|California Pier Report — May 2014
San Diego County Piers
Imperial Beach Pier – No report this month. 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 – Pam Taylor, the owner of the pier’s bait shop, said there have been lots of mackerel and they are good-sized mackerel. Mix in a few walleye surfperch and some leopard sharks and that’s about it. She hasn’t seen any halibut lately or even any yellowfin croaker. 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 this month. 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 most of the recent action has been on mackerel along with a few small 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! 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 Oceanside Pier Bait & Tackle, says the weather has been really hot and the pier’s been crowded but fishing has been slow. BIG mackerel are in and out but just a few croakers have shown and very few sharks. Some skates are hitting at night but not much else; the water is still too cold. 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 — Dave at Hogan's Bait And Tackle, 34320 Pacific Coast Hwy, Dana Point, says that anglers are seeing a lot of corbina in the shallows although not too many are being taken. The ones that are being caught have generally been taken on ghost shrimp or lug worms although he did a report of one being taken on a Lucky Craft lure (strange). He says there are a lot of mackerels further out on the pier which probably explains the recent action on sharks. Regulars with the know-how have been taking the usual sharay species but are also pulling in some small mako sharks and threshers (with mackerel being the typical bait. 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 — Dave at Hogan's Bait And Tackle, 34320 Pacific Coast Hwy, Dana Point, says most of the action has been on small bass, both calicos and sand bass, but a nice 30” halibut was taken on a swim bait (so some hallies are there). 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, “Another month and not much improvement. Randy and I just got two small halibut this month. There was a legal white seabass caught in the surf by a snagger last week. Know it was a legal as he couldn't lift it and had to land it on the shore. Have seen a nice corbina caught last week by a snagger. There are a lot of mackerel being caught from the middle of pier to the end. Have seen a few thornbacks and stingrays, but not much else is being caught. Some people are catching sheep crabs in nets. Some are nice sized. The bait has been somewhat regular about showing up. Seems to show up when the sun comes out. Also have had some grunion around. We just wish things would get better soon.” 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 at 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 anglers have been getting quite a few big spotfin croakers using pier mussels while some big barred surfperch have also been taken lately. She says the mackerel are in and out, there one day and not the next, but it has seemed to help pick up the bat ray action. She said one huge bat ray, estimated at 200 pounds was taken by a regular, but I forgot to ask her if she had a picture of the fish (and the state record is 181 pound, a fish taken from the Huntington Beach Pier back in the ‘70s.). 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 still getting some barred surfperch inshore by the lifeguard station along with a few corbina and yellowfin croaker; but nada on the spotfin croakers. Some nice leopard sharks and shovelnose sharks are being caught further out on the pier. 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 this month. 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 anglers are catching mackerel but 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 and tackle shop, said about all that is hitting are small calico (kelp) bass and an occasional sand bass. No mackerel or other top water fish although a few perch and perch-like species are still found 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— It’s mostly small perch and small sharks at this time. 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. Some mackerel are also beginning to show. How To Get There: Highway 1 to Washington St., turn west and follow Washington St. to the pier.
Santa Monica Pier — John at the pier’s bait shop said a few mackerel, perch, kelp bass and leopard sharks are showing up but none in big numbers. Thresher fishermen are out but no threshers have been taken. Still, there’s a lot of anchovies around the pier so something should start biting. 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 there are still a lot of small perch around as well as a few sargo. She’s also gotten reports on big leopard sharks and big bat rays and attributes it at least in part to the grunion runs (that are also bringing in a few halibut). 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 — Some anchovies, mackerel and sardines are showing at the pier. 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 — Eric at Eric’s Tackle Shop, 2127 East Thompson Blvd, Ventura, says it’s really been windy (howling) so not too many people are fishing. Mainly what he’s getting reports on are sharks and rays from the regulars. 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 pier says it’s really been windy. The day I called, he said four baseball hats and two trash cans had already gone in the water and the number of fishermen was down to one. However, when it’s not windy they’ve been getting a lot of mackerel and sardines, medium to large sized mackerel and BIG sardines. Not much on the bottom but the macks and ‘dines are keeping the people happy. 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 is closed for repairs to broken pilings. 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 — The pier is currently closed (the last 90 feet of the pier dropped into the ocean). How To Get There: From Highway 101 simply take the Gaviota State Park turnoff.