

A good jig for perch is a plastic grub, especially one in a root beer or motor oil color. Often these will catch the biggest perch. Tie them directly to the end of your line and put a split shot sinker a couple of feet up the line. Fish in the shallow water or down in the holes between the pilings.

Best wishes, Ken

Date: March 8, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Alex
Subject: Fishing and baits

Dear Ken,

I have some questions to ask you and hopefully you can answer them for me. I live in Brunei Darussalam, a small state just to the north of Borneo Island. We have a large coastline and a beautiful bay which a lot of ships and boats use. There are a couple of breakwaters which form the waterway for the water traffic and this is where most of the fishing takes place. Today (Sunday 8th), I went and started fishing for the first time. There were about 20 or so people doing the same thing. But after casting and reeling in the hook for about 4 hours starting at around 10:30 a.m., only one of the anglers caught a fish the size of an adult's hand.

Of course the fishes in Brunei's water will be different to that around the California waters. But the climates between these two places are quite similar.

Anyway, here goes my questions. What is the best time to catch a fish? What kind of baits should I use? (I was using both lures and squid). How far should I cast my bait? Is it possible for certain time of the year when you can't catch a single fish or do I need to go to deeper waters to do so?

I understand some anglers fix up their hooks, baits and weight differently. Some have their weights at the bottom and some have theirs on top of the hooks. I was curious when you fix up the hook below the weight and cast the bait out and let it sink into the water, doesn't the weight sink right into the bottom of the water and into the mud? I thought it was more logical to have the weight below the hook and bait. What do you think?

In a bay, can I expect to catch large fish and can I catch them using small hooks? Anyway, I think I should stop. I do hope you will respond to these questions as I am desperately trying to figure out why I couldn't catch a single fish. In fact, I didn't get a single bite from the fish at all.



Hi Alex,

I'll try to answer your question but I'm not sure the conditions here are the same as in Brunei.

  1. As for baits -- the best bait is a natural bait you can find in the area you are fishing. For instance, if there are small crabs or mussels or other type of shellfish on the jetty you are fishing they will usually be the best bait. Or, if you can net a few small bait fish they are good for the bigger fish.

  2. The best place to fish is usually around the structure because fish like protection. On a pier it's best to fish down around the pilings, on a jetty it is best to fish in around the rocks (depending on the type of jetty). Most people cast too far away from the jetty but often the fish are found in holes and cervices down around the jetty rocks.

  3. The best time to fish is usually in the morning just after sunrise and at night just before sundown -- fish are usually more active at those time. However, when I fished in Hawaii (where there are a lot of reef fish), I found that nighttime was the best time for several species of fish. Nighttime is also almost always the best time to catch sharks -- so watch out.

  4. Deeper waters usually can produce more fish but some fish should always be around; you just need to learn how to catch them. When I began to fish (at age 14) it took me about six months before I really knew what I was doing. My first year I only averaged a couple of fish per day. Today, when I fish the same piers, I usually average several fish per hour. One problem I do see frequently with "new" anglers is that they will use too big of a hook, or too big of a bait, for most of the fish. Lighter lines and small hooks work well with most fish. But, I'm not too familiar with the type of fish you catch over there.

  5. As for the weight -- I usually have it on the bottom with a couple of leaders and hooks above the weight. You can usually feel the bite better with this setup.

  6. As for bay fishing, it should be good. It depends a lot on how much commercial fishing is done on the local waters, if the bay is polluted, etc.

I hope I answered a few of your questions. Feel free to ask any time you want -- also let me know how you do. Once you get the knack of fishing, the "feel," you'll be a lifelong fan of the sport.

Best wishes, Ken Jones, The Pier Fisherman

Dear Ken,

Thanks for your great tips. I am learning a lot from what you have said and I hope to apply them whilst fishing and get some results from it. The point about casting the bait too far is a good point to consider and I will surely try closer to the rocks. I will write you once I catch a fish or two.

Once again thanks, Alex

Date: March 9, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Mike M
Subject: New format

Hello Ken, I like the new format on the web page...The web-ring is pretty good, although I haven't searched much on it...I know from other sights with web-rings that they do add more to the total format of the web page.....

FISH REPORT: Point Arena Pier, 3-7-98....My son caught several small lings (under limit size) while fishing last Saturday...He caught them on squid...No reports of other fish caught that day, but the perch should start showing-up at anytime .....

Thanks, Michael-Minds Eye

Hi Mike,

Thanks for the message Mike. We need to get together one of these days to talk about some photographs -- and I need to give you your shirt.

For now, Ken

Date: March 9, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Cary
Subject: Dumbarton Pier

Hey Ken

On 3/7/98 I went back to the Dumbarton Pier. SKUNK city for all anglers! Oh well it was nice to just get out. Anyway I bet it gets better this week, the weather is beautiful! As I am sure you know. Oh yeah, it wasn't completely skunk city, I did get a few hard bites, and so did some of the other rats, but just couldn't catch em. Just thought I would pass the inf. down to you. You take care, and don't work too hard this week!!


Hi Cary,

Well it sounds like you're getting closer to the sturgeon since you are getting a few bites. Best wishes and hope you can hook a keeper. Let me know if you do. Reports I've gotten make it sound like the bay is one big freshwater lake. That's okay for sturgeon but not too good for many of the other species. But, things will change.

Best of luck, Ken

Date: March 9, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Keith
Subject: Marin Rod and Gun Club


Sorry I haven't been in contact for awhile. I changed servers and had a time getting my e-mail started. The Rod and Gun club pier has been pretty good lately. Lots of stripers up to 30 lbs., quite a few sanddabs, and even an occasional sturgeon.


Hi Keith,

Glad to hear you're catching some fish. I still plan to give you a call and get down there one of these days but I've been having a hard time getting away. By the way, do you think the folks at the club would want their pier included in the second edition of my book? It's a private club and pier but I would be willing to put it in -- which might gain them a few members. Let me know your/their thoughts.

Best wishes, Ken

Hi Ken,

Sorry that you haven't been able to get away. As for including the pier in your next book, I will bring it up at the next meeting and see what they say. I'll let you know.


Date: March 10, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Zoy
Subject: Morro Bay

The Morro Bay Channel IS open I fished it Mar 7, '98. Caught zip until we went down south almost to Avila beach, then about 200 yards offshore we hit swarms of olive rockfish. Everyone caught a

To Zoy,

Thanks for the information about Morro Bay, I didn't think they would have the channel closed for very long. By the way, I'm sorry your report didn't get included on the monthly report, it was a mix-up between me and my webmaster. Thanks again for all your help.

Ken Jones

Date: March 11, 1998
To: Jack McLaughlin
From: Ken Jones
Subject: Links

Hi Jack,

Just wanted you to know that we finally got the link up to your page (Stinky Pier and Wharf Page).

Best wishes, Ken


Thanks, but now your page is not working on my server! Will keep trying!


Hi Jack,

Not sure of the problem although there seems to be a couple of glitches with the new pages.

Hope you can get it, Ken

Date: March 11, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Shawn Cotton
Subject: Newport Pier

Hey KEN,

Saturday was a very fun day on the pier. The Sculpin are still hitting pretty hard at night. And the sand sharks are going nuts. Both hitting on anchovies but the sand sharks are hitting better on the cut mackerel if you can get it. I do not think any mackerel are being caught on the pier. Also a few jacksmelt are hitting on anchovies. And in the surf, the fisherman are catching some perch on small pieces of anchovies. Saw another spider crab caught, this one was caught on a rod 'n reel not a crab net. Well, that is about it.

Shawn Cotton.

Hey Shawn,

I'm envious. I love sculpin, they're just about the best eating fish around. Of course you have to watch out for those nasty spines (that's why their actual name is California scorpionfish).

Best of luck and hope the fish keep biting.


PS -- Did you ever find the bloodworms?

Date: March 11, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Ben Szu
Subject: Hello

Hi Ken, it's Ben from La Jolla. Glad to see that you've remodeled the page, looks good. Anyway, I have a question for you. What do you know about copolymer line, in particular, Excaliber silver thread? I've seen data about it's performance and it looks good, but compared to monofilament, how and what it copolymer line? Should I use it?

Well, haven't been pier fishing for a long time now. I do plan to start revisiting Crystal Pier this month, if not in May. I'll be sure to let you know what I come up with and see. Good fishing to you.


Hi Ben,

Below is the review of the super lines which was run in the tackle tips page last summer:

Super Lines (as used in Pier or Surf Fishing)

What follows will be a discussion of the New Super Lines.

    1. An Abridged History of their evolution.
    2. How and where they are best used.
    3. What precautions are necessary for use.
    4. Our comparison of three of the current super lines.
    5. Request for your experience.

The 1st Generation of braided lines, for example Spider Wire were:

    1. Very abrasive
    2. Very limp (would tangle in guides)
    3. Hard to cut, would not break
    4. Extremely small diameter.
    5. Very expensive
    6. Very Low Stretch
    7. Long Life Span (years not months)

The 2nd Generation of braided lines, for example Gorilla Braid were:

  1. Less abrasive
  2. Still limp (would wrap around guides)
  3. Broke easily
  4. Had a larger diameter for strength than 1st Generation
  5. Less expensive
  6. Very low stretch
  7. Long Life Span

The Current Generation, now generically grouped as Super Lines, examples of which are, Raptor, Fusion, Fire Line, and others, are:

  1. Not as abrasive as first generation
  2. Stiffer than 1st generation, but not as stiff as monofilament
  3. Will cut with knife or scissors, but not nail clippers.
  4. Fused, not braided like 1st Generation
  5. Comparable in expense to tournament grade monofilament.
  6. Have very low stretch, + or - 2%.
  7. Have Very Long Life Span.

Super lines are best used under the following conditions.

  1. Long Distance casting, 50 yds or more
  2. In Open Water Areas
  3. On casting, revolving spool type reels
  4. Can be used on Spinning Reels with a rolling line guide
  5. Are not compatible with Old Mitchell Reels

(Monofilament is better for close casting or in heavy vegetation because of the stretch.)

Special precautions when using Super Lines.

  1. Do not use bare hands to break off line when snagged. Use either a leather glove, or wrap the line around a stick to break off.
  2. Use Fuji Type, ceramic centered guides like Fuji Hardaloy.
  3. Use a knife, or scissors, not nail clippers to cut line.

To test the relative merits of three of the Current Super Lines, a Penn 146 Squidder w/Accuframe was used on an 8 Daiwa Casting Rod. Three spools, each with a different line were changed twice, every 20 minutes. The line was rigged with 2 oz pyramid sinkers and a 3-foot, Hi-Low surf leader of 15# Andy Premium.

Raptor (30#)

Fire Line (30#)

Fusion (24#)


No bleed

Rubs off to dull gray brown

Bleed small amount


Tougher than Fusion

Tougher than Fusion

Nicks & breaks on sharp resistant edges

Casting Ease

Same as Fire Line

Same as Raptor

Less than Fire Line & Raptor


Same as Fusion

Less than Fusion & Raptor

Same as Raptor

Five fish were caught during this test.

Best of luck and hope fishing picks up at Crystal.


Date: March 12, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Blaine B
Subject: H-o-l-y COW

Kapt'n Ken,

How is it going? The perch seemed to be back in full force @ the Pismo Pier. I went down today on the way home from work and this guy had the biggest Perch I ever saw. They say he took it to the concession stand and weighed it @ 4 lbs. but I have caught a lot of 4-pound spotted and largemouth bass in my day and I swear that sucker looked a lot bigger than 4.

Anyway a lot of folks had some decent ones in their bucket.

Are you going salmon fishing? It opens this Sat. as you know. I have been getting some gear together and hopefully I'll be able to go. Have you ever fished, i.e., trolled for them? If you have, did you produce and if you did on what i.e., flashers, Krocodile etc.? Have you been fishing? I went up to Lake Lopez..10 mile east of Pismo/Arroyo Grande and caught a few keepers (bass) last Sat. I hope the weather holds up it has been nice.. Let me know what the scoop is.

Catch a Oncorhynchus for me..


"Wishin' I waz Fishin'"

Captain Blaine,

That sounds like one super barred. I hope he got a picture taken of the fish at the bait shop. I talk to the good folks there every month and I'd like to put a copy of that on our fish page.

Only fishing I've been able to do recently were a couple of quick trips over to the Point Arena Pier.

As for salmon, I frequently go out at Fort Bragg and we almost always use flashers with a skirted anchovy. Sometimes it works, and sometimes zilch. It does look like this may be a good season based on early reports.

Hope they hit down there.

Best wishes, Ken

Date: March 13, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Michael B
Subject: Nice site!


It was a pleasure finding your site today. It is really very well done. (I don't do much pier fishing anymore but I now feel like I should go out and buy your book!)

I found you by wandering into the site, found the CA listing and found you from there.

BTW, I couldn't get to your archives by any of the click-ons, including the text link about "last months article" Keep up the good work.

Michael B

Hi Michael,

Thanks for your kind comments. Don't know why the archives page didn't show up. I called my webmaster and he's supposed to be checking it out. Hope you're able to find it because it has a lot of information.

Best wishes,

Ken Jones, The Pier Fisherman

Date: March 13, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Matt S
Subject: Pacifica

Hey Ken,

Just your Pillar Point Reporter here. Sorry that I keep stacking up e-mails in your computer but I just keep on fishing. I think that I can finally consider myself a pier rat because I am a regular to the piers and know the bait shop workers and some of the other regulars. Anyway, I was really disappointed today. All week while I was at school I kept calling Pacifica Pier and the waves were calm and stripers up to 16 lb. were being hauled in. Finally, after a whole weeks of anticipation, I get out there and the waves are breaking on the pier and it is cloudy. I got skunked as did everyone else. I would see people come and go with frowns and looks of hopeless despair on their faces. Here's my report.

Place: Pacifica Pier
Time: 9:00- 3:00
Bait used: Bloodworms, squid, whole anchovies
Fish Caught by me or my party: Zilch (had a piece of cloth that put up a good fight. I actually thought I had a fish on)
Any other fish/creatures caught: One lucky regular caught a large Dungeness Crab
Marine Info: Waves up to about 25 ft. Some breaking on side of pier wall. Very strong current. Any weight under 4 ounces would go where it wanted to.
Comments: Pretty disappointing day. Do I smell a skunk?

Well, I am going to give Pillar Point a shot tomorrow so maybe my luck will improve.


PS.- You will probably get my letter and picture in the mail soon. Hope you like it

Hi Matt,

Sorry to hear about the conditions at Pacifica -- but at least the pier is still standing. Actually it is pretty unusual that the stripers are even around at the time of the year, they're supposed to be up in the Delta doing their little multiplying thing. Anyway, hope you hang into one of those "hog" linesides one of these days.

Best wishes, Ken

Date: March 14, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: William K
Subject: Fishing License

I'll be arriving in Santa Monica this coming April 14; could you advise me on the requirements or amount of fees for a California or LA or Santa Monica fishing license? Like the difference in fees of resident or one-time licenses, its requirements and where to get it.

Thank you, William K

Mr. King,

In regards to the license fees, it depends on where you want to fish. If you're going to try some pier fishing you don't need a license -- the only fishing spots in California given such an honor. If you wish to fish from a sportfishing boat, the shore, or freshwater, you would need a nonresident license which can be expensive. A one-day, ocean-only license is $5.75, a regular one-day license is $9.20, a ten-day nonresident license is $25.70, and a nonresident season license is $69.55. In certain types of fishing there can also be special stamps required but in Santa Monica you shouldn't need them. Sorry about the cost, California knows how to make things expensive.

Best wishes, Ken Jones, The Pier Fisherman

PS -- try the piers at Santa Monica , Venice or Manhattan Beach.

Date: March 16, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Matt S
Subject: Pier Report

Hey Ken,

Thanks a lot for the helpful tip on what kind of jig to use to catch perch. I went to the Pillar Point Pier on Saturday and recovered from my fishing failure at Pacifica the other day. Anyway, it wasn't stellar fishing conditions, but the tide stayed high for a good long time. Anyway, basically all that I caught were some large kingfish and a goby of some sort. That with a sprinkling of shiner perch was all that me and some of my friends caught. A rather large 7-inch in diameter red rock crab latched onto my line and a very annoying seagull decided that he'd like to spend a while tangled in my line. I saw a kid who was fishing on the rocky side of the pier and he caught a couple of BIG rockfish. An unusual occurrence for such a poor habitual pier. No jacksmelt, walleye, rainbow, striped, black or rubberlip sea perch in the area that day. Crabbers weren't doing great either. Talked with a regular and nothing wasn't happening the previous day either. Can't wait for the halibut to arrive. Well, I'll stop blabbering now.

PS.- you should come down and fish around my local piers sometime soon. Mail me to tell me if you do.

Date: March 18, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Leo Barana
Subject: Pier Fishing Articles

Thought I might run this by you. We have a magazine called Pacific Fisherman and wanted to know if you wanted to trade an ad for Pier Fishing Articles. Contact me...

Hi Leo,

Yes I might be interested. I'll try to call you tomorrow for more specific information.

Best wishes, Ken Jones, The Pier Fisherman

Date: March 19, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Jiri and Kathy
Subject: California pier fishing locations

Just visited your web site hoping to find out about various pier locations. Sadly, none were to be found.

Either I am blind as a bat or you don't want to share or I must pay for the information. I thought your website was pretty cool but didn't do me any good.

Won't you share some location information with me? I can keep secrets...

Thanks for your help. Jiri and Kathy

Hi Jiri and Kathy,

I'm a little lost as to what you mean. More than 50 reports are on the Monthly Reports Page, there's a Pier of the Month, Fish of the Month, etc. Were the pages not working or are you asking where the piers themselves are located (and true, I don't have the addresses of the piers listed)?

Let me know. We just changed our format and we've experienced some trouble when people try to connect to a page from other than the main page (although my webmaster says he is fixing the problem).

This site is always free so let me know if you're asking for additional information or if the pages are not showing up.

Best wishes, Ken Jones, The Pier Fisherman

Date: March 21, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Shawn Cotton
Subject: Pier today

Hey Ken,

Had to skip the pier last week-end. Was going to Newport at around 4:00 tonight. Just was wondering if you have any idea if there is any action on any of the piers this week in the area from Long Beach down to Camp Pendelton? If I do not hear from you before we leave today we will just hit Newport and I will let you know what happens.

Thanks Shawn Cotton

Hi Shawn,

Sorry for the late reply but I just got back from my son's wedding at Yosemite and I'm running a little late on everything. I really haven't heard too much on the area although Seal Beach and Belmont reported decent fishing.

Best, Ken

Date: March 23, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: David G
Subject: Ocean Beach Pier Report?


I plan to be at the Ocean Beach Pier this weekend. There hasn't been a report for that site in two months, do you have any more recent information from that area?

Thanks, David G, Las Vegas

Hi David,

Sorry for the late reply but I just returned from my son's wedding. All the reports I've gotten from San Diego report that things are slow. The weather has to lie down and allow the rough conditions to improve.

Sorry, Ken

PS - Let me know how things are at Ocean Beach; I haven't been able to get through on the phone the last two months.

Date: March 23, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Matt S
Subject: Pillar Point

Hey Ken,
Just Matt here. I visited Pillar Point Sunday to do filming for a geography project and I brought my rod and reel with some tackle. I fished for a bout 30 minutes total and I caught a 4-inch rockfish using a bait rig and pile worms. I was the only one to catch a fish that day, because the other anglers there told me no one has caught a thing. That's it!


Hi Matt,

Sorry for the delay to respond but I just returned from my son's wedding in Yosemite. Things sound a LITTLE slow right now -- hope they start improving. At least you caught something.

Best, Ken

Date: March 24, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Chad
Subject: Web sight

I just checked out your web sight...AWESOME!!!!!!!.. I never knew this place existed it is fantastic. I'm going out to Cabrillo Beach Pier on Saturday Mar 28. I want this to be a good one because I am a Seal Beach and Redondo Beach Pier junky. I have been fishing for about a year now and I know most of the deal, and judging by your halibut picture you are doing something that I am not. Could you please send me some bait/angling tips.

Thank you very much


Hi Chad,

I'm not sure about any special tips although a lively bait is generally the best answer. Catch a small queenfish, tom cod or baby Mac and fish it down in the holes between the pilings. That's where the flatties like to munch on their food. Let the halibut swallow the bait and be sure to play them carefully once they're hooked.

By the way, I'm looking for a reporter for the Redondo Beach Pier. Are you interested? Of course I'm also always looking for reports on all the piers down there and will include them in the monthly report page with your permission.

Good fishing, Ken Jones, The Pier Fisherman

Hi Ken,

I would be more than happy to give Redondo Beach Pier reports. I am hoping to go more often this summer, I will give you reports when & where ever I go.


Keep in touch...


Thanks for your help and I look forward to seeing your reports.

Best wishes, Ken

Date: March 27, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Audrey
Subject: Huntington Beach Pier


Here's the report for March. In the past couple weeks, things have definitely picked up. Perch, spotfin croaker and corbina are coming around in large sizes and they're less picky about what bait
they'll hit. The perch are starting to come up pregnant with live birth babies, so we're laying off them.


Hi Audrey,

Thanks for the report. Sounds like things are finally looking up. I know what you mean about the live birth perch, I tend to let those fish go when I catch them.

By the way, what do you think of the changed format of my page? Better or worse?

Best wishes and good fishing (catch a six-pound corbina!!!!), Ken

Date: March 27, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Rich
Subject: Coronado

Hi Ken

I like the new website look. Have you ever considered getting a domain name? Like

Anyway, fishing is getting interesting at the Ferry Landing. During the recent grunion run, quite a few anglers were hooking up with some decent size rays. I only observed the catches during the day. The night fishing must have been even better. Another interesting catch was a nice sized barracuda, although a little short of legal. It was caught using a Salas iron jig fished on the surface. Live bait such as smelt, are hard to come by. Most of the smelt near the pier are much to big. Even if there's not a lot of catching going on, it's still a nice place to hang out on a weekend. There's shops and decent eateries only a short walk away.

Take care!

Sincerely, Rich Reano

Hi Rich,

Thanks for the report -- sounds like things are starting to turn around. Just hope there aren't any late El Nino surprises.

Best wishes and good fishing, Ken

PS -- Hope to see you down there this summer.

Date: March 27, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Peter Dawson
Subject: Golden Carp Award

Hi There

Its Peter Dawson the webmaster at CarpNet. I just looked at your site and its great. I want to award you the golden carp award and include you in the elite winners section. Let me know if you except and I will add you to the winners

Peter Dawson

Hi Peter,

Thanks for the kind comments. Yes, I accept the award and will have my webmaster put it on the page in the next few days.

Best wishes, Ken Jones, The Pier Fisherman

Date: March 29, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Matt S
Subject: Pacifica Stripers?

Hey Ken,
Just your Pillar Point reporter here. I visited Pacifica yesterday and the 35 mph hour winds just about scared everyone off the pier. There were still quite a few brave anglers going for stripers. Stripers this early? Well, I saw one guy hand line in a nice 20'' keeper and some other guy was hauling leopard sharks right out of the surf line. The waves were strong but not too big I guess. I was about midway out with my medium outfit fishing a high low leader with anchovies when I had a tremendous bite. I started to fight the fish and I drew a small crowd of people. After about 5 minutes I got the huge striper to the surface. It was estimated by me and everyone to be about 36-40 inches in length. It was my first striped bass! Well, we all had difficulty getting it up to the pier. After a failing attempt with a screwed up crab trap and trying to lift him up (a ranger who helped me couldn't even lift the striper out of the water) a large wave came and took the striper away and broke my 30 pound test. I was shattered! Well, I also that same day visited Pier 7 and I only caught a kingfish. The tide was so strong that you would have to use an airplane as a weight to keep your bait in one place. People were catching some nice big rock crabs so now's the time to get out there and throw some nets down. Only a couple of kingfish were caught by some other guys. No sharks today. Anyway, after breakfast today, I am going to hit Pacifica again. It is a beautiful day and I think the wind has calmed. I am going to catch that monster again. Wish me luck!

Matt, PS.- sorry this is so long of a letter

Matt, Catch that monster!!!

Date: March 29, 1998
To: Zoy
From: Ken Jones
Subject: Gaviota and Goleta

Hi Zoy,

Just wondered if you've tried fishing at Goleta or Gaviota lately?

Best wishes, Ken

Hi Ken,

I called the parks department about Gaviota. I was told that Gaviota will not open for at least two months, about middle May. I tried to get a date for the opening and the Parks department would not commit to one. I was told that the pier lost a lot of pilings; looks intact from Hwy. 101 but I will take
their word for it.

Tried to fish Stearns wharf on the 12th of March. Basically there is no fishable area on the pier and the bait shop was closed.

Went to Goleta on the 12th also, fishing was weird -- feast or famine. No perch, smelt, rays, sharks, halibut or any other usual fish.

I caught two big sculpins 2-3 pounds each, six mackerel (surprised me), and a 5-inch rockfish. Let them all go except a mackerel for bait use later.

One guy on the other side of the pier caught a bonito on a squid strip on the bottom, It is way early for bonito isn't it?

Date: March 29, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: David G
Subject: Ocean Beach Pier Report?


I just returned from San Diego, and the news isn't very good.

Ocean Beach Pier is closed due to storm damage. I visited the pier and I could not see any evidence of damage from the beach. A news story I saw said the repairs would not begin until after the latest round of storms. The coast was being whipped by a fierce storm. Very high winds and large surf presented the possibility of additional damage.

I also visited Embarcadero Marina Park Pier (very briefly) and Shelter Island Pier (about an hour and a half) and saw only a handful of fishermen who were catching absolutely nothing. The weather was very bad with high winds and rain. While the bait shop at Embarcadero was open, the shop at Shelter Island was closed on Saturday.

I really enjoy the monthly reports on your web page, and, of course, your book. Keep up the good work.


Hi David,

Thanks for your report -- I feared storms had done their dirty deeds.

Best wishes, Ken

Date: March 29, 1998
To: Robert K
From: Ken Jones
Subject: Gaviota and Goleta

Hi Robert,

Just wondered if you've tried Gaviota or Goleta lately? I heard that Goleta had some damage to the shoreline.

By the way, your pictures and a book are in the mail.

Best wishes, Ken

Hey Ken,

How's it going?

We managed to get out to Goleta on Thursday before the main part of the storm came in. The waves were pretty big and it was COLD and pretty windy. You're right, the whole shoreline in and around Goleta has suffered some pretty good erosion. I also noticed some red tape around the crane area where the stairwell goes down to the water for boaters (or perch fishermen in my case). As for the fishing, it seemed like the fish knew the storm was coming. There were no baitfish whatsoever. Fishing the shallows was a guy by the name of Corey, who I used to always see and chat with way back when Malibu was open. He is a dedicated halibut fisherman and he told me that he visited Malibu and fished the shoreline on both sides of the pier and caught three halibut (one keeper) and a couple of perch and croaker. He said that he talked to a couple of guys with poles who said they were on the pier all night (jumped the gate) and caught 15 or so dogfish and smoothhounds and they lost a couple of huge sharks. As for the action on Goleta, we managed to catch a couple of small bat rays, some ronkies, one decent size shovelnose, and my buddy caught a small leopard shark (18-20 inches) and a big smoothound (around 4 feet) using half of an 8-inch ronkie. What we mainly went there for was to fish off of a raft in the kelp alongside the pier but much of the kelp was washed away from the storms. We fished till it started to come down then we left.

Hey Robert,

Sounds like the storms knocked out Gaviota and Santa Barbara but glad Goleta is still in business and you were able to catch some fish.

Don't know about Malibu. Seems like fishing would be good since there is no one around to catch most of the fish.

Anyway, enjoyed your pictures and put two more on this month's picture page. Hope you have continued good fishing!!!

Best, Ken

Date: March 29, 1998
To: Rich
From: Ken Jones
Subject: Domain Name

Hi Rich,

In answer to your question regarding a domain name, no I don't know too much about it. What are the advantages?

Best, Ken

Dear Ken

Your website name will be easier to remember. (which by the way is available) is easier to remember than and looks more professional.

Also, you would probably get more visits to your site. I am sure someone has tried typing in to see if a website like that existed. I know I have.

Sincerely, Rich

Date: March 30, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Chad & Steve
Subject: Piers

Who: Chad & Steve
When: March 29, 1998
Where: Redondo Beach Pier
Total Fish: 2

It was not the best day at Redondo for me and my pal Steve. It was freezing cold (due to the recent storms) and we caught few fish. We started fishing at 8:00 a.m., the tide rolled in at 10:04 a.m. and we saw a little action. Steve was going for the BIGGIES; he had a huge tri-hook on 14-LB line When he put that thing on I laughed at him, I thought he wasn't going to catch a thing, but sure enough five minutes later he saw a little tug on his pole and reeled in the tiniest little half-pint corbina I have ever seen -- we still don't know how that little thing got itself on that monster hook. About 10 min. later I
caught a 5-lb sting ray on a number 2 hook. Both fish were caught with anchovies.
The other fishermen were a little luckier. The guy to the right of us was using cut squid for bait -- he caught a good sized shovelnose, and a couple of mackerel. When were about to leave a guy came and showed off his bucket to us. He had about six big (and I mean BIG) corbina. He said he used squid on a fish finder rig (a fish finder rig is the rig used so that fish can not feel the line when they bite). This guy was a total nut case but that's another story...

Hey guys,

Sounds like you got some fish. Strange thing is that corbina are really supposed to be picky and much prefer fresh mussels or a tasty sand crab. They must be hungry from all the storm action. Thanks for the report and I'll try to get it on this month's report page.

Thanks again -- and good fishing,

Ken Jones, The Pier Fisherman

Date: March 31, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Paul P @ Boston Public Schools
Subject: fishing in San Diego, when and where?


Be more specific. What type of fishing do you like to do -- pier, surf, boat, etc.?

Best wishes, Ken Jones, The Pier Fisherman

Date: Mar 31, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Keith&Jackie
Subject: SF Bay area Piers


Here are short reports on the following Piers:

Marin Rod and Gun Club: Lots of small stripers, a few large ones and lots of flounders and sandabs. Most fishing is best two hours before the high tide to two hours after. Bait used is anchovies and sardines for stripers, pile worms and grass shrimp (if you can get them) for the flounders and sanddabs.

East Fort Baker: Stripers seem to be what everyone is looking for, although not many are caught. Occasional flounders and perch Bait is the same as above. Dress warm as the wind whips in off the ocean through the Golden Gate Bridge and it is cold.

Tomales Bay fishing access in Marshall: Early morning is the best time, especially at high tide. Muddy and sandy bottom makes it good for flounders and an occasional halibut. Bait is anchovies, clams or pile worms fished on the bottom. If you have a boat, there is also a boat ramp at this location.

Petaluma River fishing access: This is located under the Highway 37 bridge. There is a fishing access with a boat ramp on the Marin County side. There are two floating docks there that get you close enough to cast to the channel. On the Sonoma county side, there is a small fishing area to fish from shore, but it is the shallow side of the river. The only thing I've ever caught there is stripers, up to 28", using anchovies or sardines.

Collinsville fishing access: To get here, go out towards Rio Vista, then to Birds Landing, go south towards Collinsville, then west just before the 'town' to the fishing pier. Good handicapped access, picnic areas, and restrooms. Fish caught her are stripers, catfish, and an occasional sturgeon.

Talk to you later, Keith


Thanks for the report.

Best wishes, Ken