|California Pier Report — November 2015
San Diego County Piers
Imperial Beach Pier – The good fishing that had included mackerel, bonito and even yellowtail, seems to have come to a stop. The water is still warm but the fish seem to have moved on. A few lobsters may be found, especially at night but unfortunately most are shorts. 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 — Robert, at the pier’s bait shop, reports that fishing has been really slow with not much being caught. He said people were catching bonito but that has stopped. People do continue to catch small, under-sized lobsters. 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 – 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) – Like most of the local piers, the number of fish and types seems to have slowed. 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 — Expect some mackerel and an occasional bonito on top, some bass on the bottom. 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 fishing has slowed, in fact about all that is being caught are a few sargo and an occasional spotfin croaker. Action on the top water species, bonito and mackerel has almost stopped. Evidently there are few fishermen and fewer fish. 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 action remains good. Inshore, the anglers are picking up a handful of corbina on bloodworms or fresh mussels while good numbers of croakers, mainly yellowfins but also a few spotfins, are showing up on the same baits. Mid-pier to the end is seeing some kelp bass (to 21-inches) along with some flurries of bonito along the edges of the kelp. Mackerel are also available and lots of leopard sharks are being taken on the fresh mackerel. Good quantities of lobsters are also available but you have to weed through all the shorts to come up with the legal-size bugs. Overall it sounds like the fishing remains good. 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 barracuda are showing up most days and bonito every other day. Try Lucky Craft or Kastmasters for the best results. A few short halibut and bass are also showing up; try bloodworms. 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, “It has been a great month. We have had lots of yellowtail and bonitos in the surf area as well as around the pier. We are using small grunion, and that is what they want. The yellowtail are smaller lately, but some are decent size. There was a beautiful 7-pound striped bass caught last week. There are lots of small halibut, shovelnose guitarfish, butterfly rays, thornbacks and stingrays. Out farther there were 5 turtles seen, two of which were caught and released. The biggest was a 6-footer which we think because of its head size that it was a loggerhead. There are still lots of humpback whales around. Guess there is a lot for them to eat. The bait situation is fantastic everywhere. I have been going down everyday for the morning hours. Yes, we are eating a lot of good fish. Keep El Nino coming!.” 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 a variety of fish are available. 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 — Cody at Let’s Go Fishing, on the pier, said a lot of croakers continue to be taken inshore along with good numbers of bonito mid-pier to the end. Sharays have included some really big bat rays and a shovelnose shark (guitarfish) estimated at 40 pounds. Not hooked, but seen, were two 10-foot great whites and an 8-foot hammerhead shark. How To Get There: Highway 1 (Pacific Coast Highway) to Huntington Beach and the pier.
Seal Beach Pier — Siv, at Big Fish B&T, says fish are still being caught! Mid-pier to the end sees some mackerel, jacksmelt, a few bass, and (some days) bonito. Also expect a few halibut but almost all are shorts. Some nice bat rays and shovelnose have also been landed. 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 — Mackerel continue to show most days along with a few bonito (on top). On the bottom it’s mainly a few bass (kelp and sand) with a few croakers and a very few (mostly short) halibut. Sharays include some thornback rays (throw-em-backs) and bat rays. 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 along with an occasional bonito. Inshore along the rocks expect a few sargo and a few bass. 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 an occasional bonito and the usual species out toward the end—small bass, an occasional small halibut and a few croakers. 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. To add excitement, small yellowtail are still around and a wahoo was spotted in the adjacent Lovers Cove. 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 — Things seem to be slowing although there are still some mackerel and 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 — Jake, at the pier’s bait and tackle shop, says things seem to be slowing down. Anglers are still picking up some under-sized kelp bass and perch but luckily most are returned to the water. Yellowtail remain in the harbor but few anglers are able to get them in (if they are lucky enough to hook them). Several have been lost to kelp or pilings. Not much else is happening. 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 — No report but expect some mackerel and a very few 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 — No report but expect some mackerel and a very few bonito. How To Get There: Highway 1 to Washington St., turn west and follow Washington St. to the pier.
Santa Monica Pier — No report this month although a PFIC report indicated the fishing was slow. 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 continues to be pretty decent. She says anglers are reporting lots of bonito, ditto on the mackerel, and numerous “short” bass. One angler brought in a 42-inch butterfly ray and two threshers were reported from the end of the pier. Inshore, a surf angler brought in a nearly 4-pound corbina to be weighed that he had taken on fresh mussels. 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 — PFIC reports indicate that the bonito are largely gone but mackerel and sardines are still available for people using Sabiki-type rigs. 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 squat lately, which probably means fishing is slow. 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 the fishing is EXTREMELY SLOW, in fact it’s dead. The day I called he had only seen three fish the whole day. There’s an occasional splash from Spanish mackerel (jack mackerel) and there continue to be a few bonito. 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 — Capt. Tiffany at Hook, Line and Sinker (4010-5 Calle Real, Santa Barbara) said anglers are still catching quite a variety of fish—lots of calicos, small rockfish (at the reef), mackerel, and some bonito. Inshore, a few halibut have been picked up. There have even been a few baby yellowtail landed! 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 remains closed. How To Get There: From Highway 101 simply take the Gaviota State Park turnoff.
Some pictures from the Huntington Beach Pier courtesy of Cody at Let's Go Fishing (on the pier) —