|California Pier Report—March 2009
San Diego County Piers
Imperial Beach Pier – Mike, at the Tin Fish at the end of the pier, reports things have slowed. 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 — Billy Burns, at the Ocean Beach Pier tackle shop on the pier, says there are still some mackerel and jacksmelt available along with a few lobsters. 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 – Jim at the Crystal Pier (and motel) says the pier should be open but he’s been waiting for over a month for the city inspectors to come out and give an approval to open. It’s just a little frustrating, especially since he’s hearing from anglers who want to get out there. How To Get There: Take I-5 to Garnet Ave. then take Garnet west to the foot of the pier. (A license is required from this pier).
Pepper Park Pier — No report although a few bass should still be hanging around. 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. 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, turn left and follow the road to the park.
Embarcadero Marina Pier — James at JJ’s Sunset Deli (foot of the pier) says it’s mainly mackerel along with a few bass—and not much else! The water temp is still cool and (a) either the fish aren’t biting or (b) they’ve hunkered down in warmer water. 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) – No report this month. 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 – Bill, at Sharkey’s B&T on the pier, says there’s been a good bite going on for several days with mackerel. Best results are early and late but some fish are showing up all day long. A few jacksmelt are also showing up but it’s dead on the bottom. 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 Oceanside Pier Bait & Tackle on the pier, says it’s been fairly slow although some small mackerel are hitting along with the occasional bat ray and shovelnose shark. He says the regulars have been getting some nice perch inshore using small crabs they’ve taken from the pilings. Naturally the place to use them is while fishing down around the pilings. The water temperature is only 57 degrees. 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 this month. 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 — No report this month. Is the snack/bait shop open? 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 — No report this month. 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, “As to the fishing at the pier it is gradually getting better. We have caught a few halibut but no keepers yet. Getting bait is sometimes a problem, but if we work at it, we manage with a few. There are some thornbacks biting. Of course if nothing else is cooperating, they will. There have been some surf perch. We are looking for more of them. There's just a few fishermen lately because of the lack of fish and the weather. The water is 58 degrees which could be better. We are not even seeing too many whales lately. Everything can only get better.” 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— Usually about the same as Balboa. 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 — Mike, at Let's Go Fishing, says action has recently improved with quite a lot of mackerel, some short halibut, and good inshore action on perch and croakers (but no corbina). Surprisingly there’s also been good action recently on crabs and lobsters; Mike says they’ve sold out of their nets (although the pier has never been noted for crab or lobster.) How To Get There: Highway 1 (Pacific Coast Highway) to Huntington Beach and the pier.
Seal Beach Pier — David at Big Fish Bait & Tackle. 1780-C. Pacific Coast Hwy, said things are a little slow with some perch and croakers inshore and a few halibut, mostly shorts, being taken 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 — No report this month. 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. How To Get There: From inland areas take I-710 south and follow it to the Shoreline Drive. From downtown Long Beach, take Pine Avenue south to Shoreline Drive. For the northernmost piers follow Shoreline Avenue west and follow it around the lagoon to where the street ends. For the southernmost piers, 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 various piers as you drive the road out to the end.
Cabrillo Pier — Esther, at Paul’s Bait & Tackle. 803 South Pacific Ave., San Pedro, says about the only thing she’s been hearing from the pier are perch with most of those being taken out at the end on ghost shrimp. 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) – There should be lots of small bass as well as other species are available although space on the pier can be very limited. 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) – There should be a mix of bass, opaleye, halfmoon and other Catalina pier species are available. 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 – Christine, at the Redondo Coffee Shop & Bait, said it is dead, dead, dead. Even the mackerel are missing. 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 — Joey, at Redondo Sportfishing, said it’s almost all small bass and perch with the bass being out from the pier, the perch under the pier. 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 – Pete at “Just Fishing by Pete, in Redondo Beach, says things are dead. How To Get There: Take the Pacific Coast Highway (Hwy 1) to Pier Avenue and follow Pier Avenue west to the pier.
Manhattan Beach Pier – Andreas Beck, at the Bohemian Beach Café (end of the pier), says he doesn’t know what’s biting since his shop is currently closed. A city truck doing cleanup ran into his shop on the pier and damaged the shop. He says he will be closed for at least three more weeks. Hope the city is giving him some pay back money. How To Get There: From Sepulveda Boulevard, turn west on Manhattan Beach Drive and follow it to the pier.
Burton Chace Fishing Platform (Marina Del Rey) — No report this month. How To Get There: From Lincoln Boulevard turn west on Mindanao Drive and follow it to the park. To reach the dock you must go through the park.
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 — John, at the Santa Monica Pier Bait & Tackle, says things are slow. There’s lot of bait around—booth anchovies and sardines—but it hasn’t translated into many fish. A few short halibut, some bat rays, and a few shovelnose but that’s about it. The water temperature needs to go up a few degrees. 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 Wylies Bait and Tackle reports that anglers are mainly getting small perch at the pier. Some are taking those perch and using them as live bait but to date not too many bigger fish are grabbin’ them. Kayakers report halibut and white seabass around the pier but they’re just not biting. 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. 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 — The pier is seeing some barred surfperch action inshore along with some croakers mid-pier. 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 — Frank, at Stearns Wharf Bait and Tackle, reports that some mackerel are showing along with the jacksmelt but nothing is being taken from the bottom. [I think the fish have moved offshore a little into warmer water.) But, the crabs are still around as always. 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— There’s a lot of kelp around the pier so a few more kelp species are showing but overall it’s still a little slow. 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 — Things have slowed. Your best bet may be on surfperch inshore. How To Get There: From Highway 101 simply take the Gaviota State Park turnoff.
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