Potpourri - April, May & June '97


California's Longest Piers

Although backers of several piers proudly proclaim that their pier is the longest, here are the facts. HONEST! No, really. Would I lie to you?
Pier Length Comments
1. San Mateo Pier 4,135 Feet Part of the old San Mateo Bridge
2. Berkeley Pier 3,000 Feet An old pier originally used by cars to reach the Berkeley-San Francisco ferry
3. Santa Cruz Wharf 2,745 Feet Large old commercial wharf - mainly recreation/tourist
4. Santa Monica Pier 2,000 Feet Much of the first part is over the beach instead of the water - recreation/tourist
5. Ravenswood Pier 2,000 Feet West end of the old Dumbarton Bridge
6. Dumbarton Pier 2,000 Feet East end of the old Dumbarton Bridge
7. Ocean Beach Pier 1,971 Feet Supposedly the longest concrete pier in the world
8. Ventura Pier 1,958 Feet Supposedly the longest wooden pier in California
9. Stearns Wharf 1,950 Feet Large commercial wharf - mainly recreation/tourist
10. Oceanside Pier 1,942 Feet Some sources say 1,950 feet long
11. Seal Beach Pier 1,865 Feet
12. San Francisco Muni Pier 1,850 Feet
13. Huntington Beach Pier 1,830 Feet
14. Avila Pier 1,685 Feet
15. Monterey Wharf #2 1,636 Feet Large commercial wharf - mainly commercial fishing



Largest Fish From a California Pier?

As far as we know, a 435 pound Black Sea Bass (now called Giant Sea Bass) taken at the Newport Pier in 1937 was the largest fish ever landed at a California Pier.

The largest fish at a northern California pier was a 194 pound White Sturgeon taken at the Vallejo Pier in 1980.

Bat rays exceeding 200 pounds have been reported although the largest pictures we have seen of the rays was a 175 pound bat ray caught at the Aliso Beach Pier in 1984 and a 175 pound bat ray taken from the Newport Pier. A 200+ pound hammerhead shark is also reported from the Newport Pier.

Giant Sea Bass

We would welcome any records that could be authenticated from the various piers.



Contest - Create A Fish!

Win a free autographed copy of Pier Fishing in California

Prizes will be awarded for the best designs in each of the following categories: MacFish and PC Fish. What is it, what does it look like? We don't know. If we did, we wouldn't be giving away this free stuff.

All entries must be received by me by June 1, 1997 and can be sent by either E-mail (kjcapfsh@pacific.net) or by snail-mail (Ken Jones, The Pier Fisherman, P.O.Box 529, Boonville, CA 95415). The winning drawings/designs will be judged by a panel of sober but otherwise wacky group of fish/computer enthusiasts. Hard copy entries will be returned only if accompanied by a self addressed, stamped envelope.



Contest - Name That Pier!
Be the first person to correctly identify this pier and win an autographed copy of Pier Fishing in California.
Pier Image
(Click to enlarge!)

All entries must be received by me by June 1, 1997 and can be sent by either E-mail (kjcapfsh@pacific.net) or by snail-mail (Ken Jones, The Pier Fisherman, P.O.Box 529, Boonville, CA 95415).



Play the Nitty Gritty Pier Trivia Quiz

The correct answers can be found in Pier Fishing in California. If you don't own the book, GET ONE NOW -- or, wait for the next potpourri page to see the correct answers. Email your answers to me (kjcapfsh@pacific.net), and the first 3 people to correctly answer the questions will get their name in the "Winners list!"



Winners List!
Winner #1 Winner #2 Winner #3
No winners yet! Get your name here!



The Answers!
(In no particular order)
Citizen's Dock Imperial Beach Pier
Elephant Rock Pier Seacliff State Beach Pier
Leopard Shark Round Stingray
Bat Ray Berkeley Pier
Brown Smoothhound Shark Common Thresher Shark



  1. The end of this pier is a sunken "concrete ship."
  2. This pier calls itself the most "southwesterly pier in the United States."
  3. This pier was built by the citizens of the town after a tidal wave washed away their former wharf.
  4. This pier was the first to be funded and renovated by the California Wildlife Conservation Board.
  5. When built, this pier was supposed to be reserved for kids.
  6. Population very dependent on water temperature; as the water temperature rises so does the presence of these fish.
  7. These are a major pest in areas that grow oysters commercially.
  8. Extremely common in San Francisco Bay; one of the most numerous fish at some piers.
  9. Caught throughout California but most common in San Francisco Bay.
  10. Typically found in deep water but ventures surfside at night (so they can visit the piers).



Guitarfish #1
(click to enlarge)
Can YOU tell which is the real guitarfish?
Guitarfish #2
(click to enlarge)

Above image ©1979 Seafood Music (BMI)




Fishing Jokes

With apologies to the Cotton Patch Fishing Page

Dedicated to my Danish son Martin and my Finnish daughter Marjaana!

A Dane, a Finn, a Norwegian and a Swede, all Chairmen of multinational Scandinavian companies, were having a morning stroll on Pier 7 in San Francisco. They were enjoying a break from the International Business Strategy Seminar being held in a nearby 5-star hotel. As they walked along, they noticed a pier fisherman who was relaxing on a bench. Two large fish were near his feet. They mentioned to him where they were from and asked about the fish. He smiled broadly and spoke to each of them in their native tongue. They were amazed to meet a seemingly poor fisherman speaking such perfect foreign languages. They asked him what he was doing on the pier. He said he was waiting for customers who were coming to the pier in a couple of hours to buy his fish. He expected to make a $20 profit. The Swede, a little surprised at this intelligent man wasting his time sitting on the pier, asked him why he did not go out and catch some more fish before the customers arrived. The fisherman queried him as to what he would do with more fish. The Finn said that he would get more money if he sold more fish. The fisherman appeared confused and asked what he would do with more money. The Dane explained that he could buy a small boat, go out to sea and catch more fish. The confusion of the fisherman appeared to grow. He asked what he would do with even more fish. The Norwegian quipped that he would get even more money and possibly be able to buy a good Norwegian trawler to catch more fish. The fisherman was astounded -- he asked them what he would do with even more fish. The Swede was now impatient. He told the fisherman that he could fish in international waters and catch more fish and make more money. In fact, he could become a rich man. The fisherman was taken aback. He asked them what he would do with all the money he got. The Finn was quick to tell him that he could form a multinational company, get others to do his work, and then relax on the pier, enjoying the fresh air and sunshine. The fisherman looked at them incredulously. He asked them a simple question -- "What am I doing here just now?"

Hope none of you get offended!

President Clinton is setting on a pier, fishing with an older man. Clinton looks over toward the man and says "I love you MAN." The older man replies, "You're not getting my beer or my vote."

I always say tackle doesn't matter!

There were two friends, Jack and Bob. They loved to go fishing on the pier each week. Jack was an expert fisherman, but Bob was just O.K. All Jack had to do was cast his line out and he would pull in fish after fish, but poor Bob often could not catch a single fish! One day Bob said "I'm gonna go buy the exact same fishing pole as you, Jack." So he went to the store and did just that. But, poor Bob still had terrible luck. Bob noticed that Jack always sat in the same spot to fish. Jack agreed to switch places with him. But, poor Bob still did not catch one single fish that day, while Jack reeled them in one after the other. Bob noticed that Jack wore the same vest and hat (complete with a large assortment of lures on it) every time they went fishing. "That must be the lucky trick!" said Bob. So he went to the store and bought a vest and hat with lures just like Jack. So they went back to the pier. But, this time Bob, looking like Jack, sat in Jack's spot with the fishing pole, just like Jack's, and in Jack's spot. "Surely I'll catch just one fish!" All of a sudden a huge fish popped his head out of the water, looked at Bob and said, "Hey! You're not Jack!"

Pat, I would never do this!

Two avid anglers were fishing on a pier that was near the highway. A funeral procession passed by and one of the anglers took his hat off and laid it across his heart. The other fisherman said, "That's one of the nicest things I've ever seen anyone do." The angler put his hat back on as the procession passed and said, "Yea, we would have been married 22 years tomorrow.

Oldies but goodies!

A young chap was passing by an old timer who was casting out on the pier. "Hey mister", he said as he stopped to watch. "Catch'n any fish?" The old man smiled as he looked up and said, "Yup, I caught a 27 pound, 3 1/4 ounce halibut just a few minutes ago. I got him to within three feet of the pier surface before he broke my leader." "Come on", said the boy, "How'd ya know what he weighed if ya didn't land em?" "Heck", said the old timer, "that was easy, at three feet I could read the scales on his back."

A man died and went to Heaven, where Saint Peter told him he couldn't get in because he told too many lies. The man replied, "Come on, let me in, you used to be a fisherman too."


Two guys are sitting on a pier fishing. The weather is awful: rain, cold, wind, and no fish. One says to the other, "Can you imagine, some crazy fools hunt ducks in weather like this?"



Good Organizations
International Game Fish Association
United Anglers of Southern California
Ocean Fish Protective Association
(extinct)
United Anglers of California






This page will be next updated on July 15, 1997