|California Pier Report—April 2009
San Diego County Piers
Imperial Beach Pier – Mike, at the Tin Fish at the end of the pier, reports things have been slow; it’s too windy. 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 things have been a little slow although the mackerel are starting to return and action on the bottom—for big bat rays and sharks is good. 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 is now open and fish are hanging around the pier. 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 fishing has been picking up. He’s seeing mackerel on the rising tides, sand bass most of the day, and quite a few leopard sharks and shovelnose sharks (guitarfish). 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 – Ed, at Sharkey’s B&T on the pier, says things are dead; nothings really been biting and the wind off the water is freezing his regulars. 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 a mackerel are on top and some halibut, mostly shorts, on the bottom. 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 — Michelle, at Schleppy’s Bait and Tackle at the end of the pier, says fishing is a little slow. Most of the action has been on the bottom with bat rays and leopard sharks providing most of the action (although a lone angel shark) was taken last week. Inshore is seeing some surfperch and yellowfin croakers. No mackerel! 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, “Well at last things are picking up with the halibut. We've had a few keepers this month and expect more this next month. The mackerel are back en masse. Sometimes our bait isn't very cooperative, but most of the time we have been able to at least get a few. We have also had some sardines, queenfish and Spanish jacks for bait. It has been windy this week. It did bother the fishing. The fish didn't like it. Because of the winds we have had a lot of kelp coming through. The water temperature dropped this last week by several degrees and is now running at 55 degrees. We are still having a few whales come through on their way back home. Looking forward to next week. It shouldn't be as windy, and with any luck it should be warmer. I will like that, and I am sure the fish will too.” 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 — Marion, at Let's Go Fishing, says that the wind has really put a damper on the fishing. There are a few yellowfin croakers and surfperch showing inshore, and a few small halibut mid-pier, but there hasn’t been any action on top. She does say that she has never seen so many LARGE spider crabs as she’s seen lately. So bring the crab nets. 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 still a little slow with some perch and croakers inshore and a few halibut 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. 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’s been slow although the mackerel are showing up again. 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 — Joseph, at Redondo Sportfishing, said things are picking up with an increase in the number of bass from the pier as well as mackerel showing up daily at the pier. A few halibut together with the small resident perch and perch-like species provide most of the other action. 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 pretty dead at the local piers. PFIC reports indicate a few perch and croakers are still available. 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 – Pete at “Just Fishing by Pete, in Redondo Beach, says things are pretty dead at the local piers. 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) — If you have some live bait this is a good spot for some big sharks and rays as well as a few barracuda (that will also hit on lures). 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 — Mannie, at the Santa Monica Pier Bait & Tackle, says there is a lot of bait in the water—anchovies, sardines, and herring (queenfish)—but the bigger fish are few and far between. Perhaps they’re there but already full from all the baitfish? He says a few perch are available under the pier and a few mackerel out at the end. Both rock crabs and spider crabs are available for the crabbers. 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 some anglers are reporting that things are dead, dead, dead while at the same time she’s had other people report small halibut and a number of baby, 4-5-foot-long thresher sharks. She also reports a 38” white seabass being taken last week from the Paradise Cove Pier. 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 has been slow but some surfperch are still showing inshore along with an occasional mackerel further out on the 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 fishing is really slow although there are mackerel showing up in the evening hours. During the day it’s mainly small jacksmelt and thornbacks. And, the crabs are still around. 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 are still slow. 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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