|California Pier Report — November 2011
San Diego County Piers
Imperial Beach Pier – No report, need a new reporter. 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 — Chip, at the pier’s B&T Shop, said it’s the normal stuff—mackerel, smelt, sardines, anchovies, and bass along with an occasional shark. 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 still pretty good although there’s been some rain and those days not too many people are showing up. Lots of baitfish are around—jacksmelt, mackerel, and a few sardines, but it’s slowed a little on the bigger species. Some large barred surfperch (to 2 pounds) were landed a few days before I called, a few small halibut were showing, and some decent-sized bat rays, but the action’s been sporadic. As for corbina, large numbers are seen in the surf area but no ones been able to tempt them to bite. 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, urn left and follow the road to the park.
Embarcadero Marina Pier — James at the pier’s bait shop reports that the big news lately was the catch of a striped bass in mid-October that went 8-10 pounds and almost snapped the rod of the surprised angler who caught it. It was landed and kept. For the most part the action continues good on mackerel with an occasional bass (mostly kelp bass) entering the mix. The 1st of November saw a 5-pound bass landed. 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. Some bass, mackerel and halibut should be available. 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 Shelter Island Pier bait shop, says it’s hit and miss action with mackerel and bass providing most of the action. 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 there’s still a lot of baitfish around—mackerel, jacksmelt, sardines, and anchovies and that’s probably why the thresher shark fishing out at the end of the pier remains pretty good (including a 9-foot-long fish the week I called). Some bass and a few halibut show mid-pier, small-sized croakers and corbina are being caught inshore. It’s not great fishing but it’s not bad. 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 — Iain, at Hogan's Bait And Tackle, 34320 Pacific Coast Hwy, Dana Point, said that bass, sheephead and croakers are the main fish showing up. The bass and sheephead are hitting on squid and anchovies, the croakers on lugworms. 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 — Iain at Hogan's Bait And Tackle, 34320 Pacific Coast Hwy, Dana Point, reports that anglers fishing straight down by the pilings, and using squid and anchovies, are getting some small bass and croakers. Anglers tossing out shiny lures like Krocodiles or Kastmasters are rewarded with some small barracuda. 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 “Although this month hasn't been the greatest the past two days have made up for it. The Humboldt Squid arrived en masse. They were chasing our big bait schools of sardines and little mackerel. Thursday we started getting the squid about mid pier. Just my group was getting them. We did have our squid jigs with us, which made it easier to get them. They started out smaller at about 2 to 2 1/2 feet, and then they got bigger up to about 4 feet. Of course you have to remember those tentacles stretch out quite a ways. Thursday I got four of them in the time I was there. Came back Friday morning about mid morning and got four more plus I got two small Market size squid. Finally the sun came out and that ended the bite plus it got too hot to stay. I did get squirted in the back by the squid caught by the man next to me. What a shock, but it at least didn't have ink in the squirt. We did get a good laugh out of that happening. Friday morning the pier was a mess. There was ink everywhere even down to the surf. Need a good rain now. The people needed big bags so all the bags were missing from the trash cans on the pier. The night was of course the best time to catch the squid, and hundreds went to new homes. My friends and I haven't had that much fun in a long time with "catching". Oh, and my calimari dinner was excellent if I do say so.” 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 — It’s much the same as Balboa although you get more snaggers/poachers at the foot of the pier. 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 — Karen, at Let’s Go Fishing (on the pier), says anglers continue to pick up some croakers, perch and corbina inshore while mackerel show up mid-pier to the end, and threshers continue to show out at the end. The threshers have been primarily an early morning treat. 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, says anglers are getting some decent perch, yellowfin croakers, spotfin croakers and corbina inshore. The key, as always, is the right bait with lug worms, ghost shrimp and fresh mussels pulling in the inshore species. Mid-pier to the end sees some mackerel and jacksmelt, while out at the end a variety of sharks and rays, including threshers, continue to show. 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, need a reporter. 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, need a reporter. 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, need a reporter. 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) – It sounds like the usual mix of fish is 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. Expect some opaleye, bass and the assorted bottom species—sheephead, halfmoon, blacksmith, etc. Bonito have been absent. 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 still mackerel. He says the DF&G has also done some sting operations on lobster poachers at the pier and the jetty — and several people have been nabbed, one guy twice. That’s what we want to see. 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 — Lisa at the Sportfishing shop on the pier says most of the action is on the small perch and perch-like fish under the pier—opaleye, halfmoon, blacksmith, black perch, etc., but a nice-sized cabezon (7 pounds) was landed on Tuesday the 25th). Other than that it’s mostly the mackerel that seem to come and go throughout the day. 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 there’s a few small surfperch inshore and some mackerel further out on the pier but that’s about it except for a few sharays (of mixed size and variety). Sounds like the DF&G also had a successful sting operation on lobster poachers at the pier—good job. 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. 2427 190th St. Redondo Beach says there’s a few small surfperch inshore and some mackerel further out on the pier but that’s about it except for a few sharays (of mixed size and variety). How To Get There: From Sepulveda Boulevard, turn west on Manhattan Beach Drive and follow it to the pier.
Venice Pier — Pete at Just Fishing By Pete. 2427 190th St. Redondo Beach says there’s a few small surfperch inshore and some mackerel further out on the pier but that’s about it except for a few sharays (of mixed size and variety). How To Get There: Highway 1 to Washington St., turn west and follow Washington St. to the pier.
Santa Monica Pier — Brenda, at the Santa Monica Pier Bait Shop, reports a mixed bag of mackerel, perch and sharays—with the sharks primarily hitting early in the morning while the mackerel come and go throughout the day. If seeking out the perch fish under the pier by the pilings. 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 Wylie’s Bait and Tackle says much of the action is on the increasing number of perch that are showing up but that at the pier there’s still a lot of mackerel. A few under-sized halibut continue to show and surprisingly, the thresher shark fishermen out at the end are still landing the long tailed beasts. 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 — PFIC reports sound like it’s fairly slow although a few halibut have been landed. No mackerel or sardines were reported. 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’s been a good bite on barred surfperch and a few walleyes. In addition, the dedicated thresher fishermen still seem to be picking up a few fish even though it’s late in the season for the sharks. 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 things have slowed but some mackerel are still around. They come and go but enough are showing up to keep most people happy. He says a couple of threshers have also been landed (and it was a decent year for the long tails) but few people are fishing for them or even fishing on the bottom. 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 it’s the normal species for the most part—brown rockfish leading the attack if fishing the pipe reef, a few large perch out by the mid-pier hoist, and a few small surfperch inshore. Mackerel 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. How To Get There: From Highway 101 simply take the Gaviota State Park turnoff.