|California Pier Report — August 2015
San Diego County Piers
Imperial Beach Pier – Still looking for a reporter for this pier but there should be some mackerel and bonito making a showing as well as the usual croakers, bass and sharays. 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 — Shirley, at the pier’s bait shop, reports that fishing has been good. Anglers fishing the top waters are getting some mackerel and bonito while those fishing the bottom are getting a mix of sharks and rays as well as a few halibut. A couple of yellowtail were also caught but she didn’t know the size. 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 – Randy, at the pier’s bait shop, reports that the fishing is not exactly hot or cold, just medium. Expect some yellowfin croaker if fishing inshore to mid-pier, some small walleye surfperch inshore to mid-pier, stingrays and other small sharks and rays mid-pier to the end, and some mackerel mid-pier to the end. Come early if you expect to find parking. 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, 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 — No report, need a reporter. 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) – Expect a few bass (calico, sand and spotted), a few sharays on the bottom, especially small stingrays, and the possibility of a few bonito showing up. 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 — Ditto the Ferry Landing report. 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 the bonito bite is still going good and they’ve now been joined by sardines (which make good live bait for the bonito). Inshore, some croakers are showing up but he says there are 15-20 croaker anglers when there should be 100 so that tells you that it’s not exactly a great bite. There are a lot of calico bass mid-pier to the end but as usual most are under the 14” minimum size. Lastly, there are the sharks and rays and quite a few are being taken. Expect crowded summer conditions. 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, need a reporter. 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 croaker bite continues to be strong in the inshore waters along with some corbina in the surf area itself (use lug worms and light fluorocarbon line). Out at the end, the action has been good on mackerel, bonito and small yellowtail, most of the yellows being midget-sized 2-4 pound fish. Anglers using fresh mackerel are also doing good on sharks and rays—mainly bat rays, shovelnose shark (guitarfish) and leopard shark. There was also a report of a hammerhead shark 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 — Ivan at Hogan's Bait And Tackle, 34320 Pacific Coast Hwy, Dana Point, said most of the action remains good on the spotted bay bass and spotfin croakers using fresh mussels or lug worms. It’s slow on halibut unless you can get some live smelt and then the action is decent. At night there are still some small barracuda to be had using Krocodiles or Kastmaster-type lures. 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 say, “the fishing is picking up. We have had white seabass (not big enough), halibut with two of them keepers, a big sargo, several barracuda (not big enough) and today lots of big jacksmelt. Don't know what they are doing here when it is that warm. We are still seeing a few whales going through or somewhere. Not grays though. Probably humpbacks. There are many sardines, smelt, and mackerel around for bait. There are a lot of bonitos. They are small but growing. They want the sardines. Showing up clear into the surf. Next week, Thursday, the Jr. Lifeguards are through for the season. We should get more fish then.” 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 pretty similar to Balboa. Currently bonito are hitting and too many are being kept. 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 — No report this month. How To Get There: Highway 1 (Pacific Coast Highway) to Huntington Beach and the pier.
Seal Beach Pier — Jimmy, at Big Fish B&T, says good numbers of spotfin and yellowfin croakers are showing inshore along with some surfperch while the halibut fishing has slowed. There’s a lot of bait in the water, including sardines, and so good numbers of sharays are also showing, including some really big shovelnose sharks out toward the end. Expect good numbers of mackerel and quite a few barracuda, especially at night. Needlefish are showing up by the jetties so expect some to also show up around the pier. 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 — Jimmy, at Big Fish B&T, says he hasn’t gotten too many reports from the pier but some mackerel are showing up along with good numbers of big shovelnose sharks. Halibut action is slow. 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 — Expect some mackerel and white croaker while casting out into deeper water, a few perch, bass and sargo if fishing the shallow areas by the rocks. 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 — Expect a few mackerel and jacksmelt along with a few bass if you fish at the end. 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-size 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, bonito (cast-a-bubble, MegaBait, etc.), opaleye, and the assorted bottom species—sheephead, halfmoon, blacksmith, etc. Remember the 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 —Pete, at Just Fishing By Pete, 2427 190th St., Redondo Beach, said that almost all of the action is on mackerel. Not much else. 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 says the bubble is turned on and the water in the harbor is warm. Kelp bass under 14” remain the main species being caught but now some bonito are showing up and the anglers are happy (although it’s not steady action). Scott says the bubble is turned on for ten days a year in conjunction with the state’s carbon credits and cap and trade policies and for those days the harbor will see warm water and improved fishing. 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, said you can expect some mackerel and if fishing inshore to mid-pier some perch, croakers and sharays. How To Get There: Take the Pacific Coast Highway (Hwy 1) to Pier Avenue and follow Pier Avenue west to the pier.
Venice Pier — Ditto Hermosa. How To Get There: Highway 1 to Washington St., turn west and follow Washington St. to the pier.
Santa Monica Pier — Robert, at the Santa Monica Pier Bait & Tackle, says mackerel are showing up every day, not a lot, but some every day. He’s also seeing a few bonito and halibut most days. Shark and ray action has been dead. 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 fishing has been good. A lot of kelp bass (most illegal 11-13-inch fish) are being taken as well as numerous sharks, including thresher sharks. Mackerel are also biting (which probably accounts for the sharks). No bonito have been reported but yellowtail are being seen off the end of the pier. 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 — Closed until further notice. 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 from Eric’s Tackle Shop, 2127 East Thompson Blvd, Ventura, said he hasn’t heard a word. 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, says he’s never seen as many kelp bass as recently—tons of them. Unfortunately they are almost all undersized and he’s fighting the anglers every day to put them back (winning sometimes and losing the other). There are also good numbers of mackerel showing up as well as bat rays, some of pretty decent size. I asked if there were any unusual warm water fish seen recently and he said he went night fishing a couple of weeks ago and for the first time ever (in over ten years) he caught a round stingray off the pier. The round stingrays are more common to the southland waters. Usually they are caught further south 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 — Capt. Tiffany at Hook, Line and Sinker (4010-5 Calle Real, Santa Barbara) said anglers are catching quite a few mackerel, especially on the new “Caivo” Sabiki-type rigs. In addition, the anglers fishing the pipeline are getting some nice calico bass and cabezon (and, I imagine, the normal brown rockfish). She said there have been quite a few big bat rays caught (to 80 pounds) as well as smaller sharks including some threshers. There’s also been a few halibut caught including some keeper-size fish. Last but not least, she says some squid have been taken from the pier. There’s been a good squid spawn going on within a mile of the pier so it’s not surprising some would show up at the pier. 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 — Closed until further notice. How To Get There: From Highway 101 simply take the Gaviota State Park turnoff.
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