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PFIC Message Boards >> Pier and Surf Fishing Reply to this topic
>> Some favorite SF Muni Pier reports from the past [topic: previous/next]
PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2017 4:52 pm
Ken Jones


Posts: 9461
Location: California

Date: March 28, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: James Pan
Subject: Fishing report

Hi Ken, Went fishing yesterday at the SF Muni. Pier. The weather was beautiful, albeit somewhat cold and breezy. Caught one tiny bullhead (4") and one giant sea anemone attached to a piece of rock weighing over 3 LB! My bait must have just landed right above its mouth. Managed to catch one small kingfish in the afternoon, and an unknown fish. The fish is about 6" long, looks like an eel, has a very slimy body, and disproportionately large mouth with very sharp teeth. I will let you know the name of the fish once it's identified. There were some twenty anglers scattered over the entire pier. Neighbors caught a few kingfish, bullheads and perch. Many were also crabbing. I am no exception. Caught ten crabs while fishing. Take care and have fun fishing.

James, Thanks for the very interesting report. Sounds like you might have caught a fringehead which are really mean little critters with mouths full of sharp teeth. But you never know what you'll catch on a visit to the Muni Pier. Best wishes, Ken

The following is undoubtedly the most negative report I have ever received regarding a pier and unfortunately some of the thoughts are right on the mark. The message engendered quite a bit of discussion on the Message Board after I listed it and led to (I believe) a considerable number of letters to the authorities. Improvements? Still waiting.

Date: October 29, 2000
To: Ken Jones
From: Harukan
Subject: Monthly Reports

Well, here's a report for Muni Pier that you can use this month, next month, and forever: MUNI PIER SUCKS. I've been reading fishing reports from various piers all over California for months now, and it sounds as though every pier in the state has better fishing than Muni Pier, whose fishing sucks because the sea-lions at Pier 39 gobble up every decent fish in the entire area.
Aside from the fishing being pathetic, Muni Pier sucks in every other respect. The pier receives no maintenance or repair and is crumbling away—there are lots of places where big chunks of concrete have broken away and never been repaired. The pier used to have lights all along it, but the lights were removed at some point, leaving only the useless lamp-posts sticking up like concrete stumps. The bait shop/snack bar at the foot of the pier has been closed for a good ten or fifteen years or more. There are no fish-cleaning facilities or water, although there used to be—you can see water pipes in places where the concrete curbing has broken (and, of course, not been repaired). Restroom facilities are completely inadequate, especially in view of the fact that hundreds of people come onto the pier each day—joggers, tourists, etc., in addition to crabbers and fishermen.
The pier is also filthy. Since the pier is open at night (but not lit or attended), it acts as a magnet for drunks and derelicts who go out there at night to drink and party and leave trash all over the place, including broken beer bottles. People also use the areas behind the concrete benches as urinals, and the areas around the benches generally reek so strongly of urine that they're stomach-turning and you can't go near the benches, much less sit on them. It also isn't unusual to find a pile of human crap lying about.
All things considered, there's NO reason to go to Muni Pier, at all, ever, and every reason NOT to. The only reason I've been going there now and then is that it's close to where I live and since I don't have a car, going anywhere else is very inconvenient and time-consuming (if not completely unfeasible), but I'm not going there any more. The decrepitude and dirt and lack of amenities might be bearable if the fishing were good, but it isn't. If there were a contest for “worst pier in California,” Muni Pier would be the winner.

Quite naturally, the post engendered a lively thread of follow-up posts.

Posted by Scooterfish

Is there anything we can do? Just wondering if there is something we can do about the situation/conditions at this pier. Is there somewhere we can write? who manages (or -DOESN'T- manage) the piers in SF? Just curious, because it does seem like Muni is just fading away.
My opinion on Muni and SF pier fishing (from the POV of a current city dweller and former country boy who like his space) I tried Muni for while and ended up at least as frustrated as Harukan, for many reasons. I work days, like most folks, and fish weekdays in the afternoons. Muni is one of the most exposed and unpleasant piers I've ever spent an evening at. Extremely windy (3-4pm on), dark, dirty, smelly, cold and miserable. A disgrace. The fishing is not so hot either, although I agree with Ken that I have had a few oddball OK days there. I do own a car, but anyone who lives here in SF knows you can't move a car after everyone's off work because there is NO PARKING (I've spent up to two hours trying to park in my neighborhood before giving up and parking illegally on a sidewalk). Unless you are one of those rare and lucky souls in SF that has a garage, this situation limits most of us to Public Transportation, and that SEVERELY limits the piers that are within a reasonable distance. I regularly (1-2 times a week) get on a standing-room-only Muni bus with my 2-piece 11-ft surf pole, a 6-ft one piece casting rod, a bucket and a duffel with all my gear. People look at me like I'm some kind of freak or something. The only piers I can really get to and back from in a reasonable amount of time are Pier 2 and Pier 7. I guess I'm a bit frustrated too. Hey Harukan... lets hooks up at a pier and fish/gripe for a while! Maybe we'll get lucky and catch a few fish.. haha Scooterfish

Posted by stinkyfingers

Now let's see what happens... Ken, I was seriously put out by what I read here about this pier. I have copied and pasted the report into an Email that I have sent it to Willie Brown, asking him for comment and intentions. I have also copied Holly Bundock of the National Park Services with my transmittion. Now let's wait for a response...

Posted by harukan

Nothing—wrong target. Complaining to Silly Willy won't do any good, because the City of San Francisco, oddly enough, has nothing to do with Muni Pier. Muni Pier is under the aegis of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, which, like all national parks, is suffering from shortages of both funding and staff, which no doubt accounts for the deplorable condition of the pier.
If you want to complain about the pier, complaints should be directed to:
Golden Gate National Recreation Area
Fort Mason Center, Building 201
San Francisco, CA 94123
Attention: Brian O'Neill
The phone number is: (415) 561-4720
In complaining, do keep in mind that funds and staff are already stretched to the max, and that the REAL fault lies with the politicians who throw money at entitlement programs and the moronic “war on drugs” while letting everything else go to hell.

Posted by harukan

San Francisco Municipal Pier. I sent in that report because I wanted people to know how bad Muni Pier is so they wouldn't waste their time going there. I've heard lots of stories about how good the fishing USED to be at Muni Pier, but invariably, when I ask the person WHEN he/she experienced this great fishing, the answer is that it was years ago, before the sea-lions moved in and set up permanent camp at Pier 39. Yeah, maybe once in awhile somebody has a sort-of good day at Muni Pier, but in my experience, it's about as rare as the proverbial blue moon. About 99.999% of the time, the fishing sucks. That being the case, I haven't bothered to complain to Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA) about the poor maintenance and other problems with the pier. Even if GGNRA could spare the funds and manpower to fix and clean up the pier, they still couldn't do anything about the rotten fishing.

Posted by Mike. C

Hey Ken! Harukan is right on the money in regards to this pier. It sucks. The only reason I go ever go there is to catch anchovies for bait during the summer. Among his legitimate gripes he left out the all the damn swimmers in the morning that scare off all the ‘chovies making it take longer to catch sufficient amounts of bait thus prolonging an already miserable experience. I won't even bring my dog out on the pier with me when I go (By the way Ken the dog’s name is Raider) since he's so much closer to the ground I fear he'll pick up some kind of bacteria or viral infection from all the urine and fecal waste. It's truly a shame because I have fond memories of this pier when I was a kid. Getting hamburgers, fries and coke with my dad and grandfather while taking a lunch break from fishing and crabbing for huge Dungeness, it was legal to take them out of the bay back then. I caught my first striper when I was about 7 or 8 out there on Muni Pier. He was a beauty, or at least I think he was, when you’re that small fish look bigger. Between Muni and Berkeley Pier I learned all my fishing basics before I was ten. It's truly sad to see that pier in the condition that it's in now.

Posted by Kyle

Why don’t they build some type of underwater reef below muni pier? And for the wind, build some kind of windbreaker, blocking the wind that hits the pier. Maybe just a huge tarp can do the job

Posted by Ken Jones

Although I agree overall on the conditions, I really have had several excellent fishing days at the pier. Last year on my birthday I went fishing and caught one big perch after another (rubberlip perch, striped perch, rainbow perch and blackperch) as well as some small cabezon. There has also been some good action on kingfish, jacksmelt, small perch (primarily silvers), sharks and small rockfish. And although I imagine the fishing was better back then, whenever then was, my first trip to the pier, on July 6, 1966, was not really that great—just a few silver surfperch. So although there is a tremendous job to do for the right agencies on cleaning up and repairing the pier, I do believe you can still catch some good fish from the pier. Oh, and I do agree the wind in the afternoon can be murder while the parking is almost always terrible unless you get there really early in the morning).

Date: December 3, 2000
To: PFIC Message Board
From: cchiou
Subject: Piers in the city (SF)

Hey guys — I've been reading your posts and they're all very helpful, however there seems to be pretty sparse info on people who fish off of the Fort Mason and Municipal Piers. Unfortunately, I don't have a car so those are the only ones I have access to. I have a general idea as to what kind of fish are in the bay and what types of bait, etc. I should use. However, it seems like these piers aren't very heavily fished — or I've missed the posts. In any case, I'll be heading down there next weekend, but thought I'd troll for any help or advice that people might have. Thanks! Carl

Posted by Ken Jones

A lot of people fish from both of those piers although the Muni Pier, because of its size and shape, can really handle more anglers.
Fort Mason is a good place to go when the wind comes up because you can find some spots where most of the wind is blocked. You can also generally find a spot to park unlike the Muni Pier which, at times, has no parking available. Most of the fish I have caught at Fort Mason were perch, kingfish, bullheads and sharks. Crabbing can be good at times but the problem at Fort Mason is that on most of the pier (really two piers) the railing is quite a way from the edge of the pier making it hard to crab or to pull in larger fish (like sharks or rays). It’s also easy to tangle your line on the pilings if you are fishing straight down for perch. But, as said, at times it is preferable to the Muni Pier or Fort Point. For info on the Muni Pier consult the Pier Archives.

Posted by cchiou

Awesome! Thanks for the info. I live 5 minutes away and have been going all the way to the Delta to fish without knowing I could fish so close to home. Great site. Carl

Posted by harukan

Not to rain on your parade or anything, but you might be better off going to the Delta. The fishing at both Muni Pier and Fort Mason is extremely poor because of all the sea-lions from the colony at Pier 39. In all the dozens of times I've been to Muni Pier over the past several months, I've NEVER seen anyone catch anything more impressive than the occasional croaker—and I do mean “occasional”; most of the time, most people catch nothing at all. On a “good” day, you might catch a few shiners and an anchovy or two.
For more details on Muni Pier, read my “rant” in last month's pier reports. Everything I said then still applies: the pier is still filthy and poorly maintained (or rather, not maintained at all).
The Fort Mason piers are much cleaner, but only because hardly anybody goes there. There are no restrooms nearby, not even a Port-O-San, which could be why nobody goes there. The fishing is the same as at Muni Pier: rotten.

Posted by sroynelson

Fishings not so bad... I'm an SF local and I've had good days at the Muni Pier, especially in the winter, fishing around the pilings of the main pier, about a third of the way out on the inside, and from the cliffs just to the west before the hill up to the park. I've mainly caught perch — some pretty decent sized ones, and a few small rock cod. And if the sardines are running in the winter, it's a blast. Large fresh grilled sardines are a real treat, but I don't know if they are running now, or if they even run every year. The guys down at Kaplan's sporting goods on Market always seem to know when and where the bite is happening on a day-to-day basis. Also, at the Muni Pier, at night, you can feed the raccoons any fish you don't want to keep. I've also done some crabbing there and it can be good as well. And the view is “awesome.” And the bus takes you right there. -Good luck, and somebody email me if the sardines sweep in. I'll post it if I hear of it. -Steve.

Posted by Ken Jones

Although I agree as to the deplorable conditions of Muni Pier, I continue to say that there are fish there to be caught. I just rechecked my records of the piers in the area and was a little surprised to see that I have averaged more fish there than at Pier 7 -- although less than at the Ferry Building Pier (Pier 2). And the little piers just to the left of Pier 39, about as close to the sea lions as you can get, also yield fish, in fact a lot of kingfish and perch. So sea lions have not chased all the fish away. I'm not saying every trip is great but there is usually something around to catch—perch inshore, jacksmelt in deeper water on the top, sharks and rays on the bottom, small brown rockfish around the inner pilings, etc.

Posted by scooterfish

Try taking Muni, it can easily get you to any of the SF city piers, not just Fort Mason and Muni. I live in the Lower Haight and take the bus to Fort Point, Fort Mason, Muni Pier, Pier 7, Pier 2 and Pier 70 (I just discovered Pier 70 this weekend, report soon!) Scooterfish

Posted by readership

I went down to Fort Mason with a friend on Saturday... figured I'd get some crabs to make up for no fish. No crabs: that sucked. Fished from around 11am to 4pm: no crabs. Dang. First time I crabbed there in the day… Maybe that might have something to do with it. One guy was there since early morning and got a couple bullheads.

Posted by cchiou

Hey—Thanks for all the opinions. Scooterfish-I've thought about taking them Muni, but feel guilty taking my tackle on board with me. But it looks like its not a problem, so I may try that sometime. What bus you take to piers 2 and 7? I think I'll give those a shot — pier 70 sounds a little too risky for me... Carl

Posted by scooterfish

Fishing Pier 2 tonight. If you are near Municipal/Ft. Mason piers or over that way, I would just take the F-line train (the old streetcar kind) from the Fisherman's wharf area around to the ferry building or Pier 7. Piers 7 and 2 (ferry) are located within 1/2 mile of each other. The ferry building is at the base of Market Street, so any bus that goes down Market will work fine... I'll be fishing Pier 2 tonight, probably from 7:00 till 10:30 or so as long as it's not raining... Maybe meet up? Scooterfish

The next spring, when word began to circulate on the Pier Fishing in California Message Board about good catches of fish at the Muni Pier, the pier rats began to flock to the pier and its esteem rose once again—at least in regards to fishing. It still remained (and remains) a fairly dirty place to fish as well as a pier in which the fetor can offer a full, frontal attack on the olfactory nerve (it stinks).

Date: January 13, 2001
To: PFIC Message Board
From: Scooterfish
Subject: Actual Muni Pier Report (really!)

Friend Richard and I started out at Pier 70 at 7:00am, fished till 11:15 there... nothing but nibbles from shiners, a pair of weird blennies and one striped perch that we released. Saw Readership there (how did you do at the Dumbarton?)
We ended up bailing to Muni Pier of all places... weather was nice, a little windy. I had picked up two-dozen pileworms from Oyster Point and scavenged a bunch of baby crabs from under rocks at Pier 70. We picked up some frozen grass shrimp at the bait shop near Muni Pier and got to work... Fishing was generally slow, but we noticed that this one elderly Chinese man was nailing cabezon, blue rockfish and kelp greenlings. We moved over to his spot (inside of the horseshoe, halfway out) and started catching fish... I caught an 8” cabezon first, released. A bit later I caught two kelp greenling, 9.5 inches 270grams and another 10.75 inches 380grams. You may be wondering why I know this; it just so happens that we were actually SURVEYED by a DFG guy... YES, an ACTUAL DFG officer was walking the pier and checking out peoples catches, and surveying those who were willing to answer the set of questions. He measured, weighed and recorded our fish, asked about our average catch and release rates, etc. We also caught a couple of striped perch which we released, although they were certainly eating size. I did keep the two kelp greenling (fish of the month after all!!) and fried them up as soon as I got home...YUM!!!
Also saw someone with a nice big rubberlip perch that was at least 15” long and FAT. Fished until 3:30 and called it a fishing day. All fish caught on the frozen grass shrimp, although I had several solid hits on the whole baby crabs...ripped em right off the hook! Pileworms proved useless today for some reason.
I CAN'T BELIEVE I HAD A NICE DAY OF FISHING AT MUNI PIER !!! About time...(and I actually got to see a REAL, LIVE DFG officer, a rare sight indeed....) Scooterfish —Sorry for the long post...some of us have actually been FISHING lately instead of "chatting" incessantly on the message board heheheh Wink

Posted by marv

A week and a half ago I saw a real DFG officer and his SUV at Fort Baker. He came out and checked our catches. He asked the fisherman what the differences were between the Rock, Red, and Dungeness crabs. WTF! He returned to his SUV to consult his book. Marv

Posted by harukan

Excuse me while I have a heart attack... I don't know which to be more shocked at—the fact that somebody actually caught something besides baitfish and trash-fish off Muni Pier, or the fact that a DFG officer actually showed up on the pier. But both in the same day? My God, where's the defibrillator?

Posted by Dan V.

Careful: UNDERSIZED FISH! Sort of surprised Fish & Game did not cite you for your under-sized greenlings as there is a size limit of 12 inches on them. Oh yeah, also a size limit on cabezon, 14 inches! Good luck with your fishing but be careful of the laws, most F&G wardens won’t let you slide.

Posted by Songslinger

Yeah, surprised me too. Guess the DFG official wasn't too bright to let you get away with keeping undersized greenling. For shame!

Posted by Red Fish

They wear a DFG patch... on their shirts in this area. The guy in this area (S. F Bay) of No. Cal (big guy named Robert ). I have been interviewed by him numerous times last summer at various piers. Yeah, his research might have been for NMFS, but he was employed by DFG. No, he does not give citations or carry a gun, but he will tell you if you’re breaking the law. I always ask him where they are biting and he gives me good tips. A really nice guy.

Posted by stinkyfingers

Confused, just confused, not dazed... There's no smoke over my head right now, and I was looking at the fish of the month, and it states that there is no minimum size for the greenlings that Scooter kept. Dan, 'Slinger, Ken, Rich: Which is it? Singed, Sober and still confused

Posted by The Fishin Magician

Not DFG, NMFS...Check your regs. and know your stuff. DFG wardens won't miss something like that. The person you met was a NMFS (National Marine Fisheries Service) worker whose job is to measure and weigh (legal or not) the fish you have caught. They also ask questions about how much you spent to go fishing to investigate the economic impact of recreational fishing. Usually they will tell you if a fish is short, but they can't issue citations. Study your DFG regs. book. Their fines are very expensive. Tight lines, Adam

Posted by harukan

WHERE is that regulation? I checked DFG's online regulations and found only two references to kelp greenling, neither of which said anything about a size limit. Where did you find this regulation?

Posted by notsosmart

Surprised?! me too… Reading the thread above, I am surprised by the minimum size of the greenling. I just went to the DFG site. But I did find the min size for the greenling. See the attached link.

Posted by Songslinger

Here! The 2001 regs. are at the DFG site and can be downloaded as a PDF document. Don't know why they haven't shipped them to the bait shops yet. I've also posted the cabezon one because the minimum length has changed from 14” to 15” this year). The regs. have NOT changed for greenling and you could find that on page 52 of the California Sport Fishing Regulations For 2000.
Anyway here is the relevant regulation for 2001:
28.28. Cabezon.
(a) Limit: Ten.
(b) Minimum size: Fifteen inches total length.
28.29. Kelp Greenling. Rock Greenling.
(a) Limit: Kelp Greenling: Ten. Rock Greenling: Ten.
(b) Minimum size: Twelve inches total length.
When the new 2001 booklets do come in, I suggest that all anglers get two each, one for home and one for the water. Knowledge is power.

Posted by shorepounder

Don't be lazy! I always carry a regulation book with me in my backback along with a fish identification book. Wardens, like the police, don't care if you are ignorant on laws... they'll site you and then you can cry to the judge!!! I was stopped by a warden last year at night just as I got off the breakwall in King Harbor. This guy came out of the shadows in the parking lot behind the yacht club and scared the #@%*! out of me. I was glad to see there was one around and directed him to the bait barge where I saw guys that night keeping short barracuda. After I told him that, he thanked me and took off to get ‘em. Just remember that wardens CHECK your catches and carry guns!!! Just remember that as an angler it's your responsibility to know the laws.

Posted by Songslinger

I agree! And let me just mention that having the regs. on me has more than once saved me a citation or appearance in court. The DFG people are great but they don't know all the rules and can make mistakes, particularly in matters about breakwaters and public piers—or even about which crabs you can use for bait. I like to make their jobs and my life easier!

Posted by harukan

Blush, blush, blush… Stupid me, how did I miss that?

Date: January 22, 2001
To: PFIC Message Board
From: Scooterfish
Subject: Muni Pier (Late Report 1/20)

Had my best day at Muni Pier ever.... Fished with my friend Richard actually started early (6:30 a.m.), purchased 3/4 lb. of live grass shrimp at Oyster Point, then fished Agua Vista Pier near Pier 70 for an hour and a half. Nothing there, so we moved over to Muni Pier.
First tried our “secret” spot on the pier for rockfish and sea trout and cabezon, caught one tiny cabezon with a HUGE belly, almost baseball sized, very strange, but no other bites, tide was outgoing strong and not easy to fish the pier.
We moved to the other side of the small abandoned pier that is just west of Muni — 30 feet or so. There is a nice ledge on the other side of the concrete wall that is fishable if you have a license in possession. We got to this spot around 11:00. Richard tosses out his line and gets a 1.75 lb. pile perch first cast, it fights like a little banshee... we got it up to the pier and tried hand lining it up to the ledge, but the line broke and it landed on the ledge that is 10 ft. below us, so I had to run down and grab it and throw it up to Rich... pretty funny, we were NOT going to lose that fish! No way. Met Joe (aka Fishsniffer) out there, and his buddy Ali also... Perch bite was pretty good... I got one of the biggest pile perch I've ever caught, just a hair under 2-lbs. on my scale, 15” long and 2.5” thick... gave me a great fight on my ultralight bass rod, actually pulled some line out... had to work him hard away from the pilings... tres’ cool.... Caught five striped perch 9”-12” and one rubberlip 9”... Fishsniffer caught a fat cabezon that was a few inches short, released (sorry you guys farmed that big perch!)... Rich and I went home at 4:30, cleaned all the fish, ended up with over 5 lbs. of meat and immediately fried up the biggest pile perch... damned tasty! When cleaning the big pile perch, I noticed the stomachs were PACKED primarily with crushed mussel shells, with some crushed baby crabs and barnacle bits mixed in... This gave me the idea that I might be better off using a slightly crushed WHOLE mussels for bait for these larger perch... anyone have any experience using them whole in the shell? Hit ‘em hard n fast.... and tight lines to all... Scooterfish

Posted by aafrench

We use a rig we make up and use a mussel cut in half. It is killer for perch. I have caught 20-30 perch off the pier when nobody else is catching anything.
The rig uses a metal “clamp” that is generally used to hold a stack of paper. Can be bought at the major Office Supply stores. I drill a hole in a flat 1-2-ounce sinker and use a nut and bolt to secure it through the bottom hole in the clamps handle. I secure the line on my rod to the eye of the sinker. I then attach two leaders to the top hole of the clamp. I use the clamp to hold a mussel that has been cut in half, be sure to get all the meat is in this half. Use the leaders to put the hooks in the meat.
This seems like a long process to catch perch, but I have had many days when I was the only one catching the fish, and others were trying to see what the heck I was using. Good Luck and tight lines, Andrew

Posted by harukan

Clever idea. Do you mean those black binder clips with the silvery handles, or is there another type of paper clamp you're talking about? Thanks

Posted by aafrench

Another example. Check out the link below, imagine that you get one without the magnet, and you attach a weight just like the magnet is attached. You attach your leaders to the top hole, and clamp the mussel shell and attach the hooks to the meat in the mussel.
Link: [no longer valid

Posted by harukan

Ahh, Acco bulldog clips! That's neat. However in the world did you happen to come up with that idea?

Posted by aafrench

I can’t take credit for it, my friends grandfather showed it to us many years ago!

Posted by Songslinger

That Big-Bellied Cabezon. Could have been a Buffalo Sculpin. They are caught at Muni Pier and other spots on the SF or Marin side.

Posted by harukan

Wonder if you could use a tea ball? Your paper-clamp device got me to thinking. I wonder if you could use a mesh tea ball as a chum device? Fill it full of mussel flesh, and attach it to your line, maybe with a Slider, to attract the fish? The wire mesh is fine enough to hold the soft mussel flesh, yet would let the juice and scent disperse in the water. Has anyone tried anything like that?

Posted by ron

harukan... I would think that the contraption would probably work. However, I can imagine, since the tea ball is made out of metal, that the mussel chum plus the weight of the tea ball and a hooked fighting fish all together can put a strain on your line and/or rod. Perhaps using a small cloth or tightly woven nylon bag with a draw-string may be a “lighter” solution. Also, you may increase your chances of getting snagged in rougher terrain than that of a sandy open bottom. Otherwise, it's a clever idea to attract fish to your baited hooks.

Posted by cchiou

I think someone else on this board posted a novel idea a couple weeks back: panty hose. It's meshy so it allows scents/liquids to flow freely, light, and if you use a few layers its pretty strong. Carl

Posted by oljo

Some time back I clipped an article by a charter boat skipper out of Saltwater Sportsman Mag. His surefire chum rig is made from 35 mm film containers. Drill a bunch of ¼” holes thru the barrel part, and one thru the top and bottom. Run the sinker end of the leader thru the lid and bottom then attach the sinker. The lid pops off; fill with your favorite chopped bait, Snap on the lid and you are ready to go with a real compact and neat chum system. Also, you can use a little less weight on the sinker. (I made up about a dozen of these. I haven’t been out to try them out yet, but I can’t believe they would be any less than that skipper claims them to be). Good Luck

Posted by baitfish

Contraption pic? Do you have a pic or drawing of this, I would like to see it, I am having trouble visualizing it. Also is this suspended or on the bottom? Thanks, Baitfish

Posted by aafrench

It’s not a very good picture, I think the batteries in my camera are dying. And i didn’t have a mussel shell, so you have to imagine it with a regular old beach shell!

Posted by Songslinger

Chum’s the word. This has been a fascinating thread. As someone who fishes for perch often, I have been intrigued and edified by the discussions. I don't often chum, but when I do (on piers) I just use my wire fish basket, the same one I have on hand to keep my fish alive so I can decide whether to keep or release them. I’ll just take the mussel halves and throw them in the basket, lower it down, and fish. Seems to work okay, and I like to think I'm providing a free meal for my “prisoners” as well.

Posted by baitfish

I think I got it... It’s a little fuzzy but I get the idea. How long are the leaders? Do they just sort of hang loose with the hooks in the meat? Do you fish with it suspended, on the bottom or wherever the fish are holding? Thanks, Baitfish

Posted by aafrench

I try to put the leaders under the clip to hold them out of the way on the side, but it doesn't usually matter. I normally fish it on the bottom, But I have caught fish with it suspended a foot or so off the bottom. Good Luck and tight Lines, Andrew

Posted by harukan

A question regarding perch and tide. I keep reading/hearing that the best time to fish is the two hours before, during, and after high tide, yet Scooterfish, et al., had their run of fish a good three hours AFTER high tide (which was around 8:20 a.m. on the 20th). So does tide really matter that much? Or is just that your chances of catching fish are SLIGHTLY better at high tide than at other times? From what I've personally observed, it seems that the fish bite when they damn well please, and the tide doesn't have all that much to do with it.

Posted by Songslinger

All saltwater species are tidal dependent. There is a difference between fish that are just biting and fish that are feeding. It is true that you can catch fish during different periods of the tide, but that's more than likely because you and they were at the same place at the same time (always important—and I never scorn good fortune!). However, it is also true that your chances of catching fish are better when the fish are feeding—and this is where the tide is crucial. For perch, there are two periods of the tide when the fishing is the best: the change of the tide at the top or bottom. I prefer the very beginning of the tide for ocean perch, and the two-hour window (the last hour of the incoming through the first hour of the outgoing) at the top for bay perch. Of course, I can catch them during other parts of the tide, but these parameters have always worked best.
Remember, Scooterfish didn’t start out at Muni but wound up there later on. My feeling is that he would have done even better during the peak tide cycle.

Date: February 14, 2001
To: PFIC Message Board
From: Scooterfish
Subject: Muni Pier

Fished today for a little over two hours at Muni. Used fresh live pile worms on size 8 hooks on hi/lo setup. Caught a bunch of smallish striped perch, all released. Met Songslinger out there, he had a couple of decent perch in the bag already... Weather was pleasant, company was great... Great to finally meet you ‘Slinger... Hope to see you out there again! Scooterfish

Posted by Songslinger

Modesty all aside for Scooterfish, the man put on a clinic on how to fish the bay rocks. If you see him at Muni, watch closely and learn. Few people know how to work the shore this well, when to wait and when to reel in.
As for me, well... first time there in at least a decade. Because it's important to pay dues and/or homage, I donated tackle and frightened fish for the first two unwholesome hours, working up and down the pier. I caught a white perch and didn't pursue any possible schools because I didn't have ultra light tackle; white perch aren't much on line over 8#, in my view. Then I found Scooterfish's spot and caught a nice pile perch, which I mistakenly identified as a rubberlip. Foolish me, but it's been that long since I caught a pile perch in that range. Another normal sized pile perch followed and was placed in the wire basket—and somehow escaped within ten minutes. Then it was a bunch of small buffalo sclupins, bullheads and cabezons before Scooterfish showed up and showed me how it’s done. I got two striped perch, which I kept to go along with the pile perch for tomorrow's dinner, and also some more small sculpin types. And Scooterfish just kept bagging striped perch after striped perch. If he wasn't such a nice guy I would hate his guts! But all in all a nice day on the SF side, something I haven't done for at least six months.

Posted by harukan

Hey, Scooterfish, care to share your secrets? If Songslinger’s that impressed, you've surely got some good pointers to offer. Mind telling us some of them?

Posted by Scooterfish

I keep expecting to run into you one of these days at Muni... Maybe we should meet up there some afternoon and catch a couple of fish? I've found that Muni isn’t that bad if you don't focus all of your time ON the pier... do you have a license? If so, there is some good fishing to be had for sure. Regardless, there are fish to be caught from the pier and where are these 600 sea lions you keep talkin’ about? I've only seen a few, and in my opinion, they only screw with the crab nets this time of year. There ARE fish in there... Scooterfish

Posted by harukan

Yes, it seems that the fishing at Muni IS somewhat better now than it was this summer. As for the 600 sea-lions, that's how many there supposedly are in the colony at Pier 39, according to an article I read about the “World-Famous Sea-Lions at Pier 39!” (exclamation mark in original). Also, male sea-lions migrate in the winter, starting in September or so, so there are probably somewhat fewer lions in the area now.

Posted by harukan

Sometimes ya see ‘em... sometimes ya don’t. I was looking at Pier 39’s web site and they have a live web cam, with a blurb that says something to the effect of, “Here's a stunning view of beautiful San Francisco Bay, with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background and Pier 39's WORLD FAMOUS SEA LIONS in the foreground!” Well, on that particular day, the background, bridge and all, was entirely concealed by fog or rain, and there wasn't ONE single sea-lion to be seen. TOO funny.

Posted by Scooterfish

Awww. I'm flattered. Thanks for the kind words Slinger! To be honest, I really don't know if there's much to it except for just paying a lot of attention to detail (where rocks are, keeping a mental database of places I’ve snagged repeatedly, where the deeper holes and kelp strands are located). “Feeling” the bottom with your setup is important also (lighter tackle advantageous here). I've been fishing that particular area heavily for a couple of months, and you really start to get a feel for what the fish *might* be doing under there... kind of like the “think like a fish” mentality. I also think that it is incredible valuable to visit a spot like this a few times at an extreme minus tide to get the maximum read on what structure is lurking out there. I'll be out there this afternoon from 2pm until 7pm or so plunking pile worms... Same perch time, same perch place.... Scooterfish

Posted by stinkyfingers

If I didn't have to work...I'd be there with you, man. I've wanted to come out there since back in fall, remember when we were gong to try and hookup for some sharkin’? I've yet to catch a single perch. Just haven't tried it yet! Well, maybe one of these weekends...

Date: January 19, 2004
To: PFIC Message Board
From: RaidersFan1
Subject: Is Muni Pier legal for crabbing?

Posted by Tchli_88

If you’re talking about SF, I think its legal for... rock and reds but no Dungees.

Posted by RaidersFan1

Yes, for San Francisco... I took a stroll out there with my nephew the other day and we saw lots of people dropping both snares and hoop nets down. I asked one guy off in the corner what kind of crabs he was going for, his reply was ‘anything that has meat on it’ when I mentioned Dungy he said ‘if it goes in the net it’s a catch.’ I wasn't sure about the legality of Dungy crabbing since the pier is just inside of the Bridge, so I thought I'd check with the board before drawing my own conclusions as to the legality of possible poaching.
Thank you, Tchli, Mike, RaidersFan1
Support UPSAC, United Pier and Shore Anglers of California

Posted by ron

I believe it’s ILLEGAL to keep... a Dungie caught within the SF bay area during this time. This applies to any pier within the boundaries of the bay. The guy was lucky that a warden wasn't around ‘cause the fine for one Dungie would've been steep! Red and Rock crabs would've been good to keep as long as they are past legal size.

Posted by lucy

There’s a sign right at the entrance to the damn pier that says what crabs are legal to keep. Obviously the jerk never looked at it. These idiots come in two flavors: those who don't know what the law is because they don't care enough to find out, and those who do know what the law is but don't care because they think it shouldn't apply to THEM. Both flavors of idiot would make good shark food.

Posted by gyozadude

That's the Lucy I remember. Long time no hear M’Lady. Are you still alive? The board hasn't been graced by your likes in a long time.

Posted by Ken Jones

Yes, Dungeness are illegal in the bay... and the Bridge is the basically the boundary line for piers. So, at Fort Point Pier, Fort Baker Pier, and the SF Muni Pier, people can keep red and rock crabs but no Dungeness crabs.

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