|California Pier Report—Nov. 2009
San Diego County Piers
Imperial Beach Pier – Matt, at Cox Bait and Tackle (996 Palm Ave), reports that some perch continue to show inshore while bonito and some mackerel have been seen out at the end. Sculpin (scorpionfish) are also available, especially at night on cut squid. 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 at the pier’s bait shop says there’s still some bonito and a few bass showing up but the mackerel have slowed. There’s also some nice leopard sharks showing but not too much else on the bottom excepting a few sculpin and lobsters with most of the bugs being shorts. 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 – James, at the Crystal Pier Bait & Tackle Shop on the pier, says the big swells put a damper on the fishing that hasn’t totally recovered. A lot of walleye surfperch are around the pier along with a few barred surfperch but the bonito and mackerel have apparently moved into deeper water. However, the water is clearing and fishing should improve. 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 both mackerel and small bonito have shown at the pier but not much is hitting on the bottom other than an occasional ray. 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) – A few mackerel and bonito have shown but apparently most of the action is on small bass with stingrays, small sharks, and occasional halibut filling in 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 – Bill at the bait shop reports a good afternoon bite on bonito using MegaBaits or live bait. The mackerel come and go while it’s been slow on the bottom. A few perch, bass and opaleye make a showing but only a few. 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 bonito and mackerel are around along with a lot of sardines and herring (queenfish) but action is so so. Some bass and perch have also shown along with a few halibut but, as said, action is slow. Not too many legal lobsters have been seen. 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 — Our reporter Henry Buddenbohm reports that the yellowfin croakers are still hitting as well as the rays but he hasn’t seen much else—other than an octopus. 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 — Randy, at Schleppy’s Bait and Tackle at the end of the pier, said about all that’s hitting are the bonito and most of them are fairly small ones. Croaker, perch and lobster action has been slow although a few rays are still showing up. 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 so happens the bonitos are there and have been for a week at least. They are an average size which is good. There have been some big ones as well some of the time. There are halibut mostly undersized ones, but today there was a 22 1/2 inch keeper caught off the end with live bait. The bait was all around the pier today with sardines most of the time, smelt and grunion too. The sardines have been around for about a week now. They didn't care how windy and cold it was today. There are some shovelnose guitarfish, butterfly rays and small bat rays around. It is a good time to fish, but remember to bring a jacket to keep warm.” 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— Ditto the above info from Balboa although it’s more crowded. 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 — No report this month, the bait shop is being moved and remodeled. How To Get There: Highway 1 (Pacific Coast Highway) to Huntington Beach and the pier.
Seal Beach Pier —David, at Big Fish Bait & Tackle. 1780-C. Pacific Coast Hwy, said croakers and perch continue to be caught inshore while the mackerel are in and out at the end. The mid-pier area continues to see a few halibut (mostly shorts) along with a few shovelnose and bat rays. 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 — The pier sees some mackerel out at the end along with some bass and a few halibut mid-pier. Inshore a few croakers continue to hit. Expect some sharks and rays at night. 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 — Some bass and sargo are reported from the piers as well as an occasional mackerel, bonito and barracuda. 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 — A nice mix of fish is available including bonito, mackerel, barracuda, white croaker and halibut. Out at the end expect some bass, perch and sculpin. 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 normal species are all available—kelp bass (most too small), rock wrasse, senorita, opaleye, halfmoon and blacksmith. Schools of jack mackerel and Pacific mackerel come and go with the evening hours often the best time for the mackerel. 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 but the bonito seem to have deserted the Mole for the most part. 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 at “Just Fishing by Pete, in Redondo Beach, says there are some bonito now mixed in with the mackerel, while a FEW halibut do still show up. 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, says there’s a mix of kelp bass (mostly sub-legals), sargo, opaleye, jacksmelt, halfmoons and assorted bottom fish—senorita, blacksmith, sculpin, etc. 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 action has been slow although a few micro-sized bonito are showing up. 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 it’s the same as Hermosa. 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 — Ditto Hermosa and Manhattan Beach. How To Get There: Highway 1 to Washington St., turn west and follow Washington St. to the pier.
Santa Monica Pier — Mannie, at the Santa Monica Pier Bait & Tackle, says there are a lot of mackerel around the pier along with opaleye under the pier. Other than that it’s a few halibut and shovelnose but overall it’s slow. 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 continue to report some sargo at the pier along with good numbers of mackerel and a few 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 — The pelagics continue to come and go—sardines, jacksmelt and a few mackerel. 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 — Some croakers (yellowfin, tomcod/white croaker and herring/queenfish) are available inshore to mid-pier, pelagics (jacksmelt, sardines and a few mackerel are found mid-pier to the end, while the pelagics along with sharks and rays are found out at the end. 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 — Jeff, at Stearns Wharf Bait and Tackle, said the bonito and mackerel have shown up and they’re being taken on Krocodiles and Sabikis. A few short halibut and a few shovelnose have also been taken. 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— Boyd Grant reports some mackerel, jacksmelt and sardine mid-pier to the end, some bass and rockfish at the pipe-reef, and a few perch inshore. 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 — It sounds like there continues to be sporadic action on the pelagics—mackerel, sardines and jacksmelt while a few halibut, sharks and rays continue to show up on the bottom. How To Get There: From Highway 101 simply take the Gaviota State Park turnoff.
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