|California Pier Report — July 2008
San Diego County Piers
Imperial Beach Pier – Mike at the Tin Fish at the end of the pier reports anglers taking good numbers mackerel along with sardines on the top while a plethora of sharay species are hitting on the bottom—shovelnose, pinback and bat ray. A nice thresher shark was also reported. 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 — Billy Burns, at the Ocean Beach Pier tackle shop on the pier, reports some interesting variety with sheephead and sargo being found inshore to mid-shore along with the usual queenfish, kingfish and perch. Halibut to 30-inches are showing up and some bass—calico and sand—also making an appearance. Barracuda show during the day, mackerel show up at sundown, and the sharks and rays show at night. 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 – Meggan at the Crystal Pier (and motel) says it’s the usual—mainly perch and croakers in the shallower water along with round stingrays. There’s good action on jacksmelt at the end along with way too many small giant (black) sea bass but at least all (as far as she knows) have been returned to the water in good shape. 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 although a few bass and croakers should be hanging around. 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. 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, turn left and follow the road to the park.
Embarcadero Marina Pier — James at JJ’s Sunset Deli (foot of the pier) says the “mackerel have decided to wake up” which, along with improved action on bass, means the fishermen are happy. Halibut action is slow but there continues to be good action on sharks and rays, mainly rays. 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) – Some mackerel are beginning to show along with bass and too many stingrays. No report on halibut. 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 – Ed, at Sharkey’s B&T on the pier, says things have slowed recently— a few mackerel, bass and sharays. Water temperature is actually several degrees colder than the piers further south in the bay. He also heard that the IGF Kid’s Fishing Derby is tentatively scheduled for August 2. 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 — The pier is seeing some mackerel action mid-pier to the end along with croakers inshore while the usual sharks and rays continue to provide thrills for the shark addicts. 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 — The pier is kicking out some decent croakers and bass, a few halibut, and some decent-sized rays 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 — Sheryl, at Schleppy’s Bait and Tackle at the end of the pier, says fishing is good. Much of the attention lately has been given to a pretty good calico (kelp) bass bite at the end but good numbers of croakers—mainly yellowfins but some spotfins—continue to be taken inshore to mid-pier. Sharay action continues good but less of the exotics have shown recently. Instead, it’s the usual shovelnose, leopard shark, throw-‘em-back, bat ray mix. 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 — No report this month. 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, “The ocean is still unsettled, but the temperatures have risen to 72 degrees. Lots of kelp is passing through every day. There is lots of bait to be had. Most of the bait is from the middle tee to the end. It is smelt of all sizes and some Spanish jacks. We are catching quite a few undersized halibut, shovelnose guitarfish and nice sized yellowfin croakers. Some of the shovelnose guitarfish have been almost 60 inches in length. There were 2 keeper halibut caught today by one person in the middle of the pier. There have been several white seabass caught, but of course all undersized. There has been little "pencil" barries caught on our snaglines but no legals yet. The halfmoons (blue perch) were there today in various sizes and very hungry for the snaglines. The fishing and the catching is starting. Snookie.” 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—and don’t forget the spider crabs. 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 HB is seeing good action on big spotfin croakers and yellowfin croakers inshore while a few legal halibut and leopard sharks have added to the fun. Zebraperch are apparently hanging out at the end of end of the pier along with some big bat rays. How To Get There: Highway 1 (Pacific Coast Highway) to Huntington Beach and the pier.
Seal Beach Pier — Mark at Big Fish Bait & Tackle. 1780-C. Pacific Coast Hwy said the pier was really crowded with the recent hot weather but the fishing has also been good. Inshore there’s been good action on spotfin and yellowfin croaker along with a few corbina and some rubberlip perch. Mid-pier to the end is seeing mackerel, halibut (mostly shorts but some legals) and a few needlefish. Mid-pier to the end, in the evening, is seeing a good sand bass bite. 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 —Ross, at Paul's Bait and Tackle, 803 South Pacific Ave. in San Pedro, says Belmont is seeing some surfperch and corbina show up inshore along with the croakers. Further out on the pier there are some mackerel as well as some bass at the end. Rays and sharks show at night. 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 — The piers are yielding up good numbers of perch along with some sargo and an occasional yellowfin croaker. Halibut are also available but most have been shorts. No reports of any action on top. 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 various piers as you drive the road out to the end.
Cabrillo Pier — Ross, at Paul's Bait and Tackle, 803 South Pacific Ave. in San Pedro, says the 7/11 perch (shinerperch) have moved in around the outer portion of the perch (which should improve the number of halibut being taken). However, he says there is already a good halibut bite down by the canopy section of the pier; the flatties are being taken on Worm Kings and anchovies. The end is mainly seeing perch and a few bass. Schools of mackerel are also showing up with most of the fish being landed on Sabiki-type bait rigs. 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) – Ditto last month’s report—Lots of small bass as well as other species are available although space on the pier can be very limited. 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) – Ditto last month’s report—A mix of bass, opaleye, halfmoon and other Catalina pier species are available. The bonito come and go and they’re joined by a few barracuda and sightings of yellowtail. 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 some mackerel on top along with (surprisingly some surfperch available inshore). There’s also the occasional halibut and a few sharks and rays on the bottom. Crabbin’ seems good as usual. 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 — John, at the Redondo Sportfishing office, said there’s been a good bite on mackerel and kelp bass at the pier along with the usual perch and perch-like species under the pier—opaleye, blackperch, blacksmith, halfmoon, 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 – A mix of fish are showing including mackerel, sardines and jacksmelt on top; halibut and a few white seabass on the bottom; perch inshore. 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 the Redondo report—Pete at Just Fishing By Pete. 2427 190th St. Redondo Beach, says there’s some mackerel on top along with some surfperch available inshore. There’s also the occasional halibut and a few sharks and rays on the bottom. How To Get There: From Sepulveda Boulevard, turn west on Manhattan Beach Drive and follow it to the pier.
Burton Chace Fishing Platform (Marina Del Rey) — It sounds like some barracuda may still be available as well as a few halibut on the bottom. How To Get There: From Lincoln Boulevard turn west on Mindanao Drive and follow it to the park. To reach the dock you must go through the park.
Venice Pier — (Ditto Hermosa and Manhattan) although a few thresher sharks were also reported during the month. How To Get There: Highway 1 to Washington St., turn west and follow Washington St. to the pier.
Santa Monica Pier — John, at the Santa Monica Pier Bait & Tackle, reports all the action is on the bottom. Quite a few spotfin croakers and sargo are showing inshore while herring and piling perch are under the pier. In the evening anglers are taking a mix of sharks and rays—shovelnose guitarfish, leopards and bat rays. 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 Wylies Bait and Tackle reports some great fishing lately. A lot of bait is around the pier, including mackerel, and the shark action, in particular has been very good. Included have been some really big shovelnose sharks, leopard sharks, bat rays, and a number of threshers up to 8-feet in length. Inshore anglers are taking large yellowfin croakers and even a few corbina. 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, sardines and mackerel lead the hit parade with a few perch inshore and an increasing number of bat rays. 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 — Walleye surfperch and queenfish are available inshore, some halibut are showing mid-pier (along with some white seabass), and out at the end there’s the usual sharks. 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, reports the best halibut fishing in the past three years with multiple legal-size fish being taken every day. There’s not much else hitting on the bottom but mackerel and sardines are available on the top. The crab action (spider crabs and rock crabs) continues to be strong. 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— Goleta is kicking out some nice-sized barred surfperch inshore while decent halibut action is taking place inshore to mid-pier (including quite a few legal-size fish). However, action at the end has slowed with a mix of Sabiki-species—mackerel, sardines, walleyes and jacksmelt (but it’s hit and miss). Some rockfish (mainly browns) are available by the pipe-reef but not too many people are fishing for them. 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 — Apparently the mackerel and sardines have arrived, as well as the threshers, although the long-tails are mainly just cruising by, not biting. How To Get There: From Highway 101 simply take the Gaviota State Park turnoff.
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