|California Pier Report—July 2009
San Diego County Piers
Imperial Beach Pier – Matt, at Cox Bait and Tackle (996 Palm Ave), reports that some barred surfperch continue to show up inshore along with a few spotfin and yellowfin croaker. Mackerel action is only so, so but good numbers of leopard sharks and shovelnose continue to provide action. 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 are fairly slow but the pier continues to kick out some calico bass along with undersized white seabass, mackerel, and a few sharks and rays (sharays). Throw in the occasional sculpin, bass and small barracuda and that’s about it. 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 – James, at the newly opened Crystal Pier Bait & Tackle Shop on the pier, reports the pier has been seeing some BIG yellowfin croakers and sargo, a few keeper halibut, and the usual action on mackerel. However, the kelp’s been a problem at times. 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 this month. 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 this month. 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 things have slowed but the bass action remains fairly steady. Mix in a few shovelnose sharks and an occasional mackerel and that’s about it. 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) – PFIC reports indicate a variety of bass along with a few halibut are showing at the pier. 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 – Matt, at Sharkey’s B&T on the pier, says it’s mainly bass (a mix of calico, sand and spotted) along with mackerel and an occasional halibut albeit most of the hallies are too small to keep. 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 there’s been some good action on big croakers lately, both spotfins and yellowfins, along with some barred surfperch inshore. Mid-pier is seeing smaller perch/croakers as well as some shovelnose sharks and mackerel. 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 she’s seeing some nice spotfin croaker inshore along with small- to medium-sized leopard sharks and shovelnose sharks (guitarfish) further out on the pier. 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, “We have caught just a few halibut, mostly very small. There have been some shovelnose guitarfish and a 6-foot leopard was caught and lost in the surf by a good fisherman. There are lots of walleyed perch from just a couple inches long to the adult variety. The big ones are great eating, but they are tedious to fix to cook. The mackerel are there as are the lizardfish. We have had a good amount of bait. Mostly were smelt, but got some Spanish mackerel and just a few sardines. There are some yellowfin croaker on small smelt or mussels. The weather has been decent, but with the higher tides we have gotten a lot of kelp going through in the surf area. The Junior Lifeguards have started their program for this season so it is noisy again. There are lots of tourists as well. Summer is here.” 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— Ditto the above info from 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 — Nicole, at Let's Go Fishing on the pier, says the pier is still seeing quite a few sharks, mainly leopards and shovelnose guitarfish, but there’s also some decent action inshore on croakers/perch and a few mackerel on top for those looking for some shark bait. The thresher action has died. How To Get There: Highway 1 (Pacific Coast Highway) to Huntington Beach and the pier.
Seal Beach Pier — Mo at Big Fish Bait & Tackle. 1780-C. Pacific Coast Hwy, said Seal Beach continues to see some barred surfperch and spotfins inshore along with a few halibut mid-pier to the end. The mackerel action has slowed. 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 — It sounds like a few croakers and corbina are available inshore while sand bass and some mackerel are hitting out toward the end. Hit the pier in the evening for sharks and some big rays. 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 — Randy, at Paul’s Bait & Tackle. 803 South Pacific Ave., San Pedro, says he hasn’t gotten too many reports. Ditto last month—some perch and a few bass should be available out toward the end while tomcod and a few halibut are showing up mid-pier. 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) – The normal species are all available—kelp bass (most too small), rock wrasse, senorita, opaleye, halfmoon and blacksmith. Although the number of sheephead seems to be down this year there is a steady run on jack mackerel and Pacific mackerel, especially in the evening hours. 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’s the usual mix of bass, opaleye, halfmoon and other Catalina pier species but the bonito seem to have slowed somewhat. 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 – Pete at “Just Fishing by Pete, in Redondo Beach, says the mackerel are thick but there’s little else showing. 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 — John, at Redondo Sportfishing, reports a lot of small calicos but also an occasional legal fish (including a 7-pound fish) along with the perch under the pier and some decent mackerel numbers on top. 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 it’s mackerel (both Pacific and Spanish) on top but not in big numbers. Leopard sharks and barred surfperch are showing up on the bottom inshore. He says few people are fishing for halibut and thus few are catching them. PFIC reports indicate some sardines are also available as well as a few bass and shovelnose sharks (guitarfish). 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 it’s the same as Hermosa. 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) — Mainly it’s an occasional bat ray, croaker or barracuda (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 — Ditto Hermosa and Manhattan Beach. 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 Santa Monica saw its Father Day Fishing Derby won by a 4-pound spotfin croaker and apparently there’s still quite a few corbina, yellowfin croakers and spotfins in the inshore area. Mid-pier to the end is seeing some halibut (mainly shorts) and a few miscellaneous fish including mackerel. [But arrive early or you may not find a parking space.] 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 Malibu has been dead on top (and I can vouch for that) but continues to see a few big sargo, a few halibut, and tons of bat rays on the bottom. In addition, a few threshers have made an appearance. Do be aware that unless you arrive early you may have a hard time finding a spot at the end. 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 — Baitfish (smelt, mackerel and sardines) and lizardfish seem to be providing most of the action although a few perch continue to show inshore along with an occasional halibut. 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 — Yellowfin croakers are available inshore, white croakers and queenfish mid-pier, and the occasional school of mackerel (Pacific and Spanish) will provide spurts of action mid-pier to the end. Shark action is still somewhat dead although a good number of shovelnose are being taken. 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, said there’s a lot of bait in the water—Pacific mackerel, Spanish mackerel, and sardines, and the halibut have responded with quite a few legals being taken last week. He expects a nice and crowded 4th of July (enjoy the fireworks from the pier if you can get a parking spot). 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 some perch inshore along with an occasional halibut but most are too small to keep. Mid-pier there’s some small perch and the occasional rockfish. The end is seeing a good mackerel bite—in the evening. 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 — Overall it’s still only fair although there’s a lot of small fish around the pier—shinerperch, sardines and mackerel—and they should bring in the bigger fish. I was at the pier on 6/26 and saw about a 100-pound bat ray but reports said the thresher action is still slow. How To Get There: From Highway 101 simply take the Gaviota State Park turnoff.
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