|September 2016 Fishing Report, SoCal (#218)
San Diego County Piers
Imperial Beach Pier – Expect some mackerel and bonito and don’t be too surprised if a yellowtail makes an occasional appearance at the pier (but don’t expect to catch one). Other than that it’s the usual queenfish and smaller croakers along with a few sharks and rays. 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 the fishing has been good with tons of mackerel, some bonito, and even a few yellowtail. On the bottom there’s the usual mix of small bass along with the smaller croakers and occasional sharay. 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 – Pam at the Crystal Pier B&T (on the pier) says fishing for YELLOWTAIL has been great. The largest was 66 pounds but there have been around eight in the 50-pound category. Caught on live bait and lures. Tons of mackerel and lots of bonito as well as smaller baitfish. Bottom action has been slow but no one seems to mind given the surface action 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 variety of fish with small bass— kelp, sand, and spotted bay bass leading the hit parade. Cast into the deeper waters for some rays and sharks. 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 Borlek from the pier’s bait shop says most of the action has been on mackerel but he’s also seen some bonito and halibut and there are reports of a couple of small corvina. 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 — 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.
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 — Spencer at Hogan's Bait And Tackle, 34320 Pacific Coast Hwy, Dana Point, says it’s pretty much the usual: croakers, both yellowfin and spotfin in the shallows, mackerel and bonito mid-pier to the end, and some sharks and rays out toward the end. The sharays include some nice-sized bat rays, some leopard sharks, and a few threshers. If you’re seeking the croakers bring some fresh mussels or some seaworms—lug worms or bloodworms. He said he hasn’t heard of any halibut being taken lately. 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 — Spencer at Hogan's Bait And Tackle, 34320 Pacific Coast Hwy, Dana Point, said most of the action has been on croakers, mainly spotfin croakers, and he recommends using bloodworms or lug worms. A few halibut have been reported as well. 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 have certainly had a lot of bait this past month. Somedays I think you could walk on the sardines they are so thick. Nothing much is happening except for bonito that want those sardines. We have had a few thresher sharks. Those are always fun. My two halibut have been the only ones so far except for some extremely small ones. There was a nice corbina caught. Probably weighed about 6 pounds. There are some thornbacks around. The most abundant fish around right now is the white sea bass. Unfortunately they are only from 5 to 8 inches long. There have been a few that were 20 inches. The water is cold but warming up slowly.The air is hot except when the west wind is blowing. We are getting into the time that we caught the fish last year. Let's hope we do as well as last year..” 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. 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 says people are catching LOTS of mackerel and LOTS of bonito. It’s slow on the bottom but there are tons of baitfish that are attracting the top fighters. A few threshers have also been caught but action on bottom species is slow. One shark angler did hook a great white shark on a piece of bonito about an hour before I called. They estimated it at 250-pounds and it broke off when it got to the top (no surprise). How To Get There: Highway 1 (Pacific Coast Highway) to Huntington Beach and the pier.
Seal Beach Pier — The pier is still closed due to the recent fire. 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 — Not much other than mackerel and a few croakers and small halibut. 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 although mackerel, perch, sargo, and bass should be available as well as white croaker (available with a cast out from the piers). 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, 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, mostly 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, 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. The bonito action has picked up and it’s good sized fish. 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 at the pier’s bait shop says mackerel are the main fish being caught (as usual) and a few bonito are also starting to show. 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 — Sam at the pier says they are still picking up small yellowtail (2-4 pounds) and they are now being joined by a few bonito. Other than that it’s the usual small kelp (calico) bass and the perch and perch-like species 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 — No report buy expect some mackerel mid-pier to the end, croakers inshore and an occasional halibut and sharay. 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 buy expect some mackerel mid-pier to the end, croakers inshore and an occasional halibut and sharay. How To Get There: Highway 1 to Washington St., turn west and follow Washington St. to the pier.
Santa Monica Pier — It sounds most of the action is on mackerel. 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 anglers are still getting a lot of mackerel and though a few bonito have been reported, the emphasis is on a few. Some halibut are also being reported, most are shorts but a few legals are also in the mix. Last but not least are some sharks and rays, including a few threshers. 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 — No report this month although this is typically a good pier for mackerel. 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, said that the day I called (Friday, Sept.2) was the best day of the year by far. Bonito, several barracuda, lots of mackerel, two thresher sharks and a mess of other fish. He hoped it would stay the way through the holiday weekend. 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 — Taylor at Hook, Line and Sinker (4010-5 Calle Real, Santa Barbara) said a lot of fish are being caught at the pier. He says there are tons of Spanish mackerel (jackmackerel) as well as LOTS of Pacific mackerel. However, the bonito remain missing. He says some halibut are being caught in the shallows while the pipe-reef yields the usual small (12-inch or so) calico (kelp) bass and brown rockfish. Shark anglers are getting quite a few thresher sharks but the action has slowed in the past two weeks. Sounds like a good time to go. 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.