Visitor Comments and Letters - July '97

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
July 3, 1997
To: Ken Jones
From: Paul Tomasura
Subject: Newport Pier

Hi there!

I will be in Newport on a business trip on the week of July 14th. I live in Florida and do a lot of fishing from the surf and rivers for Snook, Redfish, Trout and Tarpon. Since I will have a few hours in the morning, I was planning to bring my rod but I have no idea what to bring.

I enjoy using artificials as opposed to bait so my questions are:

Is there fishing from the beach? If so for what?

On the pier is it strictly bait fishing? What types of fish are caught? How high are the piers?

Any recommendations you have on the types of fish I can target and what kind of equipment I will need is greatly appreciated.

Nice job on your Web Page, Paul

Hi Paul,

I just visited Newport a couple of weeks ago and the fishing on the pier was pretty good - but I'm not sure that it is your kind of fishing. On the pier, anglers were catching mackerel (around a couple of pounds each) on bait and on lures - mostly spoons. However, a few bonito were also being caught, mostly on bonito feathers or flies which trailed a splasher. Most of the other fish were hitting on bait. A good number of large guitarfish were being landed as well as some of the smaller perch. Most anglers use a medium action rod of about 8-foot length together with a light/medium saltwater reel capable of handling 15-30 pound test line and a 2-4 ounce sinker depending upon conditions. If you go to the pier I suggest early morning or in the evening when it isn't as crowded (and the fish hit better).

A few fish are hitting in the surf but mostly it is croakers and corbina and for the most part it is bait fishing. Anglers can try plastic grubs but they are better on the perch than on the croakers and the perch bite is fairly slow at this time. You can try fairly light tackle on these beaches if the wind is calm.

What you might want to do is try some skiff fishing in the Newport Bay. Light tackle action on several species can be terrific during the summer. Artificials like worms, scampis and grubs can take sand bass and spotted sand bass as well as halibut. Spinners and spoons will attract an occasional mackerel or bonito. Bait can help you land croakers, sargo, bass, halibut and several other medium size species. Most of the skiff fishing is light tackle fishing (6-8 pound test) yet it can provide a lot of excitement. If you decide to give the skiff fishing a try, call Davey's Locker at the Balboa Pavilion and they can provide both boats and advice on the best spots to try.

Finally, the 1/2 day boats and full day boats are having a banner year for deep sea species. It would probably provide the closest thing you would see as far as some of the large species which you seek. But, be prepared for some full (maybe crowded) boats. Again, Davey's Locker is a good place to try and they can provide some good advice. By the way, if you've never tried live bait party boat fishing on the West Coast it is worth an effort to make a trip. It is quite different than most of the boats I have been on when fishing the East Coast. As far as tackle, a medium action saltwater rod and reel (6-7 foot length with a light tip) is generally preferred.

There is a plethora of possibilities and I hope you are able to try at least one form of the fishing in the area.

Best wishes, Ken Jones, The Pier Fisherman

Ken,

Thanks for the information. I will definitely try the pier in the mornings to kill time (I want to keep on the Eastern Time zone so I'll be up at 4:00 in the mornings.) If I get a free afternoon I think I will also try the skiff fishing too.

Thanks again for you help!!

Paul, soon to be Pier Fisherman

Paul,

Best of luck at the Newport Pier! That pier was my home base for a couple of years when I first began to pier fish and is still one of my favorite places to visit. Don't hesitate to ask the regulars what kind of bait/tackle is working for the fish; they generally welcome giving advice to newcomers.

Also, let me know how you do at the pier -- maybe I'll include it in the monthly report.

Best wishes, Ken Jones



Date
July 4, 1997
To: Ken Jones
From: Boyd Grant
Subject: Pier of the Month - Stearns Wharf

Thank you for capturing in words so many of my impressions from almost 50 years of fishing that historical pier. My father first fished the Wharf with his father before 1920.

We have always called them ronkies which we knew was short for roncadors but never knew why or thought to question. So I did a search and came up with this site which matches it in name at least. What do you think?

http://www.wfc.com.br/fishing/peixes/salt/roncador/roncador.htm

Looking forward to getting your book, Boyd Grant

Boyd,

Thanks for your kind words. I couldn't read the information on the site (since it was in Spanish) but I'm going to do a little more research and find out where/when roncador/ronkie began to be used.

Do you still fish at the pier and if so, how do you do?

Best wishes, Ken Jones, The Pier Fisherman

Ken,

Sorry I took so long in getting back to you but I was deeply involved in your book and couldn't tear myself away. To say that I'm impressed is an understatement. Several years ago I thought that I might want to do a book on the wooden fishing piers in California when I retired ... now I don't have to - I can devote myself entirely to Pier Fishing! Thank you.

By the way - I'm 53 - I started fishing the Wharf when I was 5. And yes, I still fish one of the local piers at least once a week. For the past 7-8 years I fished Goleta exclusively trying to recapture the morning when I took 3 10#+ shovelnose sharks off the west side 3/4th of the way out. I was using 20# mono and anchovy cut bait, casting out over the kelp (which follows the outfall line). Apparently they were congregating there (late Spring) and for weeks I had been taking 3-4 pounders. I got 13#s of tail meat.

Goleta hasn't been too hot this year so I went back to the wharf starting 3 weeks ago - my first day (in search of some action ... ANY action!) resulted in 16 small (9-11") calico bass, 2 mackerel, 1 small shovelnose, 2 white croakers and a senorita fish. I've been there 4-5 more times since and the calico and mackerel action has been consistent.

That first weekend a woman tourist snagged a baby whale which took out several hundred yards of line before it surfaced and the line broke - maybe it was 15' long. By the end of the day it had become (for her) a 30' blue whale. Guess it just goes to show any fish, no matter how big, can always stand some exaggeration ...

I'm trying to locate a reprinted newspaper article which speaks of a several hundred # black sea bass caught in 1912 (?) off the Santa Barbara Pier - I'm sure it is in one of Walter Tompkin's books (a local historian). It talks of the gentleman tiring after many hours and going home and bringing back a rifle which he loaded into a small rowboat and dispatched the monster without further adieu. I'll send it along when I find it.

Last Friday I was at Gaviota with my son and brother following the morning high tide and caught a 19" halibut ... one of the few fish caught that morning. No action bottom fishing so I started a slow

retrieve and it picked it right up. What you said about keeping your bait moving was right on.

I could go on and on but one last anecdote that I think you will appreciate. Years ago, in my hippie '60s, I was hitchhiking outside of Boonville on the way to a cabin north of Fort Bragg when I was picked up by an elderly farmer in a pickup truck. I knew he was speaking some dialect of English but many of the nouns and verbs, though familiar sounding, were unintelligible. He was having a great time enjoying my consternation. It wasn't until some years later that I read an article (in Sunset?) that made the whole episode clear to me - he was speaking fluent Boont. Sure can make you feel like an outsider.

Thanks again for all the pleasure your book and wonderful article on Stearns Wharf have given me. It has inspired me to get serious about pier fishing which is good timing as I will retire in 3 more years.

Boyd Grant

Boyd,

An interesting letter and I'll put parts of it in the next report. By the way, would you be interested in being the reporter for the Gaviota and Goleta Piers? You wouldn't have to fish them every week but at least check them out a couple of times a month. What are people catching, what bait and tackle is working, interesting fish, etc.! Let me know if you're interested (and I would need a report around the 23-25th of each month.

Do see if you can find out the information on the black sea bass (and did you see the record on the potpourri page?)

Finally, I used to speak a little Boont but it gets a little harder each year (since so few now speak it).

Have a Bahl Dee (Have a Good Day in Boontling), Ken Jones

Ken -

I would have got back to you earlier but I'm in the process of becoming a grandfather this weekend so I spent the time with family but I did mange to fish Gaviota again Saturday afternoon ... an off day for us ... clear water, light winds and a small tide; few if any baitfish in the water. Several barred surfperch was it and nobody else was catching anything except a few mackerel off the end. The day before Josh's (my son) father-in-law caught 2 20" halibuts and 2 20" bonitas plus a 2lb cabezon - not bad for cut bait and a trout pole.

And yes, I would very much like to cover Gaviota & Goleta for you. I have several questions - Do you have a form for recording details or a particular format you would prefer? And secondly, do you have any contacts now for either area and, if so, would you mind if I got in touch with them? Lastly, any tips-suggestions-etc.?

PS: Still looking for that article on the black sea bass; especially now that it might be a contender!

Hope to hear from you soon, Boyd Grant



Date
July 13, 1997
To: Ken Jones
From: Nick in Carson
Subject: Cabrillo Beach Pier

Dear Pier fisherman

I have not seen any reports of fishing at Cabrillo beach pier in San Pedro, is there a reason?

Best regards, Nick in Carson

Nick,

I'm looking for someone to report the action at Cabrillo Beach. Do you know anyone who might be interested?

Best wishes, Ken Jones, The Pier Fisherman



Date
July 14, 1997
To: Ken Jones
From: Benjamin Szu
Subject: Yes!

Hi Ken, this is Ben. Do you remember me? I'm the firm supporter of Crystal Pier. Anyway, I'm at home now in LA and went on a few fishing trips and were they amazing. First, me and a few friends of mine went to Newport harbor and rented a 14 foot boot and cruised around the harbor. My god were there some massive fish! We only actually brought in one fish, but throughout the day we broke 2 poles and lost about 5 lines. We were getting some huge hits. A few days later my father and I headed out to Laguna at 4 a.m. We went to this rocky shore area very secluded and there I had the best fishing experience of my life. We were in between 2 private beaches, so first off, no one was there. We used mussels and shrimp and from about 5:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. we caught about 25 fish. They were all very good size too. We mainly caught Halfmoon, but also some opaleye and sargo. We were standing on the rocks the whole times with the waves threatening to crash on us all the time, but it was such a fun trip. My dad and I were using these enormous 15 foot poles with 30 pound line. A lot of snags, but used spark plugs as weights which we received free, so it was no big deal to lose them. Well, I know I'll be going there again soon. Bye.

Ben,

Sounds like you had a great time! When I lived in Costa Mesa back in the early '60s I fished the bay quite often and found it to be full of fish. I also spent a few days rock fishing down by Laguna and agree that there can be some great action on the species that you mention.

Continued good fishing! Ken Jones

Hi Ken,

It's Ben again. Just thought I would let you know that this past Saturday I went to Newport Harbor again and rented a 14' boat. Calico Bass were biting like mad! But that's about all that were out there, lots of very small halibut. I just purchased a new rod and reel and while I was shopping, I was wondering a few things and was hoping you could answer them for me. First of all, what really is the difference between fresh water and salt water rods and reels? Secondly, for saltwater, what's better, spin reels or cast reels? I just bout a Shimano AX400 spin reel and a Shimano Sojourn rod. They're both great. Hope to hear from you soon.

Ben,

There isn't much difference in reels any longer. If you buy a good brand like Shimano, it should work equally fine in either freshwater or saltwater. The important thing is to rinse off and clean your reel more frequently when you use it in saltwater.

As for spinning versus conventional reels, I say to use whatever you're comfortable with. Some people feel conventional reels are better for big fish but I've had excellent success using spinning reels. Conventional reels are preferable when you're going to be doing deep water fishing and need to use a heavy sinker.

As said, use whatever works best for you.

Later, Ken



Date
July 16, 1997
To: Ken Jones
From: Tauras
Subject: Link to your Cayucos page

I do a daily surf and beach report and would like to link to your pier page for Cayucos. Are you settled in with a long term commitment on this internet thing and if so let me know and I'll link to you, I do about 100 visitors per day, mostly local surfers and fishermen. Feel free to link to the page if you feel its something the pier fishermen would find useful.

Daily Estero Bay Surf and Beach Report:

http://www.slonet.org/~tsulaiti/SurfReport.html

~~~~Tauras Sulaitis~~~~

<<<Sty in my I>>>

Tauras,

Sounds fine, Ken Jones, The Pier Fisherman

Ken Jones, The Pier Fisherman

Your linked I'll plug you in the report tomorrow. The pier is usually very slow fishing, but like you said it has it moments at the right time of year. Landing the big ones is what separates a true pier fisherman from a bait fisherman.

--

~~~~Tauras Sulaitis~~~~

<<<Sty in my I>>>



Date
July 18, 1997
To: Ken Jones
From: Mark Grim
Subject: Favorite Piers

Hi Ken,

I liked the Potpourri Page on your site. I saved the records for future reference. I'll put together a report this weekend and send it to you. I caught one of those weird looking crabs on the Pacifica Pier a couple of years ago. I didn't even want to touch it so I dumped it back into the water.

Here is the list of my favorite piers.

  1. Antioch Bridge Pier: Its only 5 minutes from my house and I always catch lots of fish there. The wind breaks are comfortable and make good shade during the summer. The pier is well maintained and cleaned nearly daily.

  2. Pacifica Pier: Many species of fish can be caught at this pier and some large game fish (salmon and striped bass) can be caught during certain times of the year. Best pier for crabbing that I have ever been to.

  3. Oceanside Pier: Excellent pier for catching guitar fish, bonito and sometimes barracuda. The bait shop on the pier usually has a good variety of bait and suggestions for what bait is working currently.

  4. Ocean Beach Pier: The kelp forests within casting distance produce several kinds of rock fish. I've caught sea bass and sharks on this pier.

  5. Cayucos Pier: My father taught me how to fish on this pier. We used to catch loads of "little red snapper" (bocaccio) and would go back home and fry them up. I've caught mackerel and bonito here also. I have yet to catch halibut here but will continue trying on future visits.

Mark



Date
July 19, 1997
To: Ken Jones
From: Mark Grinyer
Subject: Favorite Piers

  1. Seal Beach Pier--I seem to catch more larger and better species fish here than at any of the So Cal piers that I fish. Parking is also easy

  2. Belmont Pier--Sometimes the numbers are good, but the size is small

  3. Huntington Beach Pier--Used to be better than it seems to be now. I haven't had much luck there recently but in my younger days it was pretty good.

  4. Newport Beach Pier--Because its the first So Cal pier I fished, and because I've fond memories of good action there.

  5. Dana Harbor pier--I've only fished it once, a long time ago, but got some heavyweight action on Moray eels, until they cut me off.

Generally I fish piers at night rather than the daytime, so my sense of their action is colored by that.



Date
July 22, 1997
To: Ken Jones
From: Dwight Hwang
Subject: Fort Baker

Ken,

I apologize for not writing for so long, I was in Europe, enjoying the sites for a few weeks. But now that I'm finally back, I'll be heading off to Fort Baker and Berkeley pier this upcoming weekend!

Wish me luck! Dwight Hwang

Dwight,

Sounds like you had a good trip. Last summer my wife Pat and I went to Europe for a month and had a GREAT time. Best of luck on your pier trips and let me know how you do.

Ken



Date
July 22, 1997
To: Ken Jones
From: Jeffrey Johnson
Subject: Gaviota Pier

This is an outstanding site that you have! Great job! Do you ever list Gaviota Pier?

Jeff,

I just found a reporter for the pier and there will be a report on next month's report page.

Best wishes, Ken Jones, The Pier Fisherman



Date
July 22, 1997
To: Ken Jones
From: Boyd Grant
Subject: Potpourri Page [now called Games and Things]

Ken -

I like the design and features of the new page:

- California Saltwater Angling Records: I've been looking for such a list to put in my tackle box - you never know when it might come in handy (hopefully!). What does new species/minimum weight chart refer to? Are these weights the new records or the minimum above the old record to qualify for? For example the current record for Yellowfin Croaker is 2.1 lbs and the "minimum" under new species is 2.5. Does that mean that in order to establish a new record entries must be at least 2.5 lbs?.

Speaking of size - a useful item in future potpourri's would be a chart showing a picture of a fish and its minimum length - especially if it had a descriptive paragraph which identified the key distinguishing features. Sometimes I wonder if all the "undersize" halibuts I have released over the years have really been halibuts or if some might have been sand dabs, flounders or sole. If I had such a chart I could download/print/laminate it for easy reference. I notice that some of the piers have similar charts mounted and available but many do not. It would help when you are trying to tell someone that their catch is a short and must be returned. The worst instance of someone coming afoul of the law was one I witnessed in 1989 on the Goleta Pier. A grandfather had taken his grandson for "the first fishing trip" and the kid caught a 6" Calico which he was proudly carting up and down the pier to show off. Unfortunately a game warden was present and she nailed the grandfather. His defense was that he hadn't been fishing before and didn't know about size limits and of course nothing was posted there to advise him. Even though she was surrounded by anglers coming to his defense she wouldn't relent and so the kid's first fishing experience was spoiled.

-Nitty Gritty Pier Trivia Quiz: I couldn't load the plug-in. After clicking on "download here" I was directed to the Roadster download page and after installing I got this error message saying I still needed application/x-supercard. Went back to the download site where I realized application/x-supercargo was a Mac product - is there an IBM-compatible version? I really want to try the quiz!

- Hooked on Fishing: The Kids/Seniors fishing derby is a great idea ... I'm going to see if there is any support for one here in Santa Barbara. Maybe we could get a combined Seniors/Kids derby - a take your grandchild fishing day. 'Course Elizabeth won't be old enough for a few more years but I would be willing to help out.

- Report: I enjoyed her comments and hope to get to know some more of your "reporters" in future editions. It would be nice to see pictures of some of the regulars at the piers along with short introductions - that way we could spot them while fishing and strike up a conversation. Speaking of identifying ourselves have you considered a jacket patch or T-shirt logo promoting your site - could be a nice conversation starter.

Also how about a feature including pictures of the various wheeled fishing tackle "carts" I see more and more of. Maybe some "how to build one" instructions.

Saturday night I fished Goleta from 7 PM to 1PM ... I caught the biggest sand crab I have ever seen - at least 3-4" tip to tail ... only it had fully-developed claws and almost no body meat. Was it a sand crab? Still rather a slow nite - I caught 3 small shovelnose and a small thornback. The previous Thursday I was at Ventura Pier for dinner and the only action I noticed was 1 gentleman who had a bucket-full of shiner perch and herrings which he thought were small white seabass. They were about

6" long, white and croaker-shaped and had a greenish hue top-side. Herring, right? Seemed to be too full-bodied for smelt.

Enjoyed your book immensely and am buying copies for friends and relatives because its that good! There really is something special about fishing from a pier - the people-the atmosphere and especially the views. Nothing better that the coastal panorama that you get from Stearns Wharf.

Boyd

Boyd,

Sorry for the delay but in response to your comments:

  1. A few years ago California decided to add many of the smaller size species to the records list. When they did so they published a list of minimum weights necessary to qualify. This spring, when I asked them for the current records, they sent the list which you saw on the page. Evidently the original minimum weights have not been met in every case but they are still showing records for most of those species. So, I would say if you catch a fish which exceeds the record listed submit it.

    As far as pictures and sizes, I think it is a great idea. I might be able to do a few fish at a time on the potpourri page. (Also, the identification list at the back of my book should help you with 100 species.)

  2. According to my webmaster, the Roadster page from which you download the plug should list four options of which two are for PCs. He said that if you downloaded the right PC plug he didn't think you needed supercard. Check it out and let me know if it still doesn't work.

  3. I would like to see more of these Seniors/Kids Derbies set up and I am going to make an effort to promote them whenever possible. Evidently the San Clemente Pier just had a derby.

  4. Nice idea on the reporters and I'll see what I can do. I did ask a friend who is a pretty good artist to design a California Pier Rat picture and logo (for hats, shirts, etc.) but so far I'm just waiting, and waiting, and waiting...

  5. I'm leaving Sunday for a trip to most of the piers between San Francisco and San Diego. I think I'll try to get some pictures of various carts along with anglers and their fish. I always use a cart when I visit a long pier and it really helps.

  6. The crab you caught was probably a spiny mole crab. They're usually lumped in with sand crabs but they get quite big and I'm not really sure what you could catch with one of the crabs. It would certainly take a huge surf perch to devour one of the crabs.

  7. I obviously agree with your sentiments about pier fishing.(By the way, if you want more books order them from me. I think they're cheaper and I'll autograph all you want - it helps pay for this increasingly expensive site.)

I'll be gone for the next nine days but good fishing and be sure to check out the new pages when they're uploaded on the first.

Ken



Date
July 23, 1997
To: Ken Jones
From: Ben Balos
Subject: Favorite piers

My favorite piers are Huntington, Seal Beach, Newport, Aliso Beach, and Cayucos. The reason? They're the only ones I've fished........



Date
July 28, 1997
To: Ken Jones
From: Patrick Whalen
Subject: A Hearty Thanks!!

Dear Ken,

My name is Patrick Whalen. I received your book a couple of weeks ago & have been boning up on all the info. contained within the covers. I used to fish a lot as a kid in Missouri with my dad. We used to catch a lot of catfish & the meat was plentiful. I recently visited my dad in Florida & we went fishing for the first time together in about 18 years. Well, needless to say, I got the fishing bug again & your book has been a tremendous help. I just went fishing at Port Hueneme on Saturday & was there for about 11 hours. I really enjoyed myself. Mostly I was catching mackerel on store bought shrimp & I had a surf rod out about 50-60 yards with a little perch on a large hook as bait. To my surprise I reeled in a shovelhead at about 2 1/2 - 3 feet in length and roughly 15lbs. I'm only guessing. About a half hour later I reeled in a very sizable spider crab. I'm guessing he was about 6-8 lbs. Ken, Thanks for your book & the autograph inside. You can reach me by e-mail at... I look forward to maybe seeing you at one of the Southland Piers one day. I live near the Santa Monica - Malibu Piers. I heard that the Port Hueneme pier was a very good pier to try out. After having been there to see & learn as well as learn from the book, I will be much better prepared for this weekend.

Thanks again, Patrick Whalen

Dear Patrick,

Today I was going through some old mail and spotted your note. What shocked me was that I had never replied to your message! I apologize profusely!!! Normally I reply within a couple of days at most but at that particular time I was on a fishing trip down south! Unfortunately, I somehow failed to return your message after I got back home. Anyway, thanks for your very nice remarks and I hope you have continued good success at the local piers. I'm afraid I didn't do too good when I fished Port Hueneme this year but I've had some very good trips to the pier. Let me know how you do (especially since the El Nino may bring in some exotic species).

Best wishes,

Ken Jones, The Pier Fisherman



Date
July 31, 1997
To: Ken Jones
From: Dwight Hwang
Subject: Another Fort Baker report

I just got back from Fort Baker again! This time it wasn't all that great. I came back with a few rockfish and some decent sized perch but that's it. As for the others, a jacksmelt here and there and one very large salmon. It's always windy there but that day was simply intolerable.

Dwight

Hi Dwight,

I just got back from a fishing trip down south and found your messages. Yes, Fort Baker is windy but it sounds like you had a few good days. Have you tried Angel Island yet? It costs a few dollars to get there but the fishing is generally pretty good.

As for my trips, most of the fish I catch I give away or return to the water. I do keep a few mackerel for bait during and after the trip. If I catch a good sized fish during the last 3-4 days of the trip I will fillet it, put it in a zip lock bag, and then surround it with ice. I take two ice chests with me on every trip. One is a small ice chest which I take out onto the pier. The second is a large ice chest which remains in the back of my pickup. As soon as I return home the bags go into the freezer.

As for a shark pier -- the San Mateo Bridge Pier can be excellent but I have long liked the pier at Elephant Rock (closed) and the pier on Angel Island. In the East Bay the pier at Port View Park can also be excellent.

Best wishes, Ken



Date
July 28, 1997
To: Ken Jones
From: Patrick Whalen
Subject: A Hearty Thanks!!

Dear Ken,

My name is Patrick Whalen. I received your book a couple of weeks ago & have been boning up on all the info. contained within the covers. I used to fish a lot as a kid in Missouri with my dad. We used to catch a lot of catfish & the meat was plentiful. I recently visited my dad in Florida & we went fishing for the first time together in about 18 years. Well, needless to say, I got the fishing bug again & your book has been a tremendous help. I just went fishing at Port Hueneme on Saturday & was there for about 11 hours. I really enjoyed myself. Mostly I was catching mackerel on store bought shrimp & I had a surf rod out about 50-60 yards with a little perch on a large hook as bait. To my surprise I reeled in a shovelhead at about 2 1/2 - 3 feet in length and roughly 15lbs. I'm only guessing. About a half hour later I reeled in a very sizable spider crab. I'm guessing he was about 6-8 lbs. Ken, Thanks for your book & the autograph inside. You can reach me by e-mail at... I look forward to maybe seeing you at one of the Southland Piers one day. I live near the Santa Monica - Malibu Piers. I heard that the Port Hueneme pier was a very good pier to try out. After having been there to see & learn as well as learn from the book, I will be much better prepared for this weekend.

Thanks again, Patrick Whalen

Dear Patrick,

Today I was going through some old mail and spotted your note. What shocked me was that I had never replied to your message! I apologize profusely!!! Normally I reply within a couple of days at most but at that particular time I was on a fishing trip down south! Unfortunately, I somehow failed to return your message after I got back home. Anyway, thanks for your very nice remarks and I hope you have continued good success at the local piers. I'm afraid I didn't do too good when I fished Port Hueneme this year but I've had some very good trips to the pier. Let me know how you do (especially since the El Nino may bring in some exotic species).

Best wishes,

Ken Jones, The Pier Fisherman



Date
July 31, 1997
To: Ken Jones
From: Dwight Hwang
Subject: Another Fort Baker report

I just got back from Fort Baker again! This time it wasn't all that great. I came back with a few rockfish and some decent sized perch but that's it. As for the others, a jacksmelt here and there and one very large salmon. It's always windy there but that day was simply intolerable.

Dwight

Hi Dwight,

I just got back from a fishing trip down south and found your messages. Yes, Fort Baker is windy but it sounds like you had a few good days. Have you tried Angel Island yet? It costs a few dollars to get there but the fishing is generally pretty good.

As for my trips, most of the fish I catch I give away or return to the water. I do keep a few mackerel for bait during and after the trip. If I catch a good sized fish during the last 3-4 days of the trip I will fillet it, put it in a zip lock bag, and then surround it with ice. I take two ice chests with me on every trip. One is a small ice chest which I take out onto the pier. The second is a large ice chest which remains in the back of my pickup. As soon as I return home the bags go into the freezer.

As for a shark pier -- the San Mateo Bridge Pier can be excellent but I have long liked the pier at Elephant Rock (closed) and the pier on Angel Island. In the East Bay the pier at Port View Park can also be excellent.

Best wishes, Ken



Date
July 30, 1997
To: Ken Jones
From: Dwight Hwang
Subject: Correction...

I wanted to make a quick correction on my last report from Fort Baker: It wasn't a "Bat Ray" but a "Big Skate!" Sorry for the mix-up!

And, by the way, I've been wondering about your week long fishing excursions. (I've been wanting to do that myself) What do you do with the fish you catch? Do you freeze them somehow so you can bring them home? Eat them? Give them away? I've been dreaming of "pier hopping" but I'm not sure on how to keep the fish preserved until the time I go back home. Could you enlighten me?

And do you know of a good shark pier around the San Francisco area?

Dwight