|California Pier Report, April 2018 (#235)
April 2018 Fishing Report, SoCal (#235)
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 — Jasmine, at the pier’s bait shop, says most of the action has been on queenfish and mackerel. The queenfish are at mid-pier and at mid-water levels; most are caught with Sabiki rigs. The mackerel are mid-pier to the end and come and go; Sabikis and bait work on the mackerel. 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 few corbina caught lately (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 and jacksmelt on the top. 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 some mackerel and bass (kelp, sand and spotted) 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 mackerel and 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 — Ed, at the Oceanside Pier Bait and Tackle on the pier, said some big spotfin croaker (6-7 pounds) were showing up as well as quite a few sargo and yellowfin croaker. Out at the end the mackerel action was non-stop. But, that was all before the water turned a nasty color (red tide or just river runoff?); whatever the cause the fish bite has slowed and was relatively dead over the holiday weekend. He’s hoping the water clears and the bite begins anew. As for the latest Michael Jackson Report—the pelican he rescued last year has definitely became tame. He fed it (bait and bartered fish from anglers) and now it thinks it owns the bait shop and comes in whenever it’s hungry. Since it bobs its head and moves around he named it Michael Jackson. The latest is that he painted its toenails pink. He tells tourists that it's pelican mating season and since Michael is his favorite pelican he wanted to give it an advantage when competing against the other male pelicans for female attention. Thus, the pink toenails. 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 — Josh, at Hogan's Bait And Tackle, 34320 Pacific Coast Hwy, Dana Point said it’s been fairly slow. There have been a few surfperch showing up inshore along with some croakers, both spotfin and yellowfin, but it’s hit or miss. As for top-water action, it’s been dead. No mackerel and few jacksmelt. The one bright news has been the upturn in fishing for bat rays and booth the numbers are going up and some are good-sized fish. The water needs to warm. 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 it’s also slow in the harbor. Expect a few bass (a mix of species) and a few halibut. Again, the water temperature need to rise. 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, “This month hasn't been great, but the whales sure entertained us. As of now they have slowed down their appearances. We are still getting bait, but nothing seems to want them. Even got some beautiful sardines today. I had one great strike, but it didn't take the bait. The mackerel are still in abundance at the end and sometimes almost to the surf. There have been a lot of people on the beach and the pier just using the area. I know it's because of Easter Vacation. The lifeguard was even at his post today. One of my snagger friends caught a giant sheep crab on Thursday. It had a nine-inch plus carapace. It was the biggest I have seen yet. My big one was only eight inches in the carapace. Boy are they good eating one you get through the shell. That one was over four years of age according to what I have read.” 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 things are slow. The biggest news recently was a 2-foot-long sand bass, which is a good-sized sandie. Inshore action is slow as is the sharay action (no sharks or rays). A handful of halibut have been taken but most are not legal size. Overall: slow. How To Get There: Highway 1 (Pacific Coast Highway) to Huntington Beach and the pier.
Seal Beach Pier — Rada, at Big Fish Tackle, 1780 Pacific Coast Hwy., says fishing is slow at the pier. A few perch are showing inshore and mackerel seem to come and go mid-pier to the end. 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 the fishing at the pier is 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; a few small croakers and an occasional small halibut but not much else. 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) — Bonito are present some days and gone the others. However, the resident population of fish should be present—kelp bass, opaleye, sheephead, halfmoon, blacksmith, kelpfish, and scorpionfish (sculpin). 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 been slow, mainly a few mackerel but nothing steady. 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 decent when the weather cooperates. Anglers continue to report a few halibut along with a lot of 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 cold, wet and windy (in the 50s the day I called). The water temperature is down to 55 degrees and the fishing is SLOW. He says a few mackerel come and go along with a few jacksmelt but that’s about all that’s showing. He was hoping April would be good but is beginning to think the water temps will not be up to May. 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 — Expect the usual: brown rockfish (mostly small) by the pipe reef along with some bass and an occasional perch. Inshore expect an occasional perch and possible small halibut. At the end 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 (4 years, 3 months and counting). The state says it has the money to fix the pier but it will probably be another two years (at least) 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.