|California Pier Report — August 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 — Megan, at the pier’s bait shop, said a variety of fish are being taken. Inshore in the shallows some corbina are showing up and she noted that she saw one angler with seven corbina all over 20 inches. He had also caught a nice-sized cabezon, all on ghost shrimp. Some spotfin croakers have also been taken but halibut action has been slow, at least for legal-size fish. Mackerel are around but it’s almost entirely a nighttime proposition with few showing during the day. A few leopard sharks and bat rays have been seen but not too many while anchovies and queenfish seem to be at the pier and being caught throughout the day, every day. 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 the water has cooled and the fishing has slowed. Anglers do continue to pull in some yellowfin croaker and spotfins but only a couple of legal halibut have been seen and action on top-water species has been slow. He says he hasn’t seen any sardines all summer and mackerel action is sporadic at best, a school will show up for an hour and then leave not to be seen again that day. A few shovelnose sharks (guitarfish) have been taken along with some leopard sharks but bat rays have been missing. The one fish that is present in good numbers is lizardfish. Overall it’s just not a good report for this time of the year. 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 — James at JJ”s Sunset Deli at the foot of the pier says the main action has been on bass, primarily kelp bass, and that the regulars are taking them pretty regularly (makes sense). Mackerel are in and out, mostly out, and the halibut have been missing for the past month. Even the sharay action—bat rays, leopard sharks, stingrays, etc.—have been slow. Biggest news has been a run of sorts on giant (black) sea bass. About a half dozen have been taken, mostly by anglers using big baits and fishing for sharks. As far as he knows all were returned to the water. 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 it’s been kind of slow although mackerel are back in the early evenings. A 40-lb giant (black) sea bass was caught and released using a lizardfish as bait! The water cooled down but’s coming back up so it’s hoped the halibut bite will pick up soon. 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 — Jim, at the pier’s bait shop, says the pier is packed with anglers and when I called they were catching a ton of fish. He said the mackerel and sardines had both running like crazy and so had the spotfin croakers with anglers taking away ice chests full of LARGE spotfins (and we can only hope they are not exceeding their limits). He said many, many kelp bass were hitting but almost all were 10-12 inch fish so now illegal and it was the same story with halibut, a lot of the flatties but almost all undersized. He said some nice shovelnose sharks (guitarfish) are being taken daily while a couple of threshers showed up the week I called. But, he said it felt like a million anglers and railing space was at a premium. 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 — Ivan, at Hogan's Bait And Tackle, 34320 Pacific Coast Hwy, Dana Point, says there is some real good croaker action going on at this time from the shallows to mid-pier. Yellowfin and spotfins are both showing up and fresh mussels have been the bait of choice. He’s also getting increasing reports on corbina in the shallows and most of those are falling to live ghost shrimp (which he now has) or to sand crabs (which you will need to catch yourself). Inshore, and that seems to be the place to be, is also producing some barred surfperch (on lug worms or Berkeley Gulp worms) and some small walleye surfperch (on strips of squid). Sharks and rays are out at the end but nothing much is showing on the top with the exception of some smelt; the mackerel are holding offshore at the edge of the kelp beds. As for halibut action, it’s slow to dead. 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 — Ivan at Hogan's Bait And Tackle, 34320 Pacific Coast Hwy, Dana Point, says most of the action is on croakers (use lug worms or fresh mussels) and on small bass, a mixture of kelp, sand and spotted bay bass, mostly the latter. Action on top is pretty much dead. 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, “Things are better at the pier now. We have been getting lots of halibut although they are undersized. At least they are around and there should be some mothers and grandmothers in amongst them. My fishing buddy and I each have two keepers since the first of the year, and we expect more keepers. The bait is there for them as well. There has been some large yellowfin croakers caught up to 4 pounds. The white seabass are around, but their sizes aren't big enough. There was a 38-1/2 inch one caught in the surf by a snagger. We have seen some larger ones go through. Don't know how we would land those that looked like 60 pounders. The mackerel are there towards the end of the pier. Saw one small bonito. The snaggers have gotten some corbina off and on. The water has been nice most of the time with 68 to 70 degree water. In about 2 weeks the area should get quieter as the Jr. lifeguards will be through for the year, then school will be starting. 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 — Jimmy at Big Fish B&T reports fair fishing at the pier. Inshore the yellowfin croakers are showing along with a few spotfins. Mid-pier to the end sees a few short halibut along with good numbers of bat rays and shovelnose sharks (guitarfish). He says some mackerel are also showing along with lots of lizardfish. 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. 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 – Scott from the Redondo Sportfishing Pier reports the big pier is dead on mackerel but has all the lizardfish you want to catch. Other than an occasional bat ray, there’s not much else. 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 — Scott at the pier’s bait shop says things are slow, a few under-sized bass, some small opaleye, and the mix of perch-like species under the pier. No mackerel and a keeper halibut about once a week. Oh, and a few lizardfish. 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 picking up at the pier although most of the action is still on the smaller species. There has been a decent number of sargo showing up with some reaching several pounds; try mussels or lugworms or shrimp. The same bait and shallow areas may also produce some yellowfin croaker. A few mackerel are showing along with a few halibut but most are shorts. Walleye surfperch and shinerperch are showing in good numbers along with a few barred surfperch. Liazrdfish remain numerous while a few big bat rays are also making an appearance. 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 lizardfish, bat rays and a few ronkies (white croaker); not much 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 — PFIC reports indicate sardines are being taken as well as shovelnose sharks. 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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