|California Pier Report—May 2009
San Diego County Piers
Imperial Beach Pier – PFIC reports indicate a few perch and croakers are available inshore. 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 — John, at the Ocean Beach Pier tackle shop on the pier, says things are fairly slow. Most of the action is on herring (queenfish) in the mid-pier area by people using Sabikis, but there’s also a decent mackerel bite early in the morning and in the evening. Some good-sized leopard sharks and 7-gill sharks have also been taken, mostly at night. A later report from Billy Burns said barracuda were biting (on 5/3) as well as a few kelp bass. He also reported the catch of a black sea bass on 4/23, a fish estimated to weigh 150 pounds; it was of course released. 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 – PFIC reports indicate some perch, croakers and mackerel are available. 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 this month. 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 this month. 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 there’s been a fairly good bite on mackerel and jacksmelt during the day while nighttime anglers are pulling in some sharays—bat rays, leopard sharks and a few shovelnose. Some smallish-sized bass are also showing up. 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 things are DEAD. The fish are few and far between although a few halibut have been taken as well as a few corvina, both species on live bait (smelt). Nothings really been biting and the wind off the water is freezing his regulars. 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 — Karen, at Oceanside Pier Bait & Tackle on the pier, says things are finally starting to pick up. Inshore, there have been some croakers and barred surfperch showing up while herring (queenfish), jacksmelt and mackerel are in the mid-pier area. Toss in a few sharks and a few halibut and it gives hope for the future. 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 — Michelle, at Schleppy’s Bait and Tackle at the end of the pier, says there’s been a decent take on sharks recently with a mix including leopard sharks, smoothhounds and shovelnose. She sys there are some croakers inshore but nothing on top except for anchovies. Guess you could go out and catch some fresh bait for later in the spring 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 that the fishing would pick up this month, but I was wrong. The water temperatures are yo yo-ing and that is not good. We had one day of 60-degree water and back down it went. It is certainly not good for the fishes’ appetites. We also have had lots of wind even this month. Even the bait is hard to get. Walleyed perch has been the main catch. One halibut each time seems to be all we can get from them. Used a walleyed perch baby as it was just born, and I did get about a 16-inch halibut last week. Also used a Gulp sardine and got a nice sized yellowfin croaker. Just not much else being caught. Still have a few whales coming through going north. We have had some red tide. That doesn't help either. Maybe next week?” 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— PFIC reports indicate a good mackerel bite in the evening. 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 — Nicole, at Let's Go Fishing, says there’s been a good run on leopard sharks taking place. Baitfish (mackerel and sardines) are around the pier and it’s helping the fishing with a few halibut and bonito also showing up. However, the inshore action has been pretty slow, just a few croakers and perch. How To Get There: Highway 1 (Pacific Coast Highway) to Huntington Beach and the pier.
Seal Beach Pier — Robert at Big Fish Bait & Tackle. 1780-C. Pacific Coast Hwy, said it’s mainly the regulars that are scoring on the fish. Some spotfin croakers, surfperch and corbina are being taken inshore while mackerel and jacksmelt are available mid-pier. Sand bass are being taken out toward the end. [The shop by the way was where I got my lug worms for Catalina, big, fresh worms that produced many, many fish. Give them a visit if you need good bait!] PFIC reports indicate there’s a decent evening bite on mackerel mid-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 — No report this month. 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 the piers appeared jammed both times I passed them on the ferry to/from Catalina. I assume the croakers are still biting. 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 — Esther, at Paul’s Bait & Tackle. 803 South Pacific Ave., San Pedro, says she hasn’t gotten any reports lately from the pier. [And we owe a big thanks to the shop for providing quite a lot of live ghost shrimp for the PFIC/UPSAC Catalina Get Together. Give them a visit when you need bait.] 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) – (The end of the pier is closed until early June!) The normal species are all available if you can find spots to fish—kelp bass (most too small), rock wrasse, senorita, opaleye, halfmoon and blacksmith. Although the number of sheephead seems to be down this year there is a steady run on jack mackerel and Pacific mackerel, especially in the evening hours. 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’s the usual mix of bass, opaleye, halfmoon and other Catalina pier species as well as a lot of good-sized bonito and an occasional barracuda. Bring heavy tackle (or at least heavy braid) if you intend to seek out the big sharks and rays that are hanging out in the water. 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 – Christine, at the Redondo Coffee Shop & Bait, said it’s been slow although the mackerel are showing up again. 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 — John, at Redondo Sportfishing, said things are picking up. Lots of perch are being taken as well as quite a few bass, including an 8-pound sand bass the day I called. There’s a good afternoon mackerel bite and big bonito are swimming by the pier daily, swimming by but not biting as yet. 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 some perch are available but that’s about it. 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 – Pete at “Just Fishing by Pete, in Redondo Beach, says some perch are available but that’s about it. 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) — If you have some live bait this is a good spot for some big sharks and rays as well as a few barracuda (that will also hit on lures). 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 things are a little slow. There are a few mackerel, a few perch (splittails and barred), a few shovelnose, and a few halibut. There have been quite a few white seabass taken but most of them are under-sized (although a legal fish was taken the day I called). So if you don’t mind a few fish... 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 the fishing is slow at the pier. Mainly it’s small walleye surfperch and small halibut (caught on the walleyes). Not much else. PFIC reports indicate a few opaleye and spider crabs were available. 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 surfperch as well as small croakers (queenfish and white croaker); expect sharks and rays at night. 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 that things are dead; mainly it’s jacksmelt and shiners. Some crabs are still available. He also reports the closing of Boaters World in SB, one of the shops that used to help support the Kid’s Fishing Derby. 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— Some perch are showing inshore as well as some baitfish further out on the pier. No one seems to be fishing the pipe reef (too afraid of losing gear?). 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 are still slow. 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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