|California Pier Report — October 2013
Lobster season is now if effect, be sure to have a lobster card and to follow all rules and regulations!
San Diego County Piers
Imperial Beach Pier – No report, need a 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 — The bait shop said a variety of fish continue to be taken. During the day it’s mainly the usual queenfish and a few small halibut but anchovies and bonito are also making an appearance. At night mackerel continue to make a showing as well as some sharks and rays. 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 a few croakers are hitting inshore while action at the end has primarily been on jacksmelt. A fairly large shark was taken a few days ago but he’s not sure if it was a soupfin or a 7-gill. 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 — Jalo from the piers bait and tackle shop at the foot of the pier said fishing has been dead. 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 — 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’s bait shop, says a lot of bass are being taken (all undersize), quite a few small white seabass were taken for a few days (released from the pens?), and a number of halibut are showing up (all undersize). The mackerel seem to have deserted the pier but they have been replaced by small mackerel-sized bonito. A few croakers also continue to show inshore. 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’s a variety of fish available. Right in the surf area some corbina are showing while just past the surf line anglers are taking spotfin croaker; use fresh mussels or lug worms for both. Mid-pier sees small croakers as well as some perch; best bait: lug worms. At the end it’s mainly sharay action—fish include smaller smoothhounds and larger 7-gills. A number of giant (black) sea bass have also been taken and we hope anglers are releasing them properly. 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 it’s the usual, a mix of croakers (mainly spotfin) and bass—bay bass, calicos and sand bass. Mussels seem to be the top bait. Expect some thornbacks and a possible bat ray if you fish at night. Only one legal halibut has been reported recently and it was taken on a (surprise) lug worm. 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, “Good thing we have had lots of bait this month or there wouldn't have been anything to catch. We have had an abundance of smelt, sardines and some Spanish Jacks. The snaggers are catching mullet once in a while but not much else either. The water is in the higher 60's and very clear. It means if there is a fish there we would be able to see it. One of my friends saw a very large halibut, but it was just moving about slowly. Probably full of lots of the bait. We saw a few blue whales out not too far last week. It was very obvious by the size of their spouts and backs. They stayed around for over an hour. Even if it was about a mile out, it was easy to see with binoculars. We are beginning to count the strikes now as the catching is so slow. I did get a couple small halibut earlier this month. There are some mackerel at the end of the pier. Not as many lizardfish now for some reason-thank goodness. It has been a very hot month on the pier. Not pleasant when there isn't any wind or breeze. Just heat! Maybe October will surprise.” 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 there continues to be a lot of lizardfish, some perch and croakers inshore, small bass, and a few sharks and rays. How To Get There: Highway 1 (Pacific Coast Highway) to Huntington Beach and the pier.
Seal Beach Pier — Shawn at Big Fish B&T reports fair fishing for perch at the front of the pier while some mackerel and sardines continue to show out at the end. Some halibut have been taken but almost all have been shorts. 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. Also expect some mackerel—Pacific mackerel, jack mackerel and possibly a bonito. 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, Pacific mackerel, 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. And, the bonito are back; most are smallish sized but they are still fun to catch. 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 – Sunny from the pier’s bait shop reports action, when there’s action, is primarily on mackerel. Not too 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 — Sam, at the pier’s bait and tackle shop, says things are very slow with mainly a few short bass and small mackerel making an appearance. A few bonito are spotted in the harbor each morning but they are not biting. Expect the normal perch and perch-like species 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— Pete, at Just Fishing By Pete, 2427 190th St., Redondo Beach (and he is the expert), says about the only thing most people are getting are jacksmelt and perch and maybe an occasional ray. 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 (and he is the expert), says about the only thing most people are getting are jacksmelt and perch and maybe an occasional ray. 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 (and he is the expert), says about the only thing most people are getting are jacksmelt and perch and maybe an occasional ray. A 50+pound ocean sunfish (mola mola) was also reported from the pier this month but we discourage their catch. To catch one you basically have to snag it and then you have to drag it up onto the pier. And the question is why since they are basically inedible. How To Get There: Highway 1 to Washington St., turn west and follow Washington St. to the pier.
Santa Monica Pier — Robert at the pier’s bait shop said action has pretty much been dead although the mackerel come and go and a few short halibut have been caught. He says some angel sharks have also been taken (no size given) . Based upon past reports, I imagine the main action at this time is happening at night when the poachers are out in force seeking out the lobsters. 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 it’s been a mixed bag this month. Anglers are still reporting lizardfish along with some anchovies around the piers and some perch inshore. She says there have been some halibut taken but all have been shorts with few exceeding 18-inches in length. 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 most of the action has been on lizardfish and jacksmelt for the past week or so. The mackerel bite was great for a time but stopped. 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 — Apparently some mackerel and sardines are available as well as the usual sharks and rays at night . 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 this month. How To Get There: From Highway 101 simply take the Gaviota State Park turnoff.