|California Pier Report — September 2015
San Diego County Piers
Imperial Beach Pier – Still looking for a reporter for this pier but I’ve heard reports of good bonito and mackerel action. 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 — Shirley, at the pier’s bait shop, reports that fishing has been good although a little slow the day I called. The main attraction has been bonito, and they’ve been numerous. In addition, some halibut have been showing up, mostly small ones but a couple that were legal size. There have also been some good-sized sharks been landed although she didn’t know the species. She said the water temperature was up to 74 degrees although she thought it had dropped down to 72 degrees. 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, at the pier’s bait shop, reports that the fishing has slowed a little. HOWEVER, just before I called someone had caught a 45-pound yellowtail on a live mackerel (and she was going to send me a picture). She said a lot of (shortfin) corvina have also been taken, mostly on live mackerel and it’s not surprising given that the main fish being caught are mackerel (along with a few bonito). 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) – Expect some bass (calico, sand and spotted), a few sharays on the bottom, especially small stingrays, and the possibility of a few bonito showing up. 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 — Ditto the Ferry Landing report. 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 Oceanside Pier Bait & Tackle, says the main action has been on bonito and mackerel and both are thick. He says there’s a ton of bait around the pier, mainly anchovies, and he expects the fishing to remain good as long as the bait is around. Mix in some corbina, croakers and sargo being caught inshore and some halibut mid-pier (especially by Mountain Man). I’ve got to get down there! 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, need a reporter. Expect some bonito on top and croakers and bass on the bottom. 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 main action has been on bonito and mackerel and there have getting a lot of them (mid-pier to the end). Inshore, by the surf, anglers are getting a handful of corbina using fresh mussels and bloodworm. Two black sea bass were reported, one estimated at 200 pounds and both were released back into the water. A few halibut are also showing up along with quite a few kelp bass, He says it’s due to the kelp that’s making a comeback in the area. Anglers using fresh mackerel are also doing good on sharks and rays—mainly bat rays, shovelnose shark (guitarfish) and leopard shark. 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 both mackerel and bonito are showing up along with some small barracuda; use Sabikis or Kastmasters. There’s also croakers and perch with both hitting on bloodworms and fresh mussels. 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, “This month at the pier has been quite interesting. I told you about my 30 pound halibut that was lost in netting it. Two days later my brother had her on briefly, so she is still there. That day I caught a 15-pound yellowtail in the surf in that 72-degree water. His teeth cut the line in the little waves he got into. Lucky him! We have had bonito en masse off and on for several weeks now, but Tuesday and Wednesday this week they were everywhere from the end to the edge of the surf. Needless to say I did enjoy one meal Tuesday night of fresh bonito. Wednesday we had an 8 ½-foot hammerhead shark show up in the surf. One of my friends yelled to the lifeguard that he might want to keep an eye on it, but the lifeguard thought he was just being friendly and ignored him. Then the swimmers saw the shark and hightailed it out of the water. They told the lifeguard about it and he promptly closed the beach. We used to have quite a few hammerheads around years ago, but we just haven't seen any for a while. They usually came in small schools, so that shark probably had a few friends with him. So far they have never attacked anyone at Balboa. There has been a few threshers seen off the end, but no one has managed to catch one yet. The bait has been excellent. We have had many sardines, Spanish jacks, smelt of all sizes, a few grunion and small macks. Thursday the bonito disappeared. They knew to get out of there before they became a meal for that shark. Last Tuesday we had a humpback whale about a half mile out that breached three times before it went for its deep dive. That was exciting.” 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 — Usually pretty similar to Balboa. Currently bonito are hitting and too many are being kept. 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 — Cody at Let’s Go Fishing, on the pier, said a ton of bonito are being caught mid-pier to the end while inshore, anglers are picking up croakers (yellowfin and spotfin) as well as some sargo. Shark fisherman are still fishing for threshers but only two have been caught in the past week. A large bat ray, estimated at 100 pounds, was also landed. How To Get There: Highway 1 (Pacific Coast Highway) to Huntington Beach and the pier.
Seal Beach Pier — Siv, at Big Fish B&T, says a lot of fish are being caught! Some bonito are showing up with the usual Sabikis and Krocodile-type lures being best for them. Mid-pier to the end sees a lot of mackerel, jacksmelt, queenfish and kelp bass (on cut sardine). He says a few halibut are also being landed but almost all are shorts. Some spotfin and yellowfin croakers also continue to show inshore for those using fresh mussels, ghost shrimp or worms. He hasn’t heard of too many sharks being landed but apparently some good-sized rays have been landed. 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 — Good numbers of mackerel are showing as well as an occasional bonito. 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 — Expect some mackerel and white croaker while casting out into deeper water, a few perch, bass and sargo if fishing the shallow areas by the rocks. 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 — Expect a few mackerel and jacksmelt along with a few bass if you fish at the end. Bonito are also showing some days. 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-size 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, bonito (cast-a-bubble, MegaBait, etc.), opaleye, and the assorted bottom species—sheephead, halfmoon, blacksmith, etc. Remember the 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 — Apparently a lot of mackerel and bonito but not much on the bottom. 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 — Elliot, at the pier’s bait and tackle shop, says anglers are getting bonito and yellowtail from the pier. The bonito are small ones as are the yellowtail (2-4 pounds) but they’re still fun to catch. Most of the bonito have been on lures, the yellowtail on mackerel. One 15-pound sheephead was recently caught as was one barracuda. The normal small bottom dwellers are 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 — No report but expect some mackerel and bonito. How To Get There: Take the Pacific Coast Highway (Hwy 1) to Pier Avenue and follow Pier Avenue west to the pier.
Venice Pier — No report but expect some mackerel and bonito. 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 a PFIC report indicated the fishing was slow. 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 fishing has been good. A lot of kelp bass (most illegal 11-13-inch fish) are being taken as well as numerous sharks, including thresher sharks. Mackerel are also biting (which probably accounts for the sharks). No bonito have been reported but yellowtail are being seen off the end of the pier. 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 — Now open but no report. 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 from Eric’s Tackle Shop, 2127 East Thompson Blvd, Ventura, said he hasn’t heard much but anglers are catching quite a few bonito, mackerel and sardines. Given those bait fish at the pier, it’s not surprising that some sharks are also showing up —including some threshers. 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 the fishing has been great. Daily there are good numbers of mackerel, some small and some good-sized; daily there have been good numbers of small kelp (calico) bass; daily there have been fair numbers of jackmackerel (Spanish mackerel). Every other day the bonito show up, mostly 16-17” fish and those that know what they’re doing catch good numbers. He says a 1-ounce Krocodile is good although some are also taken on the Sabiki rigs. 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 — Capt. Tiffany at Hook, Line and Sinker (4010-5 Calle Real, Santa Barbara) said anglers are catching quite a variety of fish at the pier. There’s a lot of mackerel, some bonito, and a few white seabass mid-pier to the end. The pipe reef is yielding up a variety of rockfish as well as some kelp (calico) bass. Sharks and ray fisherman are getting a plethora of sharays—shovelnose sharks (a lot), bat rays (a lot), leopard sharks, pinback sharks, smoothhound sharks, and a few thresher sharks. There’s also been some halibut caught, mostly inshore, and some pileperch down around (not surprisingly) the pilings. It sounds like this is the time to visit the pier. 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 remains closed — Steve at the Gaviota Snack Shop said that rangers continue to tell him to tell people not to see their boats, that the pier will eventually be repaired. Locals though are frustrated since the next boat launch is in Santa Barbara. Kayakers launching from the beach continue to pull in good numbers of yellowtail and white seabass. How To Get There: From Highway 101 simply take the Gaviota State Park turnoff.
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