|California Pier Report—Oct. 2009
San Diego County Piers
Imperial Beach Pier – Matt, at Cox Bait and Tackle (996 Palm Ave), reports anglers continue to catch some yellowfin and spotfin croakers inshore while sculpin (scorpionfish) are beginning to be caught out at the end (on squid and cut mackerel) A few sharks and rays continue to be taken on the bottom but most of the baitfish action on mackerel and sardines has declined. 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 — It sounds like some bonito have moved in to compete with the mackerel but most are on the small side. Expect a bonito bite morning and later afternoon while the mackerel follow the bonito in around dusk. Some bass and sculpin out at the end, small croakers mid-pier, a few barracuda and an occasional shark and ray round out the action. 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 Crystal Pier Bait & Tackle Shop on the pier, reports that the bonito have finally moved in although the fishing is good on overcast days, harder on days full of sun. He says “Crippled Herring” lures have been the top fish getter. He’s also getting some nice mackerel, a few small pompano (butterfish), and seeing mullet under the pier. 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 been slow. A few bass and halibut continue to show while the mackerel seem to come and go. A number of bat rays have also been taken. 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) – Apparently most of the action is on small bass with the stingrays, small sharks, and occasional halibut filling in the action. 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 – Zack at the bait shop reports so so action. Action centers on a few sargo and mackerel with some barracuda joining into the mix. The ‘cuda are hitting lures like Megabaits and Rapelas. A few sharks and rays show on the bottom with quite a few shovelnose sharks (guitarfish) leading the list. 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 — Paul, at Oceanside Pier Bait & Tackle on the pier, says most of the action has been on small, 8-10” bass, both calico (kelp) and sand. The bonito continue to come and go while a few halibut are showing (to 27” although most are shorts). Some mackerel show at night but right now there are more bonito than mackerel. There’s also quite a few guitarfish showing (to 23-lbs). Baitfish are absent with the exception of lots of small smelt. 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 — Our reporter Henry Buddenbohm reports that the pier continues to see some decent action with croakers and a few undersized halibut showing during the day. Nighttime action is mostly rays (bat rays, thornbacks and butterfly rays) but some yellowfin croakers have also been hitting along with an occasional eel. 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 — Randy, at Schleppy’s Bait and Tackle at the end of the pier, said the bonito are going crazy with fish of all sizes, and limits for many people. It’s slow inshore for perch and croakers but there are also some bass and quite a few big bat rays. But the word for now is bonito. 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, “This month hasn't been too bad. Although we haven't seen a lot of keeper halibut, we have seen a lot of 21 inchers and smaller. They have been healthy looking too. Of course there are lots of mackerel. Bonitos have been showing with the catches being on splashers mostly. The bonito haven't been large just nice sized. There are a lot of shovelnose guitarfish in the surf area. Most are young ones but fun to catch. Have been some leopard sharks too. The water has been nice and the bait has been great everywhere. There are a lot of jacksmelt around as well. Oh yes, and that dreaded thing the lizardfish is here too. We had a young whale visit us last week. He is quite late going north, but I think he had an injury that may have detained him. His flukes had met up with a prop or a great white. He's moving now though. The snaggers have been getting a lot of mullet this past week. At least I haven't seen any corbina caught by them lately. Although there aren't a lot of people around now, watch your equipment because we have spotted couple young men that are trying to steal our stuff. At least we caught them in the act of trying last week, so we all know what they look like. Other than that the weather has been great but quite warm.” 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 although it’s more crowded. 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 — No report this month. How To Get There: Highway 1 (Pacific Coast Highway) to Huntington Beach and the pier.
Seal Beach Pier —Gary, at Big Fish Bait & Tackle. 1780-C. Pacific Coast Hwy, said there are still some good spotfin croaker being taken inshore on fresh mussels, some halibut mid-pier, and some mackerel and shovelnose sharks (guitarfish) out towards 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 — The pier continues to some croakers inshore along with a few halibut and bass. Expect some sharks and rays out at the end while the mackerel come and go. 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 — Regulars continue to catch some bass on artificials and bait (ghost shrimp) along with a few croakers. 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 — The pier continues to see a mix of fish including some mackerel and halibut mid-pier while out at the end anglers can pick up some sculpin, perch and an occasional bass. 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. Schools of jack mackerel and Pacific mackerel come and go with the evening hours often the best time for the pelagics. 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 deserted the Mole for the most part. 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 there are some bonito now mixed in with the mackerel, while a FEW halibut do still show up. 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 — Joshua, at Redondo Sportfishing, says most of the action has been on small bas although some bonito are also being taken; the bonito are small and they are falling to feathers. Under the per are the normal perch, perch-like species and senorita. 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 action has been slow although a few micro-sized bonito are showing up. 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 croaker, bass or bat ray on bait while some barracuda are taken 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 — Mannie, at the Santa Monica Pier Bait & Tackle, says things have been a little slow although there remains a decent mix of fish. Halibut to 26”, limits of sargo, some leopard sharks, and quite a few jacksmelt have been the story. Mannie also said red tide has been in and out lately. 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 continue to take a few threshers out at the end of the pier including a 10-foot fish (including the tail). There’s also a few perch and fewer halibut (mostly shorts). 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 — Action has slowed although the baitfish, especially smelt, continue to visit the pier. 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 — Small croakers (tomcod/white croaker and herring/queenfish) , a few pelagics, and an occasional shark and ray seem to be about all that is happening. 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 fish to be had—if you like lizardfish. 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— Boyd Grant reports some good-sized calico bass from the reef (3-5 pounds) along with the usual smaller brown rockfish. There’s also a lot of small calicos, an occasional small white seabass, and the baitfish-mackerel, sardines, jacksmelt—that come and go. In addition there are some sharks and rays on the bottom. 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 — It sounds like there continues to be sporadic action on the pelagics—mackerel, sardines and jacksmelt while a few sharks and rays continue to show up on the bottom. How To Get There: From Highway 101 simply take the Gaviota State Park turnoff.
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