|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, says that things are really quiet and about the only fish she is seeing are mackerel. She imagines some lobsters are being taken but that’s at night when she’s not there. 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 and sharays 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 and bat rays). 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 small 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 — Ed, at the Oceanside Pier Bait and Tackle, said things are relatively quiet but people are still getting a few late season croakers, more and more perch, and sargo (mid-pier on ghost shrimp). Not much on top although the mackerel are in and out. Biggest news lately is the number of striped bass that have been taken. Not sure why they are down that far south. 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 — Awaiting the report.
Dana Harbor Pier — Awaiting the report.
Balboa Pier — Our reporter Snookie says, “Well we have a new year for fishing. Let's hope it is better. I did get an 18-inch halibut this week and more of those butterfly rays. Saw a few thornbacks caught and corbina on the snags. Of course the mackerel are still on the end for the pier, but they are quite a bit smaller. As to our bait supply we are getting lots of smelt, but only in the surf. I think I have figured out why. It is because the water is colder and it heats up much faster in the surf area, so that is where the bait want to be. The jacksmelt are still in the area near the surf, but not too many big ones are being caught. With the water as clear as it has been it is easy to see the schools of jacksmelt. Now we are waiting for the whales to show up going south.” 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 things are slow although some mackerel and stingrays continue to be caught; the mackerel are mid-pier to the end with the stingrays in close. 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 remains slow although anglers continue to pull in some yellowfin croakers and small corbina in the surf area with mackerel father out on 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 — Pauly at Big Fish Tackle says action slow although sargo are available inshore, mackerel mid-pier to the end. 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 some mackerel and jacksmelt should be available in top-water areas, a few croakers and sargo on the bottom. 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) – I visited the pier just before Christmas and was rewarded with the usual mix of fish — rock wrasse, senorita, opaleye, sheephead, jacksmelt, kelp bass and one lone ocean whitefish. Use sea-worms, frozen peas and pieces of market shrimp. 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) — Some big bonito continue to come and go throughout the day while the usual mix is found by the pier — kelp bass, opaleye, sheephead, halfmoon, blacksmith, kelpfish, smelt. 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 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.
Hermosa Beach Pier — No report this month although some 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 some 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 been slow. Expect a few mackerel and possibly some perch or 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 action has slowed but some mackerel and jacksmelt are still showing along with bass and an occasional halibut. 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 — Mike at the Stearns Wharf Bait Shop said the shop has finally reopened. Due to the huge fire in the area, and the associated smoke and ash, basically all of the businesses on the wharf closed except for restaurants. Given that the water had so much ash in it, it was almost impossible to fish (and certainly uncomfortable for those trying to fish). It’s quite possible that the fish also moved to cleaner offshore water. The fire is now 95% contained and things are returning to normal. As for the fishing, it is mainly mackerel and jacksmelt during the day and bat rays at night. Anglers are pulling in a LOT of octopus, both the small red variety and the larger gray-yellow variety but Mike says very few anglers keep them even though they are considered good to eat. Mike does say more and more people are also crabbing and they are getting a mix of crabs, mainly rock crabs along with a lot of whelks (sea snails — conch in Florida) in the nets. Again few keep them although they too are considered good eating. He said a few people are also hooping for lobsters at night but hasn’t heard much on the results. The weather was about 80 degrees the day I called so even if fishing is slow it sounds like a good time to visit the wharf. 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 — 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.