|California Pier Report — December 2011
San Diego County Piers
Imperial Beach Pier – Matt from Cox Bait and Tackle (966 Palm Ave.) reports there’s been an uptick in the surfperch activity along with the normal queenfish, croaker, and baitfish activity. Surprising is the thresher shark action that continues to yield up a few of the longtails —including one reported 50-pounder this week. How To Get There: From I-5 take the Palm Ave. (Hwy. 75) exit and follow it to where Palm Ave. and Hwy. 75 divide. Follow Palm Ave. to Seacoast Dr., turn left and it will take you right to the pier.
Ocean Beach Pier — Kyle, at the pier’s bait shop, said things have been really slow. Mackerel are available, as well as some queenfish, but other than that it’s most sharks and rays on the bottom. How To Get There: From the north, take I-5 to the Sea World Dr. exit and follow it until it turns off to Sunset Cliffs Blvd. From the south, take I- 5 to the Nimitz Blvd. exit, then follow that road to Sunset Cliffs Blvd. Follow Sunset Cliffs Blvd. to Newport Ave., turn right and follow the road to the pier parking lot.
Crystal Pier – James, at the Crystal Pier Bait & Tackle Shop on the pier, says the perch fishing is picking up, a combination of barred surfperch and walleye surfperch. The best bait for the bigger barred surfperch have been live ghost shrimp. Other than that it’s a few croakers, a few shovelnose guitarfish, and lots of jacksmelt. Most of the baitfish have disappeared with the exception of tiny smelt; no mackerel or sardines. How To get There: Take I-5 to Garnet Ave. then take Garnet west to the foot of the pier. (A license is required from this pier).
Pepper Park Pier — Need a reporter! How To Get There: From I-5 take the 24th Street off-ramp west to Tidelands Avenue and go left (south) on Tidelands to the end.
Bayside Park Pier — Need a reporter! How To Get There: From I-5 take the J Street off ramp and go west. Take J Street to Tidelands Ave., turn right. Take Tidelands to Sandpiper Way, turn right. Take Sandpiper to Bayside Parkway, urn left and follow the road to the park.
Embarcadero Marina Pier — James at the pier’s bait shop reports a really good bite on the mackerel, especially when the tide rolls in during the morning. It’s Sabiki time with anglers getting 3-4 per cast (which I don’t particularly like) but they’re happy. However, other than the mackerel it’s slow. How To Get There: From the I-5 south, take the Front Street exit south to Market (just stay on Front Street, it runs into Market), take Market west to Harbor Dr. Turn left on Harbor Dr. and take it to 8th Ave., turn right onto Convention Way (formerly Harbor St.). Follow it a short block to 5th Ave. and the pier. It seems that with the new Convention Center the city is constantly working on these streets near the pier and renaming them; if you get confused remember that the park and pier are immediately to the southwest of the Convention Center. From I-5 North, approaching from the south, take the J Street exit, then go straight, three blocks up to Market, turn left and take it from there.
Ferry Landing Pier (Coronado) – No report, need a reporter. Some bass, mackerel and halibut should be available. How To Get There: From San Diego, take the Coronado Bay Bridge (Highway 75) to Coronado. Once over the bridge you are on Third Street. Simply follow it to B Avenue, turn right, and follow it to the front of The Old Ferry Landing - the intersection of First Street and B Avenue. The pier sits behind the shops in the complex.
Shelter Island Pier – Bill, at the Shelter Island Pier bait shop, says it’s hit and miss action with mackerel and bass providing most of the action. How To Get There: Take I-5 or I-8 to Rosecrans (Hwy. 209) and go west, turn left at Shelter Island Dr. and follow the road until you see the pier and the entrance to the parking lot.
Oceanside Pier — Jeff, at the pier bait shop, says things have slowed although they are still picking up quite a few small halibut mid-pier along with continued success on threshers out at the end of the pier. Inshore a few croakers continue to bite but, as said it’s slowing down, and the barred surfperch haven’t really shown to date. There does continue to be good action on mackerel and sardines. How To Get There: From I-5 take the Harbor Dr. exit off the freeway, follow it and it will wind down to the harbor; where the road splits stay to the right on North Harbor Dr., and follow it to the pier.
Oceanside Harbor Pier — No report. How To Get There: From I-5 take the Harbor Dr. exit off the freeway, follow it and it will wind down to the harbor; where the road splits stay to the right on North Harbor Dr., and follow it to the pier.
Orange County Piers
San Clemente Pier — Austin, at Hogan's Bait And Tackle, 34320 Pacific Coast Hwy, Dana Point, reports that croaker continue to show up inshore to mid-pier while a few corbina are showing in the shallow waters. Out at the end it’s mainly a few sharays — mostly thornbacks (throw-em-backs) and shovelnose. How to Get There: From I-5 take any of several exit streets west to El Camino Real, follow it to the center of town, and from there take Del Mar down to the pier.
Dana Harbor Pier — Austin at Hogan's Bait And Tackle, 34320 Pacific Coast Hwy, Dana Point, reports that anglers are picking up a few spotted bay bass, some croakers, and an occasional halibut (including some legal-size fish). How To Get There: The pier is located in the Dana Cove Park area of Dana Point Harbor. From the Pacific Coast Highway take Green Lantern Road south to the harbor, turn left on Cove Road, and follow it to the pier.
Balboa Pier — Our reporter Snookie says “Not too much to report. We catch a few bait. We catch some little halibut. Of course there are mackerel farther out than we fish. There are some thornbacks and some jacksmelt. There have been some nice surfperch on Gulp worms. The weather has been pretty nice for the time of the year it is. The water is warmer by quite a few degrees than it was last year.” How To Get There: From the Pacific Coast Highway take Newport Blvd. which will turn into Balboa Blvd., follow it west to Palm Street. Turn right and follow it to the pier and the adjacent parking lot.
Newport Pier — It’s much the same as Balboa although you get more snaggers/poachers at the foot of the pier. How To Get There: From the Pacific Coast Highway take the Newport Blvd. turnoff and proceed west watching for signs directing traffic to the pier. The pier sits at the foot of McFadden Place.
Huntington Beach Pier — Marion at Let’s Go Fishing (on the pier), says anglers continue to pull in nice sized yellowfin and spotfin croakers (up to about 3 pounds) while a few surfperch also enter into the mix. At the end of the pier fisherman continue to pull in some thresher sharks and bat rays but she says the sizes have really dropped — nothing big lately. She says there aren’t too many mackerel or baitfish around. How To Get There: Highway 1 (Pacific Coast Highway) to Huntington Beach and the pier.
Seal Beach Pier — Robert at Big Fish Bait & Tackle. 1780-C. Pacific Coast Hwy, says anglers are starting to pick up some nice barred surfperch inshore (use fresh mussels, lugworms or ghost shrimp) while the croaker bite is starting to slow. Surprisingly, quite a few halibut are showing up including some keepers (live bait or frozen anchovies). There is also some continued action on mackerel and jacksmelt, while out at the end the thresher action is starting to slow down. How To Get There: From the Pacific Coast Highway simply take Main St. west and follow it to the pier.
Los Angeles County Piers
Belmont Pier — No report, need a reporter. How To Get There: From the north take I-405 to the Lakewood Boulevard turnoff, and then go south to 7th Street, turn west (right) until you come to Ximeno Ave. and then turn left. Follow it to Livingston Dr. and go west. You will see signs by Ocean Ave. and Termino Ave. indicating the pier. From the south take the Pacific Coast Highway to 2nd. Street (Westminister becomes 2nd. Street when it crosses PCH), go west, follow to Livingston Dr. Follow it to signs by Ocean Ave. and Termino Ave. indicating the pier and parking lot.
Shoreline Aquatic Park Piers — No report, need a reporter. How To Get There: From inland areas take I-710 south and follow it to the Shoreline Drive. From downtown Long Beach, take Pine Avenue south to Shoreline Drive. For the northernmost piers follow Shoreline Avenue west and follow it around the lagoon to where the street ends. For the southernmost piers, follow Shoreline Drive east to the markings for Shoreline Village, continue past the shopping complex, and follow the road out to near the end of the peninsula. You will see the piers.
Cabrillo Pier — No report, need a reporter. How To Get There: Take the Harbor Freeway (I-110) south; it will turn into Gaffey St. Follow it to 22nd Street and turn left. Follow 22nd St. to Pacific Ave. and turn right. Follow Pacific Ave. to 36th Street and the entrance to Cabrillo Park.
Green Pleasure Pier (Avalon, Catalina Island) – It sounds like the usual mix of fish is available—small kelp bass, rock wrasse, senorita, opaleye, sheephead, halfmoon and blacksmith. How To Get There: The trick here is to get to Catalina. Ships and helicopters make the journey several times a day from the Port of Los Angeles, Long Beach and Newport Beach. Information is available on all of these by calling the Avalon Chamber of Commerce on the Pleasure Pier (213) 510-1520 or the Visitor's Information & Service Center (213) 510-2500. Once in Avalon there should be no problem in finding the pier, which is located at the foot of Catalina Avenue.
Cabrillo Mole (Avalon, Catalina Island) – It’s the usual species. Expect some opaleye, bass and the assorted bottom species—sheephead, halfmoon, blacksmith, etc. Bonito have been absent and even the lobsters haven’t really shown this winter. How To Get There: The trick is to get to Catalina. Ships and helicopters make the journey several times a day from the Port of Los Angeles, Long Beach and Newport Beach. Information is available on all of these by calling the Avalon Chamber of Commerce on the Pleasure Pier (213) 510-1520 or the Visitor's Information & Service Center (213) 510-2500. Once in Avalon there should be no problem in finding the mole that sits right where most boats disembark.
Redondo Beach Pier – Pete at Just Fishing By Pete. 2427 190th St. Redondo Beach says there’s still mackerel. He says the DF&G has also done some sting operations on lobster poachers at the pier and several people have been nabbed. That’s what we like to see. How To Get There: From the Pacific Coast Highway, take Torrance Blvd. west to the foot of the pier and the parking lot.
Redondo Sportfishing Pier — Lisa at the Sportfishing shop on the pier says the action has been slow; most of the action is on short calicos and the small perch and perch-like fish under the pier—opaleye, halfmoon, blacksmith, black perch, etc. How To Get There: From the Pacific Coast Highway take Beryl St. west to Harbor Dr. and follow it to the entrance of the Sportfishing parking lot.
Hermosa Beach Pier— Pete at Just Fishing By Pete. 2427 190th St. Redondo Beach says there’s some mackerel on the pier along with barred surfperch starting to bite inshore but he says the real action is on perch and striped bass in the surf (but few are seeking them). How To Get There: Take the Pacific Coast Highway (Hwy 1) to Pier Avenue and follow Pier Avenue west to the pier.
Manhattan Beach Pier – Ditto Hermosa How To Get There: From Sepulveda Boulevard, turn west on Manhattan Beach Drive and follow it to the pier.
Venice Pier — Ditto Hermosa. How To Get There: Highway 1 to Washington St., turn west and follow Washington St. to the pier.
Santa Monica Pier — Brenda, at the Santa Monica Pier Bait Shop, reports a mixed bag of mackerel, perch and sharays—with the sharks primarily hitting early in the morning while the mackerel come and go throughout the day. If seeking out the perch fish under the pier by the pilings. How To Get There: From I-405 take Santa Monica Blvd. west to Ocean Ave. Turn left, go to Colorado Ave., and turn right onto the pier.
Malibu Pier – Ginny at Wylie’s Bait and Tackle says anglers are starting to pick up some nice barred surfperch inshore while mid-pier quite a few halibut continue to be landed (mostly short 18-19” fish). Other than that it’s mainly jacksmelt. How To Get There: The pier fronts on the Pacific Coast Highway (Hwy 1) so just drive until you see it.
Ventura & Santa Barbara County Piers
Port Hueneme Pier — PFIC reports sound like it’s fairly slow although a few halibut have been landed. No mackerel or sardines were reported. How To Get There: From Highway 1 take Hueneme Rd. west until it turns into Port. At Ventura Rd turn left and follow it to Surfside Dr. Turn left again and follow it to the park.
Ventura Pier — PFIC Reports indicate there’s a few barred surfperch around (and it should get better). Fairly slow on other species. How To Get There: From Highway 101 take the Seaward Drive exit west to Harbor Drive, turn right and follow it to the pier.
Stearns Wharf — Frank, at Stearns Wharf Bait and Tackle, said it’s 80% jacksmelt with a smattering of mackerel, lizardfish and shiners making up the rest of the fish. He hasn’t seen any halibut lately or any sharays. How To Get There: From Highway 101 take Castillo St. or State St. west to the beach and follow signs to the pier.
Goleta Pier — It sounds like it’s the normal species for the most part—a few rockfish from the pipe reef, some bass, and a pelagic when the schools decide to show up. How To Get There: From Highway 101 take the Hwy. 217/Airport exit. Follow it to Sandspit Rd. and the Goleta Beach Park turnoff. Follow this to the park and the pier.
Gaviota Pier — No report. How To Get There: From Highway 101 simply take the Gaviota State Park turnoff.
Last edited by Ken Jones on Wed Nov 30, 2011 5:04 pm; edited 1 time in total