|California Pier Report — May 2011
Southern California San Diego County Piers
Imperial Beach Pier – No report. 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 — Kyle, at the pier’s B&T Shop, said the main species being caught are queenfish mid-depth, sand sharks on the bottom, and a few mackerel on the top. Not much else. Early morning and dusk are the times to fish. 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 fishing is picking up, at least for bottom species. Most unusual catch of the month was a large horn shark nearly 3-feet in length. The sharay action has been good with several large bat rays, good-sized gray smoothhounds, shovelnose guitarfish, and round stingrays all making an appearance. James said action on top was good for mackerel and sardines but has died down during the past week. But, he’s also seeing good numbers of queenfish and a few yellowfin croaker. Not much else. 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 — 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 — 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, turn left and follow the road to the park.
Embarcadero Marina Pier — No report this month. 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, need a reporter. 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 SI bait shop, says things are really slow. There WAS a good mackerel bite but they’ve moved on and so, it seems, have the fisherman. When the mackerel show up the locals quickly cell phone their buddies and within an hour the pier is crowded (or maybe they search out mackerel.com?. When the fish are absent the cell phones also give warning. The Sunday morning I called there were only six fishermen, and no fish, on the pier. However, the previous day had seen halibut and barracuda showing up. One halibut, estimated at 30”, was lost at the net. Go figure. 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 pier bait shop, says things have slowed down during the past few days. He was seeing a good run of big-sized spotfin croakers with many fish exceeding 5-pounds in size but they seem to have moved on. Same with the mackerel and jacksmelt that are thick one day and almost non-existent the next. It’s hard to figure. 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. 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 — Hector at Hogan's Bait And Tackle, 34320 Pacific Coast Hwy, Dana Point, said anglers fishing with lugworms inshore are getting good numbers of perch and croakers while out at the end it is mostly sharay action—bat rays and a mix of sharks. 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 — Hector at Hogan's Bait And Tackle, 34320 Pacific Coast Hwy, Dana Point, said anglers are getting a mix of perch, yellowfin croakers and senorita (under the pier). Try lugworms for bait. 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 reported “It has been a boring month again, but at least we have had lots of bait. It has been smelt and sardines plus a few anchovies. Nothing has produced much except thornbacks, and those are at the bottom of the list as far as I am concerned. There are still some whales around, but that is also at an end now. Maybe next month will be better. Wonder how many times I can say that?” 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— Sounds like it’s slow although some mackerel are available. 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 — Marion, at Let’s Go Fishing (on the pier), says there has been a BIG run of LARGE bat rays at the pier as well as some nice-sized leopard sharks and thresher sharks (out at the end). Inshore some yellowfin croaker are making an appearance as well as a few spotfin croaker. She says she saw one of the largest spotfins she has ever seen at the pier but the fish was not weighed (and she’s seen them to over 8-pounds). A few halibut are also showing including a 26” fish. Apparently not much is happening on the top. How To Get There: Highway 1 (Pacific Coast Highway) to Huntington Beach and the pier.
Seal Beach Pier — Ron at Big Fish Bait & Tackle. 1780-C. Pacific Coast Hwy, report’s it’s mainly a few spotfin croakers inshore, halibut mid-pier, and a very few mackerel. Sharay action has been slow. 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 — Croakers, bass, a few sharks, and some bat rays. Sounds like the normal mix. 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 — It sounds like the normal, some perch, sand bass and queenfish along with the occasional shark and ray. 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 piers.
Cabrillo Pier — No report. 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) – No report but the usual mix of fish should be available—small kelp bass, rock wrasse, senorita, opaleye, sheephead, halfmoon and blacksmith. 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) – It’s the usual species on hand with the addition of quite a few whitefish. Expect some opaleye, bass and the assorted bottom species—sheephead, halfmoon, blacksmith, etc. 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. 2427 190th St. Redondo Beach says there’s some mackerel are still available at the pier but not much is happening on the bottom. 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 — It sounds like it’s been slow although there haven’t been as many anglers fishing the pier with the tackle shop closed. No tackle shop, no ticket validation. Apparently some mackerel are to be had as well as the under-the-pier perch-like species but it’s not exactly hot action. 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. 2427 190th St. Redondo Beach, says people should get off the pier and fish the surf since surf fishing has been excellent for barred surfperch; quantity and quality. He says the pier’s mainly seeing mackerel and a few surfperch. 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 – PFIC reports indicate some decent sharay action—leopards and bat rays. How To Get There: From Sepulveda Boulevard, turn west on Manhattan Beach Drive and follow it to the pier.
Venice Pier — Ditto Hermosa. How To Get There: Highway 1 to Washington St., turn west and follow Washington St. to the pier.
Santa Monica Pier — No report, is the shop open? 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 says she’s getting some excellent reports from the pier. A few halibut are being reported as well as lots of perch, smelt and mackerel. A few threshers have been also taken out at the end of the pier including one measuring (including the tail) nearly 11-feet in length. Ginny says the surf area is thick with sand crabs and corbina are also being seen although only a couple have been hooked. 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, need a reporter. 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 — PFIC reports indicate there are some baitfish present in the top-water areas (mid-pier to the end) with perch found on the bottom in the inshore areas. Use the baitfish to fish for the sharks and bat rays that are also present. 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, said good numbers of baitfish—sardines, mackerel and jacksmelt—were making an appearance until 4/27. That’s when the city replaced four old, mussel-encrusted pilings with four new creosote-soaked pilings. He says it’s only anecdotal but the fishing turned off almost immediately. He say’s there is bait further inshore, away from the new pilings but at the end (where his shop is located) it is dead. He’s hoping things pick up soon. 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 been some good perch fishing along with a plethora of bottom species showing up in the Pipe Reef. The baitfish come and go. 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 — No report, last report we had said the pier was closed. How To Get There: From Highway 101 simply take the Gaviota State Park turnoff.
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