San Diego County Piers
Imperial Beach Pier – Mike at the Tin Fish at the end of the pier reports a good run of large bonito along with some mackerel and a few barracuda. Reports say there have been days with “wall to wall” anglers lining the rails. 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 — Billy Burns, at the Ocean Beach Pier tackle shop on the pier, says the bonito have been running for the past three weeks with many running an impressive 6-8 pounds in size. There’s also a good sunset bite on barracuda while mackerel come and go throughout the day. Lobster action has been just so so; quite a few bugs but most are too small to keep. 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 – Jim at the Crystal Pier (and motel) says a few croakers and sargo have shown up inshore while mackerel and some decent-sized bonito are showing at the end. How To Get There: Take I-5 to Garnet Ave. then take Garnet west to the foot of the pier. (A license is required from this pier).
Pepper Park Pier — No report although a few bass and croakers should be hanging around. 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. 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, turn left and follow the road to the park.
Embarcadero Marina Pier — James at JJ’s Sunset Deli (foot of the pier) says action is still slow. About the only thing that’s been hitting are a few mackerel and sand bass with an occasional shark or ray on the bottom (and even those are slow). 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) – Sounds like it’s slow with a few bass and mackerel providing most of the action. 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 – Shannon, at Sharkey’s B&T on the pier, reports daily runs of good-sized bonito. She says most of the bonito run 20-24” and are being caught on both lures and live bait. She says there is lot of bait in the water. The pier is also seeing some small barracuda and some small halibut along with a few bat rays. 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 — John, at Oceanside Pier Bait & Tackle on the pier, says there are lots of mackerel at the pier but bonito action has been slow. No halibut but quite a few yellowfin croakers are being taken inshore on fresh mussels. Lobster action has been fair. 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 — The pier is seeing some mackerel, croakers and bass, and a few lobsters at night. 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 — Brandon, at Schleppy’s Bait and Tackle at the end of the pier, says fishing has been slow although some mackerel are being taken at the end and yellowfin croakers inshore. He says the lobster action has been fairly good with most being taken between the restroom area and the bait shop. He had also just caught a bat ray when I called and said they see some most days. 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 — No report this month. 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, “I thought by being gone for over three weeks something would happen to change the fishing at the pier. It didn't change except for maybe getting worse. Since I have been back, the only things I have seen regularly were mackerel and small ones at that. There is lots of bait both sardines and smelt and grunion at last. Perhaps it is the same old story. The fish are too full to eat any more. The water is still disturbed by the southern hemispheres storms and that doesn't help. The days are beautiful most of the time when the Santa Anas are around. Seems to be an abundance of sea lions around. Also have a lot of cormorants and loons plus now the western grebes and eared grebes have joined them. They all want tethered bait of course. The water is running at about 62 degrees which doesn't help. Did see an 18-inch female jacksmelt caught by Randy on a live bait. That was a large one. We should be seeing the jacksmelt run soon. They are good eating and good smoked.” 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 about the same as 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 — Mike, at Let's Go Fishing (on the pier), says action is only fair although there are lots of mackerel mid-pier to the end and yellowfin croakers and spotfins inshore. One nice 37” halibut was recorded but he hasn’t seen any bonito. How To Get There: Highway 1 (Pacific Coast Highway) to Huntington Beach and the pier.
Seal Beach Pier — Mark at Big Fish Bait & Tackle. 1780-C. Pacific Coast Hwy, said the pier s seeing an early morning bonito bite along with the usual sargo and yellowfin croaker bite during most of the day. The bonito are at the end, the croakers inshore. They’re also getting a few surfperch inshore. Lobster action and poaching has slowed. He is worried somewhat about the number of small, baby leopard sharks being caught. Hopefully they are being returned to the water. 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 —Randy, at Paul's Bait and Tackle, 803 South Pacific Ave. in San Pedro, says some croakers and sargo are showing inshore, bass and a few mackerel out a 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 — Randy, at Paul's Bait and Tackle, 803 South Pacific Ave. in San Pedro, says the piers are still kicking out some sargo and bass along with a few halibut. Sharks and rays are available at night. 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 various piers as you drive the road out to the end.
Cabrillo Pier — Joe, at Paul's Bait and Tackle, 803 South Pacific Ave. in San Pedro, says he hasn’t gotten too many reports from the pier but said some locals report taking corbina near the inshore area. Perch and a few bass should be available out at the end near the rocks (as should be a few lobsters). 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) – Lots of small bass as well as other species are available although space on the pier can be very limited. 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 mix of bass, opaleye, halfmoon and other Catalina pier species are available. The bonito come and go and they’re joined by a few barracuda and sightings of yellowtail. 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, Just Fishing By Pete. 2427 190th St. Redondo Beach, says some mackerel and small halibut continue to be taken. 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 — Joshua, at Redondo Sportfishing, said there are tons of mackerel at the pier alsong with too many under-sized calico bass (kelp bass). He also said there’s been a good run of big sargo (most 2-3 pounds). As usual, there are a ton of perch, perch-like species, and senorita 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 – PFIC reports indicate a few halibut continue to be had (use live bait) along with the usual mix of small croakers, occasional bass, and sharays. Mckerel are available, especially in the evening. Pete, at Just Fishing By Pete. 2427 190th St. Redondo Beach, says the action is hot on the beach for leopard sharks and big soupfins (to 80 pounds) but not too many have been hooked by pier fishermen. How To Get There: Take the Pacific Coast Highway (Hwy 1) to Pier Avenue and follow Pier Avenue west to the pier.
Manhattan Beach Pier – Andreas Beck, at the Bohemian Beach Café (end of the pier), reports that action has been somewhat slow although there are lots of mackerel and smelt being caught. How To Get There: From Sepulveda Boulevard, turn west on Manhattan Beach Drive and follow it to the pier.
Burton Chace Fishing Platform (Marina Del Rey) — Small barracuda and a few halibut are still around. How To Get There: From Lincoln Boulevard turn west on Mindanao Drive and follow it to the park. To reach the dock you must go through the park.
Venice Pier — No report this month. How To Get There: Highway 1 to Washington St., turn west and follow Washington St. to the pier.
Santa Monica Pier — John, at the Santa Monica Pier Bait & Tackle, says action is hit and miss with lots of small mackerel, sardines and walleye surfperch but only sporadic bonito (there was a run of “big” bonito for one day). He says there are also a lot of lobsters but most are too small to keep. He also saw a 38” halibut recorded one day. 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 Wylies Bait and Tackle reports that quite a few halibut continue to be taken up to the 24-26” range along with some sargo inshore. Shark and ray action also remains strong with big bat rays, shovelnose and leopard sharks along with some small thresher sharks (on live mackerel). 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 — Sardines and mackerel lead the hit parade with a few halibut and sharays adding variety. 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 — The pier is seeing the usual perch and croaker action inshore to mid-pier while some larger sharks and rays are common at the end. The mackerel come and go. 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, at Stearns Wharf Bait and Tackle, reports good action on sardines and Spanish mackerel (jack mackerel) along with smaller numbers of Pacific mackerel. He’s also seen at least one thresher shark taken every day recently. On 10/26 one angler caught (and released) a 27” salmon while several other salmon cruised near the wharf but refused to bite. 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— It sounds like there’s a good mix of baitfish—Pacific mackerel, Spanish mackerel, jacksmelt and sardines along with some of the bigger brutes including halibut (a few) and bat rays. 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 — PFIC reports indicate a few mackerel are available and they are producing a few halibut. Sharks and rays are also still sharing the pier’s waters. How To Get There: From Highway 101 simply take the Gaviota State Park turnoff.