Visitor Comments and Letters - February '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


To: Ken Jones
From: David R
Subject: Too many cookies!

Ken:

I've been a regular visitor to the site since it's inception, but I can not stand the barrage of cookies littering it since the latest redesign. And no, I will not simply disable them, as I like to know who uses 'em and who doesn't. Get the cookies off the message board, at least.

David R

Hi David,

I'm not sure what you mean by cookies but I will check with my webmaster. If you mean the ads, I can understand. I resisted putting on ads for a long time but the cost is becoming very high to do the page each month and they will hopefully help pay for the site.

What might be on the site may be due to the new counter for the pages. The new counter counts the visitors to every page not just the main page so that we can decide if we should continue or eliminate any pages. I think the counter includes addresses but NO ONE except for Rich or myself looks at the counter page and I've never even looked at the addresses -- just at the actual number of visitors.

However, I will find out about the cookies. If they are something that gives out information to others we'll stop them.

To: Rich Reano

Received the following note (see above) and wondered if it is a problem? Do these cookies give out information that would bother our viewers and if so where does it go?

To: Ken

Well, cookies do not give information out. The cookies on the site are used to determine if a visitor has been here previously. These cookies are in no way malicious. There is a lot of paranoia concerning these things and to some extent it is understandable. The banners we have on the site each utilizes a cookie. They only way to get around this is to take off the banners.

The message board does use cookies but only sends information back to itself. Sort of like taking notes.


To: Ken Jones
From: Gary M
Subject: I know the answer!

In regard to the Games 'n Things contest -- That's the Crab Cooker Restaurant in Newport isn't it?

Gary,

Yes that is the Crab Cooker. Unfortunately somebody else beat you to it for the free book -- and I need to make a new Games 'n Things Page and get that information out.

Thanks for your input and best wishes,

Ken Jones, The Pier Fisherman


To: Pier Fishing in California Message Board
From: Mike
Subject: Shovelnose Guitarfish

Shovelnose are possibly my favorite fish to catch, but the last few times I've gone to San Clemente Pier I've been shut out. Are shovelnose seasonal, and if so, what is the season ? Where should I go in winter to catch these delicious fish ?

To: Mike
From: Felix

Well I can't help you as far as the best seasonal times to catch shovelnose. Since I am only in my first year of fishing up here on the Central Coast. We had some great luck catching some fairly large guitarfish mid summer off Morro rock. Unfortunately I was too chicken to attempt to filet out the meat. I'm going to do it this year though, I'll probably end up losing a lot of good meat but I've heard a lot of people talk about how great the meat is. I just have to try it. So make sure you keep in touch and pass some recipes and cleaning techniques my way. If your ever up around the Central Coast area I have a great little spot to catch shovelnose, white seabass, stripers, cabezon and other possibilities. The great thing about this little spot is you can catch the big fish from the rocks without the need for a pier gaff.. although a hand held gaff is helpful.

From: Ken J

There should always be some shovelnose around but the fishing tends to be better from about March through Oct/Nov (if the water is still warm) when they like to aggregate in some fairly large schools in shallow water.

PS -- Felix -- they are good eating and not that hard to clean. The meat is in their tails.

From: Felix

Ken I promise to spend a lot of fishing time this year catching and leaning how to prepare guitarfish. Since I am a fairly good cook I'm sure I'll come up with all sorts of ways to prepare the guitarfish. Any other recipes you might have please throw my way.

Oops .. a couple more things ..I sort of remember something about a second edition of your book coming out... and I would love to hang up flyers or pass out some sort of business card out here on the central coast to promote your book and web site... I'll continue to spread the word in the meantime ...

From: C Patric

Hello,

Please pardon my ignorant question. Someone who I think of as a fairly good saltwater guy told me that guitarfish (spade head and a kind of shark body) could produce an electric shock, he is the only one I have ever heard say this. True or false???

From: Mike

I have not been fishing for all that long but I have caught a lot of shovelnose and have never experienced a shock, have never heard nor seen anyone else shocked by a shovelnose, and have never seen anything on the shovelnose that could produce a shock (I check all the rays I catch for this). My best guess is that your friend is confusing the shovelnose with some other ray.

From: Ken Jones

You don't have to worry about guitarfish; they can't sting you o give you an electric shock. Your friend is confusing them with the Pacific electric ray which can deliver a big volt but also looks quite a bit different from a guitarfish.

From: Frank

I think it's a bat ray that can also produce an electric shock in addition to the electric ray. I think I read it in that book How to Fish the Pacific Coast by Ray Cannon in the description part of the bat ray. Mike, I catch a lot of guitarfish at night at any of the beaches in the South Bat on cut mackerel. Usually it's best in the summer when the surf is no bigger than 1-3 feet.

I always let them go. They might taste good but I don't want to eat anything caught around the shore in the South Bay, particularly since Chevron has their refinery there and has a pipeline that spills something like three million gallons of some kind of chemical effluent directly into the ocean daily.

From: Ken Jones

Bat rays do not produce electric shocks, only Pacific electric rays. The Pacific electric ray is on the same page as the bat rays in Mr. Cannon's book but they're quite different animals.


Date: February 2, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Steve R
Subject: Manhattan Beach Pier Striper

I took my seven year old daughter pier fishing the surf area at Manhattan Beach for an hour last Saturday morning (January 30). Surf fishing has been slow lately and I was expecting to catch either nothing or maybe a surfperch or undersized halibut, so I didn't bother to bring my pier gaff. We were using six pound line on a freshwater / saltwater rod with spinning reel, and live ghost shrimp.

After re-baiting the hook for my daughter and dropping the line, I immediately felt a tug to I set the hook and started to reel. Almost immediately (the water was shallow) I had a striped bass lying sideways on the surface. It was probably about 20 inches long.

I decided to walk the fish to the shore, but the pier has large cement pillars every 10 yards and there were about 6-7 of them between me and the shore end of the pier. I tried to hand my rod around them from one hand to the other, going over the pier rail to do so, but I couldn't reach far enough. So I told my daughter I would just try to hand line the fish up and hope for the best. As soon as I had the fish out of the water, it broke off.

The next day I went back with my pier gaff and more ghost shrimp, but (of course) got no striper bites. I did get one nice barred surfperch.

Any suggestion on type of hook or hooking method for ghost shrimp? I lost a lot of ghost shrimp, and I suspect there were quite a few bites there where the bait was stolen. I hooked some straight down through the end of the tail and then back up once again through the tail, because the tail seemed tougher than the rest of the body. This would stay on during a cast or drop, but I think the fish may have been biting from the head and pulling the shrimp off the hook, or pulling the shrimp apart (I got a few lone tails back). So I tried hooking down through the head, coming out at about the middle of the body. But these didn't seem to stay on as well during the cast or drop. I was thinking of getting some larger circle hooks next time and threading the entire ghost shrimp through the hook, probably with the point coming out the head. Any thoughts? Can a perch get a large circle hook in its mouth? I assume a striper can.

Hi Steve,

Sorry you lost the striper!

As for ghost shrimp, I like to use Kahle-type hooks in a 1/0 or 2/0 size. But the size of the hooks depends on the size of the ghost shrimp. Most of the ghost shrimp you see in S.F. Bay are large sized while most I've seen down south are small. If small, you could drop down to a size 4 or 2 Kahle hook and they will still work fine for the perch. They are also a good hook to use when you're using fresh mussels.

By the way, I usually hook them through the tail up to the head.

Best wishes and hope you catch a big 'un.

Ken


Date: February 2, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: James P
Subject: Point Pinole report

Just discovered your webpage. May become a regular reporter.

I went fishing on 1/31/99 at Point Pinole and on the way to the pier, ranger told me that someone caught a 47" sturgeon yesterday (1/30/99). I later met the fisherman who caught the sturgeon yesterday. He was an older Chinese man, and mentioned that he caught the sturgeon at the end of the pier using a sardine.

I was fishing at the right end of the pier on incoming tide and caught 6 bullheads and one kingfish in less than three hours. Action dies down during the outgoing tied. There were at least 10 angler Sunday, after hearing the sturgeon catch on Saturday. However, most people were catching bullheads and kingfish only.

Weather was beautiful, a bit windy, with excellent incoming tide, but cold. Water was murky, with lots of weeds in it.

James

James, Thanks for the report!!!

Any information you send will be put on the monthly report.

Sturgeon should be coming into the area but I hear it's still a little slow so far.

Best wishes, Ken


Date: February 5, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Cary
Subject: Antioch Piers

Hey Ken,

I was just wondering if you've heard anything about some of the Antioch area piers. I wanted to go out to one tomorrow. I tried looking on your web page, but it hadn't been updated to February yet. If you could get back to me, I'd appreciate it. Have a great weekend!

Cary,

Things didn't sound too hot out there on my last reports -- but there always seem to be some small stripers around.

Best wishes, Ken

Hi Ken,

Just got back from the Antioch bridge pier. It was pretty slow today. Towards the very beginning of the bridge, I saw an angler catch a good 15+inch and very fat, what looked to be a black bass. Just thought I'd let ya know. Till next time.

Cary


Date: February 6, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Alfred K
Subject: Black seabass?

Ken, it's really disturbing that you have a picture of an illegal BSB on the pics page? What's going on?

Alfred

You have a good point.

The picture was supposed to say that this was taken at the old Venice Pier back in the early '80s -- before the fish were illegal. Somehow that message got left off.

Thanks for your input.

Ken


Date: February 7, 1999
To: Pier Fishing in California Message Board
From: Kev
Subject: What is a High-Low rig?

I've read through a lot of this site and keep seeing you mention a high-low rig for pier/surf fishing. Can you please describe how to rig it? Does this rig have other names that I may have heard of?

Thanks in advance, Kev

Kev,

I'm not sure if this set-up has any other name but it is one of the most basic bottom fishing riggings. At the end of your line you attach a snap and swivel which is then attached to your sinker. Two dropper leaders are then attached above the sinker, one 8-12 inches above the sinker, the second another 8-12 inches higher. This is one of the standard riggings in surf areas and you can buy "surf leaders" already tied and ready to attach to your line.


Date: February 7, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Russell Grossbard
Subject: Crystal Pier

Hi Ken,

Sorry for not sending in any Reports on the pier; I haven't been fishing for a long time --that is until Sat 2/6/99 when my farther and myself went down to Crystal Pier to do a spot of Fishing. We Fished from 1 PM till 5 PM using blood worms and mackerel and all we caught was a small barred surfperch. There were some other fishermen on the pier having some luck with walleye surfperch and
small croakers. I spoke to one fisherman called Lee who informed me the fishing has been very slow the last two months; we also spoke to the Fish and Game warden who apparently still comes down to check on fishing licenses. He said there were a lot of halibut been caught in the bays and off the beaches but not a lot of things are happening on the piers. Hopefully I will be able to go fishing a bit more often now we have got the house more livable

So until the next time,

Cheers Russell Grossbard.

Hi Russell,

Thanks for the report and I'll look forward to more now that things are settled. I figured that maybe the weather had limited your fishing.

Best wishes, Ken

Date: February 8, 1999
To: Pier Fishing in California Message Board
From: Ken Jones
Subject: Pacifica Pier

I've been told by several people that the City of Pacifica plans to shut down the Pacifica Pier this fall. Since I consider this the best fishing pier in the state, it would be a major loss.

I would like to start a dialogue here on the best way to convince Pacifica that they are making a mistake and would like your feedback. It will take a considerable amount of pressure but I think it can be done.

I am also willing to use this site to spearhead the effort but again, I need your feedback and help.

"Save the Pacifica Pier"

Ken

From: Chris

This would be a great loss. Where do we get valid information about this rumor?

From: Rudy

Ken...

I am quite disappointed on the fact that the city of Pacifica would even consider closing the Pacifica Pier for any reason at all. I would think that the people who would be initiating the proposal are aware of the benefits that the pier offers to the community inside and outside of their jurisdiction. I would suggest to anyone interested in saving the pier is to do research in finding out what are the exact reasons for the closing and who to talk/write to. I believe even just expressing an opinion about the closing, on this site, can spark up some leverage towards the cause. I will be surfing the web on my end to find out what I can.

Rudy


Date: February 8, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Chris
Subject: Fishing Knots

Hi

I want to know if you have any links to fishing knots.

Thanks,

Chris

Hi Chris,

There is a link on my Links Page to a site about fishing knots.

Check it out.

Best wishes, Ken


Date: February 9, 1999
To: Pier Fishing in California Message Board
From: Papafats and mamafats
Subject: Ventura Pier

Hi, My husband and I try to get to Ventura Pier as often as we can. In fact, this weekend we have plans to camp near Ventura and enjoy a bit of fishing.

We just started fishing again after 25 years of getting caught up in the "No time too busy LA life style." We're not experts by any means just enjoy the peace and solitude of fishing and meeting fellow anglers on the pier.

We generally use salted anchovies or squid. Sometimes for fun we'll throw out a lure. Our catch is for fun and all fish are returned whenever possible (providing the fish are not caught in mid air by seagulls). I especially enjoy visiting with the many children who stop by to feel or look at the fish as we land our lines.

We generally catch sand shark, dogfish, bat ray, lobster (once-caught him/her while I was reeling in the line to change bait)and host of others that are still unknown to us. I guess you'd say we enjoy bottom or near bottom fishing. Our favorite spot is near the end of the pier.

Once this summer we were fishing in the evening while there was activity at the Ventura Fair Grounds (which is right on the coast). The lights from the Fair Grounds illuminated the water at the end of the pier and the fish that were swimming close to the top. What a beautiful site!

Well I don't know about being a Ventura Pier Reporter, but I'll be happy to let you know what we catch this weekend.

In 1970-74 the pier seemed a lot longer and we would fish all night. Always had a great time.

If you or anyone else out there can recommend a good book to review in order to identify additional Ventura Pier fish species, please let us know. Best regards to all fellow pier anglers!

Papafats and mamafats,

Thanks for the information and I look forward to your reports of fishing at Ventura. I've spent many a pleasant afternoon and evening fishing at the pier and look forward to hearing from a "regular."

As for a book, don't forget mine; it lists and shows pictures of the 100 most common fish caught at California's piers.

Best wishes, Ken


Date: February 10, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Matthew B
Subject: Pacifica Pier

Ken,

Thanks for your excellent web site, a truly great service to pier rats and armchair pier rats everywhere.

Regarding the unhappy rumors of the upcoming closure of Pacifica Pier: Why not post the City's e-mail address and also their mailing address, so with a click of a button angered pier rats can protest? Also, perhaps you could create a little section on your home page about the pier closure? As it stands now, only folks who read your Pacifica Pier report will see it.

Here is the city's e-mail address:

<webmaster@ci.pacifica.ca.us>

And City officials and their mailing address:

Mayor Calvin Hinton
Mayor pro Tem Pete DeJarnatt
Councilmember Barbara Carr
Councilmember Maxine Gonsalves
Councilmember Jim Vreeland

City Council Chambers
2212 Beach Boulevard
Pacifica California 94044

I got the above information from the Pacifica home page <www.ci.pacifica.ca.us> which incidentally, boasts of fishing opportunities in the city--perhaps anglers might point out the irony of that, given the proposed closure. Maybe the city council doesn't realize just how popular the pier is?

Thanks again for your hard work,

Matthew B

Matthew,

Thanks for the information and your thoughts. I think I may design a new page regarding this matter this weekend and get the ball rolling; the more information we have, and the more pressure we put on the city, the better.

Thanks again, Ken


Date: February 11, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Papafats and Mamafats
Subject: Question of the Month

We like it...sounds like it would be fun!

Thanks Ken for the note on your book. It will be a regular in out tackle box...

Regards, Papafats and Mamafats (Ventura Pier Rats)

Papafats and Mamafats,

Thanks for your note and I look forward to your reports.

By the way, I think the first question will be "What is your favorite pier -- and why." I bet I know how you'll answer the question.

Best wishes, Ken Jones, The Pier Fisherman


Date: February 12, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Al V
Subject: Back Issues

I think you ran an article about bat rays in a back issue. My son has a report on this critter and apparently, there's very little out there on them.

Do you have a link where I can go to review this article?

I'd appreciate it.

Al V

Al,

First go the Fish of the Month Page. Next, go to the archives on the bottom of the page where you will find the report on bat rays.

Hope your son enjoys the article and let me know if you need any more information.

Best wishes, Ken Jones, The Pier Fisherman

Great!

Thanks for the info.

Al



Date: February 12, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: James P
Subject: Reports

Ken,

Thank you for your reply. Went fishing at the Eckley Pier this morning and nothing but mitten crabs. The pier was crowded today, with more than 15 anglers at the small fishing pier. One neighbor caught a kingfish, others caught one baby sturgeon (less than 15") and shaker striper. The mitten crabs at Suisun Bay by the pier were so bad that it's hard to keep the bait on the hook.

James

James,

Thanks for the note. I wondered if the mitten crabs would be a problem; they're becoming worse and worse.

Best wishes, Ken


Date: February 13, 1999

To: Ken Jones

From: Dion

Subject: Manhattan Beach Report

Hi Ken,
This pier is not yielding much at all. I'm starting to catch a few barred surfperch and walleye surfperch. Also, I'm catching a few jacksmelt and bat rays.

Dion

Hi Dion,

Thanks for your latest report. Is there any size to the bat rays?

Best wishes, Ken


Date: February 14, 1999

To: Ken Jones

From: Glen

Subject: Fish
Today I checked out the Golden Gate to see how the perch fishing fared. The recent herring spawn killed fishing there for a couple of weeks, but there have been rumors of good angling. An overstatement, from what I witnessed, but better than zero. Fort Point Pier was crawling with fishermen, yet in the hour I fished there (1/2 hour to the top of the tide and 1/2 hour of the outgoing) only one rubberlip was caught, albeit a nice one. Over at Fort Baker Pier it's still a lot of people crabbing and few fishermen. I got a nice pile perch and an okay black perch but that was it. Surf and waves were very strong, plus the outgoing tide was swift. However, the regulars on both piers assured me that they've had better luck in recent days. I need to get out to Berkeley Pier and scope out my spot (third light post from the end on the north side); always a good chance of large pile perch, black, perch, and white perch. The pier was deserted three days ago when I accompanied my son on a class field trip. Must be a reason. Glen (Songslinger)

Hi Glen,
Thanks for the info. Just wish this rain would end so that I could get out a little more.

Ken


Date: February 14, 1999

To: Ken Jones

From: Dave G

Subject: Crabs and a ? about lobster

Was fishing off the Trinidad Pier and B Street Pier in Crescent City about 2.5 weeks ago. I'm not a local so I can't give you regular reports. However, Trinidad was dead but Crescent City had lots of legal size Dungness. They liked turkey legs best.

Question is -- are there any piers (I'm guessing so. Cal) where there are lobster being caught?
Hi Dave,

Thanks for the report. As for lobster, the only reports I've gotten on them in some time was at the San Clemente Pier, but even there the results appeared sporadic. You really will not find any north of Gaviota.

Best wishes, Ken
Ken

Thanks for the report but where in the world is Gaviota? And, or are you telling me that I need a boat?

Dave
Dave,

The Gaviota Pier is about 30 miles north of Santa Barbara. I don't think you'll find any lobsters in northern California.

Sorry, Ken


Date: February 14, 1999

To: Pier Fishing in California Message Board

From: Alfred

Subject: Crockett
Spent three hours fishing off of the pier in Crockett on Sat. 2-13, just at high tide and after. Two hits on grass shrimp, two shaker stripers. The quest for starry flounder goes on. I may try Vallejo or Alameda next.

From: Ken Jones

Alfred,

Were you fishing off the Dowrellio Pier? I heard it was closed.

Ken, most of the pier is locked off, but a good portion is still open.


Date: February 15, 1999

To: Ken Jones

From: Andre H

Subject: HOT PIERS TO FISH


Ken,
I usually fish on lakes but this year I took up pier fishing. I was wondering if you could tell me some good places to go in Southern CA. I would appreciate any advice you might have for me.
Andre,

I'd be glad to recommend some piers for you to try but need to know what part of southern California you live in. You don't want to travel to far to a pier.

Let me know, Ken Jones, The Pier Fisherman

Ken,
I live in the Los Angeles area. But I try to do a little fishing everywhere. And definitely wouldn't mind traveling to find a really good spot. I'm currently involved in a group called the San Fernando BASS BUMS. Are there any similar groups for pier fishing or surf fishing?

Thank you in advance for your help. And I look forward to buying your book. Could I find "Pier Fishing in California" in one of my local tackle shops?

Andre'
Hi Andre,

As for your questions:

(1) Things are a little slow at the piers currently although I continue to get reports on some decent perch fishing at the Manhattan Beach Pier, mackerel at the Cabrillo Pier, a variety of fish at the Belmont Pier in Long Beach, and fairly good fishing at Seal Beach and Huntington Beach. Santa Monica sounds dead and I haven't received any recent reports on Venice Beach.

(2) There isn't an organization like Bass Bums although I'm trying to get together the "pier rats" of California. It may be time to organize something a little more formally.

(3) As for my book, I think it's getting harder and harder to find at book stores. You can order it through the site (see the merchandise page); it's cheaper and I'll get it to you in about a week.

Let me know which piers you try and your success.

Best wishes, Ken Jones, The Pier Fisherman


Date: February 16, 1999

To: Ken Jones

From: Steve R

Subject: Manhattan Beach Pier -- Saturday, February 14


I fished 5:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., mostly at the end of the pier, spooning out ground fish chum.

I caught and released a thornback ray, right around dawn, maybe 1 1/2 feet. I also caught 7 or 8 jacksmelt. There were occasional signs of other fish on the surface, mostly right at dawn.

Bait was bloodworms and frozen ghost shrimp. The jacksmelt were taken on a bait jig with 1/2 inch bits of bloodworm on the small hooks.

Others were fishing with cut mackerel and not having any luck.

I briefly checked out the pilings closer to shore for striper or barred surfperch but got no bites.

Steve,
Thanks for the report. Sounds like it is still a little slow down there. Can't even fish up here right now; 3 inches of rain in the last day. But, it will get better.

Best wishes, Ken


Date: February 17, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Mike M. Jones
Subject: Fishing the tracks in Martinez

Dear Ken,

Awesome page! I'm responding to an inquiry by Nate D. on 1/14/99. I fish that area a lot for strippers. I use two methods. First is typical hi-low rig. The second is my favorite. I use a 5-ft leader with a 0/2 hook at one end and a small loop at the other. Put on a slider with 6-10 oz. weight and a good snap swivel at the end. I usually can't get to the bait shop before it closes so I keep stock of whole anchovies. I use a threading needle and stick it into the (frozen) mouth and out the tail. Before pulling the end of the needle through the mouth I hook the loop on and pull the leader through with the eye of the hook in the mouth. This keeps the hook nicely flush against the head. I only use this technique with a baitcasting reel. When baited up, throw out and when you feel the weight hit the bottom tighten the line and pull the weight back to straiten the leader and then take up the remaining slack. Put the reel on clicker and open the bail (lever). The clicker prevents the spool from over spinning and is just enough to hold the line even with a strong current. Last is to sit back and wait until you hear the reel screaming as the fish has picked the bait up and is running with it. I prefer to let them run a little as to get them to start to swallow the bait. Last I put the rod tip down lock the lever letting the line tighten and set the hook HARD! This is a blast and you can have a lot of fun with it. I prefer it because shakers won't pick up baits that large. To get to this area take Barelessa St. over the railroad tracks and turn left. Take it to the end and park near the Union Pacific station. You will have to walk in as you cannot drive past the station anymore. I ask and sometimes they will let you drive in depending on who you ask. I hope this is useful to Nate. By the way could I have his e-mail address if you will give it to me or could you send him mine. I'd like to (hook) up with him since he seems to fish a lot of the same areas.

Thanks in advance and of course you can edit this.

M.J.

Hi Mike,
Thanks for the report and I'm sending it and your e-mail address on to Nate so that he can contact you.

PS, My son's name is also Mike, although he is Mike A Jones.

Best wishes and continued tight lines, Ken Jones



Date: February 17, 1999

To: Ken Jones

From: Suzi Geller

Subject: Exchanging Links

Dear Ken,

We came across your web site and found it very useful and informative.

We are in the process of building a links section on our web site at http://www.fishufa.com

We'd like to include a link for your site. Would you like to trade links with us? If so, please send us the complete URL and a brief description. You can use the text below to link to our site:

United Fishing Association (UFA) Making the world a better place to fish!

Please link to http://www.fishufa.com

Thank you for your time and looking forward to doing business with you!

Sincerely,

Suzi Geller


Date: February 18, 1999

To: Pier Fishing in California Message Board

From: Mamafats

Subject: Ventura Pier
Saturday the 13th, fishing was great! My Husband and I landed the following: 6 ea. skates, 1 California halibut (8" long) and a white croaker... We did hear earlier in the morning that 2 baby hammerheads were also landed. The weather was great until the wind kicked up, about 3 PM. The Channel Islands were crystal clear and absolutely breathtaking...While waiting for the 'big strike' we witnessed a very dangerous incident involving two teenage girls. Luckily for them their daily diary entry will be one of laughter and excitement and not one of sorrow....The girls decided for kicks to jump off the pier. As they were giggling their way back to shore, they realized they weren't swimming alone. A large seal decided to join in the fun ! As the seal's head bobbed next to them their screams shattered the silence and startled the seal. Those of us watching laughed until we were breathless...It was evident the Seal only wanted their company. As the seal disappeared, the fish took notice and started to nibble once again....Sunday the 14th turned out to be a wash...The wind was far too strong and cold. The pier started to rock. So, we called it a day. Catch y'all next time...Happy Fishing!

From: Felix

Great Report!!! I always like to include the little things that happen while I'm fishing in my own reports as well. I'm hoping to hit my local coastline this weekend so hopefully I'll have something entertaining to write about ......

From: Ken Jones

Mamafats,

I agree with Felix, it was a great report! It would be interesting to know if the people really caught two baby hammerhead sharks. Although hammerheads are VERY RARE in California, some have been caught. Some might have entered our waters during the El Nino and I suppose they might have had babies.

Keep up the good work, Ken



Date: February 19, 1999

To: Ken Jones

From: Roger S L

Subject: Redondo Harbor bonito
My buddy and I went out on Sunday morning 2/14 and only landed two each. We would have landed more but the bait barge only had sardines that were about 6-8 inches long. We would have caught a couple more but the bonnies couldn't swallow those big suckers. We fished off a little 8-foot boat right in front of the yacht club way inside the harbor. On yea, no sandies or flatties either at all, not as nibble.

Roger
Roger,

Is the bubble hole still shut off? One report said they had shut it off and the water in the harbor wasn't being warmed like most years.

Thanks, Ken


Date: February 20, 1999

To: Ken Jones

From: Dion

Subject: Manhattan Beach Pier Report

Hi Ken,
The Bat Rays at Manhattan are mostly small ones. I estimate the size to be around 12 inches in length excluding the stinger from head to tail.

Today's fishing report -- I caught around 30 walleye surfperch, ranging from 4 inches to around 10 inches, most of them in the 7 to 8 inches range. The bait of choice for these critters were using multihook jig like a Lucky Laura or a Bait Caster. Using mussels as bait, I hooked up 5 yellofin croakers. This day makes up for the past two weeks where I was lucky to catch anything.

I'm not sure if chumming is legal in the state of California. I guess the fishing was good today because there was one guy dumping bread crumbs in the water. He was no catch and release fisherman, he kept everything he caught. Is this type of fishing legal?

Dion

Hi Dion,

Yes, chumming is legal from saltwater piers and one of the best ways to catch fish. As for keeping everything you catch, that's a true waste. People should only keep what they will eat or, in the case of mackerel, keep a few fish for bait.

Best wishes and enjoy what sounds like pretty good perch fishing.

Ken

Hi Ken,
Thanks for letting me know about chumming off the pier. The next time I have stale bread or work in a fish market part time, I will give chumming a try.

Anyway, I went back to MBP and arrived there around 5:30 AM. Parking was a plenty. I took the first spot closet to the pier. As I stepped out of my car, I could hear the waves crashing against the piling (a ka-toosh sound) and a crashing roar onto the sand. It was low tide at that time. The bubbles from the waves went from the shoreline all the way up almost to the end of the pier.

As I arrived at the foot of the pier, I noticed a trash can knocked over and its content poured out everywhere. As I continued my journey up the pier, I saw that all of the trash cans were knocked over and their content was everywhere. I felt sorry for the janitor who comes to the pier every day to clean the pier. Normally there is only a few pieces of trash laying around, but that's it. This pier is usually clean.

When I finally arrived at the end of the pier, I noticed that I was the first one there. I rigged up my first pole with a high-low setup and baited it with the mussels that were left over from a previous fisherman. I love using dry mussels because they stay on the hook really well. I also can cut them up into smaller pieces and I find them almost as effective as fresh mussels. I cast this line about 5 feet from the end of the pier using a 4 ounce sinker. Some of the waves reached past my head as the waves crashed against the pilings.

I set up my second pole with a Lucky Laura and waited for sunrise. At 6 AM I got a bite and brought up a yellowfin croaker. It was approximately 8 inches in length. After unhooking the fish, I was admiring its beauty when it jumped out of my hand and into the litter filled pier. It was literally dancing in the trash. I grabbed the fish and tossed him over the railing. I rebaited my pole and tossed it about 5 feet from the pier.

Around 6:15 AM, I had enough light to use my jig. Around 6:30 AM I brought up my first corbina of the year using the high low leader. It was a 12 incher. I admired its beauty and then tossed it back into the water. I put another piece of mussel and tossed my line about 5 feet away from the pier. Minutes later, I hooked a big one. It was still kind of dark so I really don't know what it was. It gave me a pretty good fight. I was thinking about that illusive striped bass, but I was never able to conquer or to fully control him. After fighting with the fish for a little over a minute, my 6-lb line snapped when I tried to get him away from the pilings under the pier. The janitors drove onto the pier and cleaned up the trash.

About 6:40 AM, another fisherman arrived with me and we fished together for awhile. No bites. Around 7 AM, two more person joined us and still no bites till around 7:45 AM. This kid landed a 12 inch yellowfin croaker. He kept it in his bag. At 8 AM, I called it quits and went home.
________________________________________________________________________________

Date: February 20, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: papafats and mamafats
Subject: Question of the Month

Yup! our favorite pier is Ventura ! We enjoy the fun, excitement, and on a clear winter day the view of the Channel Islands. Quite spectacular! As you look at the islands you think about what the seas were like during the days of the Chumash Indian Tribes. As you sit on the pier try imagining a Chumash Chief fighting large fishing game with a hand made spear and line in order to feed and warm his family. Now try imagining this same Chumash Chief is fishing from a small canoe!! Amazing!

You never know what you'll see or experience while fishing or just strolling on a lazy afternoon or evening.

During the summer you can be sure to play 'line tag' with a few sharks and rays! The dolphins visit regularly in July, August and September.

Spring time can guarantee regular visits by the local seal population. I hear the halibut stop by in March to check out the local action. I hope one stops by my line this year!

So Ken for now I must say I love the Ventura Pier!

Regards, Mamafats

PS, Many German and British tourists love to stop and talk. I love to see their faces as they talk about the versatility of visiting the California coastline, mountains and especially the National Parks.

Hi Mamafats,

You guys sound like true "pier rats". At times the fishing is truly secondary to the life on and around the pier; it's a true experience -- and good for the soul.

Best wishes, Ken


Date: February 21, 1999

To: Ken Jones

From: Snookie

Subject: Bonefish at Balboa Pier

Dear Ken,
Here's one for the books. Thursday, February 18, I caught a bonefish at the Balboa Pier. I was fishing the surf area with bloodworms when I caught him. He is definitely a bonefish (Albula vulpes). My pictures have yet to be processed. I have the fish in my freezer. None of my fishing friends ever remember a bonefish being caught locally. They are listed in my books. According to the books they only grow to one and a half feet here.

I will send you my full report on fishing at Balboa Pier next week, but I thought you would like to read this right away.

Snookie
Hi Snookie,

What a fantastic catch -- one for the books. How long was the fish? Be sure to send me a picture if they turn out good; people deserve to see the fish.

By the way, I've never seen a bonefish at a pier although I've heard of a few being caught in San Diego Bay. Just wonder, did the fish fight as well as they're noted for?

Thanks for the note and I'm still hoping to get down there over Easter vacation.

Best wishes, Ken


Date: February 20, 1999

To: Ken Jones

From: Matt S

Subject: Piller Point "Disappointment"
Hey Ken,

Well, I attempted a trip to the old pier today and I should have stayed home. No one was around to do anything so I decided to spend the day at the pier. When I got there, there was only a light sprinkle and no wind at all. There were a few Chinese people already there and all they had were a couple of large rock crabs and two small rock fish (hardly big enough to keep). This was just the beginning of my bad luck Well, The rain started to pour ten minutes after I set out my line and the wind was going at least 30 mph. I was wet, cold and numb. I decided to leave. Then my rod fell from the wind and I chipped a portion of my spool on my NEW Alvey reel off. AAAAAA!!!! I was so mad! Anyhow, I walked away without even a bite (the horror that we as anglers must face) and called for my dad at the pay phone. Not to mention, I wasted my just earned ten bucks on bait and tackle that I hardly used. Climb the ladder Matt, climb the ladder . . . . .

Matt

P.S.- I had a conversation with this guy waiting at the harbor masters office and it appears that the whales are on the run. He was waiting with his wife to go on a whale watching trip so now is the time to keep your eyes peeled for 'em out there.

P.S.S.- Time to start biting your nails again about Pacifica Pier. Extremely large and dangerous waves have actually been breaching the pier. She's a tough one but she is getting old and those huge swells are pounding in.
Hi Matt,

Sorry to hear about your trip and the misfortune to your new reel. Just got a report from our new reporter at the Balboa Pier who said she caught a bonefish at the pier, a truly rare fish for a California pier.

As for Pacifica, I'm preparing a story on the pier and its possible closure. Has there been anything in the local papers about the possibility? I'll send you a copy when I'm finished.

Better luck on your next trip, Ken

Hey Ken,


No, I haven't read anything in the papers about the closure of the pier. I talked with one of the people at the bait shop and they said that the pier might not close down until the next season is over (around October maybe?) Anyway, I was thinking about possibly starting a petition or something for the pier and I agree, we have to put some pressure on these people. I am going to call the bait shop soon so I'll mail you when I get some more info.

Matt

P.S.- Finally some nice weather! If the waves let up, I'm going to hit Pacifica this weekend.
Hi Matt,

I plan to spearhead a campaign on the pier and will let you know the details as soon as I figure them out myself.

Good luck fishing, Ken


Date: February 22, 1999

To: Ken Jones

From: Leslie Melcher

Subject: UFA Information Request

Mr. Jones,
I am sending you a press kit plus info. maybe we can feature pier fishing as an alliance, should you be interested.

regards

Leslie Melcher

Chief Technical Director

United Fishing Association

914-328-3535


Date: February 23, 1999
To: Ken Jones

From: Jared P

Subject: question

Where is the best southern California pier to catch big!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! sharks.

a fellow pier rat,

Jared P

Jared,

In regard to big sharks, it's hard to say. Santa Monica used to be pretty fair but I haven't heard of anything for quite some time. Belmont and Ventura get quite a few sharks but most are fairly small. Goleta sees some fairly decent action at times. Redondo and Newport, since they are close to deep water, should get some big ones. But, again, I haven't heard of much recently. About the only place I've heard of big sharks recently was Cayucos and that's not really in the south.

I guess if I had to make one suggestion at this time I would suggest soaking some mackerel at Redondo at night.

Let me know if you try it,

Best wishes, Ken
Thank you for replying. I will definitely try Redondo. Also, a few days ago I took a trip to the Newport Beach Pier. Here is a report: The fishing is pretty bad right now. Anglers caught a few perch and a couple mackerel. I started fishing at the end of the pier and caught nothing but a small stingray. Later in the day I moved to the surf part of the pier. 15 minutes after casting my line out I hooked into a 3-4 ft. shovelnose shark. I hooked into many others around the same size. I was using a 2 hook rig. The bait they were hitting on were big chunks of mackerel and heads of salted anchovies.

Jared

Thanks for the report Jared, I'll get it into the monthly report.

Best wishes and good fishing,

Ken


Date: February 23, 1999

To: Ken Jones

From: Snookie

Subject: Balboa Pier Report

Dear Ken,
I have to send my pier report today as I will be out of state for almost a week.

Today, Tuesday, February 23, was the best since the first of the year. The live bait (smelt) have returned en masse. There's all sizes as well. They were very near shore. All that was caught though was a 20 1/2 inch halibut by Noble, but at least there's now a chance with the good bait. To have the bait return certainly lifts the spirit and the possibility of catching something.

We were graced with the presence of a bat ray that was well over a hundred pounds. He was in about three feet of water just paralleling the shore. What a beautiful sight!

A couple weeks ago one fellow caught a bucket of small yellowfin croaker using mussels. No, he was not concerned with violating any laws. He was just hungry!

We have been getting the small yellowfin croakers too, plus some nice big barred surf perch. Those were hitting the bloodworms.

We are seeing lots of corbina in the surf, but we are not having any luck catching them. The "snaggers" caught some when the water was clear enough to see them.
Of course you know about my bonefish. Yes, he was what we consider a small fish as fish go, but for the bonefish size here, you can say he was half grown. They grow to 18 inches on our coast, and mine was 9 inches. They are right when they say they put up a fight. When I return I will get those
pictures to you.

We are still watching the whales coming north now. We had a small pod of common dolphins through today with one very small baby. That was very interesting as they stayed around long enough for us to observe the baby.

The mackerel fishermen have not been doing well on the end. This will improve soon.

I have a fishing buddy who is in his 80's who says that he caught two bonefish up in the back bay many years ago. They were also the same size as mine. I'm sure he knows his fish to know his were definitely bonefish.

That's pretty much it for now. I hope by next month I'll have an interesting report for everyone. March can be an exciting month. With the water the coldest in at least five years we'll see what happens.
Snookie

Snookie,

Thanks for the report and have a good trip. Look forward to your next report and seeing you down south,

Best wishes, Ken



Date: February 23, 1999

To: Ken Jones

From: Dave C

Subject: New updated pier fishing book

Ken,
With all of the fishing pier closures and new piers that have been constructed. I would like to know if you are going to publish a new edition of your pier fishing book. I have really enjoyed the Pier Fishing book you wrote. My copy is almost worn out. I have put a lot of what I have learned from your book to use and caught more fish from piers.

Thank You, Dave

Hi Dave,

Yes, I'm almost finished with the second edition although it looks like I will have to publish it myself (which is a little risky). The book is about 50% bigger and, I think, much better written than the first edition. It's also much more thorough.

Hope to have it finished and published this summer.

Thanks for your interest and comments,

Best wishes, Ken Jones, The Pier Fisherman



Date: February 24, 1999

To: Ken Jones

From: Jim A

Subject: weekly or monthly info. on piers in the Bay Area
I fish the Dumbarton Pier, Candlestick Piers, and Oyster Point Pier. I check your sight ever month and you said you needed information on these piers. I fish these piers every weekend!! and i would be glad to give you weekly or monthly reports. I love your sight, it tells me what piers are hot and which ones are a waste of time. If you are interested in my information, e-mail me back with a confirmation.


Jim,

I would love to have your reports and will make you the reporter for those piers if you can send me information.

What I need is a report around the 25th of each month telling what is being caught on the piers, and what bait/lures people are using to catch the fish. Also, any additional information -- big fish, unusual fish, notable news, makes the report even more interesting.

Thanks, and I look forward to your reports.

Best wishes, Ken Jones, The Pier Fisherman



Date: February 25, 1999

To: Ken Jones

From: Steve Caputo

Subject: San Clemente Pier
How come I never see a report on San Clemente Pier? I fish there maybe twice a month & I feel the action there is decent. It seems every time I visit your site there is the same old message. It says the fishin' is slow or almost non existent. Who is giving this info & how often?

Hi Steve,

I agree -- I would love to have more reports. The reports to date have been from the bait shop which tends to be fairly good in the summer but sparse during the winter when they're closed most of the time. Been looking for a reporter for the pier and would love to have you be that person if you fish it regularly.

What do you say? If you're interested, I need a report around the 25th of each month. Include what fish are being caught, where, and on what bait they are being caught, and any large or unusual fish you happen to see, Also, any upcoming notes of interest like fishing contests.

Hope you're interested!

Best wishes, Ken Jones, The Pier Fisherman


Hi Ken ,
I think I'll take you up on that offer. I'm going tonight to the pier so I won't be able to give a report till Mon. I hope we can get it in, if not there's always next month. Let me know what you need from me and I will get it to you. This is all I need another excuse to go fishin' my wife is gonna love this.(jk) Actually she is very supportive of my obsession, & lets me go anytime I need or want to, lucky me.


May your rod always be bent,


Steve Caputo

Steve,

Monday will be fine -- and I'll get it on this month's report.

Thanks, Ken



Date: February 26, 1999

To: Ken Jones

From: Don Larson

Subject: Sturgeon Page Message Board

Sturgeon enthusiasts-
The Sturgeon Page has been updated with a Guestbook and a Message Board. Please stop by and include your comments or questions. This is the only message board dedicated to sturgeon that I am aware of, and it can become a tremendous resource if we all contribute. It can be reached from the
Contents or the Fishing Section of the SturgeonPage

http://www.worldstar.com/~dlarson

Thank you for your continued support.

Fish on...

Don Larson



Date: February 27, 1999
To: Mark Jackson
From: Ken Jones
Subject: Newport Pier

Mark,

I wanted to thank you for the information about the Aliso Pier, even though the news was bad. I've been following the news of the pier for some time and find it hard to believe that the county cannot find the resources to rebuild the pier -- but I'm not totally surprised. Hopefully, funding may be found down the road for a rebuild.

Am wondering, is there any chance you would be willing to be the reporter for the Newport Pier? All it would take would be a report around the 25th of each month telling me what the anglers are catching and where and how they are catching the fish. The pier is one of my favorites but I've never been able to find anyone that would make a report each month. Newport was the first pier I fished and I would love to have a report on it each month!

What ever your decision, thank you very much for the information. Perhaps I can meet you on one of my trips to the southland; I always try to stop at Newport when I make a trip south.

Best wishes, Ken Jones, The Pier Fisherman

Dear Ken,


I would be more than happy to be a reporter for the Newport Pier. I normally fish from the Balboa Pier as it's only a five minute walk from my house. I walk up on the pier and check in the some friends from school that are dory fisherman everyday. Last Saturday, I did o.k... fishing in the surf at the Newport pier. A big road trip for me. I came up with three barred surfperch and two corbina. I used sand crabs that I screened the day before. I know you have a family so you can appreciate that fact I don't have much time to fish with a 3 and 5 year old in the house. And the real estate market is booming, so I need to make it while it's here. Anyway, the action at the Balboa Pier has been slow. Night fishing seems to be the best with decent sized scorpions and a few hornback rays. I've landed a few tom cod the past few months. I caught a 12-inch Halibut yesterday morning (released, of course). I seem to catch them on salted mackerel. Newport Pier has been slow also. Mostly just locals fishing with salted mackerel or squid. A few mackerel, but pretty slow the last month. The dory fisherman are not having a good month. Typical whitings and cod, but not much mackerel. I'm sure you saw the article on the stripers being caught at the river jetty. I just haven't' had time to get down and try it. If I do, I'll let you know. A questions for you. One of my neighbors told me to blanch my sand crabs in boiling water and turn them orange. Have you ever heard of this being done? I wonder if the coloration attracts fish? I wonder if fish would think it looked like the row found under a crab? Thanks for all the good information in your book.

Sincerely, Mark Jackson
Dear Mark,

Thanks for the information; it will be put in this month's report. The reason I mentioned the Newport Pier is that I also have Snookie reporting on the Balboa Pier. Two reporters for one pier is fine, but it would be also nice if I could get some information on the Newport Pier (and Snookie apparently only fishes on the Balboa Pier). In addition, since Newport was the first pier I fished, it has always held a special attraction for me.

By the way, do you know Snookie? Apparently she has been fishing on the pier for over fifty years and has a regular group that she fishes with. I'm looking forward to meeting both of you when I make my trip(s) down south.

As for your kids and business, I perfectly understand. I'm a teacher up here in Mendocino County and have been so busy the past few months with an accreditation that I've hardly had a chance to fish. However, I just finished the big report this week and plan to do some serious fishing if the rain ever stops (and it hasn't for about the past six weeks).

In regard to the sand crabs, I've heard of people blanching them but I've never done it. I almost always recommend live bait if you can get it. Unfortunately, sand crabs die after a day or so and I guess blanching might help preserve them. Generally, when I've had ghost shrimp or sand crabs that have died, I put them in some rock salt. It preserves them and also seems to toughen them up. But it might be worth an experiment to see if blanched crabs are good bait. I know that if you buy shrimp that have been blanched (which turns them red), they are not as good a bait.

Got to go but thanks again for the articles you sent as well as your information. Newport is one of my favorite towns but I'm not too sure I could afford to live there any more with houses costing what they do. Good for you, bad for me. But I do visit whenever I get the chance.

Right now, I am hoping to come down to the southland over the Easter break and if I do, I will make a point of stopping in and seeing you.

Best wishes, Ken


Date: February 27, 1999

To: Zoy Hann

From: Ken Jones

Subject: Gaviota

Hi Zoy,

Just wondered if you hit Gaviota lately?

Ken


Fishing has really been terrible at Gaviota this month. Made two trips the last one being 15 Feb 99. I caught zero for the first time in about 4 years. The totals for the whole pier were 2 small surfperch and a small round ray. The water is cloudy and the wind has been brutal all month.

 
Update about the repairs at the pier. According to the rangers, replacement of the pier pilings will begin March 1st, so the pier will be closed. Repairs to the water pipeline are scheduled to be complete April 15. If all goes well the target date to re-open the pier is July 31, 1999. When finished, there is supposed to be a new boat hoist too. Presumably the campground will re-open at the same time as the pier.


Date: February 27, 1999

To: Glen

From: Ken Jones

Subject: Berkeley Pier/Point Pinole

Hi Glen,

Just wondered if you ever made it over to the Berkeley Pier?

Ken
Yes, I've been to Berkeley Pier twice in the last week. The first time it was very slow, only a half-dozen fish caught for some seven or eight anglers. Black and white perch, kingfish, a bullhead, a nice 24" striper -- that was pretty much it. This morning I saw a bunch of overnighters coming off the pier. They did fairly well with kingfish and perch on the top of the night tide and during the moderate outgoing into dawn. Water is very muddy right now and perch are slow to bite. Kingfish are responding to cut anchovies and blood worms. Zero flounder. Some smelt have come in. Over at Point Pinole Pier, the last two Wednesdays I walked out there, the pier was completely deserted. On the low tide there were a few bullheads and crab robberies, and on the high tide there was nothing at all. Party boats nearby have reported egg-laden mitten crabs getting tangled in their customers' lines.
Anyway the water has looked so bad lately that I've headed in opposite directions, getting a good catfish run in the South Delta last week, and early this afternoon some challenging angling in at Slide Ranch (between Muir and Stinson Beaches). A long dangerous hike down a steep grade took me into a precarious rock and reef shore. I lost a lot of tackle and an equal amount of patience for the first hour, then decided to work the riffles just below me. In ten minutes I had a 13" striped perch and a 13" pile perch, totaling 7 pounds. Then the surf went wild and stayed that way, bringing it all to an infuriating halt. Also gone were any notions of poke poling I had in mind for the negative tide. Should have gone to Fort Baker. There are monkeyface eels hanging by the rocks right now, and rubberlips and striped perch off the pier. Oh well, can't fish everywhere. Maybe I'll get out to Eckley this week. Got a new Daiwa spinning reel I'm anxious to try out on the sturgeon.

Glen
Glen,

Thanks for the info.

Be careful on those trails. I almost took a header going down a trail near Albion River a few years ago and would have suffered some pretty good injuries if I hadn't been able to stop the fall. We were going after abalone which sometimes means out-of-the-way spots off the beaten track. Maybe one of these days I can show you a pretty good rock fishing spot over by Point Arena. It's private (so I have to get permission) but almost always produces a lot of decent-sized sea trout, perch and cabezon.

Best wishes, Ken



Date: February 28, 1999

To: Ken Jones

From: Dion

Subject: Manhattan Beach Pier Report

Hi Ken,
On my arrival, the pier was semi-crowded. I walked around the Marine Musuem and saw a few smelt in the buckets. I then walked towards the Cafe side of the pier and started fishing there. The tide was high and the surf was full of surfers looking for the big wave. I fished behind them and caught a few smelt back to back to back using cut pieces of shrimp for bait on a high low leader. Everybody moved to where I was fishing and I moved to the musuem side of the pier and fished there for an hour. I caught 6 more smelt, 2 yellowfin croaker, and 3 small walleye surfperch using the same bait.

As I was leaving the pier, I saw a few yellowfin croakers and some smelt in people's buckets. The current was strong going north. It made no sense for fishing on the end nor did in the shallow with the surfers.

Dion


Date: February 28, 1999

To: Ken Jones

From: Mark Grim

Subject: Monthly Fishing Report


Hi Ken,

Here is my report for month.

Eckley Pier
This pier is now open and is really a great looking place to fish. The scenery is beautiful and the pier has been very nicely constructed. There are lots of picnic tables and nicely shaded areas to take in the views of the Carquinez Strait, Crockett Bridge, and the many ships passing close by. The pier has 2 wind shelters, several benches, and a cleaning station. There are restrooms at the base of the pier and in the picnic area. The pier has a cement floor, and kid-proof sides (I took my 3 year old out and didn't have to worry about jumping in after him), and a gap just beneath the wooden top rail that is great for a rod holder. On my visit to the pier I didn't catch anything with the anchovies and grass shrimp that I tried. The pier seems to be a great place for sturgeon, striped bass, flounder, and at the right time of the year -- salmon. I'll make this pier a regular stop -- a great place for the family to play while I get some fishing in.

Martinez Pier
Fishing continues slow lately. I was able to catch 3 small striped bass off of anchovies during a one hour visit to the pier. I had no bites using grass shrimp in hopes of hooking one of the big sturgeon that are in the area.

Antioch Bridge Pier

There are lots of small stripers biting here. I couldn't keep them off my hooks! I was using cut anchovies and I usually had a fish hooked before the bait had hit the bottom. The largest striper that I caught was 15 inches in length before I ran out of bait.

Mark,

Thanks once again for your hard work,

Best wishes, Ken


Date: February 28, 1999

To: Jim Ackerman

From: Ken Jones

Subject: Piers in the Bay Area

Hi Jim,

Any new reports on the piers?

Best wishes, Ken


Hello Ken,
Actually yes there is news. I landed two leopard sharks just over three feet on small cuts of squid at the Dumbarton Pier Sun. I just used a 60lb. sturgeon leader. Other people on the pier caught a few kingfish on just a small piece of anchovy. My friend went out on his boat last Saturday to Dumbarton between the bridge and the train tracks and landed two sturgeon. One 50"er and a 64" 92-lb'er WOW!!!! Nice fish!!! I'll keep you posted.

Jim


Jim,

Thanks for the report.

Ken


Date: February 28, 1999

To: Ken Jones

From: Steve Caputo

Subject: San Clemente Pier Report

Ken,

Here's the report.
The bite at San Clemente pier seems to be sporadic lately, but that doesn't mean that a few lucky anglers aren't getting fish. I received reports of some smaller barred & even the occasional walleyed perch being caught by anglers who are keeping an eye on the tidal movements. I also received a first hand report of a 30-40 lb bat ray being caught off the end of the pier. This may or may not fall under the tall tale category, but it was confirmed by his fishin'' buddy. I believe that with the tides becoming better and the weather getting warmer that the bite here should take off any day. I hope to see you out there, till then, may your rod always be bent! Steve Caputo.

Steve, Thanks for the report!!!

Best wishes, Ken


Date: February 28, 1999
To: Steve Rothman
From: Ken Jones
Subject: Redondo Beach Pier

Hi Steve,

Just wondered if you ever fish over at the Redondo Beach Pier?

Ken
I fished yesterday at the Redondo Sportfishing Pier, a private pier that functions as a sportfishing landing and also has a pleasant coffee shop /restaurant. It is half a mile from the much larger public Redondo Beach pier. I guess you know that, since I think it's in your book.

I have fished at Redondo Beach Pier, but the last time was easily a couple of years ago. As you probably also know, they rebuilt the pier within the last few years, greatly expanding it. It now has an unusual semicircular shape, and extends well out into deep water. The surf area of the pier is covered with shops and restaurants. As a result, there is little or no surf area fishing, but better deep water access than many piers give.

I have heard that lately they have mostly been catching mackerel there, but I also heard that one striped bass was also recently caught there. I read somewhere that there's a particular time of morning when a restaurant on the pier dumps squid trimmings from its food preparation, and that the fish have learned this and hang out there.

Although it's regarded as a better fishing pier than most locally, I don't prefer to fish there. There isn't a dedicated bait and tackle shop. Although I think you can get various frozen or dead baits at various shops on the pier, I don't think there is anywhere to go for advice or an extensive selection of tackle. Although there is a lot of fishing area, there are usually so many people fishing there that it can take a while to find a space at the rail, and you are unlikely to get your choice of spots. Also, most of the people fishing there seem to be Hispanic or other immigrants, and because of language barriers I find less camaraderie than at some piers. Finally, because of the size of the pier and the number of shops at the shore end, it is a relatively long walk from the parking to the fishing area.

By contrast, the Redondo Sportfishing Pier has the sportfishing landing, which doubles as a tackle shop and bait store. They cheerfully give advice and can sell you anything you need (except they don't usually have live bait lately, although they do have a live bait well inside; maybe they only carry
live bait in the summer, or maybe they've stopped, I'm not sure). The coffee shop is open very early, probably because the party boats start to load early. By mid-morning on a weekend there are several of the outdoors tables next to the coffee shop taken, often with families with children. The atmosphere is pleasant, and the predominant language is English. It's a small pier, and all of the parking lot, the coffee shop, the fishing area, and the landing / bait shop are just a short walk from each other.

Only problem is the fishing stinks. Rumor has it that the Southern California Edison electric plant has not been blowing hot water out into the harbor like it used to, so the bonito are not around.

This weekend there were plenty of fish around the pier, mostly small senorita, that I could chum up to where you could see them with peas and small squid bits. But these are incredibly savvy fish. Even when they were scooping up all the squid bits I dropped, I couldn't get one to take a size 10 hook which I imbedded into a squid bit to conceal it. They would swim up, stop and look at it, and turn away.

I'm going to try again next weekend. I'm going to bring some 6x or 7x fly line tippet and some tiny trout hooks (these are mostly small fish). Maybe they were seeing the line.

Steve,

Thanks for the report and god luck on catching those elusive little fish under the pier (I've fished for them many timers).

Best wishes, Ken