|California Pier Report, December 2017 (#231)
December 2017 Fishing Report, SoCal (#231)
San Diego County Piers
Imperial Beach Pier – No report this month. We really need a reporter for this pier! 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 mackerel are still around, mainly from the mid-pier to the end. She’s also seeing some BIG spotfin croakers mainly inshore to the mid-pier area. As for sharks and rays, she saw about a seven-foot shark the other day but didn’t know what species it was (possibly a 7-gill). The crowds are down but some fish are still around. 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 although the last time we talked there were still some mackerel and a few perch and croakers. 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 although there should be a few mackerel and some bass. We 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 although some croakers, bat rays, and small sharks should be available. We 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 although the mackerel and bass (kelp and sand) should be hitting along with some sharays. We 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) — Need a reporter although bass (a variety) always seem to be around as well as a mix of sharays (mostly round stingrays). 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 it’s mainly mackerel along with a few bass. 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 —Roy, at the Oceanside Pier Bait and Tackle, said things are real quiet. The main catch continues to be mackerel along with an occasional perch, croaker, small bass or sharay. Biggest news recently was the catch of a fair-sized striped bass. It sounds like not too many fishermen and not too many 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 although some croakers and bass should be available. We 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 — Josh at Hogan's Bait And Tackle, 34320 Pacific Coast Hwy, Dana Point said most of the regulars are concentrating on the croaker fishing that’s yielding up both yellowfins and spotfins with some of the spotties being very nice size. They’re hitting a variety of baits—lug worms, fresh mussels, cut anchovy and even squid. However, unlike the summer shallow-water action, they are being caught in deeper-water, mid-pier to the end. Action on top-water species is basically dead but action on sharays—big sharks and rays has been very good. A 7-gill of around 100 pounds was caught the past week, a 4-4 ½ foot soupfin shark was caught, several large leopard sharks were landed, and many large bat rays were caught with two apparently exceeding 100 pounds in weight. Sounds like a good time to try out at the end in the shark territory. 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 — Josh at Hogan's Bait And Tackle, 34320 Pacific Coast Hwy, Dana Point said most species have slowed with one exception. Good numbers of sand bass are being taken with the regulars using 3” swim baits (brown colors or anchovy blue-silver colors. 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, “Can't say it was the best of improvements on the pier this month, but it you like jacksmelt, they are here in quantity. I have gotten a number of small halibut up to 18 inches in the surf area, but we haven't gotten any big ones. Did see a big halibut swimming around in the surf, but it wasn't interested in us. Our snaggers have been doing very well. They have been catching lots of corbina up to 3 pounds and some spotfin croakers up to 5 pounds. Of course the mackerel are around on the end, but they aren't big. We have lots of bait most of the time, so that is good. The weather has been quiet and good.” 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 — Generally about the same report as 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 — Amanda at the “Let’s Go Fishing B&T” on the pier says most of the action has been on mackerel and stingrays (sound stingrays?). The mackerel are mid-pier to the end with the stingrays in close. Unfortunately several people have been stung by the rays, which shouldn’t happen if you know what you’re doing. Apparently one angler had to be taken off with an ambulance. She says there are still some corbina in the surf area and spotfins croaker by the lifeguard tower but that’s about it. How To Get There: Highway 1 (Pacific Coast Highway) to Huntington Beach and the pier.
Seal Beach Pier — Pauly at Big Fish Tackle says fishing has slowed although anglers inshore continue to have decent action on yellowfin croakers while anglers fishing the top waters are catching both mackerel and jacksmelt. Not much else. 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 — Pauly at Big Fish Tackle says action is somewhat slow but the regulars continue to pull in sargo and spotfin croakers inshore to mid-pier along with some corbina in the surf area. Not much is happening out at the end. Top-water action produces a few mackerel and jacksmelt. 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 but mackerel, jacksmelt and the usual white croakers should be available with a cast out from the pier; a few sargo and perch close in by the rocks. How to Get There: From downtown Long Beach, take Pine Avenue south to Shoreline Drive. For the northernmost pier #1 follow Shoreline Avenue west and follow it around the lagoon to where the street ends. For the southernmost piers #2-#5 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 (San Pedro) — No report this month although the last time I called some bonito and halibut were showing. I imagine those species have slowed but mackerel and jacksmelt should be around. 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) – Expect the usual — small kelp bass along with a few opaleye and sheephead. 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) — A few bonito, small kelp bass and assorted perch-like species should still be in evidence and the number of sheephead should be increasing. 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 — Melanie at the Redondo Coffee Shop and Bait Shop reported that there are still quite a few mackerel but the bonito have disappeared and not too much else is showing up. How To Get There: From the Pacific Coast Highway, take Torrance Blvd. west to the foot of the pier and the parking lot.
Hermosa Beach Pier — No report this month although mackerel and jacksmelt should be around; surfperch action should also be picking up inshore. 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 this month although mackerel and jacksmelt should be around; surfperch action should also be picking up inshore. How To Get There: Highway 1 to Washington St., turn west and follow Washington St. to the pier.
Santa Monica Pier—John, at the piers bait and tackle shop, said things have slowed. Expect a few mackerel and possibly some perch and sargo under the pier. 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 some fish are still showing up. Quite a few mackerel and jacksmelt, some small bass, and surprisingly some halibut. Action on sharks and ray is dead although a few shark anglers are still giving it a try. 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 there should be mackerel and jacksmelt; surfperch numbers should be going up. 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 although fishing for surfperch should be decent to good. 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 — No report this month. 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 from the pier’s bait & tackle store (and Hook Line & Sinker in Santa Barbara) said the pier is seeing the normal mix. As usual, the pipe-reef yields up rockfish, mainly small brown rockfish, along with a few bass. Inshore, some perch are showing and out at the end the mackerel come and 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 (for 3+years). Evidently it’s not a priority for the state. How To Get There: From Highway 101 simply take the Gaviota State Park turnoff down to the beach and pier.