Visitor Comments and Letters - April '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: April 1, 1998
To: Blaine B
From: Ken Jones
Subject: Piers

Captain Blaine,

I hear they're catching a few sharks (including soupfins) at the Cayucos Pier. Have you given it a try? And, are the perch still hitting?

Best wishes, Ken

Ken,

In regards to your last couple of e-mails. Yes, the perch are hitting. That guy who caught the 4-pounder, had to get his picture taken; I guess another biggie was caught the day before. The salmon bite has been S-L-O-W; I think under 30 have been caught thus far. The water is still too warm. I've gone three times now and only had three strikes, no fish. My two buddies have each caught one. It has been raining since Sunday 3/29 and it looks like she'll keep going through the weekend and it is COLD too. Yes, Morro Bay is silted in bad. The 'Corps brought in a dredge but it got busted up in the storm during the winter before it could do any good, They brought in a big one and it is working but I don't think much progress has been made yet. They are launching boats, but it is close during big wave days, which have been plenty. I haven't heard about the sharks, although I would like to confirm. What kind of gear do you use to catch them? I haven't been to the pier lately but I have a big itch to go.

Stay in touch

Wish I waz Fishin' -- Blaine


Cap't Blaine,

From what I heard, the soupfins were hitting on mackerel. All you need is fairly strong line (30+) and some luck. I imagine the night hours are the best.

Lots of salmon up here -- when you can get out. Storms keep slamming us. But some of the salmon are running good size (30+ pounds), which is unusual this early in the season.

But still waiting for things to calm down.

Best wishes, Ken

Ken,

When you say "up here" where is up here?....I'd like to get in on the salmon bite. Also can you eat soup fin shark? Is that the real name or is there something else I can look them up in my book by? No rain today but they are calling for it every other day through next week. Big swells today. They are catching perch off the pier as of yesterday. If I can get my work done I may sneak down for the high tide. Also have you ever heard of a fish kill where barred perch all about the same size (about as big as your hand) die? Pockets here and there of 10-20 fish dead from Oceano to Pismo all up and down the beach -- any clues?

Blaine


Cap't Blaine,

Up here is in Mendocino County, about 350 miles north of you.

Soupfin sharks are soupfin sharks (page 184 of my book) and yes, they are good eating. The Chinese used to cut off their dorsal fins, dry them, and use them in soup -- that's where the name comes from.

As for the perch, it's rare to hear of such a die off but I have heard of it happening after some really big storms -- although usually on more deepwater fish like rockfish. Sometimes they venture into the shallows and for whatever reason are unable to avoid the pounding of the waves.

Could sea lions or otters or something like that have trapped them in the shallows where they were unable to escape?

I guess a final possibility is that the storms have washed away a lot of their normal food and some are simply starving -- are they thin like they're not eating?

Have to go but it just started to rain again. We're at 46 inches of rain this year and the water is rising.

Best wishes and good fishing when you can get out.

Ken


Date: April 2, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Matt S
Subject: Hey Ken

Hey Ken. Just printed out the new reports. Thanx for postin' my picture. Anyway, on Sunday I went out and hit the Pacifica Pier again and caught 6 leopard sharks with my best bud Jimmy. No stripers that day though. I called the pier today and all week stripers have been being landed. I hope to get out there this weekend and not lose any this time. By the way, I saw the new pier rat t-shirts. Is that you and your wife?

Matt


Hi Matt,

Hope you get a striper. The picture is my daughter and her fiancee -- they're getting married at the end of this month. By the way, she loves to fish.

Best wishes, Ken


Date: April 4, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Matt S
Subject: Striper attack!

Hey Ken! I caught and landed my first striped bass!!!! It was great. I went to the Pacifica Pier today and it was loaded with anglers! The waves were extremely calm and the water was very green. Lots of people were catching legal striped bass, one every now and then. Then mine hit and I fought him for about 10 minutes. I had the entire pier around me watching and helping. A few of the regulars helped me net and land it. It was high fives and pats on the back for another 10 min. My striper was the largest striper caught today, weighing 13 pounds and measuring 33 inches. I couldn't believe the look on peoples faces as I walked down the pier with this huge fish. I had a hard time carrying it. Oh, add this to the next report, there was a big argument on the pier between a couple of "tough guys" and it came very close to turning into a fight, so anglers be careful. I felt so good! I got some pics of it so I'll send you one when the film gets developed. Sorry about the confusion about you and your daughters fiancee. Hope to hear from ya!

Matt

P.S.- I'm going to try to hit the pier again tomorrow so expect another report.


Hi Matt,

Congratulations!!! I knew you would get a striper sooner or later and now you have to go back out and catch a bigger one. Best of luck -- and I'm a little jealous that I can't get away till next weekend.

I think I might try to come down there the first part of Easter week since school will be out. However, I also need to drive down the coast and make a quick tour (and take pictures) of some of the damaged piers. There just isn't enough time to do all I need to do.

Best wishes, Ken


Date: April 6, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Matt S
Subject: Pacifica

Hey Ken. I'm stuck in my house right now because I have no ride to the harbor or Pacifica! I'm a prisoner of fishing! Well, yesterday at the pier, only 3 or 4 stripers were caught the whole day. I'm going to attempt to get out to the harbor around 3 or so. Be sure to tell me when you're coming down so we could meet at Pillar Point, Pacifica, Fort Point or any other nearby local pier.

Matt


Hi Matt,

I'll let you know when I'll be down. I'm still trying to figure out the week.

Best wishes, Ken


Date: April 7, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Matt S
Subject: Letter

Hey Ken. Just got your letter today. Thanks for my photo back. Anyway, the club I belong to is the North American Fishing club. Sorry of I screwed you up with the name. It is a freshwater fishing organization and I am going to be an official tackle tester. I even get to keep what they send me! Its a great club that gives you benefits you cant get anywhere else. If you want me to try to get you in, tell me and Ill see what I can do. ( You even get an official membership card that looks like a credit card and a whole bunch of cool patches and stickers). Went to Pacifica the day after the "big one" and only about 3 or so people landed a striper. You were right in your book. Pier fishing does bring people together. I now know a few of the regulars better and I am respected a lot by everyone now. Pretty cool. I went to Pillar Point today and it was to windy for fishing. I found a calm spot in the harbor jetty with a few others and we all managed to pull in some good sized walleye and silver or something surfperch. I also caught a huge 13 inch perch the previous day at the very outer jetty. Hope to meet you upon your arrival.

Matt

P.S.- thanks for the information on PESCA

Hi Matt,

I'm familiar with the North American Fishing Club but I thought there was another local organization that I might have missed.

As for being a "regular," glad to see you've made the list. Every pier seems to have such a group and they're the ones who really know the tricks. At one time I would have considered myself a regular at Pacifica but that was twenty years ago, today I doubt if I would know anyone or if they would know me. Hopefully I might get a chance to stop down next week and meet you but I'm still trying to finalize my schedule.

Best wishes, Ken


Date: April 8, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Chad
Subject: Redondo Beach Pier

when: April 6, 1998

where: Redondo Beach Pier

total fish: 2 fish, 1 crab

It was a windy April afternoon, the sky was clear, and the water was rough. We started fishing at 1:00 PM. It started slow. Steve (my fishing buddy) was trying a new counter balance rig while I stuck with the good ol' fish-finder. At about 2:00 Steve went to check his bait and pulled in a good sized spider crab (it was caught on a piece of cut squid); we estimated it was about 6 lbs. No bites for about 2 1/2 hours so we changed our spot from the end corner, to the mid south end near the breaking waves. We sat for an hour with no bites, and decided to change out rig to Lucky Luras, aka-bait rigs (bait rigs are just a bunch of small hooks scattered throughout the line). We also threw away the squid and purchased a bag of salted anchovies (I still think anchovies work the best). I caught two small mackerel and gave them away to the local pier junkies (I hate mackerel). We plan on going again on Apr. 11.


Chad,

Thanks for the report. Sounds like a few fish were biting. Have you caught a big halibut at the pier yet?

Best wishes, Ken


Date: April 8, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Dwight H
Subject: Long time no talk...

Mr. Ken Jones,

I finally received the e-mail concerning the "Pier of the Month" being Fort Baker (when at school I no longer have the time to check my other account)! It brought a smile to my face...I was quite happy to see my favorite pier on the net!

I haven't checked out the games thing but I will in time...when I have more time. I'm so swamped with school work and projects that I don't even have the time for my oh so favorite pastime ... FISHING!!!

Actually, earlier in the semester I did get to check out the Redondo Sportfishing pier (the small one) and caught three tiny mackerel . But hey, it was still nice to get out and throw out some bait.

Dwight


Hi Dwight,

Glad to hear from you and also glad you were able to try out at least one pier down there. Keep in touch.

Best wishes, Ken


Date: April 8, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Robert K
Subject: Piers

Ken,

Thank you so much for the book and for the fame on the web. As long as I continue to fish I will keep you posted with all the best info I can. As for Venice, I have not tried it yet but I'm hoping to give it a shot within the next few weeks. For what its worth, here's a little non-pier fishing news (maybe when your site becomes enormous someday you could add charter boat or surf/shore fishing reports also). I went off the Aquarius last weekend for a 3/4 day run during the last storm. In some pretty rough seas and rain I caught a few different types of rockfish, two red snappers (1 1/2-2 lb.), one barracuda (on a dead squid-go figure), a big boccacio about 3 lbs., and a nice sized mackerel which at first fooled me for a bonito. This weekend I am going to Monterey County to do some wild boar hunting and on Sunday I'm going to give Moss Landing (not the pier -- the state park) a try. A thing I wanted to mention to you was that me and my buddy were thinking about making a video on pier fishing in California and airing it on public access. I don't see why it wouldn't be pretty cool if we put some effort into it. One final thing I wanted to ask you was if you have ever tried to eat shovelnose shark. I think it tastes great but I wonder why it doesn't get as much respect as some other species. It is one of the few species of fish that I target when I go out on the pier. What do you think???


Hi Robert,

I think the meat of shovelnose guitarfish is great. If you get a chance check out my archived Fish of the Month on shovelnose guitarfish. Also, in one of the early comments pages (I forget which month but one of the early ones) there is a magazine article I wrote on guitarfish. It has some similar thought on the good quality of guitarfish meat.

The video sounds great -- let me know if you ever do it.


Date: April 9, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Matt S
Subject: An Idea!

Hey Ken. I just managed to fish the morning at Pillar Point. Only caught a stray perch. For some reason, all of the fish are out of the harbor. I have talked with many anglers and they have fished the whole week and caught zilch. Well, I've been having better luck at Lake Merced. Anyway, I had an idea. Because so many reporters are out there fishing on piers, I think that you should make a jacket or t-shirt or something that a reporter could wear that says "official pier reporter" or something. It could be bright orange or something that would attract attention. This way, all us reporters could identify and meet each other if we happen to be visiting the same pier. I thought that would be kinda cool 'cause I would like to meet some people with the same people in common. What do you think?

Matt

P.S.- my striped bass pictures are being developed as we speak


Hi Matt,

Sounds good but I can't afford to provide such an item until this site begins to make some money. As is, I rarely make enough on the sales of the books to pay the webmaster. However, some reporters have bought the pier rat t-shirts and perhaps people will begin to see them and make connections.

I am thinking of asking the various reporters for pictures of themselves (with fish?) and perhaps will show them on the reports page -- if they want to do it. I'm also thinking of listing them more prominently on the reports' page. But the site is basically a one man, low budget site so far, so things move a little slowly.

Got to go but I continue to wish you success on your search for the big fish -- and I'm also hoping I get a chance to drop down there in the near future.

Best wishes, Ken


Date: April 11, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Mark Grim
Subject: T - Shirt and Book

Hi Ken,

Thanks for the T- Shirt and the book that you sent me. I was really pleased to get a signed book from you. The shirt looks great and I've already worn it several times - but not out fishing yet - it's too darned cold for T-Shirts yet.

Mark


Hi Mark,

I'm glad you liked the shirt; in fact, I was going to send you a note asking for your feeling about the shirt. I think they look nice but also feel I'll need to order some more colors. What do you think would be good? I'm hoping that if I order a larger quantity I can get the price down to where it is a little more affordable. Also glad you liked the book. I felt it was the least I could do to thank you for your help.

Hope you're getting a chance to go fishing. I haven't, but plan to be out several days during the next week. I hope to hit the Bodega Bay area, Point Arena, and to spend a couple of days down in the Bay Area. By the way, there has been a pretty good striper bite over at the Pacifica Pier (Matt caught a 13 pounder).

Best wishes and hope you catch a big one!!!


Hi Ken,

I have a few suggestions concerning your shirts. I think that the natural colored one that you sent me is great. The shirt seems to be made of a very durable fabric. I think that the "Pier Rat" design would look good on either red or black colored shirts in addition to the natural one.

I have a couple of other suggestions. I like to wear long sleeved T-shirts. That may be another style that you could add to your selection. Also, I think that it would be neat to add your book and web site name and URL to the shirts. Maybe on the back of the shirt or down the sleeve on a long sleeved shirt.

I haven't been able to go out fishing for a couple weeks, but am planning to go out soon.

Mark


Hi Mark,

Great ideas and I'll see what I can do. Best wishes and hope the weather improves as well as the fishing.

Ken


Date: April 11, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Matt S
Subject: Stripers

Ken,

They have been catching lots and lots of stripers at the pier this week. I called twice and it sounds like this season's stripers are either going to be numerous or they are just passing through early. Hope you can get down here sometime to fish for 'em!

Matt


Hi Matt,

I'm hoping to get down there at the end of next week -- maybe Friday -- but I'm not sure yet if it will work out.

Best wishes, Ken


Ken,

Well, how unfortunate that this timing was so wrong! This Friday is the day that I'm going to have to go down to Santa Maria for my grandfather's birthday. I will not even have time to try the southern California piers! My whole weekend. . . . shot. I'm so bummed! So I hope that we could meet some other weekend or something.

Matt

P.S.- Did I tell you about the proposal to possibly tear down Pacifica Pier?


Matt,

Sorry you will not be there that weekend. What's this about the Pacific Pier?????


Well Ken,

The Pier story is kinda scary. You see, before I left the pier the last time I fished there, my friend told me that there was a petition in the bait shop that anglers were signing to not take down the pier. I also overheard an angler talking about how the treatment facility that the pipe under the pier runs to is shutting down or something so they won't be needing the pier! I cant believe that they are planning that! I sure hope that the petition comes through. Next time I go, I will sign it. Maybe we should strap ourselves to the pier or something. . . . . .

Matt

P.S.- I got my photos back! I will send you a couple of pictures soon.

Hi Matt,


I'll try to find out what is going on with the pier. Also, I look forward to that picture.

Best, Ken


Date: April 13, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Russ
Subject: Fishing in California

Hi there,

I enjoyed browsing your site. I have a question maybe you could answer. I am planning a business trip to the LA area in May and would like to do some surf fishing. My main question is does California require a fishing license for salt water fishing? I was in Georgia last summer and a license was not required for fishing saltwater. Also maybe you could give me ideas where to try in that area. For sure I will watch your reports at that time.

Thanks for your help.

Good Fishing

Hello again,

I found the license info in your links section . Thanks a lot. I would still like any recommendations you may have.

Thanks again.


Hi Russ,

Glad you found the information. Yes, a license is required with one exception -- fishing from public piers in the state. As for surf fishing, I must admit I'm not an expert for the Los Angeles area. However, I have heard some good reports from people who've been fishing in the Malibu area recently. The pier at Malibu is currently closed but anglers shore fishing from either side of the pier are reporting quite a few fish. By the way, an EXCELLENT source for surf fishing news is Wylie's Tackle Shop on the Coast Highway in Malibu. He carries quite a bit of live bait and always seems to know where the fish are hitting.

Other areas where I've heard good reports recently are the beach areas near the Hermosa Beach Pier and down near the Long Beach area. The small beach at Paradise Cove (the private beach in Malibu where they filmed the Rockford Files) can also offer some interesting action at times.

That may give you a start but I'll keep my ears open for any other surf action that might be of interest (and halibut usually start to hit by May).

Best wishes, Ken Jones, The Pier Fisherman


Date: April 13, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Ben A
Subject: Pier Fishing

Hey Ken,

Haven't been fishing nearly enough lately... it has been too rainy...although I made it down to Aliso rocks a few weeks ago. Caught ten opaleye on peas and ghost shrimp, and the garibaldi were wide open (frown)...

Other than that, my brothers have gone mud marlin-ing in the rain.... had lots of runs in the Balboa areas and the back bay...the biggest bat ray to come up was over 100 pounds and five feet from wing tip to wingtip. They lost some that they estimated to be a lot bigger. Hey, that's fishing.

Anyway, take care and pray to the sun god to get some decent weather. Keep me posted on the runs and funs, and we'll talk to you soon.

Best wishes,

Ben


Hi Ben,

Sounds like there are still fish around. By the way, I love to catch bat rays. They put up a great fight and taste good -- although today I generally release all I catch.

Best wishes, Ken Jones


Date: April 14, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Jack McLaughlin
Subject: Fish Update from Santa Cruz Breakwater

Hi Ken!

Page looks great, thanks for the link. I think I will forward my fishing reports as they come in, feel free to use whatever parts you see fit, or reply for more info. My reports are informative and contain scientific and picture links to most parts. I use a digital camera and have just updated my original site

SANTA CRUZ, CA -- Thursday, April 9th was a great day to fish the Santa Cruz South Swell Breakwater: full moon, Giants on the tune box, incoming tide and very hungry perch!

After chasing away several Norwegian Wharf Rats from the rocks, Steve and Jack began catching perch at a furious rate ... only problem, most were very pregnant and returned. However, Steve landed a nice rubberlip and a pair of red rock crabs.

Jack proceeded to get hot, landing a handful of meaty rubberlips. After losing his last rig to the rocks, he enjoyed some of the local Santa Cruz beauty. Steve and Jack remind you to kick 'em back, best of luck and "good creature hunting.


Jack,

Thanks for the info. Wish I were down there to catch some of those rubberlips; they're fun to catch. But up here (Mendocino County), the striped seaperch are making a good showing and they're running good size.

Best wishes, Ken


Date: April 14, 1998
To: Boyd Grant
From: Ken Jones
Subject: The Shirt

Hi Boyd,

How did you like the shirt? Hoping things are going well and that the weather has improved enough that you're getting a chance to go out there and catch a few fish.

Happy Easter, Ken


Ken -

Love the shirt -- it's beautiful and I am proud to wear it ... think I'm going to have your website URL stenciled across the back...might as well give credit where credit is due.

Maybe I will go fishing this weekend -- last couple of weekends spoiled by fresh mud in the water. The weather has turned unseasonably cold - we've even had snow down to 2500'.

Yes -- I'd be glad to look at the local chapters and maybe I can find the info on the giant Black Sea Bass that I've been meaning to look for again.

Later -

Boyd


Date: April 15, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Mike Katz
Subject: Fish and crabs at Santa Barbara

Dear Ken: Last Friday evening they finally moved the barrier fence on the wharf to the back of my shop and made room for fishing. Then, wouldn't you know, Saturday it rained so hard I closed the shop and went home.

We have been picking up quite a few buttermouth perch, some short halibut and lots and lots of red-rock crabs averaging six or seven inches. No big ones. One couple on Sunday went home with ten or fifteen of them. I got one spider crab that was about a nine pounder.

It has been very windy here every day so the party boats are reluctant to go out.

Mike


Hi Mike,

Glad to hear you are back in business -- and that some fish are biting. Maybe if the water stays warm you will have a good fishing year and you'll be able to recoup some of the lost sales.

Best wishes, Ken


Date: April 15, 1998
To: Milton Love
From: Ken Jones
Subject: Link/Fish Kill

Mr. Love,

A couple of questions:

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

    My site is: Pier Fishing in California
    http://www.pacific.net/~kjcapfsh/

  2. One of my readers reported that he has seen large numbers of dead barred surfperch in the Oceano/Pismo Beach recently. The fish were in large groups in the surf area. He asked my thoughts and I told him that I have heard of fish (rockfish are the ones I recall) that occasionally get knocked around in rough weather and die. Does this sound plausible? It was bad news since anglers had been catching some really huge barred surfperch in the area -- some reports saying a couple were in the 4-pound class.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts. By the way, I own and have enjoyed reading your book.

Sincerely, Ken Jones, The Pier Fisherman


Hi

Sure, I love having my site linked.

The dead surfperch issue is interesting. On several occasions, various fishes have been cast up on shore during storms. The best known occurred off Pt. Joe by Monterey a number of years back. All sorts of fishes were killed in that one. But have the waves been big enough to cause that sort of damage? Other than storm damage, I don't know what else could cause the problem.

**Milton Love Phone (805) 893-2935

Marine Science Institute Fax:(805) 893-8062

University of California e-mail:love@lifesci.UCSB.edu

Santa Barbara, CA 93106

"We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars."

Oscar Wilde


Mr. Love,

Thanks for your reply.

The site will be linked and I'll let my reporter know that the fish may have died as the result of the storms.

Thanks for your help.

Ken Jones


Date: April 16, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Tom K
Subject: Pier Fishing in California

Just happened to come across your web site . Didn't see price for your book Pier Fishing in California?


Hi Tom,

I've got to check that out! The price is $15.95 which includes the shipping and tax. Let me know if you want a book.

Best wishes, Ken Jones, The Pier Fisherman


Date: April 16, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Boyd Grant
Subject: Found it!

Ken -

Here is the article from the Santa Barbara Daily News, October 23, 1925, four months after the big quake that leveled the city:

GIANT SEA BASS LANDED AFTER LONG BATTLE

Biggest Fish of the Year

R. A. Hendricks brought in the biggest fish of the year late yesterday afternoon, when he landed a 453-pound black sea bass at Stearn's Wharf after a hard fight that lasted nearly two hours. He was fishing on the side of the wharf opposite the pile driver when the big fish struck. He played the fish from the wharf until he had broken one of the handles on his reel and was nearly exhausted. He said this morning that the fish made forty to fifty runs out to the end of his 150 yards of line. Each time the fish apparently tired and allowed himself to be towed back to the wharf by the fisherman. Finally Mr. Hendricks jumped into a row boat that was alongside the wharf. The fish was tied to the boat and the fight continued. Several times the big fish was worked in alongside of the boat, but would suddenly break away for another run. A small .22- caliber rifle was brought into play as the fish came alongside of the boat for the final time and five shots stopped the fight. The fish was hauled up the stairs to the wharf and then brought to J. L. Hendricks' store on Estado.* Many Santa Barbara fishermen saw the huge fish this morning. It measured seven feet three inches from tip to tip and two feet across the tail.


(* Following the earthquake the town was rebuilt in the then popular Spanish Revival style and the main street, State Street, was renamed Estado. It has since reverted to its original spelling -- Boyd)

Boyd

Boyd,

Fantastic article. I'm going to put it in the next Games 'n Things -- and of course give you credit. That should be the record by the way.

Thanks for your help,

Ken


Date: April 19, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Audrey
Subject: Huntington Beach Pier

Hi Ken,

For April, fishing started with a bang, with corbinas and spotfins being caught off mussels and worms, leopard sharks abounding, but it looks like its heading for a so far bleak ending. For the past week and a half, only small throw'em-back perches have been the mainstay. Not even mackerels back yet at the end of the pier. I'll let you know if this changes by month's end. I'm going back out there today.

Audrey


Audrey,

As the water warms the fishing for croakers should pick up. Are they still doing construction down there by the front of the pier?

Best wishes, Ken


Ken,

Things did pick up for about 3-4 weeks. We were catching all sorts of fish, even baby bass (of course those went back, but it was a good sign). We were surprised that things died down like they did. Like the day before yesterday, beautiful day, a little breezy, but the water was completely quiet and there were no fish to be had by anyone. Weird.

Yes, they're still doing construction of the restaurant and amphitheater, due to open in this June.

Audrey


Date: April 17, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Cary G
Subject: Antioch

Hey Ken,

I'm going up to the Antioch Pier this Sat. I'll drop you a line (no pun intended) and let you know, how it goes out there and what others say. So what about you? Any fishing this beautiful weekend? If so best of luck!!!!

CARY G


Hi Cary,

I wish you luck at Antioch. Yes, I got over to Point Arena Thursday and I plan to go down to Bodega Bay tomorrow to check out 3-4 piers in that area. The perch are supposed to be putting on a fairly decent show but we'll see.

Best wishes, Ken


Hey Ken

Well not to many big fish biting out there. I got a few little guys, nothing more than a foot long. It seemed to be the case, for everyone else as well All and all I still had a great time. By the way, you reported in the Antioch report earlier, that Bails Bait and Tackle closed down. Well yes it did, but there is another bait place about 1/4 of a mile down the road. Its extremely brand new, and the shelves aren't even on the wall. The place is called Catcha's. That might be spelled with a (G) not sure sorry. Anyway its at 3500 East 18th street. I know the report went on to say that there wasn't any bait stores for miles around after the closing of Bails. Well now there is, so if no has reported this to you might want let people know. Well I hope you had better luck at catching the big ones. You have a good one.

Cary


Hi Cary,

Thanks for the information -- I'll put it in the next report.

As for myself, I caught some fish but mainly they were just LARGE, 14-16" jacksmelt. However, I was catching them on a light outfit and they were fun to catch even if I didn't keep any. I tried the Lucas Wharf in Bodega and the Miller Park Pier in Tomales Bay but by the afternoon (I got a late start since I took my wife with me) the wind was really roarin' down there and it made fishing a little tough.

It was a fun day but made me wonder if I should have traveled down to Pacifica, my original destination for the weekend.

Best wishes and keep in touch. Ken


Date: April 19, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Keith
Subject: Lawson's Landing

Was at Lawson's Landing Friday and Saturday April 17 &18. I didn't get much chance to fish as I was there with my scout troop, but people who were fishing from the pier were catching flounders and a few perch, usually during the high tides. At low tide, most of the pier was out of the water. Usual bait was mussels or pile worms. There aren't any grass shrimp (fresh or frozen) to be found in the SF area at this time.

Keith


Hi Keith,

I just missed you. Took my wife and traveled down to Bodega Bay on Saturday the 18th. After a good breakfast at the Tides we traveled over to the Lucas Wharf where I fished and she read a book. Not much was going on but I did find a school of nice sized, 14-16' jacksmelt and caught a whole bunch using a light outfit baited with pile worms. I let the jacksmelt go but they're fun to catch.

We then traveled down to the pier at Miller Park in Tomales Bay which unfortunately was about half out of the water when I got there (approximately 3 p.m.). It was windy and the water was very muddy but I gave it a 45-minute try with only a couple of light nibbles. I missed that pier in my first book and am trying to get in some trips to it for evaluation before my second book comes out. Unfortunately I haven't had too much luck there. It should be good for perch at times, some flatfish, and sharks and rays. Unfortunately, the sign says the park is closed from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. -- prime shark and bat ray times.

I still want to try the pier at the Marin Rod and Gun Club but it must wait until after my daughter's wedding next weekend. My son was married about four weeks ago and now my daughter is set to go. Hopefully I'll have some more time for fishing when things settle down.

Best wishes, Ken


Date: April 21, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Boyd Grant
Subject: April Report

Ken -

Finally managed to get a couple days at Goleta this past week. Water was clear and cold down to 56. No bait fish at all. I caught a 14" calico in the kelp (sw corner of pier) but that was it. The only other fish I saw either day was a 6" shiner perch. I checked with Fernando (a regular who always manages to catch perch or corbina) and even he came up empty handed. He did say he had seen a couple of halibut (shorts) in the past week so maybe... Did notice both porpoises and whales working the bottom at the end of the pier. Sent you a clipping about a whale trapped in the pilings at Gaviota as well.

Hope all is well with you and yours.

Boyd.


Hi Boyd,

Thanks for the information! By the way, I put your information in the new Games 'n Things Page and am just waiting for my webmaster to do the page. The page has quite a bit of information and even an editorial this time.

Best wishes and hope you catch a 20-pound halibut on your next visit to Goleta!!! Also, is Gaviota still closed?

Ken


Date: April 22, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Helen J
Subject: Crystal Pier, Shelter Island, Coronado; ghost shrimp

Hi Ken,

I wanted to belatedly thank you for the info on croaker and ghost shrimp spots. I've been so busy I haven't tried them yet. There was some action though on some of the piers in San Diego within the past week or so. Aside from some small to medium sized barred, walleye, smelt too big for bait, dirty water, and seaweed, Crystal Pier yielded nothing. A couple of days ago at Shelter Island, people were catching very few mackerel and fewer barred sand bass on squid, frozen anchovies, and ghost shrimp, though one turbot and a nice, 25" halibut came up on live 'chovies. I caught a nice sculpin, and some small bass (and lost a big one) at night at Coronado, and saw someone with three nice spotted sand bass. Small schools of smelt are in too, so it looks like things may be slowly picking up there.

Just a couple of questions:

  1. Where--at the tideline, ankle-deep water, on muddy bottoms, near rocks--do ghost shrimp generally make their "homes?"
  2. Would low tide be a better time to seek them?
  3. What's the best way to keep them alive? bucket with some water, sand, and an aerator? Baggies with water-soaked Styrofoam sponges (Shelter Island bait shop method)?

Hope fishing's been good with you,

Helen


Hi Helen,

Glad to hear there are a few fish around. Would you happen to know what is going on at the Ocean Beach Pier? Is it open, damaged, what?

In answer to your questions:

  1. Most types of ghost shrimp are found on muddy bottoms of bays and I've generally found most of the shrimp in areas out of the water (after the tide has gone down a bit). You can get them when the water is covering the mud but it is harder and the results are not any better. As I think I mentioned before there are several areas in Mission Bay that are good. Years ago people used to go down by the Tijuana Slough and get a lot of ghost shrimp but I'm not sure that would be a good idea: (A) It may not be safe -- I'm not sure. (B) I think that the water there is often polluted and thus not the best area to be taking a stroll.
  2. As mentioned, low tides are more favorable times.
  3. As for keeping them alive, a bucket with water works fine for a fishing trip. They will stay lively for most of a day -- especially if it isn't too hot. Add some new water occasionally. If you plan to keep them alive for several days then yes, use an aerator. The baggie approach will work for a period of time but really is only a short term approach.

Keep in touch and hope you catch some big ones!!!

Best wishes, Ken Jones, The Pier Fisherman


Date: April 23, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Mark A Grim
Subject: Report

Hi Ken,

Here are my fishing reports for this month. The fishing around here is really picking up. I noticed a lot more fishermen out on the piers than usual even on weekdays. Maybe they have all been waiting for the nice weather, I know that I sure have been.

My family will be heading up to Seattle again this summer. We plan to be there during the middle of June and I'm looking forward to some good fishing.

Mark

Antioch Bridge Pier -- Fishing here is beginning to pick up. The last few months have been very slow. The striped bass are back and many small shakers are keeping anglers busy at this pier. Although most of the fish being caught are too small to keep, it is a welcome change to the slow days since the beginning of the year. Best baits to try are either frozen anchovies or sardines. A few fishermen have picked up striped bass up to 25 inches long.

On a recent trip here, I went through a one pound bag of frozen anchovies in an hour and a half. I was getting lots of bites within moments of the baited hooks hitting the bottom. Many anglers were catching undersized striped bass. I saw one lucky fisherman pull in a barely legal 19 incher and heard reports of a 29 incher caught earlier that morning. Still lots of debris floating and being pulled up onto the pier thanks to El Nino.

City of Antioch Pier -- I rarely see anyone fishing out on this pier. I haven't had a lot of luck fishing here, but I usually always catch at least a couple of fish. I was able to catch two small stripers here on my last visit. I saw a few larger fish jumping out of the water near the center of the river (well out of my casting range).

Antioch Marina Pier -- The catfish were biting here both last month and during my visits to this pier this month. I dug up some worms in my garden while planting and used them to catch the catfish on one trip and used frozen anchovies the next time. I caught the catfish between the pier and "Humphrey's" restaurant. I also hooked a couple of small striped bass off of the anchovies.


Hi Mark,

Thanks for the report!!

By the way, have you heard of the Eckley Fishing Pier? Supposedly it is built, or being built, at Eckley Cove between Martinez and Crockett. Evidently it will be managed by the East Bay Regional Park District -- the same as Point Pinole and the Antioch Bridge Pier.

Also, have a great time in Seattle and make sure that some of that fishing is from the Washington piers (and I now have a chart showing, I think, 50+ piers up there).

Best wishes, Ken


Date: April 24, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Helen J
Subject: Crystal, Shelter Island, Coronado; ghost shrimp

Hi Ken,

Thanks for answering my questions re: ghost shrimp so promptly. I'm assuming that at low tide, the holes that ghost shrimp burrow should be visible. How's fishing been for you? We went to Coronado last night during a really high tide (6.4) and caught some barely legal bass, though I lost an estimated 4 pounder when the bottom hook of my high-low rig broke--quite upsetting and exciting. Several more questions: is live smelt, which I assume is a good bait for halibut, also a good bait for barred sand and spotted bay bass? If so, around what size smelt? Finally, do you know of any good bait and tackle shops near the Coronado Pier? As of now, we're driving down to Imperial Beach to Cox Bait and Tackle and this other liquor, bait and tackle shop located on Palm Ave, which takes us a bit out of our way to Coronado.

Thanks so much for all the advice you've been providing,

Helen


Hi Helen,

Thanks again for your last report. I just got the e-mail working on my computer after a lapse of over a week so I apologize for my tardy response. Hope the fishing is good and you've been able to find some ghost shrimp.

As for the smelt, they are pretty good bait for bass, sharks and rays as well as the halibut. They are not good bait for croakers. Generally small smelt, 3-4 inches long make the best bait. One of the nice things about the smelt is that they are fairly sturdy and will stay alive quite a while on a hook -- much longer than anchovies.

Best wishes, Ken Jones


Dear Ken,

Thanks for the info on bait smelt size. We've been using them unsuccessfully up to about 6" long--apparently too large. On a more encouraging note, we've been catching some nice size spotted bay and sand bass, ranging in size from 1-3 lbs in some cove in San Diego Bay, on cut frozen anchovies (we still haven't been able to catch ghost shrimp, primarily because we've been trying during middle tide). How has fishing been with you?

Best, Helen


Date: April 24, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Matt S
Subject: Pacifica Pier

Ken,

Got some disturbing news about Pacifica. I talked to the bait shop and it seems that the city is building a new plant on the shorefront so they will not need a pier. They say it will be finished in around 9 months or something and they do not need the pier, so its "iffy" right now. They also said that the city never really liked the pier since it wasn't a tourist attraction and they had to keep on maintaining it, but I think that it is a great place for anglers and family! Oh well. Like you said, hope, hope. . . . .

Matt


Hi Matt,

Just got the e-mail part of my computer working again after being down for a week or so. I'm VERY sorry to hear about Pacifica Pier. If you see any articles in the local papers about the situation I'd appreciate you sending me a copy. I'm sending letters down to the city officials but don't know what response I will get.

By the way, any recent fishing success?

Best wishes, Ken


Date: April 27, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Jeff G
Subject: Striped Bass

Ken,

Since you are required to have a Striped Bass Sticker on your California License for normal fishing, what about on the Pier where no license is required?

Jeff G, Oakland


Hi Jeff,

My understanding is that you need a striper stamp even though you're not supposed to need a license on a public pier. Not sure what you're supposed to stick the stamp on! Sounds like one of those crazy state laws that makes the average Joe want to pull a few hairs out. By the way, sorry for the delay but I just got my computer fixed.

Good luck fishing. Anything happening down in Berkeley?

Best wishes, Ken


Ken,

I went to the Berkeley Pier about a week ago. Real slow. My guess is that the Bay is being flushed with a lot of fresh water. Saw one Striped Bass taken. We caught a couple of kingfish and that was it. No sharks yet.