|California Pier Report — November 2016 (#220)
San Diego County Piers
Imperial Beach Pier – Expect some mackerel and possibly some bonito but action on other species has slowed. 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 — Shirley at the pier’s bait shop, reports that the fishing fair with the mackerel remaining the main attraction but some bonito continue to show up most days. Not too much action inshore but out at the end (on the left) shark anglers continue to pull in some decent-sized sharks including some nice leopard sharks and a couple of sevengill sharks (5 ½ feet). Also expect some small bass at the end and jacksmelt in the shallower waters. 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 fishing has been slow with most of the action on jacksmelt both in the shallows and at the end. Not much on the bottom excepting stingrays that are usually found year round. Even the mackerel seem to have moved on. 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) – Most of the action is on the resident species, primarily a mix of small bass— kelp, sand, and spotted bay bass along with some sharays including stingrays and an occasional bat ray. 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. 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 and Tackle says there are tons of macaroni (mackerel) and they are some of the largest he’s ever seen. A few bonito are also still showing up as well as croakers (yellowfin and spotfin). Out at the end there are the dedicated shark fishermen but he says the pier is relatively deserted (for almost the first time this year). 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 there’s been some good mid-day action on bonito when the schools pass through the pier. He says anglers have gotten them on everything from Sabikis to Kastmasters. Mackerel too continue to show but he says there have actually been more bonito than mackerel. Inshore, anglers continue to pick up croakers, mainly yellowfins but also some spotfins (fresh mussels and lug worms) , while action on the barred surfperch is improving (use lugworms). Out at the end the anglers fishing for sharays continue to pull I some nice sharks including big leopard sharks (one a 50-inch trophy) as well as a few sevengill sharks (one an 80-pound fish. Overall not super hot action but steady if you know what you are doing. 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 anglers continue to pull in a few croakers along with an occasional bass (kelp and barred sand bass). It’s pretty quiet but a few small barracuda also show up at night. 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 not been great at all. We still have lots of bait. There are lots of very small halibut in the surf area on small baits. I did catch a 21-inch halibut, and some smaller but good sizes. Then there was the hand size ones which I caught a lot of. There were three stripers caught within 24 hours. One was caught on a Krocodile blue and silver lure. Another was snagged, and the third one was caught on a plastic. They were all about the same size from 29 to 30 inches. The bonito are still around, but there aren't as many. Of course there are mackerel, sometimes into the surf. The jacksmelt have shown up now in the surf area. The snaggers are getting mullet, but they aren't big. At least we have had lots of bait such as smelt, Spanish jacks, sardines and mackerel. We'll see what happens next.” 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 — Scott at “Let’s Go Fishing” on the pier says the main action has been on mackerel and sardines with a ton of both. They’re getting some early morning bonito boils but the last few days they’ve been too far out from the pier to catch them. Two striped bass were also caught, both 18 inches, and both in the surf area by the Lifeguard Tower. Apparently both were caught on Berkeley sand worms. Inshore is also seeing a few croakers while the barred surfperch are starting to show up in bigger numbers. Out at the end the shark fisherman continue to ply their trade. The biggest lately was an 80-pound soupfin shark that hit on a chunk of mackerel. Although guys are still fishing for threshers, few have been seen lately. How To Get There: Highway 1 (Pacific Coast Highway) to Huntington Beach and the pier.
Seal Beach Pier — Jimmy at Big Fish Tackle says anglers inshore continue to pick up some yellowfin croakers on fresh mussels and ghost shrimp while bonito and mackerel action remains fair to good, mid-pier to the end (although the far end is still closed). Most of the bonito are being taken on lures, i.e., Krocodiles. He says there has also been a pretty good bite on kelp bass, which are also hitting lures (plastics like the Shad). Lastly, there’s not much on the bottom; it’s pretty slow on halibut although a few shorts have been taken. 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, a few croakers and small 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 — No report this month although some mackerel, perch, and bass should be available. 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 action has picked up and it’s good-sized fish. 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 — Melanie at the pier’s bait shop says mackerel (as always) are the main fish being caught although a few small sharks and rays are also showing up. 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 — Sam at the pier says things are slow. He’s still seeing a lot of small, illegal-size kelp bass and small perch or perch-like species but not much else. No mackerel or bonito have shown recently. 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 mid-pier to the end and a few croakers and perch inshore. 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 mid-pier to the end and a few croakers and perch inshore. How To Get There: Highway 1 to Washington St., turn west and follow Washington St. to the pier.
Santa Monica Pier — It sounds most of the action is on mackerel although action has been slow. 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 excited about the number of stripers being caught, but they’re not being caught on the pier but in the surf. On the pier, anglers are getting some small bass, perch and mackerel along with some sharks. She says, “a little bit of everything but nothing really exciting.” 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. 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, at Eric’s Tackle Shop in Ventura, reported that most of the action has been on mackerel with a few barred surfperch also showing up. Sharkers continue to pull in a few threshers while several great whites, including one at about 9-feet in length, were hooked and released. 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, said “things are hanging in there.” Anglers continue to pull in good numbers of mackerel and jacksmelt and a few jack mackerel (Spanish mackerel). Unfortunately, not too much has shown on the bottom although quite a few octopus for some reason are showing up. Sharkers have been slow although a six-foot-long sevengill shark was taken during the night of the first. 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 — Waiting for a report. 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 (state government at work). How To Get There: From Highway 101 simply take the Gaviota State Park turnoff.
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