View Park Pier |
Called the Seventh Street Pier by most locals, this pier offers a pleasant park setting and some of the best fishing in this area of the bay. It is one of the best piers to fish at night, and during the summer and fall it will almost guarantee sharks for those so interested.
Casting away from the pier produces starry flounder and sanddabs during the winter and early spring; use a flounder rigging or a high/low leader baited with pile worms or ghost shrimp. During the summer a similar rigging may get you a sand sole while a sliding sinker rigging with live bait may attract a halibut. In the summer and fall, best fishing is for kingfish (white croaker), sharks and stripers. Fish the bottom using pile worms or cut anchovy for white croaker; fish middepth using strips of anchovy for walleye surfperch; fish near the top using pile worms for jacksmelt. For some good sized brown smoothhounds and bat rays use ghost shrimp, squid, anchovies or sardines; fish on the bottom using a fairly heavy line and a size 1/0 or larger hook. For large leopard sharks use a large piece of squid or a live midshipmen for bait -- and fish at night. If you're after striped bass catch a shinerperch, dwarfperch or small bullhead (staghorn sculpin) and use it as live bait fished near the bottom. Back up bait is anchovies, sardines or dead bullheads. Remember that the early evening hours are often the top times for the stripers.
An original Oakland Pier (basically railroad trestles) was built in 1863 to handle both the passenger and cargo needs of the Central Pacific Railroad. Six years later, in 1869, it was extended out to 6,900 feet. Then, on January 6, 1871, the area's largest wharf was opened, the two-mile-long Oakland Long Wharf (which almost reached Goat Island, today's Yerba Buena Island). Transcontinental trains of the Central Pacific (as well as local passenger trains) ran right out to the end of the pier where they met the various sailing ships of the day.
With the completion of the Long Wharf (which ran parallel to the Oakland Pier), major changes were in store for the older pier and the adjacent lands. The trestle pier was filled in and covered by dirt creating an earth embankment which reached out nearly two miles into the bay. This embankment, called the Oakland Mole, opened on January 22, 1882. Once the Mole was opened, the use of the Long Wharf was restricted to freight traffic while passengers were moved down to a new Oakland Pier at the end of the Mole. The Central Pacific (later Southern Pacific) Railroad, which owned both the Wharf and the Mole, continued its industrial development of the waterfront area near the northern end of the Inner Harbor and the Outer Harbor. Although the Long Wharf would cease to handle freight in 1918, the Mole and the Oakland Pier would continue to be used until 1958. The Oakland Pier itself was demolished in 1966.
Another huge project and pier was that of the Key Route Ferry which started in 1903 and paralleled today's eastern approach to the Bay Bridge. A rock causeway led to a wooden trestle and then to the pier holding the ferry slips and terminal; total length was again over two miles. In 1933 a fire destroyed part of the terminal and pier but it was rebuilt. More permanent was the danger posed by the completion of the lower deck of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge in 1939 (which carried two tracks for interurban trains). The ferries were no longer needed (although they continued to haul workers, and then visitors, to the Golden Gate International Exposition on Treasure Island in 1939 and 1940). The end of the fair saw the end of the Key System.
Interesting to me are the early day stories which tell of fish being caught off of these and other piers and wharfs found in the area. Most amazing are the number of salmon and steelhead which evidently were caught in these waters every fall. Also apparently common were smelt, perch and sharks. The jacksmelt, perch and sharks are still there, but you would have to be very lucky to hook a salmon or steelhead today.
View Park Pier Facts