|California Pier Report — January 2016
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. Some days have seen rough water conditions and water temps have dropped so anglers have to pick their spots. There are a few perch inshore and a few bass (most under the 14-inch legal size) out towards the end but nothing has been steady. 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 – Randy at the Crystal Pier B&T (on the pier) says things are fairly normal for this time of the year with perch and jacksmelt providing most of the action. Seas have been rough some days and there’s been a lot of salad (seaweed) in the water so you might want to check out the conditions before fishing. Try to go between the storms when conditions are calm and your chances will be improved considerably. 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 — Fairly slow. Expect a few jacksmelt, an occasional mackerel, and smaller size bass. 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 — Chris, at the Oceanside Pier Bait & Tackle, says a lot of large halfmoon and opaleye are showing up for the guys who know what they’re doing. Fish down by the pilings with ghost shrimp or market shrimp and be ready for some spirited fights, He says sargo in the 2-3 pound range are also showing up along with a few yellowfin croaker and small walleye perch. There’s not much action on the top with the exception of some jacksmelt. Another fish making an appearance on the bottom is rockfish (brown rockfish) up to about 11-12 inches in length. 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.
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 — Breck at Hogan's Bait And Tackle, 34320 Pacific Coast Hwy, Dana Point, says once the water cleared from the storms the action resumed with fairly good numbers of spotfin croaker (inshore) and sub-legal size halibut (mid-pier). Rays and sharks are still being caught (in clean or dirty water) but there’s not much action on top with the exception of jacksmelt and a few mackerel. 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 — Breck at Hogan's Bait And Tackle, 34320 Pacific Coast Hwy, Dana Point, said spotted bay bass are still showing up for those casting out soft baits (or squid) along with a lesser number of kelp bass and sand bass. A few croakers might show up but things are pretty dead on top. 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, “Fishing has slowed again now that the water has cooled. It is 60 degrees now and the water is crystal clear. The only fish lately have been small mackerel on the end of pier and nice-sized jacksmelt in the surf area. The jacksmelt are there just off and on, but they are easy to see since the water is so clear. Bait is a problem, but we have gotten some. That is when Gulp comes in handy. Yesterday we observed an 8 to 9-foot great white shark about 10 feet from shore on the west side of the pier. What a beauty!! We also have see a few humpbacks out about a mile. They love to jump and show their pectorals. One gray went by last week heading south. The days have been decent, but we have a week of storms this next week. Maybe it will help the fishing or rather the catching.” 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. 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 quite a few big spotfin croaker are still being taken but almost all are being found out at the end of the pier by Ruby’s. The inshore species, normally found in the shallows, have apparently been pushed out into the deeper water by the rough waves that have been pounding the inshore area. Most of the spotties are being taken on fresh mussels or lug worms (which are now available at the shop). A lot of jacksmelt are available on the top while the usual mix of small rays and bat rays add to the mixture on the bottom. 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 things have been dead. The water is really dirty with runoff from the river and the fish seem to have moved out into deeper waters. Best chance would be on jacksmelt that still seem to be around. It is what it is! 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 — A lot of dirty water and not too many fish. 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 — Unfortunately when the storms hit the area, and the river is full of trash, it all winds up coming down past these piers (which can make it almost impossible to fish). The best advice would be to wait until the waters clear. 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 — More dirty water. 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. 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 have slowed but there are still jacksmelt available and a few 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 — No report this month although some smelt and 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 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 wintertime 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 very slow with the main catch being on large jacksmelt. Mid-pier to the end also continues to see a few sharks and rays. Still waiting on the normal wintertime perch. 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 — No report this month. 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. 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 very slow with conditions changing almost every few days. When conditions are right most of the action is on jacksmelt with a smattering of mackerel added in for excitement. Not too much else is showing up. 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 some mackerel along with jacksmelt on the top. Big perch are showing down around the pilings and both calicos and rockfish are being caught from the pipe-reef. Apparently a few bat rays and smaller sharks are also making an appearance. 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.