|California Pier Report — July 2013
San Diego County Piers
Imperial Beach Pier – No report this month although croaker should be 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 — Randy, at the pier’s bait shop, said some interesting action has been taking place but also said that in relation to the last three years the overall action has been down. He says a lot of calico bass are being taken from the pier (from almost the entire length of the pier). The largest was a 26-inch fish that was the largest calico he’s seen from the pier in ten years. He says the squid are spawning about ¾ mile off the pier and as a result people are fishing for white seabass; although he hasn’t seen any taken on the pier, he took his boat out and got a 54-pound fish. Yellowfin croaker, the smaller cousins of the white seabass (actually a croaker), are available inshore to mid-pier. For whatever reason a number of (illegal) giant (black) sea bass have also been taken and, to date, all seem to have been released. He says halibut too are being taken but all have been sub-legal in size, mostly 8-12-inch fish. As for action on the top, it’s dead—no mackerel and no sardines. However, there have been some anchovies hanging around the pier and as a result some barracuda are being taken at night. He says some shortfin corvina are also showing in the surf around grunion time but most have been hooked on Sabikis—and most have been lost. 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, says things are starting to pick up although it still isn’t what he would call fast action. Most of the action is on croakers inshore, a few perch, an occasional halibut and the usual sharks and rays. He says there haven’t been any baitfish around, no mackerel or sardines, although there has been an influx of lizardfish which nobody wants. 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, 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 — No report, 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 — No report this month although some small bass should be available as well as the occasional shark and ray. 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 — Dennis at Fathom Bistro Bait & Tackle on the pier says there has been good halibut action with six or more legal-size fish being taken per week. A few shortfin corvina have been landed (at least five) and lots of calico bass although almost all of the bass are under the new 14-inch size limit. As for the mackerel, they’ve been breezing by but only for about 45 minutes at a time (so you have to be there when they show up). 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’s bait shop, says anglers are still picking up BIG spotfin croaker and sargo, the largest he’s seen in the last five years (use ghost shrimp, fresh mussels, and worms). He’s also seen quite a few halibut lately along with the shorts and tons of thornback (although few sharks and rays overall). Expect some mackerel if you fish out at the end at night. 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 — Tyler, at Hogan's Bait And Tackle, 34320 Pacific Coast Hwy, Dana Point, says there’s still a pretty good count on both barred surfperch (inshore) and croakers (inshore to mid-pier); use lug worms, ghost shrimp or mussels). Expect the normal small rays and sharks mid-pier to the end and an occasional halibut. Not much has been happening on the top. 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 — Tyler at Hogan's Bait And Tackle, 34320 Pacific Coast Hwy, Dana Point, says most of the action is on small bass, perch, a mix of croakers, and a few halibut (try Lucky Craft lures). Once again not too much is happening on the top. 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 has been a much better month for catching. We still are having trouble keeping up with the live bait. They are here one day and gone the next, but when they are here at least we are getting fish or strikes. The halibut are showing much better. There are some thornbacks and shovelnose guitarfish and yellowfin croakers. The mackerel are around as well. There are walleyed perch on the snag lines of all sizes. Yes, those lizardfish are still around. They are chasing the little smelt even into the surf area. Have seen some nice corbina caught by snaggers and by sand crabs. Summer is here, and the junior Lifeguards are everywhere now. There are lots of tourists from out of state too in big buses. At least there is someone directing traffic out of the parking area. The water is running from 67 to 70 degrees, and sometimes the water is nice for fishing under the pier. Right now there is a strong current probably from the Baha tropical depression. 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 — Typically about the same as Balboa but 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 — Karen at Let’s Go Fishing (on the pier), said a lot of spotfin croaker are showing up near the bait shop with many in the 3-5 pound range; try worms or fresh mussels. Quite a few bass are also showing up. It’s pretty much dead on top and sharay action has been fairly slow. How To Get There: Highway 1 (Pacific Coast Highway) to Huntington Beach and the pier.
Seal Beach Pier — Pauly at Big Fish B&T reports good fishing inshore for large spotfin croaker and sargo with fresh mussels seeming the best bait (followed by ghost shrimp). Expect a few yellowfin croaker and corbina to also show up if you’re fishing the inshore section. Lots of sharks, stingrays and shovelnose are showing but action on top species has been dead; he said the mackerel had been in but now they appeared to have moved out again. A few halibut have also been taken, largest lately a 28” fish. 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. However, a reminder that there is a 4th of July Party on the pier which will probably mean a million people and no parking for the lowly fishermen. In addition, a reminder that on August 2 the Kids Fishing Rodeo is scheduled which usually has around a thousand kids; again it might be a good day to avoid the pier. 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 although we’ve had reports of large-sized sargo in nearby areas and they should be available if using the right baits—fresh mussels, ghost shrimp, or worms. 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, we 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’s the usual mix of fish—small, illegal kelp bass (almost all under 14 inches), 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) – Expect some calico (kelp) bass, opaleye, and the assorted bottom species—sheephead, halfmoon, blacksmith, etc. Remember the new size limits for kelp bass—14 inches minimum length and no more than five bass total. 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 – No report this month. 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 — Sam at the pier’s bait shop says things have been a little slow although anglers are getting quite a few calico bass up to about 13 inches (which is an inch short of being legal). He himself did catch a 3 ½-foot shovelnose that weighed around 20 pounds; he said it’s only the second one he’s seen from the pier. Action is DEAD on top (no mackerel or sardines) but there are the assorted perch and perch-like species (opaleye, halfmoon, blacksmith) under the pier. 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— No report this month. 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 — No report this month.. How To Get There: From Sepulveda Boulevard, turn west on Manhattan Beach Drive and follow it to the pier.
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 — Brenda at the pier’s bait shop said action continues to be slow but a few perch are showing up along with an occasional shark and ray. 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 things are still a little slow unless you want lizardfish, there are tons of them. There are a few halibut including a few to 24”. There are also some shovelnose sharks and bat rays showing up. It’s DEAD on any top fish — no mackerel and no sardines. 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 — No report this month. 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 the bait shop on the wharf says fishing is fine as long as you like ronkies (white croaker), jacksmelt, and lizardfish, It’s pretty much dead on anything else. 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 — No report this month. 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 — PFIC reports indicate shark action can be fairly good at night. How To Get There: From Highway 101 simply take the Gaviota State Park turnoff.
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