|California Pier Report — February 2015
San Diego County Piers
Imperial Beach Pier – Still looking for a reporter for this pier but did hear reports of continued action on mackerel and bonito. 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 — Alison, at the pier’s bait shop, reports that things have been a little “messed up” due to the storms but anglers continue to take good numbers of mackerel and bonito as well as some bass out toward the end of the pier. Inshore, expect a few surfperch. Not to much else has been seen. 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 that mackerel are still showing up but that the bonito have moved on. Walleye surfperch are numerous and a few halibut have shown but everything else seems to have slowed. 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, 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 — No report, need a reporter. 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. 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 says the mackerel are in and out. 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 — Jeff, at the Oceanside Pier Bait & Tackle, says things have slowed down a little. Most of the action is on perch or perch-like species with barred surfperch showing up inshore and quite a few opaleye showing mid-pier to about ¾ of the way out. Most of the opaleye are hitting shrimp or fresh mussels. Some jacksmelt are hitting on top, close in to mid-pier while the mackerel are in and out, in one day and out the next. The macs are joined by some schools of sardines. On the bottom it’s been mostly skates (thornbacks?) while a few leopard sharks have also been reported as well as at least one nice-sized shovelnose. 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 — Mike at Hogan's Bait And Tackle, 34320 Pacific Coast Hwy, Dana Point, says anglers continue to pull in good numbers of yellowfin and spotfin croaker inshore, almost up to the beach, while corbina are in evidence but few are hooked (although an 18-inch corbina was taken in the surf just north of the pier). Small halibut continue to show in the shallow end waters and are taken by those using Lucky Craft lures as well as live bait or just pieces of anchovy. Further out on the pier rays continue to be taken as well as an unusual amount of rockfish, with brown rockfish apparently being the main species. As usual for this time of the year there are also a lot of jacksmelt showing up, primarily in the mid-pier area. 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 said there are a lot of jacksmelt in the bay as well as quite a few barracuda. The jacksmelt hit a variety of baits while the barriers prefer artificial lures, i.e., Lucky Craft, Mega Baits, and swim baits. A few bonito are also showing up but there isn’t any steady action on them. As for bottom species, a few bass (a mix of species) and a few perch are showing up; not too many halibut. 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, “Went fishing on Tuesday. It was very cold and the only fish around were jacksmelt and not many of them. Went home early. Our main fish lately has been jacksmelt but lots of them. They are good eating, but I wonder how many you can eat considering how many are going home with some of our fishermen. The water is down to 62 degrees now. Saw a 28-inch halibut a few weeks ago that was caught on the end with a plastic. The young man knew what he was doing. That fish weighed just short of seven pounds. We were all jealous. Let's hope this year brings better fishing.” A later report detailed the catch, inshore, of a 2 ½ pound corbina that she caught on a sardine (of all things). 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 — Mike at Let’s Go Fishing (on the pier), said that tons of spotfin croakers are being caught with many locals limiting out of the 2-5 pound fish. He doesn’t know why they are there this time of the year but the anglers are happy! [I imagine the high water temperatures are the reason] He says the only other thing showing up in number are skates (thornback rays) which are numerous. Nothing really on top excepting some jacksmelt; the mackerel, sardines and bonito have deserted the pier. No sharker’s reports; apparently they are all out on the boats seeking yellowtail (which are hitting in big numbers). It’s a crazy year so far. 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 there are a lot of jacksmelt being taken on top while surfperch are showing up inshore to mid-pier. About the only other reports are a few mackerel, sardines and skates. 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. 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 same thing she always says—mackerel and more 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 it’s small, small, small kelp bass (7-11”) and a few perch and ultra-small opaleye under the pier. It’s not like it once was when the bubble was sending out warm water. The harbor is now cold water, the kelp is returning, bass are using it as a nursery ground, and the normal pelagics (including bonito) no longer are making the harbor home. 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, said the water’s warm and some mackerel and bonito are still showing up in local waters along with a very few halibut. Unfortunately the surfperch really hasn’t shown up in normal wintertime numbers and given the time of the year they may not show up. Expect the usual sharay action with mostly thornback rays. How To Get There: Take the Pacific Coast Highway (Hwy 1) to Pier Avenue and follow Pier Avenue west to the pier.
Venice Pier — Ditto Hermosa. How To Get There: Highway 1 to Washington St., turn west and follow Washington St. to the pier.
Santa Monica Pier — Most of the action is on perch under the pier. 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 things are slow. Regulars are reporting a lot of small perch (walleyes) and a few small, short halibut. But not much else except for jacksmelt, really LARGE jacksmelt, On the top. 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 — No report this month although surfperch action 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, from the Stearns Wharf bait shop, says things are pretty dead. Expect some jacksmelt and mackerel, ten jacksmelt to every one mackerel, and a very few, very small halibut. Not much else. 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. 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 — Still closed. How To Get There: From Highway 101 simply take the Gaviota State Park turnoff.