|California Pier Report — March 2016
San Diego County Piers
Imperial Beach Pier – Things are a little slow although a few mackerel still show up along with the usual bottom dwellers (including a few rays and sharks). 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 — Tony, at the pier’s bait shop, reports that fishing has been sort of hit and miss with some fish being caught but nothing in big numbers. A few mackerel are around most days and they’re joined by a variety of mostly bottom dwellers—small kelp bass, a few croakers, an occasional sculpin (scorpionfish), and a variety of perch. Tony did say that several nice leopard sharks have been landed including one, on 2/29, that measured nearly five feet in length . All were landed out at the southwest corner of the pier. Also, watch the weather reports since there have been some big waves and Tony estimates the pier has been closed 14-15 days during the past two months. 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 have really been rough. Large waves have forced the closure of the pier many days during high tide times and anglers just aren’t willing to chance the trip not knowing if the pier will be open. When it is open fishing has been slow— although a mix of perch and croaker do continue to bite,. Apparently nothing is showing on the top. But, things will improve. 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, action has been slow although some of the resident species, especially small bass, continue to make an appearance. 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 — Ed, at the Oceanside Pier Bait & Tackle, says the mackerel are finally starting to hit after a month-long absence. They’re in, that’s the word. He says anglers continue to catch a lot of jacksmelt along with smaller numbers of the bottom dwellers—small kelp bass, perch, sargo, and an occasional spotfin croaker. He says he thinks things are finally starting to pick up (and he’s busy). 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 — Things have been slow although an occasional bass, perch or croaker does show up. 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 — Paul at Hogan's Bait And Tackle, 34320 Pacific Coast Hwy, Dana Point, says things have been a little slow although quite a few good-sized bat rays have been showing up, some going over the fifty pound mark. A few mackerel show mid-pier to the end, perch are available inshore, and even a few lobsters are showing up for those throwing out hoops at night. The water has been a little high at times but apparently the pier hasn’t been closed. 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 — Paul at Hogan's Bait And Tackle, 34320 Pacific Coast Hwy, Dana Point, said action has been slow although the regulars, aka those that know what they are doing, continue to pull in decent numbers of small bass, a combination of spotted bay bass, kelp bass, and sand bass. Apparently not much else is showing. 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, “The fishing is still slow. There are some jacksmelt and a few mackerel. There are some small bait now, but today was the only halibut caught and by Randy. We are busy watching the whales. The grays are returning from Mexico with their babies, and we have some humpbacks also. Not much else is happening.” 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 things recently slowed but now they are picking up again. He said there are tons of really big jacksmelt along with smaller numbers of mackerel. On the bottom some big spotfin croakers are showing up inshore, while quite a few 50-100 pound bat rays have been taken mid-pier to the end. I asked about rough water and he said they are expecting 18-foot waves this weekend but apparently the pier is high enough where it is NOT experiencing any closures. 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 relatively dead. Jacksmelt and mackerel are still available but action on the various bottom species has been nil. Probably due, at least in part, to the large swells that continue to roll the pier’s waters. 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 — Things are still pretty dead. High and 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 — No report this month although the last report indicated things were slow. 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, 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-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 — Jake at Redondo Sportfishing on the pier says most of the action has been on calico (kelp) bass with quite a few keeper-size fish being landed recently. In addition, for the past two weeks the mackerel have been making a good showing with most of the fish being landed in the later afternoon/early evening hours. Mix in a few sand bass and the usual small perch and perch-like species under the pier and it means fish are still available. Jake did confirm the city’s plans to eventually change the harbor including, in all likelihood, tearing down this small pier. Timetable? The next couple of years, which will be a real shame. 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 — Ricardo at the pier’s bait shop said action is dead. A few mackerel continue to show up but not many and really nothing else has been hitting. 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 although there are a lot of really BIG jacksmelt. A few small mackerel are also showing, an occasional bass, and a few sharks. Halibut are nowhere to be seen. 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 although this is typically a good pier for jacksmelt, especially this time of the year. 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 — Tony from Eric’s Tackle Shop, 2127 East Thompson Blvd, Ventura, confirmed that the pier is still closed following damage from the winter storms. No timetable for reopening. 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 fairly slow although there are lots of smelt, small 6-8-inch Spanish mackerel (jack mackerel), and shinerperch. Not much else although a few bat rays have been taken, some pretty good sized. 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 jacksmelt along with some mackerel on tomackerel along with jacksmelt on the top. A few perch are showing down around the pilings and both calicos and rockfish are being caught from the pipe-reef. 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.