|California Pier Report — March 2014
Lobster season is still in effect, be sure to have a lobster card and to follow all rules and regulations!
San Diego County Piers
Imperial Beach Pier – Nate Millis reports that “Fishing is very slow. However, the dusk hours bring schools of lizardfish, which are hard to fish through. They seem to bite on everything, including their own. Anglers at the far end of the pier have wondered where all the mackerel have gone. Folks inshore haven't had much luck either except for the occasional perch or ray. “ 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; pier has been closed for part of this last weekend. 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 – Pamela Taylor, the new owner of the pier’s bait shop, said that most of the action has been on surfperch and jacksmelt although some nice-sized leopard sharks have also been taken recently. The pier was closed to fishing on 3/1 due to the heavy storm. 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 — Nate Millis reports that the “Pier is very small and congested. The few people I talked to said fishing was slow. I didn't see anybody pull in any fish - including myself.” 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 — Nate Millis reports that “Was only able to fish this spot at nighttime, but was able to go out 3-4 nights a week. Fishing is SLOW and other anglers have also voiced their same concerns. Baitfish are freely active which may indicate lack of predators. Of the 15 or so times I went out I can't remember a legal-sized fish. Lots of rays, few sculpin.” 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 Oceanside Pier Bait & Tackle, says that a lot of small perch are being taken (walleyes?) along with some croakers inshore but other than that it is pretty quiet. We’ll see how the recent rains affect the action. 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 — Stephanie at Hogan's Bait And Tackle, 34320 Pacific Coast Hwy, Dana Point, says most of the reports she’s gotten have concerned croaker being taken inshore to mid-pier (mostly on lug worms). She says there’s also some surfperch inshore and lots of jacksmelt inshore to mid-pier. 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 — Stephanie at Hogan's Bait And Tackle, 34320 Pacific Coast Hwy, Dana Point, said action has mainly centered on perch and jacksmelt although a nice-sized legal halibut was taken mid-month. 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, “Well, we are getting lots of smelt of all sizes for bait. Wish I could say something was taking them. I did get a 25-inch halibut early in the month, but outside of thornbacks nothing much has been happening. Yes, there are some mackerel and wall-eyed perch (small). There are still some big jacksmelt in the surf area. The water is warming a little. Went to 62 degrees and then back to 60. Now it is 61. Up is better. We are seeing the whales returning as of this week. Don't know what this rain is going to do to the fishing?” 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 — Stephanie at Hogan's Bait And Tackle, 34320 Pacific Coast Hwy, Dana Point, said one of her regulars reported taking good numbers of small mackerel at the pier and then using them for live bait. The result: several halibut including two legal-size fish. 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’s a lot of baitfish (sardines and anchovies) along with small perch (walleyes?), and sting rays. She said people are also getting good numbers of rock crabs and spider crabs. How To Get There: Highway 1 (Pacific Coast Highway) to Huntington Beach and the pier.
Seal Beach Pier — Jimmy at Big Fish B&T says people are primarily getting mackerel and jacksmelt while some big barred surfperch are hitting inshore and a few shovelnose (guitarfish) are hitting mid-pier to the end. 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 — The Beach Club reports that some mackerel are being taken mid-pier to the end of the pier along with a few legal-size halibut. 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, said fishing has been slow. Evidently the harbor is changing with the demise of any warm water releases and the colder water is reflecting in a growth of kelp which could affect the fish population down the road. 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 — Robert from SM Pier Bait & Tackle (on the pier) says it’s extremely slow at this time. He say’s you might get a couple of mackerel here and there but that’s about it. A FEW crabs and lobsters are taken at night. 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 about the only thing hitting are small perch (walleyes?), some jacksmelt, some under-sized halibut, and a few leopard sharks and shovelnose sharks (guitarfish). 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 — I’ve been unable to reach the bait shop. A PFIC report said the wharf was damaged by storms. 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 — The pier may have suffered damage on 3/1. 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 — Apparently the pier suffered storm damage 12/28—from the hoist to the end (approximately 30 feet of the end section). The pier is currently closed. How To Get There: From Highway 101 simply take the Gaviota State Park turnoff.
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