|California Pier Report — January 2014
Lobster season is in 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 — No report this month. 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 – No report this month. 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 — Jollo at the pier’s bait shop (deli) said it’s been slow with only an occasional mackerel showing up. 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 — Dennis at the Shelter Island Bait Shop says fishing is VERY SLOW. 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 that although the crowds are big (75 degree weather), fishing is fairly slow with the exception of millions of anchovies surrounding the pier. He says the birds are diving and porpoises attacking the schools; it may not be a bad time to stock up on some baitfish. He did say that “Mountain Man” the regular who’s out fishing on the pier every day for halibut caught a nice legal size sheephead last week (a little surprising since it was on live bait). He says mostly there’s just a few perch and lots of thornbacks. 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 the water is cold and clear but inshore anglers are still picking up good numbers perch (generally during high tide) using fresh mussels and lug worms. Out at the end a few sharks are still being taken (a variety) but most people are hooping for lobster (and that’s best at night). Lastly, some corbina are still showing inshore but the water is so clear it’s really hard to get them to bite. 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, said things have slowed although yellowfin croaker and walleye surfperch continue to bite. The harbor is full of cold water and that’s really seemed to affect the bass bite. 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, “We have been getting quite a few Jacksmelt for the past few weeks. I have been eating them and do enjoy them. They are so mild, and easy to clean. I fillet them. They are good smoked as well. We have had some good sardines for bait, but nothing really wants to eat them other than crabs. Well, after all it is winter, and we really can't expect too much. There are some thornbacks around. The water has been crystal clear for several weeks now. Makes it interesting to watch the bottom for future reference as to snag areas. This week we watched several blue whales spout and show their backs. They were out a ways, but it was a very calm day water wise and wind wise, so we could see those extremely high spouts at a distance and the sun shining on their backs. Friday we had a large Mola Mola come into the pier by the pilings and stay about an hour. It was about 10 feet long and probably about 500 pounds. That was the biggest one we have ever seen. With the water as clear as it was it made viewing the Mola Mola very interesting. Our water is staying at 60 degrees which it normal for this time of year. There are lots of tourists from everywhere coming out on the pier. It is fun to hear their comments. They thought the Mola mola was a Manta Ray... Oh, by the way, you may not have known him personally, but we lost an important person in the fish world last week. It was Art Mello. He had the bait boats for years here, such as the Mona Lisa, Mello Boy, Mello 2, and several others. He delivered bait to Newport Pier when I fished it and before. I know his son, Sam, from Dana Harbor. I attended the funeral yesterday at Pacific View. On his casket there were fish at each corner of the casket. I now plan to have 4 halibut on mine. (no hurry!) How about you?” 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 —Nicole at Let’s Go Fishing (on the pier), said there’s a wide-open run on smelt and anchovies which anglers are then using to catch stingrays and skates. Not much else although a few corbina and croakers still show in the surf area. How To Get There: Highway 1 (Pacific Coast Highway) to Huntington Beach and the pier.
Seal Beach Pier — Tyler at Big Fish B&T says people are still picking up some perch and croakers inshore while mid-pier to the end sees some leopard sharks, bat rays and a few bass (probably sand bass). A variety of lures and baits are taking the 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. 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 there should be some bass and sargo available to those using lures and ghost shrimp. 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, mainly 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 Redondo Beach Tackle (on the pier) said it’s been very slow. About the only thing she is seeing is an occasional mackerel. 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 and tackle shop, just laughed when I asked if the fish were biting. Apparently it’s slow with the exception of the small 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— Expect a few surfperch inshore along with the usual mix of thornbacks, stingrays and small sharks. 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 — Expect a few surfperch inshore along with the usual mix of thornbacks, stingrays and small sharks. How To Get There: From Sepulveda Boulevard, turn west on Manhattan Beach Drive and follow it to the pier.
Venice Pier — Expect a few surfperch inshore along with the usual mix of thornbacks, stingrays and small sharks. How To Get There: Highway 1 to Washington St., turn west and follow Washington St. to the pier.
Santa Monica Pier — No report this month although there should be some croakers and surfperch available in the surf area as well as seaperch under the pier by the pilings. Most people seem to be seeking out the crabs and 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 slow at the pier although anglers report decent amounts of jacksmelt and small perch (walleye surfperch). Not much else. 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 — The only report I have received said good numbers of anchovies are being taken at the pier but not much else. 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 although surfperch should be picking up. 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 a lot of anglers are fishing (good weather) but the action is slow, primarily jacksmelt and lizardfish. He says maybe one fish in twenty is a mackerel and that quite a few octopus are also being caught. 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 the brown rockfish are still present at the pipe reef while nighttime fishing continues to yield a variety of sharks and rays. 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 — Steve at the park’s snack bar/bait shop reported that anglers are still pulling in some mackerel and sardines. He said nighttime action has been best with people reporting some larger perch, cabezon and quite a few sharks—7-gill, leopard and thresher. He said recent weekends have seen sharks caught nightly. He did say the snack bar will be closing 1/5 and not reopening until spring break (April?. How To Get There: From Highway 101 simply take the Gaviota State Park turnoff.