Visitor Comments and Letters - January '99

These messages have been edited. Although I feel the content is of interest, I want to provide as much privacy as possible to the various people who have taken time to comment. Let me know if you feel this is an interesting page. KJ



Date: December 31, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Paul L
Subject: local fisher here

I was wondering, I am 13 years old, I fish off of the Seal Beach Pier, and I can't seem to catch anything. I have a weight on the end of the line and the hooks about one foot above the weight. I am wondering if I am doing anything wrong. Please write back soon, thank you

Hi Paul,

What part of the pier are you fishing from and what bait you are using. Janie (from the tackle shop) tells me that anglers are still catching some croakers down by the lifeguard station when using mussels, ghost shrimp or bloodworms. Also what size hook are you using? You need to make sure you have the right bait and use fairly light line and small hooks. I would stick to line under 15 pound test and hooks no bigger than size 2 (unless you are using ghost shrimp).

Best wishes and hope you catch some fish.

Ken Jones. The Pier Fisherman

Well, I alternate around the pier. I start off by the life guard stand and if I am not catching anything I move my way to the end of the pier. The bait that I am using is mussels with a number 8 size hooks. I don't know if the bait is falling off or I am just not waiting long enough. I wait about thirty minutes then I reel it in. I have the weight on the end of the line and I have two snelled hooks above the weight.

Paul

Hi Paul,

Sounds like you are doing things right. I do check my bait every few minutes and almost always hold my pole so that I can feel a bite; also, a light pole helps you feel the bite better. You might check with Janie at the tackle shop, tell here you've talked with me, and ask her for advice also.

Best wishes, Ken



Date: January 1, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Takeshi Kiguchi
Subject: New Year

A happy new year!

How are you? Are you spending a happy new year? I wish you will be happy! I will catch a lot of great fish on this year. And....how about you?

May god bless you.....

Takeshi,

Thanks for the message, the same good wishes back to you, and continued good fishing!

PS, Let me know how you do.

Best wishes, Ken



Date: January 2, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Richard G
Subject: Dumbarton Pier

Ken,

Dumbarton Pier has opened! I checked yesterday and I plan to fish at Point Pinole today.



Date: January 2, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Richard G
Subject: Pt. Pinole Pier -- SF Bay Area

Ken,

I went fishing today (1-2-99) and caught a leopard shark, smoothhound shark and a kingfish. The sharks were both over 35 inches and I saw a guy catch a dozen kingfish as the tide was coming in. I fish at the end of the pier and the guy who caught the kingfish fished on the left hand side of the pier at the end also. My catch and his were the only ones I saw. No sturgeon caught or heard of, where are they? Maybe your site make a report of why fishing is so slow.

Thanks, Richard G of Hayward, CA

 
Richard,

Thanks for the report. Not sure why there weren't any sturgeon since the tides should have been good for them. I understand they are still picking up a few over at McNear's Pier in San Rafael.

Best wishes and good fishin', Ken

Thanks a lot for all your info, I'll give a report next time I go fishing. The pier fishing site is really great I always look to it for info

Thanks, Richard



Date: January 2, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: M O'Brien
Subject: octopus

Dear Ken,

It's me, M O'Brien. I got another octopus but this time I landed it and it was three pounds!!!! I had to use two lines to bring it up. My uncle (who took me) used the other line then we both agreed to release it . Well, I 'm going to Redondo Sportsfishing tomorrow 1\3\99; come and join me at 6:30 am -- I would like to meet and share more unbelievable stories. I'm sure you know some

Sincerely, M O'Brien

Matt,

Congratulations on the octopus. Keep me informed as to how you do. I will probably not be back down there until the Easter break but I'll try to let you know when I'm coming down. You're right, I have a lot of interesting stories.

Best wishes, Ken



Date: January 3, 1999
To: Pier Fishing in California Message Board
From: Richard G
Subject: sharks, fishing piers, San Francisco Bay

I've been catching 4-ft. sharks at Point Pinole Pier, where else can I go to catch bigger ones?

Rich,

I believe the best piers in San Francisco Bay for sharks are the San Mateo Pier, Pier 7 in San Francisco, the Port View Park in Oakland, the Elephant Rock Pier in Tiburon and the pier on Angel Island. Unfortunately both the San Mateo Pier and the Elephant Rock Pier are closed at this time. As for size, you're not likely to catch much above the size of a leopard shark unless it is a 7-gill shark. Best bets for those would be at San Mateo, Elephant Rock or Angel Island (because of the depth of the water). However, you could encounter some really big old stingrays (bat rays) - to over a hundred pounds in size - at almost any of the piers.



Date: January 5, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Dion
Subject: Cabrillo Beach Pier

Hi Ken,

You have a great Web Site! I enjoy coming here on a daily basis to check on the current status of all the pier fishing activity in California. Someday, I would like to fish other areas other than the South Bay area in Los Angeles.

Normally I fish off of Hermosa Beach Pier. I like this pier the best because I usually catch something both on the surface and on the bottom. The surface fish that I usually catch are mackerel, smelt, sardines, barracuda, and bonito. The bottom usually yields yellowfin croakers, corbinas, sargo, various species of perch, thornback sharks, halibuts, and on rare occasions, white seabass.

At Redondo Beach Pier, all I catch are mackerels, smelt, bonito, and a few sardines. Bottom fishing at Redondo yields nothing.

This morning, I tried fishing at Cabrillo Beach Pier in San Pedro and it yielded a few mackerel and one smelt. I caught three mackerels and one smelt off cut piece of sardine, two mackerels off of the Lucky Laura Jigs, and one large mackerel off of a Rapala Lure.

A few anglers caught bucket fulls of mackerel and the rest caught a few mackerel. The best spot today was the area that stuck out further into the ocean by the bait barges. The pier was fairly crowded, considering that it's a work day for most people. It was virtually elbow to elbow fishing up and down the pier.

Dion,

Hi Dion,

Thanks for the reports. One thing I have noticed at the Redondo Beach pier is that I catch most of my bottom fish either off the old section of pier (which is often crowded) or fishing on the inside of the horseshoe area. I've had much less success casting out and fishing on the bottom from the new section. I've caught quite a few yellowfin croakers while fishing the inner section of the horseshoe area.

I've generally done pretty good at Cabrillo and had mixed success at Hermosa. By the way, the Hermosa Beach pier is currently closed -- right?

Anyway, best of luck and hope you catch some big ones.

Ken Jones

Hi Ken,

Thanks for replying to my e-mail. Your tip is greatly appreciated. In fact, your book (Pier Fishing in California) is a great book for everybody who loves fishing.

This morning, I went to Manhattan Beach Pier. Using the mackerels that I caught yesterday, I caught my first bat ray. I was so scared because I thought I caught a stingray. After unhooking this ray, he started swinging his tail around frantically. His tail touched my skin a couple of times, but I was surprised that I did not get stunned. I was still worried that my skin might get infected, though I felt no pain. Thanks to your book, I later found out that what I caught today was a bat ray.

This morning report for Manhattan Beach Pier for 1/7/99 is:
2 bat ray
5 smelt
1 sardine

Both bat rays were caught on the bottom with cut pieces of mackerel. One smelt and one sardine were caught on a Bait Caster Jig. The last four smelt were caught with cut pieces of mackerel. I fished from 7 am to about 9 am. The other guy didn't catch anything.

Normally, I'm a weekend angler. I usually fish on Saturdays due to my work schedule.

Keep up the good work, Dion

Dion,

Thanks for the report; those bat rays are fun to catch. Do be careful of the stinger! What I usually do is grab the tail with a pair of pliers and cut off the stinger -- then I remove the hook. The stinger will grow back in a few months.

Good luck, Ken

Ken,

Thanks for the tip on the Bat Ray! I think I may be immune to the sting because I did get hit a couple of times and I haven't felt anything. I did get poked more than a few times and watched my hand swell to twice it's normal size. After that, it had little to no affect to me.

The report for Cabrillo Beach Pier for 1/8/99:
4 Jack Mackerel
1 Smelt
A lot of mackerels -- they run in spurts and most of them are huge.

The report for Manhattan Beach Pier for 1/9/99:
1 Sardine
6 Smelt

Tomorrow, I'm going to try surf fishing in Manhattan Beach to see what's biting around here.

Thanks, Dion

Hi Dion,

Glad you're all right from your encounter with the bat ray. The main problem occurs when a person is stung with the stinger of a bat ray. The stinger can penetrate to quite a length and since it has a ragged edge it is a mess to cut out. Although the poison seems to affect different people differently -- hard on some, not too bad to others -- when combined with the pain of extracting the stinger it can be a fairly to very painful operation.

It generally isn't as bad for pier anglers as for people walking in the surf who step on a stingray or bat ray; in such cases the tail flips up and the person is stabbed in the ankle with the stinger. Hot water, possible some Epsom salt, and cutting is usually the next result.

Good luck fishing -- and I'm getting jealous since I've been stuck inside lately!

Best, Ken

Hi Ken,

I didn't go surf fishing today as I have anticipated. I didn't want to be the only one out there. I want to see other people's technique, just in case if I'm having trouble catching anything.

Any way, I went to Manhattan Beach Pier again. I only caught 4 Smelt. One guy caught one thornback shark while I was there.

I have to go back to work tomorrow so I won't be able to fish as often as I have recently. It was a lot of fun!

Bat Rays looks and sound so cute. They look so innocent like, flapping their wings, waving their tail around and squealing. It just doesn't look that dangerous. I know looks are deceiving so I will be careful whenever I land this species and other rays.

Dion,

Hi Dion,

I used to wonder how they had the petting pool at the Monterey Aquarium (where children can pet bat rays). Then I found out that they cut the stingers off the tails about once a month. They are friendly little creatures when swimming around minus the stingers (although their jaws can crush oysters). The stingers grow back in fairly short time after they are cut off so that is why I don't feel bad about cutting them off of bat rays I have caught. Although they are good eating, I return them all back to the water now a days -- unless they've been badly hooked and I don't think they will survive.

Best wishes and catch em' when you do get a chance to go back out, Ken



Date: January 6, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Matt Shockney
Subject: Antioch.

Hey Ken,

Hope you're having a good new year so far. I am but I can't say the same for some of the piers. I have heard that it is slow at Pillar Point Pier and not much is going on at Pacifica. Anyway, I had a question about the Antioch Pier. Now is the pier on the north or south side of the delta canal? Is it very long (compared to Pacifica?) Are the new "mitten crabs" going to provoke a problem bait wise? I also heard that are largemouth bass as well as catfish here too. Do you have any suggestions for the fishing there since I might (like I have said before) try to hit it there before the stripers are entirely gone?
Matt

PS.- On another note, I ordered an Australian made Alvey Reel. It is the holder of the world record casting distance. (heh heh heh). It almost looks like a fly reel, but it is basically just a big spool with a handle on the side. You turn it 90 degrees to cast and back 90 degrees to reel.

Hi Matt,

The pier to go to is the Antioch Bridge Pier. It sits just to the right of the Antioch Bridge which goes toward Rio Vista; see directions below:

How To Get There: Follow Highway 4 east until it turns into Highway 160; just before you get to the bridge take the Wilbur Avenue off ramp (it is the last exit before the bridge), then turn left on Bridgehead Road and follow it to the entrance to the Antioch Regional Shoreline Park -- the pier is the main feature of the park.

The pier itself is not as long as Pacifica and sits down close to the water. You do not really need a long cast but more important are the right baits. I usually have some cut anchovies, cut shad, or pile worms. You are fishing in freshwater at the pier so you need a license and yes indeed you can catch a largemouth bass at the shallow end but I would guess that hundreds of small stripers are caught for every largemouth.

As for the reel -- sounds neat. Let me know what you think about it since it isn't in my book -- yet!



Date: January 6, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: The Fishman
Subject: Redondo Pier is still kicking out the fish!

Now get this! Some pretty big stripers are hanging around the Redondo Pier, and several locals are catching them. According to a restaurant employee he caught a 13-pounder on squid and all the staff in the restaurant spoke of eating that fish! I went on a night time high tide.... no stripers , but to my surprise I landed two short but not small halibut in the surf under the bright lights! Halibut at night! I was using these small glow in the dark rubber skirts that I picked up in Japan along with a squid tentacle that I cut off some large squid that I picked up at a Korean fish market. I also caught a 18-inch corbina on the same set up but with a strip of pike mackerel (also available at Korean markets) for bait. It was fun fishing for night halibut in those lights and I actually got to see them take the lure on a slow retrieve. It was awesome to see how they ambush their prey, you should have been there! The rig also included a red owner hook with a glow bead and a 3/8 glow in the dark sinker. I have had the best luck with the rigs I buy in Japan! I guess under that much light the halibut keep on biting into the night? I was right up on the surf, there was no one around, and the restaurant goers seemed to enjoy watching me fish. I'll tell you, I got short bit and chased more times in that 30-40 minutes than I could ever remember and as soon as the lights were shut off, the bite went totally dead! I will venture back during the day and will let you know if the stripers are present. Rumor has it that around noon when the fish market dumps buckets and buckets of the scraps and innards from prepping the calamari, the stripers are aware of this easy lunch and await this time daily. This is the word on the street and the cook at the market said they have landed many on squid, straight down , 20+Lb. test, and the drags buttoned down to avoid the wrap around the pilings. I am excited that this fantastic sport fish has entered our so. Cal. waters and invaded the beaches. How about a night striper derby from Zuma to Torrance Beach on a night time high tide, no license required for that one tide derby to gather data on the striper's presence? DFG probably wouldn't go for it. I guess it's time for a new license! Do we need a salt water striper stamp? Gotta call 'em I guess! Anyway feel free to correspond with me any time!

"The Fishman"

Fishman,

Normally you don't need striper license when fishing in that area but I suppose Fish and Game could get nasty and require you to have a striper stamp -- if you caught a striper and wanted to keep it.

Great report about Redondo -- is it o.k.. if I edit it and put it in the monthly report?

Good fishin'

Ken Jones, The Pier Fisherman

Thanks for the reply! Sure you can edit my Redondo report and use it in your report, just call me the "fishman" if you want to mention my name! I'll send reports to you whenever I go!

Keep in touch ..... Fishman



Date: January 7, 1999
To: Pier Fishing in California Message Board
From: Ariel
Subject: Stripers

When can I expect the stripers to be back at SF Bay and Pacifica after spawning season? Thanks.

Ariel,

They should return in the spring!



Date: January 7, 1999
To: Pier Fishing in California Message Board
From: Bryan
Subject: What's up with socal stripers?

Saw the S.D. Union Trib this week that said a 10lb striper was caught in the surf in O-side over the weekend, and that a few were taken off of T-pines, is this a fishery to concentrate on , or just a fluke, ha ha ha fluke, get it? I want to add this to my list of fish caught in the area

Bryan,

Don't know about San Diego but I got a report that some nice fish are still hanging around the Redondo Beach Pier and in the surf areas along Hermosa Beach and Manhattan Beach.

Ken,

Do you know what bait that they're feeding off in Hermosa Beach and Manhattan Beach?

Dion,

Dion,

I hear they are hitting a variety of baits and lures. However the best bait would probably be a live anchovies, small smelt or sardines if they are around. Next best would probably be blood worms. Although some are being caught, they still aren't that common.

I have heard they are hanging around the Redondo Pier and when the fish markets dump their scraps into the water the bass are waiting. And, supposedly, the workers at the markets are getting some stripers.



Date: January 7, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Cary
Subject: Dumbarton Pier

Long time no e-mail huh? Well, just thought I'd let ya know, on Sunday 1/10/99, I'm going to the Dumbarton Pier. Sturgeon season's here, and I'm gonna try my luck out there. I'll let ya know what's going on out there. Unfortunately I just haven't been able to fish much lately. But you know when I do, I let ya know about it. Hey you take care and have a great weekend.

Ps. love the new web page!!

Cary,

Glad to hear from you. I hear the pier is open and they are catching a few sturgeon from boats near the pier.

Good luck, Ken

Hey Ken,

Just got back a bit ago from Dumbarton. The action was pretty slow. I got a few king fish off of anchovies and that's about all anyone was catching. Supposedly a 28" striper was pulled out of there yesterday according to a fellow pier rat. Ya know, I was thinking about going to one of those piers out in Antioch. I'm very familiar with the pier, that's out by the Antioch Bridge, but I never fished the others. Could you recommend another, besides the Antioch Bridge pier. I saw one in Pittsburg and a few others on your web page. Hey thanks for your time and have a great week huh.

Ps. I noticed under San Mateo's pier, you specifically put to be opened in November. Did you hear any more info on it from Cal Trans, or who ever the contractors are?



Date: January 9, 1999
To: Pier Fishing in California Message Board
From: Mike
Subject: halibut fishing

I am looking to catch some halibut this season. I'm looking for any information on the best piers and the best time of year to do so in Southern or Central California. Please help!

Mike,

The best time is spring through the early fall. The best piers are probably the Crystal Pier (San Diego), Oceanside, Huntington Beach, Belmont Shores, Cabrillo (sometimes), Redondo Beach (sometimes), Hermosa Beach (when it reopens), Ventura and Goleta. Best bait is almost always a live bait -- anchovies, small smelt, small mackerel.

Ken

To Mike,

They left out Balboa Pier. That is an excellent halibut fishing pier. I and my halibut fishing friends catch many keepers every year, and we have over 50 years of experience fishing that pier regularly all year long. Remember to always watch the food supply in the water. If there are bait fish, chances are the halibut have moved in. By the way we all fish the middle of pier to the surf. That is where the halibut congregate. As to bait fish, don't forget the sardines as well. Unfortunately the best bait is a live grunion. DFG frowns on that bait. Remember the bigger the bait, the bigger the fish. I carry a
48 inch in diameter net for landing the big ones, and we use it.

Snookie

To Snookie,

I'm just curious, how do you keep a Grunion alive when the only time that they come around is around midnight and only on extreme high tides? Or are you saying that you fish at night with live bait, using Grunion as bait....?

Dion

To Dion,

Grunion are around 24 hours a day. The high tides only mean there will be more of them available. They are quite simply caught on a snagline. They are then put in your bucket of water with an aerator. They are very hardy. It is easy to tell the difference between a smelt and a grunion once you know the difference. Fish and Game says you can only legally catch a grunion by hand. The grunion doesn't know this. I have yet to meet the warden that can tell the difference between a grunion and a smelt
immediately.

Snookie



Date: January 9, 1999
To: Pier Fishing in California Message Board
From: Nash
Subject: ready to start again.need info.

Well, fellow pier rats....after many years I am ready to fish again. It's been over 7 yrs since I have been out sittin' & fishin'. My ex....well you know, just gave me back my gear. Over $2,000.00 worth of stuff. I started out fishing piers 17 yrs ago, then eventually that lead to half day boats, then full day, then on to Cabo. I will never forget the first pier fish I caught and the feeling of accomplishment I got from it. My son caught his first bunch of macs and now he's got the bug too. I know the reports on the various web pages have info on them, but I would like to get some insider tips to get back into pier fishing. The piers I would fish are....Seal Beach, Redondo, Santa Monica, Oceanside, and also Newport. Any insider tips would be greatly appreciated by me and my son.

Nash,

That's a pretty broad question but you might want to start by checking out the archives for recent reports and some of the pier archives.

I did get a report on some interesting fishing taking place at night recently at the Redondo Beach Pier (including some halibut caught on lures under the lights).



Date: January 10, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Audrey
Subject: HB Pier

Hi Ken,

Sorry I haven't written. I've gone back to my old job in San Francisco so my Huntington Beach reports will only be haphazard at best. I don't have poles yet up here. I've been here for a month and a half now.

But, I spent 11 days in Huntington Beach for the holidays, and many of those days on the pier. Live bait yielded sharks those days, but at the shore, using mussels or sand crabs, there have been yellowfin croakers, the occasional spotfin, and corbina (not on sand crabs, of course). I was definitely expecting more perch (palm-size, I was told), but I only heard about them, they never hit while I was there. On the 1st of this year, I caught a 3-pound corbina using mussels, and it snapped the line just at I brought it over the rail, so my dad scolded me that I should have pulled it to the shore and beached it, rather than insisted on pulling it straight up. My dad caught a smaller 1-pounder and another regular, Bob, caught a yellowfin croaker. That was it for New Year's. And now I'm back in San Fran. I'm going back down both this coming weekend, and at the beginning of next month, but I don't have time to fish this coming weekend.

Thanks, Audrey

Hi Audrey,

Figured you were busy! Sorry to hear about the big corbina you lost but it happens!

I guess Huntington Beach's loss will be our gain -- and maybe you'll be able to catch some fish at Pacifica. Bet you're going through some weather adjustment since it has been so cold up here. But, you've got to go where the money is.

When I finish the project I'm currently tied up on (and its got to be done in about six weeks), I hope to get back down to the Bay Area and do some serious pier fishing. Maybe we'll finally get a chance to share some fishing time.

Best wishes, Ken

Ken,

Oh, no! The line broke after I got it over the rail. I ate corbina the next day. But my dad said my line wasn't meant to carry such a load and I got lucky.

I still need my fishing gear before I can fish up here in the Bay Area! Darn it! I'll get it soon.

Ken,

I finally had a chance to look at the Fishing Reports. That's so good that you have Cliff reporting for HB Pier. Now I don't feel guilty. I don't know him that well, but I know his wife, Marion, and the other people in the shop. He'd know better than me about the whole pier. I never fish at the end of the pier and they often tell me what's going on when I get there.

Thanks, Audrey




Date: January 13, 1999
To: Pier Fshing in California Message Board
From: Big Al
Subject: Anyone fished Pier in Avalon/Catalina Island?

Looking for pointers. Should I bring both my 6-foot pole with 15-lb line and baitcaster and my 5.5 spin rod with 4-lb. test? What should I expect. Never been to Avalon! Thanks.

Al,

I've fished the Green Pleasure Pier many times -- although not lately.

In the summer time there is often an unbelievable number of small fish hanging around the pier including bass, halfmoon, opaleye, blacksmith and many other varieties. There aren't as many big fish but there are some so try both poles. Let me know how you do.

Ken

Thanks -- any tackle/bait tips?

For the perch and perch-like fish use small hooks, size 8-4, and fresh mussels, bloodworms, small pieces of market shrimp or ghost shrimp for bait. In addition, the opaleye will hit frozen peas and the halfmoon will hit a strip of squid. It's sometimes best to bring your bait with you to the island since available bait tends to be frozen anchovies or squid -- or at least that used to be the case. For the larger species use anchovies, squid or a small live bait-- so also bring your bait rigs with you.

Ken



Date: January 14, 1999
To: Keith
From: Ken Jones
Subject: Marin Rod and Gun Club Pier

Keith,

Hope you're enjoying the new year and catching some fish. About this time of the year used to be the time when the big piling perch would be hanging around the Red Rock Pier. Do you find the same holds true at the Marin Rod and Gun Club Pier? Seems like it would although they're on the opposite ends of the bridge. Of course, there used to be a lot of sunken boats and other perch-attracting objects by the Red Rock Pier.

Best wishes and hoping you're catching a lot of fish, Ken

Ken;

The perch fishing at the Rod and Gun club is pretty good. The pilings all have a heavy growth of barnacles and other things, and the perch bite really well on grass shrimp, pile worms, and small strips of anchovies. I like to fish with an ultra light pole with 6# line and use crappie jigs.

The fishing is best right under the pier. There used to be some of the pier boards with hinges so you could open them and fish straight down, but some people weren't closing them when they were finished, and the club closed them.

Members with small boats go to the pilings just 30 yards off the end of the pier, and catch lots of big perch, especially when the tide is moving well, usually right after the top of the tide.

Hope this helps.

Keith

Keith,

Thanks for the reply. I assumed it was a good perch area but it is always dangerous to assume anything when talking about fishing.

Best wishes, Ken



Date: January 14, 1999
To: Pier Fishing in California Message Board
From: Nate D
Subject: Carquinez Strait

Does anyone fish the shoreline between Crockett and Martinez, along the railroad tracks? I fish Martinez pier regularly but not this area.

Thanks,

Nate D

Nate,

I've only fished the tracks once and that was near Port Costa -- with little luck. However, they are building a new pier midway between Crockett and Port Costa -- the Eckley Pier. Hopefully it will be open by this summer.



Date: January 15, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Matt Shockney
Subject: Pillar Point Pier

Hey Ken,

Kind of a dreary day today. I had nothing to do (except my three page essay which I promptly ignored) so I went to the Pillar Point Pier for a few hours. It was really dead there today. My friend and I only caught a few bullheads and a ton of seaweed. Some guys in a boat who do a local fishing show dropped some HUGE rock crabs in the water near the pier for us to catch in the traps. They said that they were going for Dungeness out in the ocean and every time they drop off the rock crabs here. Of course, we caught only one and it was the smallest one of all. Anyway, this place just turns dead during the winter, and I called the bait shop at Pacifica and they said it was rough and slow. I can't wait until the weather, tides and fishing picks up.

Matt

Hi Matt,

Isn't the wintertime sometimes a good time to fish for kingfish at Pillar Point? Also, when do perch move into the bay? This time of the year should find some pileperch around pilings -- maybe over at the bigger Johnson Wharf?

Good luck and hope you find some fish, Ken



Date: January 16, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Frank A
Subject: North Mission Beach

Any tips on bank fishing in the Mission bay or ocean side from a pier? I am here from K.C. for a couple of days fishing with my two kids, 8 and 11. I brought a couple of medium action open face setups. We are staying at North Mission Beach.

I was thinking of finding a bait shop and buying a chum bag and some fresh bait of some sort. Any suggestions on a bait shop, type of bait, and easy access location?

I need some West Coast fishing tips.

Thanks, FRANK A

Hi Frank,

My suggestion is to try some of the local piers and there are three pretty good piers just a short distance away from where you are staying. Two of them, Ocean Beach and Shelter Island, have bait shops on the pier.

Crystal Pier and Ocean Beach Pier -- Best bets at this time (and this is the slow time of the year) would be to try cut anchovies or cut squid on the bottom (in the deeper water) for a possible bass or shark/ray. Try in shallow waters using mussels, ghost shrimp, bloodworms for some croaker and nice perch. Try using a Lucky Lura bait rig to catch some jacksmelt or mackerel near the top of the water.

Shelter Island -- Pretty dead at last report -- although they have a better selection of bait than the shop at Ocean Beach (I think).

My suggestion is to check out Ocean Beach first, both for bait and the fishing. If you don't have much luck there, get some bloodworms or ghost shrimp (may need to go to Shelter Island) and then go to Crystal Pier.

A final suggestion is to watch the regulars at the pier, see what they are doing to catch fish, and don't be afraid to ask questions -- most are happy to share information.

Best wishes, hope you catch some fish, and let me know how you do.

PS, Public Piers (like Shelter Island and Ocean Beach) are the only place in California where you will not need a fishing license -- although Crystal Pier is considered private and may require a license (Fish and Game does occasionally check the pier).

How to get there --

Crystal Pier
Hours: Open 7 to 7 (or sunset) for visitors, 24 hours a day for those staying in the pier motel.
Facilities: Restrooms, one cleaning station, some benches, and some night lighting. Limited bait and tackle is available at the pier office. Parking can be a problem! Metered parking is available on the side street at the foot of the pier if you can find it. This is a popular area for beach go'ers and surfers and they just don't seem to realize they should leave the parking spaces for the fishermen. Arriving any time after the early morning hours simply means you must look around for a space. Do not park in parking lots that have posted warnings, they mean it and will not hesitate to have your car towed away.
Handicapped Facilities: None. The surface is wood planking with a railing 40 inches high.
How To Get There: Take I-5 to Garnet Ave. then take Garnet to the foot of the pier.

Ocean Beach Pier
Hours: Open 24 hours a day.
Facilities: Restrooms, bait and tackle shop, snack shop, fish cleaning stations, benches and lights. There is free 24-hour parking in a small parking lot near the foot of the pier.
Handicapped Facilities: Access to the pier is from the public parking lot and then up a number of stairs (which are steep) or by a block-long public ramp. There is posted handicapped parking and restrooms. The surface is concrete and the railing is 42 inches high.
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.

Shelter Island Pier
Hours: Open from 6 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Facilities: Restrooms are at the foot of the pier as is free parking.
Fish-cleaning stations and lights are on the pier. A bait and tackle shop, snack bar, and tourist shop are located on the pier.
Handicapped Facilities: Although there are parking spaces for the handicapped, restrooms are not equipped for the handicapped. The pier surface is wood planking and the rail height is 42 inches. Posted for handicapped.
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.

Thanks for the response, I will give it a try.



Date: January 16, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Nate D
Subject: Eckley pier

Ken.

I appreciated your info on the Crockett-Martinez shoreline, but this new pier really has my attention. I found out the entire shoreline between Port Costa and Martinez is now Southern Pacific Railroad property and off limits. This was once a great area for starry flounder (which I have been catching all
month near Martinez pier) and stripers as well. I would definitely like to be on the inside of this new pier, so please send me any details you might have. My family is very politically active in this area, and I would certainly "champion the cause" of a new pier being built in this area.

Thanks,
Nate D.

Hi Nate,

The pier is partially built and is inside a new East Bay Recreation District Park in that area. I was there over the holidays taking pictures but they had not put the railings up on the pier nor was access allowed onto the pier. Currently a fence stops visitors from crossing over the railway tracks. I assume (which can be dangerous) that the park district is going to build a bridge over the tracks to the pier -- hopefully by this summer. It's a small pier but I would think it would offer good striped bass, flounder and sturgeon fishing.

Let me know if you find out any further information.

Best wishes, Ken



Date: January 16, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Dion
Subject: MBP Fishing Report

Hi Ken,

It's been a week since I have sent you e-mail. I will continue sending you reports as I go fishing because you're doing a wonderful service for all of us who fish the California Coast Piers.

I was going to surf fish this morning, hoping to catch some surf perch. It was foggy, windy, and the waves were huge. I decided to head towards the nearest pier and went to Manhattan Beach.

The guys that were there all night were catching thornback sharks using cut squid as bait. While I was there one person caught a walleye surfperch and a few other anglers were catching smelt on Lucky Laura-type jigs. I was catching sardines and smelts using the Lucky Laura jig. Also, I was catching smelt on the bottom using cut pieces of mackerel and fresh mussels (mussels were for the surf fishing trip - at least it didn't go to waste).

Keep up the good work!

Dion...

Dion,

Thanks again for the report. Hopefully some day we will get reports from every pier.

Best wishes, Ken



Date: January 19, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Snookie
Subject: Balboa Pier

I fish Balboa two times a week, every week of the year. I have done so for 55 years. Yes, I'm a fishing addict. I can try to give you the info you need for this pier. Today was awful. It's typical January. There's not much in the way of live bait. The fish being caught are small mackerel and sardines. One thornback and one barred surf perch were the catches today. At least the city is replacing the missing pilings from last spring. Once that is done, we will have peace on the pier again. Balboa Pier is one of the best whale watching piers. It has a deep surf and they come in to shore regularly. If the fishing isn't good, the whale watching is.

Snookie

Snookie,

I would feel honored to have you be a reporter for the pier! I've fished the pier since 1962 but not to the extent that you have fished it -- you're the expert.

What I need is a report around the 25-27th of each month which tells what type of fish are being caught, where, and on what type of bait. It also makes it interesting if you can note any unusual fish, size wise or species, that might have been brought in recently. Lastly, any conditions on the pier about which anglers should be made aware.

Thank you very much for your help and I look forward to your report. By the way, here is the latest revision on Balboa Pier for the second edition of my book. You'll notice that you're mentioned on the section I took out of the newspaper. (attachment)

Best wishes, Ken

Dear Ken,

I look forward to reporting about Balboa Pier. Thank you also for sending the article from John Hughes that you will be using in your next book. John spent quite a few days with us on the pier.

By the way the striped bass that was caught a few years ago was caught by my friend Cass. I was standing beside him when that fish hit. It was a beautiful sight to see it jumping. I netted the fish, measured him, photographed them and sold the article and picture to California Angler when they were still in business.

Look forward to keeping you posted.

Snookie

Snookie,

Thanks and I look forward to gaining your insights regarding the pier. I fished Newport Pier almost daily (at least weekly) when I lived in Costa Mesa back in the early '60s. My first job was at the Coffee Haven Cafe at the foot of the pier (today's Chili Charlies I believe -- or something similar), and I would go fishing before, after, and sometimes before and after my shift at the cafe. Unfortunately I did not fish Balboa as often and never got to know it to the same extent as the Newport Pier. However, I have fished it around fifty times so feel I understand it well enough to write about it.

Regulars like yourself are the true experts so I look forward to your reports. I also hope to see you down there when I visit the area. Every year I take 1-2 trips down the entire coast stopping at as many piers as possible. I ALWAYS stop at Newport, fish at the Newport Pier and the Balboa Pier, and have a meal at the Crab Cooker (it's tradition). This spring/summer I hope to meet you and your fishin' buddies personally.

Best wishes, Ken

PS -- Feel free to offer criticism if you feel there was anything inaccurate in my Balboa Pier article. I'm working on the second edition of the book, hope to print it this summer, and hope to make it as accurate as possible. In fact, I've been considering sending the regular reporters advance copies of several of the chapters for review and advice. Let me know if you would be interested.



Date: January 21, 1999
To: Pier Fishing in California Message Board
From: Rudy
Subject: New Pier?

Ken...

Is there a new pier called "Eckley Pier" in Crockett built by EBRP? I heard that they may be finished with it as soon as Wednesday. And if there is, do you know anything about it (good/bad fishing, what's biting, bait, conditions, facilities, etc.)? Any info. would be appreciated. Thanks ahead.

Rudy,

Yes, I went down and saw the pier over the holidays but at that time it wasn't open. It's a small pier and located within the new EBRPD Carquinez Shoreline/Bull Valley park located midway between Crockett and Port Costa. It is about 2.3 miles from Crockett; 1 mile from Port Costa. When I was there the pier did not have any railing nor was there access over the railroad tracks to the pier. Facilities are somewhat nil although there is a restroom a short walk from the front of the pier and there are grassy areas, picnic facilities, and historical building to see in the park itself.

As for the fishing, it should be a good area for striped bass, sturgeon and flounder although I haven't (as yet) fished from the pier. I would think that grass shrimp or ghost shrimp fished on a sliding leader would be the best bet at this time. Let me know if it is indeed ready to open.



Date: January 22, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Matt S
Subject: Bad News -- Closure of Pacifica Pier

Hey Ken,

Some pretty bad news. I hear that they are supposed to take out the Pacifica Pier sometime after next summer because of the new facilitation plant that is being built. the city complains that they just don't have the funding to take care of the pier. If it goes, it would be like a nightmare to me. I love the place and I sure hope there's something we can do to save it. Just thought I'd let you in on the info

Matt

Matt,

I don't know what to say. I would appreciate you sending me any articles you see in the paper regarding this situation. Something must be done but it sounds like it is going to take a real effort on the part of organized anglers.

Ken



Date: January 22, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Richard G
Subject: classifieds of fishing gear

Dear creator of this super cool site, I think it's just a suggestion to add a classified section to the message board or something As you can see the message board is really being used. Its just a thought because some of us pier rats don't have the money to pay store prices for good reels and etc.

Thanks for your time Richard



Date: January 23, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Mark Grime
Subject: Fishing Report

Hi Ken,

Here is my report for this month. I didn't get to go out and do much fishing this month but am planning to do more in February -- my kids are off track in year round school program.

Antioch Bridge Pier

Fishermen have been catching a few stripers by using sardines, shad, or anchovies. A few starry flounders have been caught using anchovies also. I have heard that several anglers have been catching catfish on the pier lately, best baits have been mackerel and anchovies. Be sure to bundle up with warm clothing if you go out onto the pier, that wind over the water is extremely cold and the wind shelters are usually hard to come by.

City of Antioch Pier

Fishing continues to be slow here. A few small stripers have been caught by using either shad or anchovies.

Hi Mark,

Thanks for the report.

Enclosed are some January comments on the new Eckly Pier that I think you will find interesting...

So, it sounds like the pier may be close to opening -- and I'm stuck up here in Boonville for at least the next two weekends. Anyway, one of these days I will get down there.

Best wishes, save some time for fishing, and catch some fish, Ken

Hi Ken,

Thanks for the new info on the Eckley Pier. I'll have to check in with some of my sources in the Martinez/Port Costa/Crockett area and see if anyone knows about the pier. I'll be over there to check it out soon.

Mark



Date: January 23, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Dion
Subject: Manhattan Beach Pier

Hi Ken,

Fishing at Manhattan Beach Pier was rough today. The current was too strong to use jigs on a slow retrieve. I did catch a lot of other people's line while jigging. Gave this up after 15 minutes. In about one hour's time using a high-low leader with mussels as bait, I pulled up 4 Smelts.

That report for Redondo Beach striped Bass makes me want to go there and give it a try. I wish this pier wasn't too crowded so I can try different style of fishing.

Thanks, Dion

Dion,

Thanks again for your report and I know what you mean about Redondo. Hit it very early or hit it late, that's the only time it's not crowded. Even late at night though can be too crowded at times (like when the fish are hitting good).

Best wishes, Ken

PS, The Manhattan Pier is one of my favorites because it isn't crowded.



Date: January 24, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Felix
Subject: Pier 7 (San Francisco)

Ken,

The weather was amazingly good this afternoon [Sunday 1/24/99] so I went down to Pier 7 at San Francisco at 4 PM. It has been almost two months since I went fishing on this pier owing to bad weather. The daily regulars were nowhere to be seen, which struck me that it was not going to be any good -- because I know they know. I was right. Cast out chunks of sardines but there was no bite. The bait did go slowly, probably being taken by crabs or what not, but no fish. Another group at the pier managed to get three medium-sized white croakers and a couple of bull-heads and that's about it.

Felix



Date: January 25, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Snookie
Subject: Balboa Pier Reporter

Dear Ken,

I would be very interested in reviewing the Balboa chapters in your upcoming new edition of your book. Thank you for the opportunity.

I was raised on Newport Pier as well as Balboa. My mother taught me how to fish, and we loved the piers. There were many more people in those days. We used Balboa Pier in the winter months because the bigger halibut seemed to congregate there. Of course in those days in the winter months we had to get our own live bait. That was in the forties and the fifties. Most of the Newport Pier fishermen finally moved to the Balboa Pier. Most of my group are from Newport Pier originally.

Balboa Pier gave us bigger and better fish plus the bait concession was later run by the Phoenix and Heiner families from Newport Pier. All in all it has been a nicer crowd. That was worth something.

As to a report from the Balboa Pier this month, it is not going to be encouraging. There have been the usual mackerel and big sardines, but the halibut and the surf fish have been far and few between. If you like thornbacks, there are plenty of those. It's just that time of year. The live bait situation has been terrible. There have been some smelt in the surf area. They were small schools of a dozen to two dozen. Hard to get them excited about the chum to get them into the net.

Tomorrow I plan to check the pier out. Will let you know if there are any changes.

At least on this pier one can watch the whales as they head south. We are seeing several each time now. (That is in the surf line)

Will look forward to meeting you on your trip to the piers in the spring/summer. We will be there.

Snookie

Dear Snookie,

Good luck -- catch the big 'un.

Ken

Dear Ken,

I made it down to the pier today to observe. It was not a day for man or beast let alone fish. The ocean is not happy. There were no fishermen. It was a mess. By the time this weather is gone the piling people will have most of their work done and will not be in the way of the fishermen at least.

We'll see what happens Thursday.

Snookie



Date: January 26, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Zorro
Subject: Gaviota

Last trip was 09 Jan 99.

The water was Extremely clear.

The results: 6 big Sardines and 2 Jack Smelt. Surf Perch were not there that day, or at least did not want Mussels, Clams, Shrimp, Mackerel, or Lures. Bottom fish were absent, and no sharks.

The Lucky Lura type of lure and a chrome torpedo sinker worked best. Other Anglers did the same, some Smelt and Sardines.

Still no crowds to fight at this pier. Weather has turned bad for the last half of this month with a lot of fresh water run off in the area so only one trip.

Zorro,

Fishing sounds only fair but at least there hasn't been any recent damage to the pier.

Best wishes, Ken



Date: January 27, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Michael D
Subject: Fabulous Site!

Dear Ken,

Your pierfishing site is fantastic, and the expertise you provide is so accurate! I have fished all of the San Diego area piers for over 30 years and I can verify that your methods and advice are right on target. I have been living in Las Vegas for the last 7 years so my pier fishing has been limited to 2-3 trips a year but I'm moving back again in 2 months for good. I'm looking forward to getting the rust out and hitting the piers strong again. One tip for you San Diego shovelnose chasers -- Ocean Beach Pier, left branch, very end, right side corner-cast as far out as you can at 45 degrees -- great spot for large shovelnose (I've seen 5 larger than 30 lbs over the years and MANY smaller.) Thanks for the great fishing resource Ken!!

Mike

Mike,

Thanks for your kind comments and the tip. Hope to see you out at the pier some day,

Best wishes, Ken



Date: January 27, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Nate D
Subject: Eckley Pier

Hey Ken,

Eckley pier near Port Costa is open for business. I fished the pier today and had no luck but two other anglers landed sturgeon, one 37 in. and one 49 in. Both caught on standard sturgeon rigs with grass shrimp. Pier is pretty small, but very well put together. Fish cleaning area and fresh water on the pier as well as wind shelters. They(the shelters) inhibit casting somewhat, though. I live in Martinez and plan on fishing Eckley at least once a week. If you need a reporter for this pier, I'm available and reliable.

In other news an 81 in. sturgeon was landed at Martinez pier last week, biggest I've ever seen landed here in 20 years of fishing this pier. Keeper sturgies and stripers were also landed that day, as well as all month by those who know how to catch them. I have been catching nice starry flounder in the mud flats near the west side of the pier all month as well. Grass shrimp for flounder, grass or mud shrimp for sturgies and live bait is getting the biggest stripers. Also, as an ex-Marin pier rat, I'd be interested in any info on Elephant Rock in Tiburon that you may have.

Dancing tips and tight lines, Nate D.

Nate,

Thanks for the information and you're now the reporter for the pier. Sounds like a few fish are being caught and, as I said, I can't wait to get down and try out the pier.

By the way, I'll have to put you in touch with Mark Grim who reports on a lot of the piers in the area. You've probably seen each other fishing and didn't even know it.

Best wishes and thanks, Ken



Date: January 27, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Cary
Subject: Dumbarton Pier

Hey Ken,

There supposed to be some really great tides this weekend. I'm going to go out to Dumbarton, and see if I can hook into a sturgeon. I'll keep you updated on what happens.

Cary, Good luck.

Hey Ken,

I went out to Dumbarton Pier today. It was real slow out there. I only got one fish, and it was just a kingfish. I didn't see any one else catch anything. Talk to ya later.

Cary

Thanks Cary,

I'll get it into the report. I hear it has been slow at most places around the bay --although I hear they are starting to catch sturgeon at the McNear Pier in San Rafael -- on grass shrimp.

Best wishes, Ken



Date: January 28, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Glen
Subject: My site's up--finally

Ken:

At the end of October last year I e-mailed you, extolling the virtues of your site and your wonderful book. I mentioned then that I wrote a fishing report for shoreliners in the East Bay and that I'd have it on the web sometime soon. You said you'd like to check it out and/or possibly link it. It's at http://members.xoom.com/songslinger/weeklyreport.html

Or, for the fishing page, http://members.xoom.com/songslinger/fishing.html

The fishing page includes various links (your site is at the top) and a reading list (also with your book at the top). It's nothing fancy--a modest beginning--but a pretty decent source for local information, with conditions and data that are more current and accurate than most of the sites I've surfed around here. That's because I fish quite a bit (700 fish for 1998, a personal best -- and I'm still married!) and cull the resources of fellow shoreline anglers and reports along with my own experience. I don't merely call up bait and tackle shops for information. Hope you find it suitable.

Not much happening at the Berkeley and Point Pinole piers, and this is an odd situation. Possibly it's due to the unseasonably cold weather we've had this month. But perch are scarce throughout the east bay and sturgeon are slow as well. Everyone knows it's subject to change--but when?

I wanted to tell you about a brand new pier in the is area. Eckley Pier is situated below the Bull Valley Staging Area in the Carquinez Strait Shoreline, run by the East Bay Regional Parks. It's about midway between the towns of Crockett and Port Costa. For reference, it's right across (give or take) Dillon Point. The conditions are similar to Dowrelio Pier in terms of species and water salinity, but because this is adjacent the narrow bottleneck that the I-80 bridge spans, the water is very deep and runs pretty rapidly, especially during the outgoing tide. Great spot to gather bullheads and mudsuckers, and also to get snagged. However, the pier should obviate a little bit of the hang-ups if people cast out towards the deep. Another important contrast between this pier and the one at Nantucket (that's what the locals refer it by) is that DFG regulations are quite different on this side of the I-80 bridge. Hook and gear restrictions for Salmon are lessened, for example. This is considered inland waters so other changes apply. Gaffing, for instance. That's all the good news. The bad news is, although this pier was dedicated in late 1998, it remains unopened due to design and development squabbling between the district and builder. I'm told that this should change soon, but you know bureaucracy. I will keep abreast of it and constantly call the area head, and when it opens I'll fish it immediately and let you know more. This could be an excellent place for sturgeon and striped bass.

Thanks!

Glen (Songslinger)

Hi Glen,

I plan to check out your site as soon as I get off this e-mail program. Sounds like things are a little slow but it is this time of the year so it's always a little unpredictable.

I was down to the Eckley Pier at Christmas time but it wasn't open then. All I could do was look at it through the fence in front of the railroad. HOWEVER, got a report from one of the locals (and a new reporter) that it opened this week and they had already caught some sturgeon at the pier -- so you might want to check it out.

By the way, is the pier at Dowrelio's open? When I stopped down there at Christmas time the pier and adjacent bait shop were closed. I talked to a girl at the Nantucket and she said the bait shop had been closed since a fire. Couldn't seem to find anyone with too much specific information but was wondering when the pier is open. If you happen to know or are in that area anytime soon, would appreciate finding out. I'm trying to finish the second edition of my book and don't want to include it if it is no longer open.

Thanks for the information, best wishes, and good fishing, Ken



Date: January 28, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Albert P
Subject: Avalon fishing

Hi Ken:

You'd asked me for a "report" from the Catalina pier.. Late and not much to speak of but here goes:

Didn't catch a thing, but then I only had a few hours to fish in the morning. I did get a few garibaldi nibbles..

First off, since most guys were fishing off the wharf where the ferries dock, I thought I'd go there. I saw a guy catch and release a garibaldi (he was fishing for opaleye) but that's it. Met a local commercial fisherman named Scott who was beached due to weather. He was tossing a few jigs off just to get his line wet. He didn't get bit but claimed that Yellowtail, and the three B's can be taken there. Also recommended a treble hook cast far out for sheephead.

Of note was the glass bottom boat tour which I took later that same day from the Green Pier. This revealed that there are lots of bass (legal ones and smalls) in the area, and scads of opaleye. They seem to follow the boats because people toss fish food through the holes. Of course most of them congregate around Lover's Cove (off limits) but not far from casting range from the dock. Indeed there are sheephead, bass, opaleye, garibaldi, blacksmith, sargo and other fish. When I go back, I might try live worms off the Green Pier and cut bait (or live) cast as far as possible off the dock, sitting about 18 inches off the bottom. I suspect that one could figure out how to chum the schools in with the fish food. The boat ride really gave me perspective into what swims around in that general area.

Thanks for the tips, etc.

AP

Albert,

Thanks for the note. Suspect the fish are a little more numerous in the summer but sounds like there were a lot of fish around. I've only fished off the Green Pleasure Pier and had pretty good success but also feel the right bait is pretty important.

It would be fun to catch a big sheephead out there but a nice yellowtail wouldn't be too bad either. I also hear there can be some decent fishing for moray eels at night around the rocks.

Hope to make it down there over Easter or this summer so I'll let you know how I do.

Best wishes and good fishing, Ken



Date: January 29, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Glen
Subject: I checked it out

Just got back from a tour of Eckley Pier and Dowrelio Pier. I live in Richmond, so it's a fifteen-minute drive.

Eckley Pier sure looks open to me. The gate is open--in fact, it is chained and padlocked open. It's a nice-enough pier, near bathrooms, and the drinking fountain and cleaning table faucets on the pier proper all worked perfectly. I have no idea what the East Bay Park District spokesman I talked with was talking about in terms of design problems. Unless she meant the cracks in the concrete or the fact that the surface is indeed quite slippery (dangerous during these wet winter times). In any case, though no one but me was there, it appeared to be up and running. Perhaps the park people are unwilling to give it an official imprimatur. But there would have been warning signs--or the gates would have been locked--if there were even the slightest chance of liability. Looks good!

Not so for the old Dowrelio Pier. The word from the guys at the adjacent bait shop is that it's closed and will never be open again. The recent fire was just a final blow. No inclination, no available money, no point. I can understand that. It does (and has for some time) look like a lost cause.

Two more items: 1) Did you know there was a little, four-person pier on Montezuma Slough? Off of Grizzley Island Road, entered from Highway 12 in Fairfield, it is located at what is referred to as The Red Barn , even though that structure has been torn down for some 20 years. It's a decent place for flounder, sturgeon, stripers, carp, and splittails. It is officially designated a public pier, small as it is. 2) That Horizons Pier in Sausalito is a tragedy, now that so much of it has been roped off. I was there a few days ago, on my way back from a weird bout of herring snagging at Fort Baker, and saw two guys pulling perch after perch out of there. I stopped and chatted with them while they continued to bag nice sizes in black perch and one enormous rubberlip. When they left they had over a dozen perch between them for about 90 minutes of fishing.

Glen.

Hi Glen,

Checked out your site and like it -- and of course I will put a link to it. Do you have a title or is it just Fishing (at least the fishing page). You have a pretty good report there -- keep it up. Also, maybe I could put a plug on our front page for you -- do you want your full name used?

Sorry to hear about the Dowrelio Pier, anglers used to get some pretty good stripers and sturgeon from that pier.

As for the Horizon pier, I agree. I have caught blackperch there almost every trip to the pier and also got quite a few striped seaperch and white perch. Cabezon were common as were greenling and fringeheads (on small hooks).

Getting depressed thinking about the piers that have closed or are near to closing. There should be something we can do -- and I think it is a topic for the next Games 'n Things Page.

I need to go fishing but I'm doing a major project for my school which will require two more weekends -- and then I'm going to do some serious fishing.

Do some for me and have a great time.

Best wishes, Ken

Ken,

Hello again. This is all new and novel to me, so I'm taking advantage of ... until I become more versed on web building. I plan to delve much further into the music aspect because that's what I do when I'm not raising my son or fishing. I used to be a fiction writer but turned my energy to song writing when I became father seven years ago--because that's all the time I had. Actually, that's also the reason I started fishing after a 25-year hiatus. I wanted to find an activity my son and I could share that didn't always involve TV or Barney or whatever. I became addicted to angling as a result and my son, a great and patient wonder, puts up with it only to humor poor Dad. He'd rather rearrange his closet than go fishing, so I don't push it. He may come around in time.

So much for autobiography. So I guess the title of my fishing section would be, rather unimaginatively, Fishing. Or Glen's Fishing Page. My intent remains the same as when I began writing the report for my local bait shop. I grew frustrated with talking to bait shop owners who were so busy running their own businesses that they never had time to actually fish, so their information was either based on hearsay from customers or blind and vested optimism (I mean, how often does one find a bait shop denizen who actually says, "Nah, the fishing's lousy lately, don't waste your time.") And too many of the newspaper/radio/magazine reports are either much too dated or little more than a writer calling up various. . .bait shops. . . and then reiterating the folksy conversation. Also, the majority of fishing reports are tailored to boat anglers, and when they aren't downright patronizing or rude re shoreliners (the SF Chronicle guy refers to us as "bankies"), they aren't much help. Enter me, thus.

I' d be honored to be included in your links. As for a plug on your front page -- whoa, that's heady stuff! I'm unsure about what name I'm using on the web. I mean, my full name is Glen ...On the shore it's Glen, to strangers and some business types it's Gus, and to various writing projects it's Gus... On the Net, I do like the sobriquet Songslinger (it carries both attitude and entendre). So maybe Songslinger's Fishing Page (or East Bay Shoreliner's Report if that's what you're plugging) might be best. I'm not all that fussy. Like I say, this is a new experience for me. Whatever's most convenient.

As for fishing--I hear ya. I've got some projects coming up that will interrupt angling from time to time. The nice thing about living in the Bay Area, as you know, is that it's possible to get out quickly and get in some fishing for an hour or so. My problem is that the fish always seem to bite when I have to leave. Do they know?

Thanks much! Glen

Hello Glen,

I think we'll go with Songslinger's Fishing Page -- I like the sound of it.

I agree with your thoughts on most reports, especially since they're rarely up to date (and that has been a criticism of my report). However, I'm lucky that my new webmaster is willing to insert reports if I feel they should be included. So, we're now occasionally adding new data mid-month.

Interesting your ideas on music. I'm a Dylan fan myself and have been since the '60s. Got a chance recently to see him, Van Morrison and Lucinda Williams at the Shoreline, and had a great time. Also interesting is that my main reporter for the Martinez-Antioch area, Mark Grime, just started a web page of his own and his is also about music, specifically vinyl records. You should connect with him at ..., I'm sure he will not mind my giving you his address.

As for myself, I used to fish the areas you mention. In the '70s, I lived in Pinole and worked for Foodmaker Inc. Whenever I had a chance, which was at least once a week, I would be out fishing, even if for only a couple of hours. I fished most of the shoreline areas between Crockett, Richmond and Oakland and ALL of the piers in the bay.

In 1979, when my children were 6 and 7, I decided it would be better for them if we lived in the country so we moved up here to Boonville, in Mendocino County. It's a great area but the piers are few and far between -- although I can make it to Point Arena in just under an hour.

The kids are now grown and living in the Bay Area and more and more I'm thinking I would like to return to that area. I make it down to visit the kids whenever I can and, of course, always take along my fishing gear. I also take a couple of trips down the coast every year and usually hit 30-40 piers during the days I am gone (short 2-3 hour visits).

I look forward to your reports and hope we have the chance to go fishing one of these days.
Best wishes, Ken