|California Pier Report, November 2017 (#230)
San Diego County Piers
Imperial Beach Pier – No report this month. We really need a reporter 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 — Gui at the pier’s bait shop, reports that things have slowed down. Weather included some rain last week, and there have been some really big waves, so it’s put a damper on the fishing. Some mackerel are still showing up, along with assorted perch and croakers, but not too many. 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 and tackle shop, said things are slow, mainly baitfish including mackerel. In addition, a few legal lobsters continue to be taken. The sad news was the passing of James Barrick who ran the shop for many years and supplied PFIC with monthly reports. I had the chance to meet him several times and he always came across as a great individual, one who was willing to help out the newbies to the pier while also keeping an eye out that things were running smoothly (including ethical angling). He left the shop several years ago and moved to Indiana but later returned to California. His mom took over the shop and has retained the friendliness that James installed and I’m sure all who knew him will be greatly saddened at his passing — at a still fairly young age. Pam is going to set up some type of memorial for James. 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, and sharks 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 mackerel along with a few 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 and Tackle, said the crowds have thinned but a few fish are still around. He handed the phone off to Bill (Mr. Fish) who said mackerel continue to hit mid-pier to the end while locals who know what they are doing continue to pull in some halibut (mid-pier), calico bass (mid-pier), spotfin croaker (inshore) and both opaleye and sargo down by the pilings. Shark action has been slow although one thresher was landed the previous week. Biggest catch recently was a nice-sized striped bass. 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 some croakers and bass 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 — Josh at Hogan's Bait And Tackle, 34320 Pacific Coast Hwy, Dana Point said there’s been the usual—spotfin croakers and surfperch but the big news is the continued run of bonito, fish that range from a small one-pound size up to some 4-5-pounders. Missing in action though are halibut. As for the sharays, he says there have been a few good-sized leopard sharks taken. 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 that for the most part it’s been the usual—croakers, bass, and perch with an occasional halibut. Most interesting was the catch of (1) a good-sized bonefish [somewhere between 15-20 inches] and (2) the catch of a “leopard grouper.” If it was truly a leopard grouper (Mycteroperca rosacea), that is a “great” catch since they are very rare to California waters. Josh is going to try to get me a picture. 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, “November got ahead of me. Yesterday we caught a lot of jacksmelt. My friend used salted bonito, and I use the size 6 Sabiki. There were a lot of mackerel on the end as well. We fished the surf. Our halibut have been small. We are still seeing some good-sized halibut in the surf area. The snaggers are getting a lot of mullet now and some corbina and spotfins. Sunday we had a turtle in the surf. He was about a 50 pounder. That was quite a sight as he was about two feet from shore. Yesterday we left early. It was cold and windy. Wish I could say things were looking up, but I can't. By the way this last week we also had a young (probably) gray whale come through the surf. Not the right direction or the right time of year for him. He was also very spotted with brown spots. Very unusual.” 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 — Alex at the “Let’s Go Fishing B&T” on the pier says most of the action has been on mackerel. A lot of bonito are showing all around the pier but they’re finicky and for the most part unwilling to strike lure or live bait. Some corbina are showing inshore and some sharks out toward the end of the pier. 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 although there continue to be croakers and perch inshore and mackerel mid-pier. 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 — Rada at Big Fish Tackle says anglers continue to pull in some mackerel along with jacksmelt. On the bottom there have been a few bat rays and shovelnose sharks (guitarfish). 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 but mackerel and white croakers should be available with a cast out from the pier; 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 (San Pedro) — Alex from the Rusty Hook (245 N Gaffey St., San Pedro) went on vacation and information is sparse. Anglers were catching some bonito along with a few halibut and sharays. 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) – Expect the usual — small kelp bass along with a few opaleye and sheephead. 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) — Bonito, small kelp bass and assorted perch-like species should still be in evidence and the number of sheephead should be increasing. 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 there are still quite a few mackerel but not too much else. How To Get There: From the Pacific Coast Highway, take Torrance Blvd. west to the foot of the pier and the parking lot.
Hermosa Beach Pier — No report this month although mackerel and the usual small sharays should still be around. Surfperch numbers should also be going up. 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 although mackerel and the usual small sharays should still be around. Surfperch numbers should also be going up. How To Get There: Highway 1 to Washington St., turn west and follow Washington St. to the pier.
Santa Monica Pier—John, at the piers bait and tackle shop, said things have slowed. Red tide existed for a few days and then they had some big swells (that killed the lobster fishing) but it hasn’t picked back up. He says there are lizards (lizardfish), and sometimes halibut are around when they show up, but so far no luck. 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 kids are back in school so things have slowed. Reports say mackerel are still hitting at the pier along with quite a few leopard sharks and perch. Some small halibut are still showing up. 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 mackerel and jacksmelt; surfperch numbers should be going up. 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 — No report this month. 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. As usual, the pipe-reef yields up rockfish, mainly small brown rockfish, along with a few bass. Inshore, some perch are showing and out at the end the mackerel come and go. 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.