|California Pier Report, March 2018 (#234)
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 — Ron (?), at the pier’s bait shop, says most of the action continues to be on mackerel. Some small perch are biting inshore along with a few croakers but not many. In addition, no sharks or rays have shown for several weeks. 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 there have been a lot or corbina caught lately and mainly on blood worms which, unfortunately, she does not carry. Other than that it’s the regular fish—some surfperch on the bottom and mackerel on the top. The weather? She said it’s been beautiful. 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 and sharays 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 and bat rays). 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 a few mackerel and small bass are being caught. 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 — Roy, at the Oceanside Pier Bait and Tackle on the pier, said most of the action is on mackerel, which, for the most part, is out at the end of the pier. Things have slowed inshore although a couple of the regulars have wracked up some nice strings of big spotfin croaker. Not much else. 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 — Peter, at Angler’s Tackle, 1413 North Coast Hwy, said it’s mostly the usual perch along with a few croakers and bass. He said they have been picking up some striped bass from the jetty (which sits directly across the water from the pier) so they may have gotten some stripers but he hasn’t had any reports. 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 — Mitch at Hogan's Bait And Tackle, 34320 Pacific Coast Hwy, Dana Point said it’s typical March fishing. Quite a few mackerel are being taken mid-pier to the end while inshore waters see a few croakers and perch. Several halibut have also grabbed baits but only a couple were legal size. As for the sharays, it’s been slow although some small leopard sharks and small bat rays have shown up. Biggest news recently was a shortfin corvina taken inshore on the south side of the pier on a “Zoom Fluke” — which really surprised the angler. No information on the size. 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 — Mitch at Hogan's Bait And Tackle, 34320 Pacific Coast Hwy, Dana Point said there’s still pretty decent action on small bass as well as a few croakers but not much else. The water in the bay is still a little dirty from recent rains. 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, “I have been having a great time looking forward to the bigger halibut lately. Have lost a few with good strikes, but I have caught one keeper and landed it this month. Had a rather large smelt on and the fish took it. I served a good dinner for my family Saturday night. At least there were no complaints. We have been seeing some nice halibut in the surf just swimming around. So far I have one in January and one in February. Now lets see what happens in March. The end is getting their share of mackerel. The big catch of the month was a whale in the surf area. It was hilarious. The man didn't know they came in that close, and he thought he had a very large fish on his line. People that say we hope you catch a whale just don't know what they are saying. Our baits have been smelt and some sardines. Some days we really have to work on catching the bait. It is cold out there lately. Time for the long Johns. We do have a lot of whales around to entertain us and the tourists. They are beginning to head back North now with their babies.” 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 — No report this month. How To Get There: Highway 1 (Pacific Coast Highway) to Huntington Beach and the pier.
Seal Beach Pier — Ron, at Big Fish Tackle, 1780 Pacific Coast Hwy., says fishing is slow at the pier. A few mackerel are being caught on top and a few croakers on the bottom but, it’s still slow. 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 — Ron at Big Fish Tackle says fishing is similar to that at the Seal Beach Pier—slow. An occasional mackerel is showing in the mid-pier area and a few croakers inshore. Not much else. 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, jacksmelt and the usual white croakers should be available with a cast out from the pier. 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 at Rusty Hook B&T, 245 N Gaffey St., San Pedro, said it’s pretty slow. Some short halibut have shown on the bottom, and there are still the small croakers (tomcod), an occasional sculpin (scorpionfish), perch or smelt, but not much else; even the sharks and rays are absent. There’s not even any mackerel to speak of, at least at the pier (although decent in other areas of the harbor). Anglers do report good action fishing the breakwater but you only get a small piece of that action out at the very end of the pier. It was raining the day I called and he had only had two anglers so I don’t imagine he’s going to be getting too many reports. 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 normal mix of fish — rock wrasse, senorita, opaleye, sheephead, jacksmelt, and kelp bass. Use sea-worms, frozen peas and small pieces of market shrimp. 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) — Some bonito continue to come and go throughout the day while the usual mix is found by the pier — kelp bass, opaleye, sheephead, halfmoon, blacksmith, kelpfish, smelt. 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 on the pier said it’s the usual — mackerel. Not 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 some jacksmelt and a few mackerel should be around. 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 some jacksmelt and a few mackerel should be around. 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 been pretty slow. Expect an occasional mackerel and possibly a perch or two under the pier. 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 has been good but the weather has turned a little gnarly—wet and windy. Anglers report some halibut along with a lot of BIG mackerel, small perch and some bass. 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 a few jacksmelt and surfperch numbers should also 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 although fishing for surfperch should be decent to good. 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 — Mike, at the Bait Shop on the pier, said it’s been fairly slow—a few mackerel, some jacksmelt, some piling perch, and a few barred surfperch. He says a lot of corbina are showing up inshore but it’s hard to fish for them from the pier. He says what is doing really good is the crabbing. A lot of big rock crabs are showing up. 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 — No report this month. 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.