|California Pier Report — March 2013
San Diego County Piers
Imperial Beach Pier – No report this month. 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 — Randy, at the pier’s bait shop, said things are picking up a little. Baitfish—anchovies and small sardines—have started to show up and the mackerel are right behind them. A few sand bass are also hitting and perch action in the mid-pier area isn’t too bad. Shore wise has seen some big wave action and things have been slow. The water is still cold but evidently starting to warm. 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, says some pelagics are showing up at the end; mostly it’s mackerel and jacksmelt but there’s also an occasional flurry of action from small sardines. Inshore, a few perch are hitting but the perch really never showed up as much as expected this winter. Sharays action is pretty much dead due at least in some part that few are fishing for them. Long range planning — the kid’s derby is scheduled for August 10. 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 — No report, 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 — No report, 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 said almost all of the action has been on jacksmelt and mackerel; both species although plentiful, are still not providing what he would call hot action. He says bottom action is dead; says he hasn’t seen a shark or a ray for a month but things should pick up. 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. 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 – Dennis at Fathom Biestro Bait & Tackle on the pier says things are finally starting to pick up after a slow January and February, He says some halibut are starting to show, a 19-inch calico bass was caught last week, and an unusual midshipman was landed. He says quite a few small perch are also showing up — usually in the early evening hours. The water is still cold but should start to warm. 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 — Ed, at the pier’s bait shop, says things have been slow. Inshore about 3-5 large spotfin croakers are being taken most days. Nice fish but few number of croakers in general. Some small walleye surfperch still show up but that’s about it inshore. Mid-pier sees some buttermouth (black perch) adown by the pilings nd from mid-pier to the end quite a few sardines are showing up (use Sabikis). But it’s very slow on the bottom, no halibut or sharays. The water temperature is 56 degrees, two degrees up from last month but still low. 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 — Ive heard reports of a few yellowfin croakers and jacksmelt being available. 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 — Ivan, at Hogan's Bait And Tackle, 34320 Pacific Coast Hwy, Dana Point, says surfperch continue to show in good numbers in the surf area, both the larger barred surfperch and the smaller walleyes. Lugworms and Berkeley camo-colored worms seem to be getting most of the fish. Quite a few small two-foot long leopard sharks are also showing inshore; remember to release the small pups if you hook one since they’re illegal at that size. Larger sharays, a variety, are hitting mid-pier to the end with the usual baits being best—sardines, fresh mackerel (if you have some) and of course squid. It’s still slow on mackerel. 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 — Ivan at Hogan's Bait And Tackle, 34320 Pacific Coast Hwy, Dana Point, says a lot of large jacksmelt continue to be caught (on strips of squid or mussel) as well as small 1-2-pound yellowfin croakers (on lugworms). Quite a few bat rays and thornbacks have also been taken with lugworms. 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, “We are getting lots of sardines into the surf. They are much too big for good live bait, but we are trying them anyway. Yesterday there were some just the right-sized smelt. Nothing wanted them either. There's a few walleyed perch, but they are small. Although the weather has been pretty, it has been cold a lot of the time. The water temperature went up one degree this week to 58 degrees. More will help. We are seeing a few whales still going south. There are quite a few dolphins, the large ones, giving us good shows. We keep hoping things will improve. After catching that first keeper halibut in January, we feel it might be a better year. We'll see.” 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 — Usually about the same as Balboa. 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 — Karen at Let’s Go Fishing (on the pier), said most of the action has been on perch and croakers with the best area (as usual) being the inshore area. She says they’re hitting a variety of baits including fresh mussels and lugworms. A few halibut have also been landed including one 18-inch fish. Mid-pier to end a lot of crabs are also being taken (not sure what kind). She says it’s been dead on sharks and rays. How To Get There: Highway 1 (Pacific Coast Highway) to Huntington Beach and the pier.
Seal Beach Pier — Shawn at Big Fish Bait & Tackle. 1780-C. Pacific Coast Hwy, reports things are fairly slow although some croakers and perch are showing inshore. For the perch, try lugworms or bloodworms, for the spotfins use fresh mussels. Mid-pier to the end is basically dead both on the bottom and the top. Only halibut action lately has been from the jetties. 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 this month; 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, we 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, we 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’s the usual mix of fish—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) – Expect some calico (kelp) bass, opaleye, and the assorted bottom species—sheephead, halfmoon, blacksmith, etc. 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 – No report this month. 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 — Sam at the pier’s bait shop said things are pretty dead. He’s seeing a few mackerel but it’s not steady action. Under the pier it’s the usual small perch and perch-like species. Nothing big to report this month. 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 (and he is the expert), says the people fishing the piers on this stretch of beach should be hitting the shorelines because there are still a lot of barred surfperch being caught. Further out on the piers is‘s slow at this time. 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 — Mainly expect a few surfperch inshore. How To Get There: From Sepulveda Boulevard, turn west on Manhattan Beach Drive and follow it to the pier.
Venice Pier — Mainly expect a few surfperch inshore. How To Get There: Highway 1 to Washington St., turn west and follow Washington St. to the pier.
Santa Monica Pier — Brenda at the pier’s bait shop said action has been a little slow although one angler did manager to pull in a 14-pound halibut and another large one was lost at the top. She said there are a few mackerel here and there and an occasional shark and ray (including at least one thresher shark). Not much else although lizardfish are common. 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 most of the action is on surfperch, primarily walleyes, but a few short halibut are being landed as well as small sharks (probably baby leopards). She says there hasn’t been any action on top to speak of, a few jacksmelt but no mackerel. Inshore, corbina continue to be spotted but rarely hooked. 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 — Jacksmelt should be in good supply. 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 are good numbers of perch in the inshore area—barred, calico and walleye. 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 the bait shop on the wharf reports most of the action is on large jacksmelt and increasing numbers of sardines. He has a feeling things are about ready to break open but it hasn’t happened as of yet. 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 — No report this month. 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 — A PFIC report said walleye surfperch and jacksmelt are available. How To Get There: From Highway 101 simply take the Gaviota State Park turnoff.