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>> Morro Bay South T-Pier — Update [topic: previous/next]
PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2009 2:40 pm
Ken Jones


Posts: 9461
Location: California

Morro Bay South T-Pier

Sitting just a few hundred yards south of the North T-Pier, the South T-Pier is slightly larger and seems to be seeing an increasing proportion of the local pier anglers choose it as home. Perhaps this is due to its larger size, a fact that seems to allow more space to remain open to fishing than its sister pier.

Environment. The South T-Pier is a little longer at 256 feet, but has a similar 400-foot-wide end. Inshore, one side sees an open rocky shoreline; the other side sits adjacent to the Great American Fish Company. Water inshore is fairly shallow while a good cast from the end can see a fairly good depth; the bottom is mud with some eelgrass

Almost all of the environmental conditions mentioned for the North T-Pier are duplicated at this pier: strong tides and current, occasional heavy amounts of eelgrass in the water (especially out-flowing tides), and distinct seasons for the fish. As mentioned, the main advantage of this pier is its slightly larger size although the open shoreline also allows easier access if you’re seeking out perch. The North T-Pier description of environment and species should suffice.

Fishing Tips. The main discussion for the North T-Pier says it all.

Author’s Note No. 1. If your angling appetite is not satiated by the fish on the piers you can enter the dark side and take a trip on one of the boats from Virg’s Landing, it sits a few hundred feet up from the pier. As of 2008 the boats available were the Admiral, Fiesta, Harbor Pathfinder and the Princess. Most trips from Morro Bay fish for rock cod although there are seasonal trips for salmon and albacore. Increasingly there are also a number of non-fishing trips out in search of whales.

Author's Note No. 2. The state record barred surfperch is recorded from Morro Bay (although tied with a fish from Oxnard). The fish weighed 4 lb 2 oz and was caught on November 8, 1995.

Author’s Note No. 3. Morro Bay itself is a natural bay with an artificial harbor and is the only all-weather, small craft commercial and recreational harbor between Santa Barbara and Monterey. A large sandspit, augmented by breakwaters, protects the harbor from the Pacific Ocean to the west. Morro Bay Harbor's channel silts up and must regularly be dredged. In response, some have proposed reopening the Shark Inlet that once connected the back bay to the ocean to slow the sedimentation that is filling up the bay.

E-Mail Messages

Date: September 16, 2003
To: PFIC Message Board
From: EddieE
Subject: Morro Bay T-Pier Report 09/15/03 LEOPARD CITY!

The way the tides are now in the bay, I'm having a hard time staying away! (the non-stop bite doesn't hurt either...lol). I hit the south T-pier this afternoon and started catching my bait, which was plentiful! I got quite a few jacksmelt at first, most of them too large for bait. After an hour or so, the smaller fish started jumping in my bucket. I had a big setup tossed out towards the channel while I was making bait. (I put my 6/0 Senator on my 10' spinning surf pole...it worked but was a little awkward) The clicker went off like a rocket so I grabbed the pole and set the hook. With the big setup, it only took me about 5 min to land the fish which turned out to be a 53” Leopard! There was a couple from Paso who helped me net it.
After I settled down, I happened to glance over towards the restaurant and saw the windows lined with people watching the fight. As it turned out, there was a tour bus from Wisconsin at the restaurant. As soon as everyone finished eating, they all came out onto the pier. After about 42,000 questions and 672 pics. I was able to get back at the game.
A little later in the night, the couple from Paso fished with me. They had just started fishing a couple days before so I tried to help them out. My next hit was on my Alpha 070 spinning outfit. I set the hook and adjusted the drag then gave the pole to the woman from Paso. She had a he** of a time! I took he pole a few times to get the fish out of the pilings and from around a boat but other than that, I let her fight it the whole way in. We landed the fish...a 55” leopard!
The lady was extremely happy and excited! I think I enjoyed letting her get it more than I would have if I had landed it myself. We continued to fish but couldn't get anything but thornbacks, a total of 12-14.
Anyway, it was a wonderful night! Eddie

Date: October 14, 2003
To: PFIC Message Board
From: EddieE
Subject: Morro Bay

Hi all, I fished Morro Bay for a few hours tonight hoping for some more leopard action, but didn't hook any. There was a lot of action though! The bite was pretty much non-stop from around 7PM till 11PM.
Catch:
9 Thornback skate (all small-12 to 16 in.)
6 Bat ray (5 were 2ft. or less and 1 was 4ft.)
The jacksmelt bite was also non-stop, they were hitting within seconds.
Bait: Tiny bits of squid for the smelt and the smelt for everything else.
Rigs: Shakespeare Alpha, 50lb. power pro, 10'Abu Garcia surf pole.
Penn Peerless #9, 30lb. Trilene Big Game, 6'6" Berkley graphite pole.
Eddie

Date: April 18, 2004
To: PFIC Message Board
From: fatfish
Subject: Morro Bay

South T Pier 2:30-3:30—I started fishing for smelt because my dad saw me as he was walking and told me that it was the right tide for them so I started to fish for them. I started from the end of the pier casting a high/low baited with clam and was quickly getting hits, which I couldn't hook for some reason. I went down to the front of the pier and continued casting. I had just hooked a smelt, and thought I had a snag while reeling it in as it felt like it was stuck on a rock. I was going to try to maneuver my rod around to get it free then whammm, something huge hit it, and was taking out some line.
It felt like a halibut because it was shaking it's head and making short runs. It kept trying to tangle me in the rope that held the boats to their docks. After a couple of minutes I thought it had tired out so I started to try to slowly get it off the bottom inch by inch. I had it about 4 feet from the surface, and I could see it was a nice sized halibut about 3 feet long. My dad rushed over when I saw him again and told him to get a picture of the fish. A man with a crab net was about to come over when the halibut drove under the pier and snapped the cheap Eagle Claw snelled hooks right at the dropper loop.
I was so disappointed because this was the second time I had hooked a halibut and lost it. I was surprised I even got to play the fish for that long because I was using a light bass rod and baitcast reel spooled with 8-pound line. I went for a walk last night past the South T pier and saw a sea otter sleeping on its back and I crept up on it and took a picture of it. The weather was great.

Date: August 4, 2004
To: PFIC Message Board
From: cayucosjack
Subject: Morro Bay 8-3-04

Last night Morro Bay lived up to the moniker Morro RAY as we called it much of last summer. I fished from about 6pm-9pm from the South T-pier. Still no baitfish. Lots of boats out drifting for halibut. The dredging appears to be over? If so, good news for fishing as that seemed to shut things down.
I had set out to do some rockfishing but I forgot my license and the jetty was getting wet. I settled on trying to find live bait and fish for halibut at the T-pier. No bait anywhere so I chucked just about every lure I had in my bag up and down the pier. Nothing.
I was going to quit and go home but decided I'd throw out a shark/ray rig with squid (the only bait I brought). I also rigged up a Sabiki and climbed down the ladder to nab some mussels off the pilings (it was low tide). The Sabiki was getting hit constantly by very small black perch (as g-dude would say, pogettes) and tiny rockfish. The big rig was getting bites but no fish so I scaled down from 5/0 to 1/0 muto light circles and started catching thornback after thornback. It took about 6 thornbacks to finally find a bat ray. Last year EddieE and I fished there a lot and there was usually a thornback to shark/bat ray ratio of 10/1. So a little better last night. Not anything like those 30-50 fish nights but a start! I'm sure if I stayed later it could have been much better though. The fish were ALL small, but again that is usually the way it goes until after dark. I had to leave before my favorite Thai food restaurant closed but I might be back tonight or tomorrow to see if the freaks come out at night.
Stats-
8 thornbacks (squid w/herring oil)
2 small bat rays (squid w/ oil)
3 tiny black perch (mussels)
2 XSBRF (mussels)
1 small bocaccio (mussels)
All released.
Ahhhh, it's August and summer is finally here!

Date: August 5, 2004
To: PFIC Message Board
From: cayucosjack
Subject: Morro Bay 8-4-04

Another report... Fished last night at the South T-pier from about 6-10pm. Weather got better after dark (as is usual here) and went from gusty sweatshirt weather to balmy t-shirt weather. Sabiki tipped with mussels yielded some small perch (blacks and walleyes) and a couple of big jacksmelt. After dark I switched over to using 2 rods for sharks/rays.
I should have kept my Sabiki on though because schools of small smelt showed up and were everywhere. I haven't seen that much bait in the bay since last year. Things are about to let loose I can feel it!
Only a couple of thornbacks tonight. Lots of bat rays, unfortunately they are all tiny. I'm guessing that the big ones are in the bay birthing because these babies are everywhere. I did hook into 2 big ones but each time they did the same thing to me. They took my line right into the boats and eventually sawed through my 65lb power-pro.
Last night I used squid and mackerel for bait. Scent was again Mike’s herring oil (I know we don't get herring but it works!). Those of you who think scent is only for lures are missing out.
Stats-
2 thornbacks
5 baby bat rays
2 walleyes
2 black perch
2 jacksmelt
2 break offs (98% sure they were rays)

Date: January 7, 2005
To: PFIC Message Board
From: cayucosjack
Subject: Morro Bay South T-Pier 1-5-04

Ah, Fishing in the rain. Gotta love it. I fished solo at the S. T-pier in Morro Bay Wednesday night from 7pm-9pm. Rain started in just after I got there and continued throughout the evening. It wasn't a heavy rain so I stuck it out. High tide was around 7:30pm and current wasn't much of an issue. Towards the end it did start to turn and bring in some salad.
Fished a Sabiki tipped with squid and mussels (a couple hooks of each) on my Sabiki rod. I also threw a heavy set-up for sharks/rays using squid as bait. I also soaked all baits in anchovy scent which seemed to be key.
The big rod was being molested by crabs all night. I went to a hi/lo with a float but they still got to my bait within 10 minutes of casting. In between shaking off crabs and rebaiting I did get one freight train hit that I didn't get to in time and missed. At least I know there are still some rays around.
Small fish kept me busy all night on the Sabiki. Not a good fish in the bunch but compared to recent action I can't complain.
Stats (all on Sabiki w either squid or mussel):
3 small black perch
2 walleye perch
5 shiner perch
3 baby bocaccio
12 assorted small rockfish (blacks, browns mostly)
(All fish released)

Date: February 22, 2005
To: PFIC Message Board
From: cayucosjack
Subject: Morro Bay South T-Pier 2-21-05

Just a quickie since it's nothing new. Fished in the rain from 7-9:30pm @ the South T-Pier. Incoming tide. Rain was heavy at times. I fished out deep with shark/ray gear for an hour and a half without even a nibble. Decided to avoid the skunk and play with the rockfish in the shallows. Squid was more effective than the plastics. I was using bigger plastics and bigger hooks just to try and weed out the little ones. A small hook will hook a little fish almost instantly. I scared up a couple of 12”ers but most were in the 10” range. Fun catch and release on light gear. I used circle hooks for the bait and every one was hooked perfectly for release. I urge all those who CnR rockfish to use them especially when you don't keep your rod in hand at all times.
Stats:
Artificials:
3 grass RF (2 came on root beer/GF 4" grubs, 1 on a pearl white grub, 3/8 lead heads)
Squid (on 4/0 circles):
4 grass RF
1 kelp RF
3 brown RF
All fish released.

Date: July 28, 2005
To: PFIC Message Board
From: cayucosjack
Subject: Morro Bay 7-27-05

I headed down to Morro Bay to get some more bat ray exercise. I feel like I’ve been going to the gym. I decided I’d try Tidelands park until it got dark and all I could find there were a couple thornbacks. Once it got to dark to see without a light I trekked to the South T-Pier to do my thing. I fished for another hour or so (with only a few more thornbacks to show for it) and about 10pm I decided pack it in.
Just as I bent down to pick up my last rod it bends too. Perfect timing. I could tell I had a huge ray on and it was heading for the rock full throttle. It had my line rubbing on the boats that are docked there. Even a rusty boat hull is no match for 65-lb power pro and just before backing showed I turned it. I knew this fish would put my solo net skills to the test if I could get him up for the chance. It sat on the bottom several times and I couldn’t move it. I put my Ugly Stik through the ultimate test after about 30 minutes of fight I made my move.
The ray was beaten. I was able to horse it (well kinda) into the net. Somehow it folded into my 36” around and very deep crab net, barely. This fish was monster with definite gang affiliations. Wings at least a foot wider on each side of the net and easily a foot and a half or two thick. Once I felt like it was in the net good enough I put the reel in free spool and went to hoist it up for a photo op. My arms were burning and even my adrenaline buzz couldn’t budge that fish. I even closed my eyes and tried to use the force. I struggled for a while before he flopped back out and nearly took my rod with him when my line caught on the pier. I got him out from under the pier again and was looking around for anyone who could help.
About this time a guy was walking out on the pier with a mackerel rig. I yelled for help and he came running. He was a little guy who didn’t speak English but he quickly figured out what I need help with. The only word I understood was “WOW!” I managed to slip the net under it again and we both pulled. This guy was about 5-ft tall and the fish may have been a weight class or two above him. We were beginning to get it out of the water when the dude slips, the rope slips from my hands and the fish flops out again.
I decided the poor thing had had enough (and so had I!) and pulled him to the surface near the edge, reached down and cut the line as close as I could. It swam off like nothing ever happened. I wasn’t so nonchalant. I really wanted to put a tape to that fish and get a photo-op since it was probably the biggest fish I’ve ever caught. Funny when I got the fish up I told him “I won, give up.”
Turns out he won. I’m the one that left battered, bruised and beaten. I guess when a fish lives that long and gets that big it deserves to win... every time. This ordeal lasted over 45 minutes of battle and landing attempts. My arms were quivering on the way home, my cramping palms doing their best to grip the steering wheel trying to ignore the dozens of power pro paper cuts on fire with the sting of salt water. I’ll be back soon, if not tonight.
Nights like last are what its all about. I don’t think it was that record fish EddieE professes lives in Morro but I do know that I’ve landed rays to 80lbs alone before and a ray of 100lb+ with help and this was heavier by a long shot. If nothing else I have myself another fish story to tell. If Big Rays are your thing (or if you're into thornbacks hehe) Morro is the place to be right now…go get'um.

Date: August 25, 2005
To: PFIC Message Board
From: cayucosjack
Subject: Morro Bay & Cayucos 8/23 & 8/24

Tuesday evening featured a perfect low tide at just at dark making for excellent bay fishing. I headed out to my favorite spot at the North T-pier. I get set up at the bench on the end. As I'm trying to make bait and wait out the tide just a bit a group of three idiots come up and spot rush me. Now I wasn't off making bait...I was standing right there. There is about 8-ft of open casting area between boats and I was planning on having a rod at each corner. These guys never said a word to me and literally squeezed me out. I was the only one fishing out there mind you and the other end of the pier was empty. They threw their THREE rods right where I was planning on fishing. They stepped all over my crab net. I couldn't believe the rudeness. They acted like they own the place and everybody knows if anyone owns that pier it's cayucosjack hehe. I thought for sure I was the butt of a joke on a hidden camera show. I looked everywhere, no cameras to be seen. After my recent reply to pinfishe’s complaints of idiots on the pier I decided to follow my own advice and not get into it with three big fat Bakersfield hicks.
And rather than let that ruin my night of fishing I packed it in and moved to the South T-pier. I went on to have a very enjoyable night. The three Darryls did make the mistake of letting me see what they drove in in. Cayucosjack doesn't get mad, he gets even. Kooks go home. Hopefully the karma police were out too and delivered them a skunk. If any of you Darryls ever read this congratulations! You've just been awarded cayucosjack's prestigious "shmuck 'o' the month award"!
Oh yeah, I did some fishing. Lots of bait in the water and you couldn't keep the thornbacks away. Squid and cut mackerel were equally effective baits. I was able to fish about 3 hours before the tide turned. All fish released. All fish were weighed on a 50lb scale (unfortunately none bottomed it out)
stats:
1 25-lb bat ray
1 29-lb bat ray
1 36-lb bat ray
1 44-lb bat ray
12-15 thornbacks
Took an hour or two to make some bait at Cayucos Pier Wednesday after spending the afternoon rock fishing. Water was nice and blue and lots of bait (1st half the pier, under it mostly). Jumbo sardines (8-12") and Spanish mackerel filled my bucket in no time. I didn't even bring a normal rod (just my Sabiki) but nobody else seemed to be getting anything bigger.

Date: September 23, 2005
To: PFIC Message Board
From: cayucosjack
Subject: Morro Bay report 9/22

With some great low tides right at the time I like to fish (dark-midnight) I decided to hit up Morro Bay last night. Fished the South -pier. Non-stop thornback action on sardines and squid. I had two big fish come unbuttoned (one def a ray the other maybe a shark). Fished about 3 hours of the low tide. Lots of bait around. Threw a Sabiki baited with shrimp for some baitfish and a small rockfish.
Stats:
10-12 thornbacks
4 smelt
4 sardines
2 lizardfish
1 SBRF
All released except the sardines.

Date: January 16, 2007
To: PFIC Message Board
From: madfatties
Subject: Morro T Pier Perches

Caught these [two opaleye] and had others hooked on the T pier next to the fish company in Morro Bay. They were caught on chartreuse mini jigs. The fish were actually following the jigs from about mid depth down to the bottom and only after sitting for a bit on the bottom, would they finally pick it up. It took a bit to figure ‘em out but I was able to entice a few.

History Note. Both piers were built in 1942. The North T-Pier was repaired in 1953 and the South T-Pier in 1982 and 1988 (after a fire destroyed much of the pier). Franklin Riley who developed the Embarcadero area as well as a wharf for shipping local produce built the first piers in Morro Bay. That first wharf, built in 1870, was joined by a larger wharf in 1873 and a railroad pier shortly thereafter.

South T-Piers Facts


Hours: Open 24 hours a day.

Facilities: Free public parking is available at the front of the pier. The Great American Fish Company restaurant sits adjacent to the pier while Virg’s Landing, and bait, are found just past the restaurant. Lights are found on the pier but there are no restrooms or fish cleaning facilities.

Handicapped Facilities: The pier surface is wood planking with no rail but a 7.5-inch curb exists fairly close to the edge. Posted for handicapped. And some free handicapped parking is located a short distance from the pier.

Location: 1100 Embarcadero

How To Get There: From Highway 1 turn south onto Main Street, follow it to Morro Bay Boulevard, turn left toward the bay and follow it to Embarcadero, turn right and follow Embarcadero to the public parking which adjoins the piers.

Management: City of Morro Bay.

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