|California Pier Report, August 2017 (#227)
San Diego County Piers
Imperial Beach Pier – No report this month. We really need a reporter for this pier! For this pier 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 things have slowed. People are still getting mackerel on top, a few rockfish/bass on the bottom, and some herring (queenfish) in the morning mid-pier, but other than that and a few sharks and rays not much else is showing up. No bonito or yellowtail to date. 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 pier’s bait shop, said the fishing has been fantastic. Lots and lots of croakers, both yellowfins and spotfins, along with lots of sargo and surfperch. There are also tons of shovelnose guitarfish being caught. As for yellowtail, two have been landed recently while other top action is primarily on mackerel. The only thing missing is keeper halibut, some smaller halibut have been caught but few of keeper-size. The recent kid’s derby went great with the winner catching a large spotfin croaker. 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 although there should be a few mackerel and some bass. We 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 although some croakers, bat rays, sharks and an occasional needlefish should be available. We 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 although the mackerel and bass (kelp and sand) should be hitting along with some sharays. We 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) — Need a reporter although bass (a variety) always seem to be around as well as a mix of sharays (mostly round stingrays). 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 it’s mainly been mackerel lately together with a few halibut. 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, said things have slowed down. He said there’s still a lot of macaroni (mackerel), especially at night and early in the morning, but most other activity has slowed. Giant spotfin croakers are being taken but while the quality is there the quantity isn’t. On the other hand quite a few halibut are being caught by the regulars but most are shorts (although one 25-inch fish was taken). Continued good numbers on short calico (kelp) bass but sharks and rays have been hit and miss. One problem he has had is people getting stung by stiungrays, five people have been stung in the last month (and that’s no fun). Tourists and casual anglers are out there and simply do not know how to handle a stingray. 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 although croakers and mackerel should be available. We 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 there’s good action inshore on croakers, both yellowfins and spotfins. Use fresh mussels or lug worms for best results. Mid-pier to the end sees mackerel showing up as well as quite a few calico (kelp) bass. And, not a lot, but a few halibut are making an appearance. Out at the end there continues to be good action on sharks and rays for people using squid. 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 most of the action has been on yellowfin and spotfin croakers but also quite a few halibut have been landed lately. Top-water action has seen anglers getting mackerel while at night sharks and rays are still make an appearance (on the bottom). 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, “We have been getting lots of good strikes lately from big fish such as halibut and sea bass, but not landing them. At least they are there. The mackerel have disappeared for a few days now, but they'll be back. One more week and the Jr. lifeguards will be through for the year. We have had some big shovelnose guitarfish lately and a lot of thornbacks when the water is moving back and forth. As long as the wind is blowing it has been pleasant on the pier, but oh, when the wind or breeze stops we go home as it is too hot. It is going to rain today believe it or not. That we are looking forward to.” 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 — Generally about the same report as at the Balboa Pier. 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 there’s still a good bite on croakers in the inshore section—yellowfins and spotfins. Nothing much on the bottom excepting some stingrays, thornbacks and small leopard sharks; halibut are few and far between. On the top, anglers continue to pull in mackerel and jacksmelt while bonito remain missing in action. How To Get There: Highway 1 (Pacific Coast Highway) to Huntington Beach and the pier.
Seal Beach Pier — Rada at Big Fish Tackle says things have slowed down. There’s still some croakers showing up on the bottom inshore, some mackerel mid-pier to the end in the top-water, and a few sharks and rays but not too much else. No bonito to date. 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 — Jimmy at Big Fish Tackle says he’s getting some good reports from Belmont. Apparently there is some good halibut action in the mid-pier (where it widens) section. Mid-pier to the end also sees good mackerel action and jacksmelt numbers. Last, but not least, some nice bat rays and shovelnose guitarfish are showing up, most out toward the end. 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 — White croaker out from the pier along with some mackerel; a few croakers, sargo and perch close in by the rocks. How to Get There: From downtown Long Beach, take Pine Avenue south to Shoreline Drive. For the northernmost pier #1 follow Shoreline Avenue west and follow it around the lagoon to where the street ends. For the southernmost piers #2-#5 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 — Alex from the Rusty Hook (245 N Gaffey St., San Pedro) says anglers continue to pull in good numbers of mackerel with a surprisingly good number of halibut (although most are shorts). He says rays and sharks are on the bottom but he’s not getting many reports of other fish (although there should be some bass and perch out by the rocks). 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 (the majority under 14 inches), rock wrasse, senorita, opaleye, sheephead, halfmoon and blacksmith. An early June visit saw many, many small ocean whitefish but hopefully they’ve moved on. 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) — It’s the usual, bonito on the top (some days), calico (kelp) bass and opaleye mid-water, and assorted bottom species—sheephead, halfmoon, rock wrasse, senorita, 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 — Sunny at the Redondo Coffee Shop and Bait Shop reported that the main catch continues to be on mackerel but the bonito have finally shown up and they’ve been getting quite a few for the past week. Not too much is showing on the bottom, an occasional bass or perch. 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 the pier says it’s still mostly kelp (calico) bass but they are also getting a few halibut on the bottom (though most are shorts). Bonito and yellowtail are showing in the harbor and though boiling at times most of them are staying away from the hooks (although a few bonito have been landed). A 5-foot long shovelnose was caught the morning I called but overall things have slowed a little since they closed the end of the pier. As for under the pier, it’s the normal perch and perch-like species. He also said they pier may be closing in a couple of months. The City Council is considering rebuilding the pier along with other harbor projects. No idea on how long it could be closed. 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 this month. 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 this month. How To Get There: Highway 1 to Washington St., turn west and follow Washington St. to the pier.
Santa Monica Pier—Robert at the piers bait and tackle shop said things are fairly slow. Some mackerel are showing on top while a few perch and halibut (mostly shorts) are showing on the bottom. Not much else. 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 the fishing at the pier has been good lately. Quite a few big yellowfin croakers and corbina are being taken inshore while the mid-pier area is seeing some halibut, including a 25-inch fish last week. Mackerel are showing on top along with a few jacksmelt but no bonito to date. Unusual has been the number of kelp bass and white seabass showing up, most are too small to keep, but a lot are being caught. As for the sharks and rays they tend to always be available. 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 there should be some mackerel and 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 — Pretzel, from the Stearns Wharf bait shop, said things are a little slow. Mackerel are still available on top, calico (kelp) bass on the bottom, and quite a few “huge” bat rays are showing up but basically nothing 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 from the pier’s bait & tackle store (and Hook Line & Sinker in Santa Barbara) said the pier is seeing the normal mix. Expect some mackerel on top and some shallow-water rockfish (mostly brown rockfish) from the pipe reef (as always) along with a few kelp bass. A few halibut have been taken as well as some sharays (primarily at night). 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 (for 3+years). Evidently it’s not a priority for the state. How To Get There: From Highway 101 simply take the Gaviota State Park turnoff down to the beach and pier.