|California Pier Report — April2014
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 — No report this month. 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 – Pamela Taylor, the new owner of the pier’s bait shop, said that it was rough seas for the past two weeks which meant few anglers or fish. However, the seas have calmed and anglers are now catching fish, mainly walleye surfperch and leopard sharks. Add in a few other bottom feeders and that’s about it. 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 this month. 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 — Jollo at the pier’s bait shop (deli) said most of the recent action has been on mackerel along with a few small bass. 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! 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 Oceanside Pier Bait & Tackle, says the water’s been rough for the past couple of weeks but it appears to be settling down. Fishing though is still somewhat slow. He says a few barred surfperch are found inshore together with an occasional croaker while good numbers of walleye surfperch are found mid-pier. He says some small shovelnose sharks (guitarfish) have been landed as well the occasional thornback but “it’s still winter-like fishing at this time,” 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 — No report this month. 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, “We're working hard at it, but the fishing is picking up gradually. Randy and I each have a keeper halibut. His is 22 inches, and mine is 25 inches. Both were delicious. Now there are a lot of wall-eyed perch. The "end" people have moved into the surf area again. They won't pay any attention to the regulations, so there are a LOT of perch going home with them. We have been getting our smelt bait off and on. Some days we have to really work at it, and other times they can't wait to get on our hooks. Yesterday we had a nice surprise. The anchovies came into the surf, and we had enough for the rest of our time there. We have several friends that brought theirs to us. Randy and I only got two small halibut, but it was a strong possibility to get another keeper or two. Didn't happen! The water was murky and somewhat rough with the breeze, but we had a great time. Each time we would reel up our snaglines we would have a full amount of anchovies attached. It has been years since we have experienced that. The whales are still heading north. It'll be interested in seeing if other piers have the anchovy run as well as us” 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 — Typically about the same as at Balboa but more crowded. 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 —Nicole at Let’s Go Fishing (on the pier), said things are fairly quiet. Anglers are catching a lot of walleye surfperch on the front half of the pier using bait rigs while inshore a few yellowfin croaker are showing up. Not much else. How To Get There: Highway 1 (Pacific Coast Highway) to Huntington Beach and the pier.
Seal Beach Pier — Robert at Big Fish B&T says people are still getting some barred surfperch inshore on the usual baits—fresh mussels, lug worms, bloodworms and ghost shrimp, while a few yellowfin croaker are also showing up. Jacksmelt and mackerel make occasional appearances on top and a few, mostly small, halibut are also being caught (on live bait). As always there seems to be a good numbers of small sharks and rays. Got a report from Del on the 25th, said he caught a good number of jacksmelt, mackerel, lizardfish and tomcod (white croaker). Said another gentleman caught two halibut. I was there several weeks ago and my short two hour visit produced seven thornbacks, one halibut and one round stingray. 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 although I did make a short visit a few weeks ago. Action was slow but anglers were taken some mackerel and jacksmelt. As for myself, I managed a couple of jacksmelt, a sand bass, and some small perch. 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 although I was there a few weeks ago and caught quite a few white croaker along with a sand bass and a thornback ray. Sea worms and cut anchovies seemed to work equally well. 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, mainly illegal kelp bass (almost all under 14 inches), rock wrasse, senorita, opaleye, sheephead, halfmoon and blacksmith. Also expect some mackerel—Pacific mackerel, jack mackerel and possibly a bonito. 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, Pacific mackerel, 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. And, the bonito are back; most are smallish sized but they are still fun to catch. 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 – Sunny from Redondo Beach Tackle (on the pier) said anglers are catching mackerel but not much else. About the only thing she is seeing is an occasional mackerel. 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 and tackle shop, said each morning sees a tremendous mackerel bite for about five minutes while the rest of the day produces a sporadic calico (kelp) bass. However, I imagine small perch and perch-like species continue to hang 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— It’s mostly small perch and small sharks 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 — Expect a few surfperch inshore along with the usual mix of thornbacks, stingrays and small sharks. How To Get There: From Sepulveda Boulevard, turn west on Manhattan Beach Drive and follow it to the pier.
Venice Pier — Expect a few surfperch inshore along with the usual mix of thornbacks, stingrays and small sharks. How To Get There: Highway 1 to Washington St., turn west and follow Washington St. to the pier.
Santa Monica Pier — No report although I was there a few weeks ago and action was very slow, mainly a few jacksmelt and an occasional perch. Pileperch could be seen hanging around the pilings but they did not seem to bite any bait. Apparently a few crabs are still being taken at night. 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 the main fish being taken are small walleye surfperch and jacksmelt. Mackerel were available until about a week ago but they’ve moved on. During the grunion run she was also getting reports of some nice keeper-size halibut. Thornback rays and shovelnose sharks (guitarfish) are also a regular catch. I was down there a few weeks ago and managed to catch the following fish in just over five hours of fishing spread over two days—white seaperch, blackperch, walleye surfperch, shinerperch, Pacific mackerel, jack mackerel, jacksmelt, topsmelt, lizardfish, thornback ray, speckled sanddab and a fantail sole. 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 — The only report I have received said that good numbers of anchovies are being taken at the pier but not much else. 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 — Eric at Eric’s Tackle Shop, 2127 East Thompson Blvd, Ventura, says the big news continues to be the number of great white sharks hooked at the pier. He says nine have been hooked year to date with five brought up to the side of the pier to be released. How big were the sharks? Eric says most were 7-9 feet in length. He says the big sharks were hooked by the normal thresher shark contingent that is out at the most weeks. As for the threshers, it’s still early and few have been hooked but the shark anglers are getting some leopard sharks and a few 7-gill sharks. As for the more normal fishing, he says people continue to hook barred surfperch while fishing inshore, while mackerel and jacksmelt continue to show over much of the pier. 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 pier says the main catch is jacksmelt followed by lizardfish (which are getting big). Schools of mackerel move in and out while big schools of anchovies are pretty steady around the pier. When the mackerel are in you’re also likely to see some leopard sharks. As said, the mackerel are in—and out. One day two youngsters caught 146 mackerel. Next day they were out again at the crack of dawn—and caught four for the day. There’s no guarantees in fishing. 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 — The pier is closed for repairs to broken pilings. 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 — The pier is currently closed. How To Get There: From Highway 101 simply take the Gaviota State Park turnoff.
Support UPSAC! Preserve pier and shore angling in California.