|California Pier Report—February 2009
San Diego County Piers
Imperial Beach Pier – Mike, at the Tin Fish at the end of the pier, reports things have slowed. 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 there are still some mackerel and jacksmelt available along with a few 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 – Jim at the Crystal Pier (and motel) says the pier has been closed to angling for a month but the repairs are finished and they’re just awaiting the city inspectors to give approval for reopening. He says they have promised to be out there by 1/5—or so. He is seeing large schools of fish around the pier; maybe they know the anglers are absent (?). 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 should still 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 that the good news is that the mackerel are back but that’s about it, mackerel on top and a few bass on the bottom. Not much else. 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) – No report this month. 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 – Ed, at Sharkey’s B&T on the pier, says mackerel and bass are about all he’s seeing. Other than that it’s an occasional perch or ray. 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 Oceanside Pier Bait & Tackle on the pier, says it’s picked up a little but things are still somewhat slow. Some surfperch are showing inshore, along with yellowfin and spotfin croakers, while some decent halibut have been taken recently mid-pier including a couple of 30-inchers. The mackerel are absent but a few big jacksmelt provide action for those fishing on top. The water needs to warm! 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 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.
Orange County Piers —
San Clemente Pier — Some surfperch are still available inshore, barred and walleye, while jacksmelt are available mid-pier to the end. 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, “it finally got better this month. We couldn't get a lot of bait, but we did get just enough. Caught halibut in the surf area. Some thornbacks and shovelnosed guitarfish. Some mackerel and jacksmelt were caught. At least now there is an occasional whale passing by. We have seen San Clemente Island every day. For about a month now we have had an osprey visiting us for food. He is fun to watch. The jacksmelt fishermen have learned to protect their catches immediately. We have photographed him over and over. Makes a very good subject. Looking forward to this weeks better weather again.” 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, says the big news lately was a couple of 6-foot plus threshers taken out at the end on live bait. Halibut are also making a nice showing although most are too small to keep (and it’s early in the year for both species). Inshore is kicking out some perch, yellowfins and spotfins while there’s been a good bite on top, mid-pier to the end, for mackerel, sardines and anchovies. The end section also produced a nice 15-inch calico bass recently, a fish rarely seen at the pier. Overall things have been very good which is nice to hear considering the report from many piers. 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 things are surprisingly good. Anglers are getting a mix of sargo, corbina, calico and sand bass at the pier and while mussels and ghost shrimp are the top baits, fish are also falling to anchovies. Inshore there’s quite a few barred surfperch showing up but most have been small. Out at the end a few rubberlips are showing along with corn dog-size mackerel. 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 — Some mackerel are being reported from the end while a few bass, queenfish and halibut continue to offer up their life for the enjoyment of anglers in the mid-pier area. 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. 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 — No report this month. 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) – There should be 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) – There should be a mix of bass, opaleye, halfmoon and other Catalina pier species are available. 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 Redondo Coffee Shop & Bait, said it’s the same old thing—mackerel. Hashem reports crab action has been dead. 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 — As usual, there are an interesting and reliable mix of perch and perch-like fish 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 – Pete at “Just Fishing by Pete, in Redondo Beach, says most of the action is on barred surfperch inshore while a few jacksmelt and bonito are still showing on top. Not much else. 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 some surfperch inshore, yellowfin croaker inshore to mid-pier, and sardines out toward the end. 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) — No report this month. 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 — Chuck, at the Santa Monica Pier Bait & Tackle, says things are slow. There’s some mackerel on top, and a few walleye surfperch and barred surfperch inshore, but it’s DEAD on halibut. Luckily there’s still pretty good action on crabs. 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 anglers are getting a few small halibut and buttermouth (black perch) mid-pier, while barred surfperch are inshore. But, the fishing has been slow. 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. 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 some barred surfperch action inshore along with some croakers mid-pier. 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 nothing is biting except jacksmelt and there’s good numbers of those. Oh, and the crabs are still around as always. 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 — Things have slowed. Your best bet may be on surfperch inshore. How To Get There: From Highway 101 simply take the Gaviota State Park turnoff.
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