|California Pier Report — December 2014
San Diego County Piers
Imperial Beach Pier – Still looking for a reporter for this pier but did hear reports of continued action on mackerel and bonito. 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 — Tony at the pier’s bait shop reports that things have slowed but that the mackerel are still hitting along with a few bonito. Not much is happening on the bottom. 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 at the pier’s bait shop reports that mackerel and bonito are still biting, although in lesser numbers, and they’ve been joined by jacksmelt. Halibut action has slowed. 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 a few halibut are showing up (mostly shorts but a few keepers) but most of the action is on the usual bottom species like sharks and rays. A few mackerel have also shown. 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! However, mackerel should be available on top as well as smallish-sized bass and a few halibut on the bottom. 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. 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 things have slowed down quite a bit. A few bonito are showing, but not many, and croaker action has also been slow. He says there are still a lot of small bass and still too many people keeping too many of the illegal bass. Some big rays have been landed and a hammerhead shark was spotted (although not hooked). 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 — Forrest at Angler’s Tackle (on North Coast Hwy.) reports that most of the action has been on croakers, small perch and jacksmelt. 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 — Mike at Hogan's Bait And Tackle, 34320 Pacific Coast Hwy, Dana Point, says anglers continue to pull in good numbers of fish, a variety, with everything from perch and croakers inshore to bonito mid-pier to the end (use Megabaits, Sabikis, Kastmasters, etc.). Bat rays and leopard sharks continue to show seeking out the sharays. 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 — Mike at Hogan's Bait And Tackle, 34320 Pacific Coast Hwy, Dana Point, says some halibut (mostly shorts) continue to show up while anglers have also been taking the usual sharks (leopards) and rays (thornbacks and bat ray). Those using ghost shrimp, worms, or mussels are also pulling in some spotfin and yellowfin croakers. Barracuda (mostly small ones) are also in the bay with most hitting in the morning or evening and usually on lures such as Lucky Craft, Kastmasters or 3” swimbaits. 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, “I have never seen so much bait around the pier in all these years. I must have caught thousands of them. They were grunions, smelt, and sardines mostly the 3-inch sizes. We have caught several small halibut and I lost about a 20-pound plus halibut in the very surf last week. I hear there are some mackerels at the end. The jacksmelt have been around in nice-sized schools, and we all have caught a lot of these. They are good eating. In the shallow water they are easy to see the schools making their big circles… Another thing we are catching is cormorants, loons and Western grebes. They love our live baits [and sometimes get hooked]. We’ve removed those that had hooks embedded in them and sent them on their way. The people who do the repairs on the piers have gotten to our pier, but they still have a lot to do.” 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 although results usually are similar to those at the Balboa Pier. 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 that anglers fishing inshore are getting some perch and spotfin croaker while those fishing mid-pier to the end are pulling in some mackerel and bonito. As for sharays, small stingrays and shovelnose sharks (guitarfish) make up most of the action. How To Get There: Highway 1 (Pacific Coast Highway) to Huntington Beach and the pier.
Seal Beach Pier — Pauley at Big Fish B&T says some mackerel and bonito have shown but things have slowed with the rain. 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. 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. 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, bonito. (some days), 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 the mackerel bite has been good along with a few 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 it’s the same old (you know what), a combination of under-sized kelp bass that are 2-10 inches long and the miscellaneous perch and perch-like species under the pier. There’s still a lot of warm water and good fishing but most of it’s taking place outside the harbor. 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 some mackerel and bonito and mid-pier to the end. 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 some mackerel and bonito and mid-pier to the end.
How To Get There: Highway 1 to Washington St., turn west and follow Washington St. to the pier.
Santa Monica Pier — Expect the usual (a few croakers inshore and perch under the pier) as well as some mackerel and (possibly) 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 says the fishing has slowed off a little, especially the take of mackerel. Most of the reports she has gotten recently have been on small perch and jacksmelt along with a number of small bass. She hasn’t heard of any halibut lately although she continues to get good reports from people fishing the surf up along the county line (big perch) and from the kayakers who continue to get some yellowtail. 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 — Still 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 — No report this month. 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 from the Stearns Wharf bait shop reported that the mackerel are still around along with jacksmelt. Not much else. 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 (it’s managed by the state). How To Get There: From Highway 101 simply take the Gaviota State Park turnoff.