|California Pier Report — December 2015
San Diego County Piers
Imperial Beach Pier – The fishing has slowed although some mackerel are still showing along with perch (inshore to mid-pier) and an occasional bass. 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 fishing has slowed although anglers continue to pull in decent numbers of mackerel, jacksmelt, and kelp bass. Shark and ray action has slowed although a legal-size sheephead was caught during the months and a reported 50-pound yellowtail was landed. He said he’s seen the pictures of the yellowtail and will try to get us a copy for the report. 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 Crystal Pier B&T (on the pier) says things are really slow. Most of the action is on perch, barred and walleye, while some baitfish are still around; not much is showing on the bottom. 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) – Like most of the local piers, the number of fish and types seems to have slowed although good numbers of small bass are still around—kelp bass, sand bass, and spotted bay 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 — Expect some mackerel in the top waters with some bass on the bottom. 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 fishing has been slow with the exception of mackerel that continue to show in good numbers. A few bonito also continue to be caught with most of the boneheads lately being landed on live bait instead of lures/feathers. The inshore area is seeing an increase in the number of perch while the mid-pier area continues to produce a few sargo and halibut (a 25-inch halibut being landed last week). Sharay action has been slow although a number of smoothhound sharks have been landed lately. The biggest news of the month was a 37-inch striped bass that was taken near the bait shop on live bait. The striper was taken by the group of regulars (Mountain Man, etc.) who daily are out fishing live bait for halibut. 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. 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 — Jake at Hogan's Bait And Tackle, 34320 Pacific Coast Hwy, Dana Point, says action remains very good. Inshore, the anglers continue to pull in good numbers of perch and spotfin croaker using lug worms or strips of squid while mid-pier to the end yields decent numbers of sharks and rays (on squid) along with a smattering of calico (kelp) bass. Jake says there’s a wide open bite on both mackerel and jacksmelt while quite a few barracuda are also showing up; most of the ‘cuda hitting on lures like Krocodiles or Lucky Craft-type lures. A number of halibut have also been taken. One lucky angler using a Zoom soft bait (baitfish color) managed to land three legal hallies along with a couple of shorts in one afternoon’s fishing. It sounds like this is the time to go 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 — Jake at Hogan's Bait And Tackle, 34320 Pacific Coast Hwy, Dana Point, said a lot of spotted bay bass are showing up for those casting out soft baits (or squid) along with a lesser number of kelp bass and sand bass. Some spotfin croakers are also showing up along with a few barracuda at night. Not much else. 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 has slowed down again although the bonito are still hitting. The water is very clear, which is not good for catching. There are lots of small sardines everywhere. Birds too! Looking for a change in the water to cause it to improve.” 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. Probably some sardines along with a few bonitoCurrently a variety of fish are available. 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 things have slowed although anglers continue to pull in good numbers of mackerel and smelt along with smaller numbers of bonito, croakers (inshore) and sharays. The water temperature is still 63 degrees but that’s a drop from the prior months. 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 a lot of mackerel and jacksmelt are being caught on a variety of gear (Sabikis and bait) while some big spotfin croakers have been showing up near the lifeguard station on the pier (use fresh mussels). Are halibut still around? Yes, but they are mostly small. They’re being taken in the shallows along with a LOT of thornback rays. Not much else. 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 — Mackerel continue to show most days along with a few spotfin croakers (inshore). Mid-pier to the end sees some small bass and a few sharks and rays. 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, white croaker, bass, sargo and an occasional spotfin croaker. 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 — It sounds like most of the action has been on mackerel and jacksmelt along with the usual species out toward the end — small bass, an occasional small halibut and a few croakers. 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, 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. It sounds like the bonito action has slowed although some should still show some days. 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 — Things seem to be slowing although there are still quite a few mackerel and an increasing number of jacksmelt. 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 — No report this month although some mackerel should be around as well as the normal perch and perch-like species 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 Jacksmelt. 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 jacksmelt. 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. 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 is slow with the exception of mackerel that continue to show up in good numbers (replacing last month’s bonito). A few perch are starting to show along with some short calico (kelp) bass. Mid-pier to the end also continues to see a few sharks and rays. 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 — PFIC reports indicate that the good mackerel bite continues, especially at night with light sticks. Apparently some lobstering is also going on but there were no reports of actual lobster being taken. 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 a thing lately, he said he thinks people are burnt out after the great action this past summer. 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 slow although there are still good numbers of mackerel. However, the number of bonito is way down even though an occasional straggler shows up every couple of days. Bottom action though is dead. 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 still catching quite a few mackerel along with the usual numbers of rockfish from the pipe reef and a few bonito. Perch numbers are up and several leopard sharks have been landed lately. Not much else. 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. How To Get There: From Highway 101 simply take the Gaviota State Park turnoff.