|California Pier Report — September 2014
San Diego County Piers
Imperial Beach Pier – No report this month although bonito and mackerel should be making an appearance. 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 — Rosalie at the pier’s bait shop reports that the biggest news lately was the catch of some dorado from the pier. I am trying to confirm the catch via additional information and/or pictures. Stay Tuned. Not in doubt is that there have been good numbers of both bonito and mackerel and although a few people are still fishing the bottom for halibut and sharks, the main attention is obviously on the top action. She says some barracuda are also showing up, usually in the evening hours. 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 – No report this month (pier has been closed). How To get There: Take I-5 to Garnet Ave. then take Garnet west to the foot of the 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 — James at the pier’s bait shop (deli) said most of the action is still on bass and mackerel although some bonito have also shown up. Throw in some jacksmelt and a few sharks and rays and that’s about it 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 — Dennis at the pier’s bait shop the mackerel are in and out, most days see a couple of legal halibut, and quite a few bat rays are showing up. 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 Oceanside Pier Bait & Tackle, says a ton of bonito are being caught but people are keeping way too many, both large ones and small ones. Fish and Wildlife has been out a few times and ticketed a few people but the problems with poaching continue. He says some huge spotfin croaker are also being caught, not a great number but the ones being caught are very large (inshore, on crabs or fresh mussels). Further out on the pier far too many under-sized kelp bass are being caught and too are being kept. Lastly, the mackerel and bonito seem to rotate through the waters. Rarely are they there together but usually on or another is available. Not too many sharks are showing up although the thresher guys still seek them out and a few shovelnose and bat rays are showing up. 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 — Ivan at Hogan's Bait And Tackle, 34320 Pacific Coast Hwy, Dana Point, says the fishing is really good right now. Good numbers of mackerel and bonito are hitting out toward the end and anglers are using those for fresh bait for the sharays and the sharks and rays are cooperating. Anglers also caught two yellowtail last week from the pier on lures so it really sounds like this is the time to try the pier. Inshore, anglers continue to pick up some good-sized yellowfin croaker and slab barred surfperch using fresh mussels and lugworms. 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 — Stephanie at Hogan's Bait And Tackle, 34320 Pacific Coast Hwy, Dana Point, says most of the rep[orts she’s had has been on croakers or bass along with a few barracuda at night. 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, “Interesting past two weeks. Had big water last week and lots of big water this week. The white sea bass liked it although they were far from big enough. Saw a couple BIG halibut following the small halibut that were caught. We now know there are some biggies there when they are ready to bite. There have been quite a few bonitos in the mornings early. They have been decent sizes. Also, there are a lot of mackerel too all day. The bait situation is great with small mackerel, Spanish jacks, and smelt of all sizes. Unfortunately the lizardfish have been quite prevalent with an appetite for all the bait fish. A couple of very large white sea bass were seen in the surf last week. These were 60 pounders. Oh, that would be quite the excitement to get one of those. We had to fish out towards the end of the pier because of the big waves. At least they weren't as big as a few years ago when they broke over the pier in the surf area. That ocean gets out of control at times. We'll see what this next week brings. Well Ken, I guess you saw what TV had to offer showing the waves. Made for interesting viewing. If it wasn't for the west winds, the weather has been very hot here. Not like Newport to have such warm weather.” 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 — No report this month. 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 people are concentrating on the bonito and mackerel although people fishing inshore are still catching perch and croakers. A few leopard sharks and bat rays have been taken but the catch on threshers has been slow, about one a week. How To Get There: Highway 1 (Pacific Coast Highway) to Huntington Beach and the pier.
Seal Beach Pier — Pauli at Big Fish B&T says it’s the normal species, mainly croakers and surfperch inshore, jacksmelt and a few halibut mid-pier. He said the pier has been closed a few days due to the large waves. 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 I imagine both mackerel and bonito should be available. 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 this month. 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 bonito and mackerel—Pacific mackerel, jack mackerel. 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, bonito, 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. 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 and increasing numbers of bonito. 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 nothings really changed, it’s mostly kelp bass and most of them are sublegal, under 14-inch size fish. Some bonito are showing (2 ½ -4 pounds) but not in any great numbers while the usual small fry are 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— Expect the usual including some mackerel and bonito. How To Get There: Take the Pacific Coast Highway (Hwy 1) to Pier Avenue and follow Pier Avenue west to the pier.
Venice Pier — Expect the usual including some mackerel and bonito. How To Get There: Highway 1 to Washington St., turn west and follow Washington St. to the pier.
Santa Monica Pier — Expect the usual including some mackerel and bonito. 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 had said that the fishing was good (including some mackerel and bonito). However, the pier was closed due to storm damage and I've been unable to find out if it reopened. 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 — Currently closed. 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, says a few thresher sharks have been taken, and that the mackerel bite is decent, but not too much else is showing. 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 pier’s bait shop reports legal-size halibut three days in a row. Apparently munching on the lizardfish and other baitfish. 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 — Steve at the “Snack Shop” says the pier is still closed and there doesn’t seem to be much progress on reopening it. How To Get There: From Highway 101 simply take the Gaviota State Park turnoff.