|California Pier Report — August 2008
San Diego County Piers
Imperial Beach Pier – Mike at the Tin Fish at the end of the pier reports some corbina showing up inshore while the action remains good on shovelnose sharks, bat rays and mackerel. It’s slow on halibut. 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 — Billy Burns, at the Ocean Beach Pier tackle shop on the pier, says things have slowed off with one exception. He says there is a good bite going on every night for spotfin croaker from 2-4 pounds but it’s between 2-3 AM; he says there is a whole group of people there each night seeking out the big croakers. Other than that it has been mainly a mix of small species on Sabikis—pompano (butterfish), salema and queenfish and a few bass, mainly out toward the end. He says the shark and ray action remains good with some good sized leopard sharks and shovelnose. There is a good mackerel bite but it is only at sunset and after dark; the ones getting the fish are ones who come equipped with glow lights. Billy also continues to offer fishing classes every Friday from 12 noon until 2 PM; call Billy Burns at the bait shop—619.226.FISH (3474)—for details. 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 – Jim at the Crystal Pier (and motel) says some corbina are showing up in the shallows along with the usuall barred surfperch. Some good sized bat rays have been seen, and some good sized yellowtail spotted, but not hooked. He says there are mackerel and bonito on top. 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 although a few bass and croakers should be hanging around. 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. 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, turn left and follow the road to the park.
Embarcadero Marina Pier — James at JJ’s Sunset Deli (foot of the pier) says there’s been pretty decent action on mackerel and bass (mainly sand bass) with good action on shovelnose sharks. He says some bonito are also showing and they are good sized fish, 3-4 pounds. They come and go; use a feather trailing a Cast-a-Bubble. 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) – Some mackerel are beginning to show along with bass and too many stingrays. No report on halibut. 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 – Bill, at Sharkey’s B&T on the pier, says there’s been a decent mackerel bite going on along with quite a few halibut but almost all the halibut are too small. He’s also seeing some bass—both sand bass and kelp bass. Don’t forget the IGFA/UPSAC Kid’s Fishing Derby on August 2. 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 — The pier is seeing some mackerel action mid-pier to the end along with croakers inshore while the usual sharks and rays continue to provide thrills for the shark addicts. 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 — The pier is kicking out some decent croakers and bass, and some decent-sized rays 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 — Michelle, at Schleppy’s Bait and Tackle at the end of the pier, says fishing’s been good. She says there have been some big spotfin croakers, a 30-inch white seabass and lots of shovelnose sharks and leopard sharks. People have also taken some big spider crabs and lobsters (the lobsters wer returned). Another giant sea bass also was taken but she says it was smaller than most of the other ones taken recently. 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 — No report this 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, “Summer is almost over and the fishing hasn't been that great. Just enough fish to keep us coming. We have had lots of bait with everything from smelt to queenfish, Spanish jacks and sardines. Sometimes it is just sardines but lots of them. We have been getting some halibut but mostly undersized. There has been a few keepers but not many. The mackerel have been around making some of the fishermen happy on baited hooks. The little bonito showed up last week, but they are very little. The barracudas are here too, but they too are very little at about 20 inches. Our water temperatures are around 70 degrees most of the time now. We have had some stormy waters for a week or more but not too bad. Some of it came up from Mexico, and the rest came here from the southern hemisphere. We have lots of people at the beach right now. Expect August will be extremely busy here before school starts, so if anyone is coming be sure to come early.” 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 about the same as Balboa. 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), says ther’s been some good yellowfin croaker and spotfin croaker inshore along with a few halibut and white seabass further out on the pier. Some big bat rays are also showing along with lots of mackerel. How To Get There: Highway 1 (Pacific Coast Highway) to Huntington Beach and the pier.
Seal Beach Pier — Danny at Big Fish Bait & Tackle. 1780-C. Pacific Coast Hwy said they’ve recorded some big spotfin croaker recently including a 9-pound fish and a 5-pound fish—both on ghost shrimp. Lots of corbina are being spotted but “they’re not on the chew” even though a few have been taken by anglers using sand crabs. Two halibut were weighed, one being a 15-pound flattie. It’s been slow on top and only fair on sharks and rays. 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 —Randy, at Paul's Bait and Tackle, 803 South Pacific Ave. in San Pedro, says Belmont is seeing some corbina show up inshore along with the yellowfin and spotfin croakers. Further out on the pier there are some mackerel but they come and go. Rays and sharks show at night. 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 — Randy, at Paul's Bait and Tackle, 803 South Pacific Ave. in San Pedro, says the piers are seeing a nice mix of halibut (on live bait), sand bass (on cut bait, Blams, and ghost shrimp), and sargo (on ghost shrimp) and cut bait. Most of the fish are being hooked on the sides of the pier not in the deeper water. No reports of any action on top. 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 various piers as you drive the road out to the end.
Cabrillo Pier — Randy, at Paul's Bait and Tackle, 803 South Pacific Ave. in San Pedro, says quite a few sand bass and some calico bass are being taken, primarily on live bait (smelt and anchovies) and Blue and Green Blams. Some perch are available by the rocks while mackerel and a few bonito are showing on top. 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) – Ditto last month’s report—Lots of small bass as well as other species are available although space on the pier can be very limited. 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) – Ditto last month’s report—A mix of bass, opaleye, halfmoon and other Catalina pier species are available. The bonito come and go and they’re joined by a few barracuda and sightings of yellowtail. 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 – Pete at Just Fishing By Pete. 2427 190th St. Redondo Beach, says there’s some mackerel on top along with a few halibut 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 — It’s the usual perch and perch-like species under the pier. The bass bite seems to have died and the mackerel come and go. 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 – A mix of fish are showing including mackerel, sardines and jacksmelt on top; a few halibut and white seabass on the bottom. 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 – Ditto the Redondo report—Pete at Just Fishing By Pete. 2427 190th St. Redondo Beach, says there’s some mackerel on top and a few sharks and rays on the bottom. How To Get There: From Sepulveda Boulevard, turn west on Manhattan Beach Drive and follow it to the pier.
Burton Chace Fishing Platform (Marina Del Rey) — It sounds like some barracuda may still be available as well as a few halibut on the bottom. How To Get There: From Lincoln Boulevard turn west on Mindanao Drive and follow it to the park. To reach the dock you must go through the park.
Venice Pier — (Ditto Hermosa and Manhattan). How To Get There: Highway 1 to Washington St., turn west and follow Washington St. to the pier.
Santa Monica Pier — John, at the Santa Monica Pier Bait & Tackle, reports all the action is still on the bottom or under the pier by the pilings. Inshore some sargo have been hitting while under the pier a few opaleye have made an appearance. Lots of halibut have been taken, but almost all have been shorts. Shark and ray action remains good with lots of shovelnose and bat rays and some really big leopard sharks that surprisingly been hitting on sand crabs. There’s been nothing on top, few sardines and fewer mackerel. 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 Wylies Bait and Tackle reports lots of small halibut and huge bat rays. She’s also hearing about good shovelnose and leopard shark action along with a few sargo, yellowfin croaker and small perch. It’s been slow on top, just a few mackerel. And, a few threshers have been hooked with a couple landed. 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 — Jacksmelt, sardines and mackerel lead the hit parade with an increasing number of sharays. 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 — Some perch are available inshore, a few white seabass show mid-pier to the end, a few halibut and the usual sharays. Sharay action is decent at night. 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 Stearns Wharf Bait and Tackle, reports that the excellent six-week bite stopped three days ago. There haven’t been any halibut this week and both the mackerel and sardines have slowed. 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— Pier Host Boyd Grant reports—“Lots of baitfish in the early mornings and evenings ... mackerel, smelt and sardines. Several limits of 23"-24" halibut taken on swimbaits. Perch action is slowing.” 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 mackerel and sardines have arrived which has brought in the threshers who have started to bite. How To Get There: From Highway 101 simply take the Gaviota State Park turnoff.
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