Third Edition

Contest - Create A Fish!

Although we ran the contest for six months, no one entered the contest! Therefor,no one gets the free mystery prize which we were going to give away. Whew, I guessI will not have to close my bank account after all!

However, here are a couple of pictures of nonsensical-type fish which you mighthave proposed -- and a couple that are real, although you can hardly tell it by theirlooks.

Nitty Gritty Pier Trivia Quiz #3

The correct answers can be found in Pier Fishing in California. If you don't ownthe book, GET IT NOW -- or, wait for the next Games 'n Things page to see the correctanswers. If you really, really can't wait, send me an e-mail message.

Santa Monica Pier

Ocean Beach Pier

Pier 7

Crystal Pier

Capitola Wharf

San Mateo Pier

Manhattan Beach Pier

Adorni Fishing Pier

Candlestick Point Pier

South Beach Harbor Marina Pier
  1. The Round House Marine Lab sits out at the end of this pier.
  2. This is the only pier on the West Coast with cabins built over the blue Pacific.
  3. The new Pacific Park amusement park is located on this pier.
  4. This pier sits next to the future home of the San Francisco Giants.
  5. This pier is supposed to be the longest concrete pier in the world.
  6. This pier sits in the oldest seaside resort on the Pacific Coast.
  7. This pier is part of a beautiful recreation center.
  8. A common name among anglers who fish this pier is the shark pier. What is the real name?
  9. This pier sits next to the current home of the San Francisco Giants.
  10. More commercials are filmed at this pier than any other pier in northern California.

Play the interactive Trivia Quiz! (Requires theRoadster plugin.)

Favorite Piers

The last potpourri page asked viewers to vote for their favorite piers. The resultswere less than expected but a few people did vote. Herein are there responses:

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........

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.

From: Mark Grim
Subject: Favorite Piers

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 Grim ~^~^~^~^
^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^ Antioch CA ~^~^~^~^~^

Out Fishin'

By Edgar A. Guest

A feller isn't thinkin' mean -- out fishin';
His thoughts are mostly good and clean -- out fishin';
He doesn't knock his fellow man,
Or harbor any grudges then;
A feller's at his finest when -- out fishin'.

The rich are comrades to the poor -- out fishin';
All brothers of a common lure -- out fishin';
The urchin with the pin and string
Can chum with millionaire an' king;
Vain pride is a forgotten thing -- out fishin'.

A feller gets a chance to dream -- out fishin';
He learns the beauties of a stream -- out fishin';
An' he can wash his soul in air
That ain't foul with selfish care,
And relish plain an' simple fare -- out fishin'.

A feller has no time for hate -- out fishin';
He ain't eager to be great -- out fishin';
He ain't thinkin' thoughts of self,
Or goods stacked high upon a shelf,
But he's always just himself -- out fishin'.

A feller's glad to be a friend -- out fishin';
A helping hand he'll always lend -- out fishin';
The brotherhood of rod an' line,
An' sky an' stream is always fine'
Men come real close to God's design -- out fishin'.

A feller isn't plottin' schemes -- out fishin';
He's only busy with his dreams -- out fishin';
His livery's a coat of tan;
His creed's to do the best he can;
A feller's always mostly man -- out fishin'.

Outdoor California
January-February 1976

Alien Crabs in Pacifica?

Do you remember Audrey's letter from May? It concerned a strange looking crabin Pacifica. Since I finally developed my film, I'm ready to show the spider crabpicture which is mentioned at the bottom of the letter. What do you think?

Date: May 10 1997
To: Ken Jones
From: Audrey
Subject: Alien Crabs in Pacifica

Hi Ken,

Its your Huntington Beach reporter with a question I haven't been able to get answered yet from everyone I've asked.

Thursday, I went crabbing and fishing at Pacifica pier, and caught your usual assortment of small croakers and rock crabs. Then, at about 11:30 PM (we started fishing at 8:30-9 PM), we pulled up this alien looking huge crab in our net (we were at the very end of the L shaped pier). We were hesitant to even pull it onto the pier. It has a huge bulbous back end that narrowed down to a point where its head was. It has 5 large and long legs on each side, with negligible claws. I'm not sure how big it was but my guess is 8-10 inches thereabouts. We kept it and a friend took it home. The other crabbers on the pier couldn't identify it. Any ideas? I'd appreciate any help.

Thanks, Audrey

Hi Audrey,

I'm not an expert on crabs but it sounds like some type of spider crab; I've seen some spiders that are really unusual looking (including having things like sponges growing on their backs). But, as I said, I'm not an expert. However, I'll get a couple of books out and see if it can be identified.

By the way, if you could get a good picture of it (showing some detail), we could put the picture on the net and ask for comments. This has been an unusual year for spider crabs with unusually large catches of unusually large crabs at several spots along the coast.

Best wishes, Ken


I found a page with a very similar picture, but the crab I caught was red, not blue. Please take a look if you can, cause the description is a bit frightening to me (though too fantastic to be the one I caught!!)
The one on the page is a Soldier Crab.

Thanks, Audrey


The picture of the crab is VERY INTERESTING! As soon as I get the film developed I will put a picture of a spider crab on the net.

South Australian soldier crab

Spider crab caught in Santa Barbara Wharf

Nitty Gritty Pier Trivia Quiz Answers to the July/September Quiz
  1. Belmont Shores Pier
  2. Paradise Cove Pier
  3. Candlestick Point Pier
  4. Vallejo Pier
  5. Newport Pier
  6. Green Pleasure Pier - Avalon
  7. Aliso Beach Pier
  8. Cabezon
  9. Striped Bass
  10. senorita

Old Pictures

Another interesting letter was one that was received in October from Boyd Grant,our reporter for the Gaviota and Goleta Piers. It contained an old picture takenat the Santa Cruz Wharf back in the '40s and I thought you might find it interesting.

To: Ken Jones
From: Boyd Grant
Subject: "The good old days"

Ken -

Thought you might be interested in this ... I copied it from the Pelagic Shark Research Foundation's web site:

Here's the text:

A local fisherman poses behind a single night's catch of sharks at the Santa Cruz Fisherman's Wharf in the late summer 1946. It isn't like it used to be. The catch includes a 900 lb. white shark, several thresher sharks, and three soupfins. The sharks were caught on long lines baited with mackerel and sardines. According to the old school fisherman there were more and bigger everything back in the days. Basking sharks were all over the place and 1000 lb mola-molas were common.

Another old picture is taken from a turn-of-the-century postcard. The picture is of a 400-pound black sea bass taken from (or near) the Santa Cruz Wharf.

Good Organizations

International Game Fish Association
United Anglers of Southern California
United Anglers of California
Professional Surf & Shore Casters' Association