|California Pier Report — June 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 — Megan, at the pier’s bait shop, said action has been a little slow. Some small smelt, perch and herring (queenfish) are available but no mackerel or other baitfish. As far as sharays, some bat rays and sharks are showing — primarily at night. Not much else. 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 things are starting to pick up although there’s been a real problem with kelp in the water that has made it almost impossible to fish at times. Spotfin and yellowfin croakers are starting to be caught and the morning I called both a corbina (on mussels) and a 20-inch shortfin corvina was caught (on a live anchovy). Some halibut have also shown up but almost all have been too small to keep (and a related flatfish, a diamond turbot, also was landed). Baitfish, including mackerel, are missing. There’s not much in the way of sharays excepting a few leopard sharks. 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 — Danica at the pier’s bait shop said most of the action has been on smelt. A few bass are also being taken but most are under-sized; ditto on a few sharks and rays. 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 – No report this month. 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 — Bill, at the pier’s bait shop, says anglers are picking up a LOT of big spotfin croakers with several in the 6-8 pound class. Inshore to mid-pier is also seeing some perch and sargo while the mid-pier area has produced quite a few halibut but almost all sub-legal in size. The end area has produced some barracuda and leopard sharks as well as some BIG mackerel. No threshers have been taken lately. 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 this month. 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 — Mitch, at Hogan's Bait And Tackle, 34320 Pacific Coast Hwy, Dana Point, says the counts on croakers, especially spotfins, are going up with most caught inshore to mid-pier. Try lugworms or cut squid. The mid-pier area is also producing some nice perch, both barred surfperch and piling perch. The end area is primarily producing sharays — bat rays and sand sharks (guitarfish). A few mackerel are also being seen but only a few. 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 — Mitch at Hogan's Bait And Tackle, 34320 Pacific Coast Hwy, Dana Point, says most of the action is on spotted bay bass, small croakers, and baby bat rays although a few halibut are also being taken by people using Lucky Craft lures. 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, “Well things have improved somewhat at the pier, but we still can't seem to catch halibut. There are quite a few yellowfin croakers being caught on small sand crabs and walleyed perch being caught by the hundreds. People still aren't paying attention to the limits. The snaggers (good ones that is) are getting some nice spotfin croakers. Our water is at 70 degrees now, but the currents are bad with the winds and swells. No more whales. The season is over for them. There are lots of people on the beach now with school almost out. The buses are bringing lots of kids for a day at the beach. Yesterday there were 9 more buses coming to Balboa as I was leaving while there were already about that many there. Let's hope for a good summer.” 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 — Mike at Let’s Go Fishing (on the pier), said tons of spotfin croaker are showing up near the bait shop with many in the 3-5 pound range; try worms or fresh mussels. Quite a few bass are also showing up along with at least one white seabass which was too small and returned to the water. Top action is producing smelt and some sardines (but no mackerel) while sharay action is primarily bat rays (with no threshers). How To Get There: Highway 1 (Pacific Coast Highway) to Huntington Beach and the pier.
Seal Beach Pier — Poly at Big Fish B&T reports a surge in inshore action with spotfin croaker (on ghost shrimp), yellowfin croaker (on fresh mussel), and corbina (on lug worms and mussel) making an appearance. It’s been dead on halibut, and dead on sharks and rays with the exception of some bat rays. 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 although the good news is that live bait is now available at the pier. 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. Remember the new size limits for kelp bass—14 inches minimum length and no more than five bass total. 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 — Scott at the pier’s bait shop says there’s been a mild calico bite and a decent bite on sargo and perch (watch the tides). But, it’s been dead on mackerel and no halibut have been seen. I imagine there are still the small perch and perch-like species under the pier. 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 some surfperch and yellowfin croakers being caught. Further out on the piers it’s a mix and though there are some fish to be had most people do not know how to get 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 — Pretty much the same as Hermosa. How To Get There: From Sepulveda Boulevard, turn west on Manhattan Beach Drive and follow it to the pier.
Venice Pier — Pretty much the same as 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 pier’s bait shop said action continues to be slow but a few mackerel and perch are showing up along with an occasional shark and ray. 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 things are beginning to pick up with quite a few halibut (try Lucky Craft lures) being landed as well as some BIG sargo (on squid strips) and tons of lizardfish (good halibut bait). She says there are lots of weeds in the water and that both mackerel and thresh sharks have been no shows lately. 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 — No report this month. 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 continue to be some perch and croakers being taken. 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 says almost everything is showing up except sardines and mackerel. The most unusual catch lately was a monkeyface eel (caught on a Sabiki baited with squid) but also a number of Johnny bass have also been taken. Some small bat rays and small shovelnose have also been taken (and released) but no halibut. 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 — No report this month, need a reporter. How To Get There: From Highway 101 simply take the Gaviota State Park turnoff.