|California Pier Report — July 2016
San Diego County Piers
Imperial Beach Pier – Expect some mackerel mid-pier to the end along with a few sharks, especially small to medium-size leopard sharks. Inshore the croakers should be making a showing. 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 — Ron, at the pier’s bait shop, reports that the fishing for mackerel has been excellent! Apparently they are biting throughout the day and night. Some nice “sting rays” (I think he means bat rays) are also showing up with some fairly decent in size. He says the croakers are NOT showing up but as usual some kelp bass continue to make a showing out toward the end of the pier. 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 fishing has really been good. Lots of croakers, both yellowfin and spotfin, along with good numbers of sargo. And, she says, some of the spotfins are really BIG. A lot of halibut are also being caught but unfortunately almost all are shorts. She says not too many mackerel are showing up but there are tons of lizardfish. Pam says the big kids fishing derby will be on Saturday, July 23. Angel H whom I had the pleasure of watching catch a yellowtail last year says he’s been hooking some short halibut (live bait) as well as quite a few corbina. Last month he landed some soupfin sharks from the pier. 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 a variety of fish with small bass— kelp, sand, and spotted bay bass leading the hit parade. Cast into the deeper waters for some rays and sharks. 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 — Dennis Borlek from the pier’s bait shop says most of the action has been on mackerel but he’s also seen some leopard sharks recently along with a few shortfin corvina. 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 anglers continue to catch big numbers of mackerel most days, mid-pier to the end. The same areas are also producing a lot of under-sized kelp bass and some days a lot of salema. However, no bonito to date. Inshore, the regulars using fresh mussels or ghost shrimp are scoring on some BIG (5-8 lb.) spotfin croaker. Not a lot each day but enough to keep everyone excited and coming back for more. Mix in a few sharks and rays and that’s about it. 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 — Josh at Hogan's Bait And Tackle, 34320 Pacific Coast Hwy, Dana Point, says a nice mix of fish are showing up. Inshore to mid-pier anglers are picking up nice numbers of both yelowfin and spotfin croakers using fresh mussels or worms (and some are pretty decent size). Mid-pier to the end sees some mackerel on the top while anglers fishing the bottom are pickling up some leopard sharks and bat rays. At the very end, good numbers of both calico (kelp) bass and sand bass are being caught by anglers using anchovies for bait. 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 — Josh at Hogan's Bait And Tackle, 34320 Pacific Coast Hwy, Dana Point, said he’s heard some good reports on pileperch at the pier (which can be hard to catch) along with small bas and an occasional halibut (also usually too small). 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 is finally beginning to pick up. We have had big water for over a week now, but we are making do even in the surf area. We have been catching lots of nice yellowfin croakers, kelp bass, and halibut although the bass and the halibut are small. We have been using extremely small live baits such as anchovies and smelt. Once in a while we get a Queenfish some of which are big, and some are very small. Randy got a 22-inch white sea bass today on a regular sized smelt. My kelp bass was only 13 1/2 inches. Getting close. We have been eating a lot of yellowfin croakers this week. There are lots of small mackerel. The big story this week is that the bonitos have returned. They aren't big, but they are bigger than some of the mackerel. Yesterday there was a Mola mola right under us. He was close to 500 pounds. He was at least 6 feet long. The Jr. Lifeguards have returned for the summer, so we have lots of activity and noise. The water is warm at 71 degrees. Even though the flags are either red or yellow the people are having a great time in the shallow water in spite of the waves.” 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 — Cody at “Let’s Go Fishing” on the pier says there have been tons of mackerel and a few sardines lately (mid-pier to the end). Inshore, anglers are picking up a lot of spotfin croakers (to 4-pounds in size) along with quite a few sargo. He’s also seeing quite a few bat rays from inshore to the end of the pier. Last week an angler caught a 6-foot-long 7-gill shark at the end estimated at 80 pounds. How To Get There: Highway 1 (Pacific Coast Highway) to Huntington Beach and the pier.
Seal Beach Pier — The pier is closed due to a recent fire on the pier and it’s unknown when it will reopen. 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 — Not much other than mackerel and a few croakers and small halibut. 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 perch, sargo, and bass should be available inshore with some mackerel and white croaker available with a cast out from the piers. 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, mostly 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. The bonito are hit and miss and while they’re making an appearance, it’s usually a short one. 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 — Sunny at the pier’s bait shop says mackerel are the main fish being caught (as usual). 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 — Scott at the pier says they are still picking up small yellowtail (2-4 pounds) although not in the numbers seen a few weeks ago. What bait. Cut bait/cut anchovies as well as feathers and lures. As usual there are also a lot of calico (kelp) bass and though most are small, illegal fish, keeper-size fish are caught every day. He says last but not least are some sargo including some nice-sized ones. 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 — Toejamb visited the pier on the 19th and reported steady action on Pacific mackerel along with a few Spanish mackerel (jack mackerel). He also saw a big bat ray. 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 an occasional sharay. How To Get There: Highway 1 to Washington St., turn west and follow Washington St. to the pier.
Santa Monica Pier — It sounds like things are slow; perhaps a few small mackerel and an occasional sharay. 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 anglers are mainly reporting mackerel and some really big jacksmelt. A few perch are showing, as well as a few kelp bass and sargo along with a few small halibut. Only one keeper-size hallie has been reported, a 25-inch fish. Anglers are seeing a lot of corbina in the shallows but report they are impossible to catch. 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 mackerel and/or jacksmelt. 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 — No report this month. 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 it’s mainly mackerel and jacksmelt on top with a lot of small kelp bass on the bottom. He does see an occasional halibut but all are small and he did see an angler catch a small 16” yellowtail off the end of the pier last week. Not much else. 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 it’s pretty much the normal action. Some mackerel and sardines on top along with the brown rockfish and calico (kelp) bass out by the pipe reef. A variety of sharks and rays are also being taken, mostly out at the end of 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. How To Get There: From Highway 101 simply take the Gaviota State Park turnoff.