Pier Fishing in California

Resources :: California Fish




Albula vulpes

Alternate Names

Ladyfish, mullet, o’io, bananafish, ratfish.


Elongate, torpedo-shaped body; snout cartilaginous, conical; mouth small. Gray above, silvery below; base of fins yellowish.


In eastern Pacific to 17.5 inches, 1 lb. 13 ounces.


Worldwide, in all warm seas; in the eastern Pacific from San Francisco to Peru; uncommon north of Baja California. Reaches over 3 feet in length and over 20 pounds in some parts of the world.


Shallow waters, including bays and estuaries.


Rarely encountered at California piers although many catches reported in 1999; one from the shallow-water area of Balboa Pier, and quite a few from the Embarcadero Marina Park Pier in San Diego Bay.

Bait and Tackle

Landed by anglers fishing on the bottom; best bait reported to be ghost shrimp although some have been taken on shrimp/squid slowly pulled along the bottom.

Food Value

Reported to be decent flavored but contains many small bones.


This is the same fish that sportsmen travel thousands of miles to catch in tropical areas. Even small specimens put up a powerful fight and since they generally are in schools, if you catch one you may catch more.