|California Pier Report — November 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. I visited the pier a few weeks ago and things were very slow, all I saw were a few walleye surfperch. 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 — Kylie at bait shop said a variety of fish continue to be taken but she thinks it’s mainly mackerel. I was there a few weeks ago and had a short visit that produced a white seabass (too short to keep), yellowfin croaker, white croaker, queenfish, and butterfish (pompano). 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 really dead. The croakers have disappeared and while a few corbina are showing inshore, they are almost impossible to catch. He has been seeing something that he thinks are either opaleye or zebraperch but once again they are hard to hook. He did see one legal halibut about a week ago and a nice scorpionfish (sculpin) but said here hasn’t been anything on top. I was there a few weeks ago and though things were slow I did manage a few fish including a nice-sized spotfin croaker, a mackerel, and the usual thornbacks and lizardfish. 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! I was at the pier a few weeks ago and did not see a fish. 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! I was at the pier a few weeks ago and did not see a fish. 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 slow although some mackerel are starting to show up. I was at the pier a few weeks ago and managed a black croaker, sand bass and kelp bass. 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! I was at the pier a few weeks ago and managed about a dozen and a half kelp (calico) bass (small), 2 sand bass, 1 rock wrasse and a round stingray. 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. I was at the pier several weeks ago (two trips) and caught many, many small kelp bass, 3 rock wrasse, 4 lizardfish, and several lizardfish. 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 — Doug, at the pier’s bait shop, says things are really dead. A few bat rays are showing on the bottom and a few mackerel on top but that’s about it. He says people are lobstering at night and they are getting some keepers. I was at the pier several weeks ago and caught 3 sand bass, 3 walleyes, 1 kelp bass and a strange little scorpionfish. 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 — Things are slow, about all that’s hitting is an occasional croaker, sargo or small bass. I was at the pier several weeks ago and the only fish I saw was a good-sized sargo taken by a fellow angler. 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 — Chip, at Hogan's Bait And Tackle, 34320 Pacific Coast Hwy, Dana Point, says there’s still a lot of barred surfperch and corbina inshore; try using fresh mussels or lug worms on the corbina, worms, mussels or Berkeley sand worms on the perch. He said good number of sharays continue to be reported from the end area by anglers using squid or mackerel as bait; bat rays prefer the squid, sharks (leopards and 7-gill) prefer the mackerel. I was at the pier several weeks ago and managed 11 walleyes, 2 scorpionfish, 1 sand bass, 1 brown rockfish, 1 lizardfish and a jacksmelt. 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 — Chip at Hogan's Bait And Tackle, 34320 Pacific Coast Hwy, Dana Point, said good numbers of perch are being reported by people using lug worms or fresh mussels. He says a few croakers and corbina have also been taken. My visit earlier in the month yielded several 4 sargo, 3 white seaperch, 2 sand bass, 1 opaleye, 1 kelp bass and a smelt. 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, “Part of the time this month was okay, and part of the time it was awful. We had lots of smelt of all sizes most of the time, but the fish just didn't want to eat. I did get 4 halibut and 2 another day, but no keepers. There were thornbacks, stingrays, and yellowfin croakers. Of coarse there were mackerel that were small and we did have a few small bonito. There was an 18-pound spotfin croaker caught in the surf area. Yes! I said 18 pounds!” [We are checking on how the fish was weighed and have asked for a picture since the state record fish was only 14 pounds.] I visited Snookie and the pier several weeks ago but the only thing I caught were several smelt that were to be used for bait. 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. I visited the pier for a short visit a few weeks ago, a trip that yielded a lone mackerel and lizardfish. 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 some anchovies showing up and they continue to attract a few mackerel and even some bonito. On the bottom a few halibut have been caught and some sharks out toward the end of the pier, mainly leopard sharks. I was there a few weeks ago and was skunked; in fact I didn’t see a single fish on the pier. 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 some fair fishing for croaker and perch at the front of the pier but overall it sounds like things have slowed. 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 – Ricardo from the pier’s coffee shop/bait shop reports that there are few anglers and few fish. I was there a few weeks ago and anglers weren’t catching much during the day other than a steady supply of lizardfish and small sanddabs. However, once darkness set in the mackerel bite began. Still true? 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 pretty much the same as usual with short kelp bass, perch and perch-like fish (under the pier) leading the action. Regulars with the know-how are taking a few bonito most mornings. 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, a few mackerel, perch and perhaps an occasional ray. I was there a few weeks ago and fishing was slow. Did manage a giant kelpfish, senorita and speckled sanddab. 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, a few mackerel, perch and perhaps an occasional ray. I was there a few weeks ago and managed to catch a couple of mackerel, along with a lizardfish, topsmelt and sanddab. 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, a few mackerel, perch and perhaps an occasional ray. 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 been pretty slow although a few mackerel and an occasional under-sized halibut continue to be taken. The main action is on lobsters at night (with way too many poachers). 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 still a mixed bag of fish. Anglers are still reporting jacksmelt, perch (walleye), and lizardfish while a few shovelnose sharks (guitarfish) and short halibut are also showing up. 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 action is pretty slow, most of the action has been on jacksmelt and lizardfish with a LOT of octopus also being caught. The morning I called the entire end of the pier was closed by a film company much to the chagrin of Frank. The city had not even told him about the filming and he had not had a sale all morning. 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 — PFIC reports indicate some large schools of jacksmelt have been hanging around the pier as well as some mackerel and sardines. Perch and sanddabs continue to be available on the bottom. How To Get There: From Highway 101 simply take the Gaviota State Park turnoff.