|California Pier Report — November 2014
San Diego County Piers
Imperial Beach Pier – Still looking for a reporter for this pier but did see a report (and picture) of a huge white seabass taken from the pier the last week in October. Not sure of the weight but it could be a 50-pounder. Apparently it was taken on a live sardine being used by a guy fishing for a thresher shark. I also heard that both mackerel and bonito are available in good numbers for anglers. 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 — Robert at the pier’s bait shop reports that the mackerel and bonito continue to hit in fairly good numbers. He says a lot of the bonito are hitting on Megabait lures while the mackerel hit a variety of baits and lures. Anglers using shrimp out towards the end are pulling in some kelp bass while an occasional halibut still shows up mid-pier. 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 at the pier’s bait shop reports mackerel and bonito are still biting and they’ve been joined by some nice-sized halibut. Three legal-size halibut this past week including a 35-inch fish but action on other bottom species is only fair. How To get There: Take I-5 to Garnet Ave. then take Garnet west to the foot of the 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 — James at the pier’s bait shop (deli) said a few halibut are showing up (mostly shorts but a few keepers) but most of the action is on the usual bottom species like sharks and rays. There has been a decent mackerel bite but no bonito, they all seem to have moved outside the bay. 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! However, mackerel should be available on top as well as smallish-sized bass and a few halibut on the bottom. 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 pier’s bait shop the mackerel are in and out while anglers fishing on the bottom get the occasional halibut, bass, shark and ray. 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 — Jim, at the Oceanside Pier Bait & Tackle, says things seem to be slowing down. A lot of bonito are showing but for some reason they aren’t hitting. A few are taken each day but not like a few weeks ago. Some halibut are also showing, but mostly shorts, while each day also seems to produce a few sculpin (scorpionfish) along with the other bottom species. 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 — Forrest at Angler’s Tackle (on North Coast Hwy.) reports that most of the action has been on yellowfin croaker, small perch and jacksmelt. He said a few opaleye are available by the rocks and stingrays are plentiful on the sandy bottom but not much else. 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 — Mike at Hogan's Bait And Tackle, 34320 Pacific Coast Hwy, Dana Point, says anglers continue to pull in good numbers of bonito mid-pier to the end (use Megabaits, Sabikis, Kastmasters, etc.) while inshore, anglers are getting some yellowfin croaker and perch. Big bat rays and leopard sharks have been taken mid-pier to the end of the 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 — Mike at Hogan's Bait And Tackle, 34320 Pacific Coast Hwy, Dana Point, says quite a few halibut have been taken recently but most have been shorts. Anglers fishing on the bottom have also been taking the usual sharks (leopards) and rays (thornbacks and bat ray) while those using ghost shrimp, worms or mussels are also pulling in some spotfin croakers and yellowfin croakers. Small barracuda are also in the bay, most are hitting in the evening and usually on lures such as Kastmasters or 3” swimbaits. 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, “It's been a better month. We have had more bait than we can use. The bait consists of smelt of all sizes, sardines, Spanish jacks, Pacific mackerel and grunion. A 10-inch grunion got a 39-inch white sea bass in the surf last week. We have been catching lots of undersized halibut with a 24 1/2 inch halibut in the surf on a smelt. There are lots of bonitos around after the bait. They are not hard to catch even all the way into the surf. They are getting bigger too. Someone caught a very small yellowtail as well. Of course the mackerel are there too. We are having a good time now. It would be nice if the bonito fishermen would follow the DFG rules and only keep the legal 5 bonitos instead of a bucket full.” 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 — No report this month although results usually are similar to those at the Balboa Pier. 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 — Marion at Let’s Go Fishing (on the pier), said some nice halibut have been taken along with the usual shorts while inshore anglers continue to pick up a few yellowfin and spotfin croakers along with some surfperch. A really nice run of bonito was taking place but she says they seemed to have moved a little offshore with the recent rain. Some mackerel are still around as well as a few sharks. How To Get There: Highway 1 (Pacific Coast Highway) to Huntington Beach and the pier.
Seal Beach Pier — Pauley at Big Fish B&T says a lot of mackerel and bonito were hitting but things slowed after the rain. Yellowfin croaker and some corbina are still being taken inshore but other action is slow. 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 — Pauley at Big Fish B&T said some sargo and yellowfin croakers had been reported inshore to mid-pier as well as mackerel and bonito on top. 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, especially at night. 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, bonito. (some days), 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. 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 the mackerel bite has been good along with a few bonito. A 30” halibut was taken this past weekend. 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 it’s the same old (you know what), a combination of under-sized kelp bass and the miscellaneous perch and perch-like species under the pier. Apparently both the mackerel and bonito are outside the harbor. 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 some mackerel and bonito and mid-pier to the end. How To Get There: Take the Pacific Coast Highway (Hwy 1) to Pier Avenue and follow Pier Avenue west to the pier.
Venice Pier — Expect some mackerel and bonito and mid-pier to the end.
How To Get There: Highway 1 to Washington St., turn west and follow Washington St. to the pier.
Santa Monica Pier — Expect the usual (a few croakers inshore and perch under the pier) as well as some mackerel and (possibly) bonito. 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 the fishing has been really good. Baitfish have been around the pier and as a result both mackerel and bonito have been caught in good numbers as well as some halibut (including some legal-size fish). It sounds like perch are also available as well as a few sargo. This might be the time to go. 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 — Still closed. 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, says things have been dead with the exception of a few baitfish—mackerel and jacksmelt. He says shark action has been dead. He says the perch action is also slow. 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 from the Stearns Wharf bait shop reported that the bonito are still around although they’re not hitting like earlier. He got a 16” fish on Saturday so even if there are fewer bonito they are running larger. He says the mackerel are still around as well as jacksmelt, lizardfish and once in a great while a small halibut. 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 — No report this month. 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 “Snack Shop” says the pier is still closed and there doesn’t seem to be much progress on reopening it (it’s managed by the state). How To Get There: From Highway 101 simply take the Gaviota State Park turnoff.