|California Pier Report — January 2012
San Diego County Piers
Imperial Beach Pier – No report this month. 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 bait shop, said things have been really slow. Mackerel are available, as well as some queenfish, but other than that it’s most sharks and rays on the bottom. 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 has been slow with the exception of BIG jacksmelt. Anglers have been taking buckets of smelt home. The most interesting catch of the month (according to PFIC) was a misplaced freshwater turtle. 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 weather is good but the fishing is only so so. Mainly it’s mackerel and jacksmelt with a few lizardfish adding to the mix. Very little else has been seen. 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 – No report this month. 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 the water temperature is 57 degrees and the fishing has been a little slow but anglers continue to bring up a mix of fish—barred surfperch inshore, a few buttermouth (black) perch down by the pilings, some small halibut mid-pier, shovelnose sharks (guitarfish) mid-pier, and surprisingly, a few small thresher sharks continue to show out at the end. Some mackerel and sardines also continue to show although it’s not hot action. 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 — Austin, at Hogan's Bait And Tackle, 34320 Pacific Coast Hwy, Dana Point, reports that croaker continue to show up inshore to mid-pier while a few corbina are showing in the shallow waters. Out at the end it’s mainly a few sharays — mostly thornbacks (throw-em-backs) and shovelnose. 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 — Austin at Hogan's Bait And Tackle, 34320 Pacific Coast Hwy, Dana Point, reports that anglers are picking up a few spotted bay bass, some croakers, and an occasional halibut. 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 “not that it has changed much this month. The weather has been perfect most of the time. The water is crystal clear and that is not good. The water is almost as cold as last year at this time which is in the middle to high fifties. Even the bait don't like it right now. We have been using fresh GULP, but even it hasn't proved successful. Guess there aren't too many fish around because we know that GULP works well when they are around. Yesterday I stayed later and caught some little mackerel on the snagline. Also got a few sardines. What I was doing was giving my grandson's girlfriend a chance to feel what a fish felt like bringing them in. She had never experienced that. She even didn't mind handling the fish by hand. We watched some whales come by. One was in close on Sunday by the pier. So far the whale watching from the pier is much better than last year. Now if we can get the fishing to improve too we will be set.” 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 a few more snaggers and 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 — Marion at Let’s Go Fishing (on the pier), says anglers continue to pull in some perch and croakers inshore. How To Get There: Highway 1 (Pacific Coast Highway) to Huntington Beach and the pier.
Seal Beach Pier — Mike at Big Fish Bait & Tackle. 1780-C. Pacific Coast Hwy, says it’s the usual—some perch and croakers inshore, a few halibut mid-pier, some pelagics (mackerel and sardines) mid-pier to the end, and mainly sharks and rays out toward the end. Fishing is somewhat slow but some fish are still around. 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 and even the lobsters haven’t really shown this winter. 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 at the pier and a FEW halibut. 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 the action has been slow; most of the action is on short calicos and the small perch and perch-like fish under the pier—opaleye, halfmoon, blacksmith, black perch, 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. 2427 190th St. Redondo Beach says there’s not much going on at the pier, he’s not getting any reports from the pier and that usually means the fishing is slow. 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 he’s not getting reports from the pier but barred surfperch SHOULD be available inshore. Trouble is most people head right out to the end. 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 — Robert, at the Santa Monica Pier Bait Shop, reports that anglers are still getting a few fish. Mainly it’s mackerel along with a few halibut and an occasional perch. 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 fishing has been dead at the pier, really no reports of any fish. 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. 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 quite a few barred surfperch at the shore end of the pier. Not much else reported. 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 it’s 80% jacksmelt with a smattering of mackerel, lizardfish and shiners making up the rest of the fish. 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—a few rockfish from the pipe reef, an occasional bass, and pelagics when the schools decide to show up. 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.