Visitor Comments and Letters - March '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: March 2, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Scott D
Subject: Pier Book
I'm just getting into pier fishing and would go almost anywhere for good fishing. A lot of the piers seem to do well for "regulars," but I can't go very often since it is always about a 2-3 hour drive to any pier. Is your book designed to help us novices know how, when, and where to fish on different piers throughout the year, or is it tips for people who fish piers regularly so that they can improve over the course of a year? I would love to meet someone who actually knew what they were doing so that I could learn first hand what to do. I usually have very minimal success at Pismo, the closest pier to where I live. I'm looking to maybe try Ventura and San Clemente either in the day or at night, but I don't want to spend a whole night wasting time because I don't know what I'm doing. I fresh water fish all the time, but that doesn't seem to help much. Would your book help me much? Is it available through somewhere like Barnes and Noble, so that I could view it first? And, where do you usually fish? Do you ever meet up with new fishermen to pass on the trade, or are you more of a solitary fisherman? Any advice would be helpful.
Thanks, Scott

Hi Scott,
In answer to your question, the book is designed for all anglers. It covers the basics but also tries to present some ideas that even experienced anglers can use.
As for finding the book, it was in most major book chains although I gather it is becoming increasingly hard to find. You might check your local library. If not available, you can order it through the site.
As for my fishing, it is primarily in northern California and the Bay Area although I take at least one, sometimes more trips down the coast each year visiting as many piers as possible. Most years I fish on at least 50 different piers.
As for your last question, no I've never set up fishing clinics as such. However, I readily share my information with anglers whenever the situation warrants it. I have been considering setting up dates this summer when people who view my site could meet and share information. The meetings would take place at various piers along the coast and would allow the various "pier rats" to finally come together as a group. But so far it is just an idea; I need to find out if the viewers of the site would be interested.
Anyway, we need to find a way to help you catch some fish so keep in touch with your questions.
Best wishes for now, Ken

Thanks for the reply. I will definitely get the book. I will see if I can order it through Barns and Noble or just send in the order to you on the address listed on the web page. Probably the latter, so that I can get it autographed. I'll keep fishing so keep the inf. coming. I love the idea of clinics and/or meetings, but I have a feeling that if you put it out, hundreds of people would show up and there would be no way for everybody to fish. It would be great if some of the regulars at each pier would get together and say on this date we will fish this pier and help any rookies who show up. Most of the pier rats are very friendly, but it's hard for a rookie to hook up with them. I plan to be up in the Bay area some time in the next few months to try out one of the piers. Anyway, keep the inf. flowing.


Date: March 2, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Mark Jacksom
Subject: Newport Pier/Balboa Pier
Dear Ken,

I would really like to meet Snookie. I only get the chance to fish in the morning from about 4:00 a.m. to 6:30 a.m. And sometimes at night after the kids are fed, bathed and put to bed. Yesterday, on the Balboa Pier, I caught a giant sand crab. It was the size of a tennis ball. It looked just the sand crabs I use for bait, but giant. I think I'll take one of small disposable camera for when I come up with something unusual. No mackerel at Newport Pier today. I may go to Newport tonight as the moon is full and the surf has been big. Min, one of the guys I fish with at Balboa, landed two barred surfperch this morning. No one else fishing this morning. Lots of dolphin in the water and the bait boats have been working close in so there is bait in the water, just no fish close to shore. Oh, the last time I screened for sand crabs, I can up with about 10 soft shells. The key to screening seems to be going at low tide and waiting for the large sets of waves to come in before placing the screen in the water. Then I walk backwards and use my feet to kind of dig up the sand before it hits the screen. I can get five or six crabs on each try. It's good for me to get out in the water. I put on my trunks and my wet suit booties and I'm good for 1/2 hour before I get cold. Talk to you soon!
Best Wishes, Mark Jackson

Hi Mark,
I gather Snookie is out of town currently but as soon as she returns I'll make sure you two connect.
As for the fishing, if the bait is moving in the larger fish should be right behind,
Good fishing, Ken


Date: March 2, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Matt S
Subject: Pacifica
Hey Ken,

I called the pier the other day and talked with the lady at the bait shop. I brought up the issue of the pier closing and she said she has no idea about it. She said she knew about the new facilitation plant and there could be a possible closure, but It's not that likely (I hope). Anyhow, I really want to get out there because I just converted an old bunny cage that I got from a garage sale for free, into a crab trap. It really is neat. Anyway if the weather stays nice and I get out there I'll mail you a report and tell you how it was.
Matt
PS.- Do you know when the seasons next striper run usually happens at Pacifica?

Matt,
Used to be the stripers moved in during the late spring months. Given the unusual appearances the last couple of years it is hard to say.
Best wishes, Ken


Date: March 4, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Glen
Subject: Pogies
Hi Ken.
Just checked out your new updates and was looking at the Paradise Pier report. The term "pogies" refers to black perch. Don't know where the term originates, but I've heard it used mostly from Black anglers on the shore, and most of us perch fishermen have placed it in our everyday fishing vernacular. Might be a local--Bay Area--phenomenon (it can't have come from Porgie, can it?). Accuracy is at a premium, however, when it comes to species among folks around here. I've heard people call black perch rubberlips (and I've learned to discount reports of rubberlips until I see it with my own eyes), white perch called silver perch or splittail perch, barred perch called calico perch, and too often striped perch called rainbow perch. I've long since given up on correcting anyone because people tend to know what they know -- and no one likes a smartass.
Right now, black perch are spawning. So are pile perch. I haven't seen white perch for some time. My guess is that they're getting black and pile perch in the Marin area just like over here in the East Bay. I went out today at the Frontage Road in Berkeley and got 3 black perch and 1 pile perch, all nice sizes. Three of the were female, so loaded with babies they were about to burst. (Also got a 19" striper the day before in the same place. No one else got anything both days, and currently I'm the subject of irritation and frustration among my peers there -- o I'll lay low for a while!) With the spawning and warm and drier weather, the perch bite is finally breaking wide open. Hard keeping them when they're about to give birth, however. I'll probably catch-and-release for the next few weeks.
Later! Glen
PS: thanks for the mention in the pier reports. . .

Glen,
Thanks for the information. You're absolutely right about the misidentification of fish; it's a problem which never fails to amaze me.
Best wishes and get some fish,
Ken


Date: March 4, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Angelo M
Subject: license required (pier fishing)?
Our students will have an excursion the next few weeks and we want to make sure that we won't violate any laws.
Can you send us information on this issues.
Thank you in advance.

Angelo,
Anglers do not need a fishing license if they are fishing from a public pier in saltwater. However, if they are fishing on piers inside the Carquinez Strait up to the delta, they would need a license. A license is not need on piers in San Francisco bay or San Pablo Bay. Of course, no students need a license until they are sixteen.
Let me know if you want more information,
Best wishes, Ken Jones, The Pier Fisherman


Date: March 6, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Kenneth P
Subject: Crabs and shrimp
To whom it may concern:
This site is exactly what I was looking for all these years. I lived in the Santa Barbara/Goleta/Isla Vista region during 1995 to 1997. I went pier fishing at Goleta Pier and Stern's Wharf on a regular basis (5-6 times a week)and caught several species of fish from rubber lip perch to swell sharks; however, the one species of marine life that I have yet to identify is the large, red, stone crab. The largest I have caught was 5 feet in span and 17 pounds. I have come close to identifying this crab as a "decorator crab." Could you verify this? Also, the fisherman's market sells a species of shrimp that is red, hard shelled and sweet tasting. Can you tell me what this shrimp is called?
Thank You, Ken P

Ken,

I wish I could help you but your question is the same one I've had myself. Most of those big crabs are simply called spider crabs but there should be a more specific designation. Check back on my games 'n things pages and you'll find some information that might help you out regarding spider crabs and a crab that was caught at Pacifica (I think it was the next to last games 'n things page). Take a look at the picture and let me know if it is the same type of crab you are talking about.

I'm not sure what type of shrimp they are selling.
By the way, do you still fish, and if so, where?
Best wishes, Ken Jones, The Pier Fisherman


Date: March 6, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Chris
Subject: fishing pages
Hi,
Do you have any knot tying fishing pages?

Hi Chris,
There is a link on my link's page to a knot tying page.
Best wishes, Ken


Date: March 6, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Matt S
Subject: Pacifica - Early Season
Hey Ken,

I thought that I'd let you know that I called the bait shop today and it turns out that they have been catching some stripers for the last couple of days! I couldn't believe that they were arriving out so soon. Anyway, this inspired me to try to hit the pier tomorrow so that's where I am headed with Jimmy. I am really depressed though because it's getting harder and harder for me to find people to fish with. All of my friends don't have much interest in it anymore and I am the only outdoorsman in my family. I just really got to make some new friends who share the same interests as I do. Anyway, If I still go to the pier tomorrow, I will E-mail you a report.
Matt
PS.- I made this really cool crab trap out of an old rabbit cage that I got for free from my next door neighbor. It's really big, it has a handy retrieval hatch and I even made a one way swinging door for the crabs to get inside. Really a piece of work.

Date: March 7, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Dion
Subject: Reports
Hi Ken,
The last two weeks at Manhattan Beach Pier has been really slow. Last week I caught 1 smelt and 2 walleyes and yesterday, 2 walleyes. I saw no one around me catching anything at all.
I then drove down to Cabrillo Beach Pier and arrived there around 10 AM. I saw people with bags and buckets of mackerel as I was walking my gear up to the pier. I looked around and saw a lot of buckets full of mackerel. No matter what I did, all I could catch were these small perch. People on my left and right were bringing up mackerel, but I kept on pulling up perch. To my surprise, I saw a couple of persons bring up corbinas
Around 12:30 PM, I decided to use my Lucky Laura Jigs and see if I could land a mackerel. For $6.50 parking, I just wanted to catch a big fat mackerel. I landed a couple of jack mackerels, a few sardines, and a lot of smelt, but no mackerel. People around me were landing mackerels all day long.
People were starting to get on my nerves when they saw me release all of my fish. I explained to them that I only keep what I eat and that it's not necessary to kill everything that I catch. Their illogical explanation is that they get smarter and also I'm scaring the school of fish away. I saw no problem with them getting too smart and it seems that the school of fish hung around for a long time.
Though I didn't catch any mackerel, I had a lot of fun catching most everything else. Maybe a Game Warden should come by and give out tickets for all these poachers that think that they can keep everything they catch, unless they catch less than 20 fish a day per person.

Hi Dion,
Sounds like a strange day at Cabrillo!
You are right about releasing fish. I release most of the fish I catch and people do give me some pretty strange looks. But the only ones I keep are those I intend to keep for bait (mackerel) or edible fish that I will be eating. Catch and release is the way to go.
Best wishes, Ken


Date: March 7, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Joe P
Subject: Avila Pier
I go out there (Avila Pier) more than anybody I know and lately people have been catching shovelnose and Lincoln sharks about 2 to 3 feet long. Caught with mackerel and squid late night when the weather is warm. I have been catching some good sharks out there. Dog sharks and some Lincoln sharks. A gaff is a must when fishing out there. But don't forget the pier is going to be closed pretty soon if not already. it is a day by day trial. see hope the information helped. ed pretty soon if not already. It is a day by day trial. see hope the information helped.
I got two Lincoln sharks from the pier and took pictures of them for proof. Let me know how to send them in or give copies to show next month on the web page.

Hi Joe,
I'm not sure what a Lincoln shark is but would like to put a picture of the shark on the page. If you have a scanner you can scan them and send them to this e-mail address as an attachment.
If you don't have a scanner you can send them to my home where I'll scan them and send you back the originals. Send to:
Ken Jones
PO Box 529
Boonville, CA 95415
Thanks for the information; the folks over at Patriot Sportfishing thought the pier was already closed when I talked to them.
Best wishes, Ken Jones, The Pier Fisherman


Date: March 8, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Fisher
Subject: Hi Ken
This is Don from Just Fishing by Pete in Hermosa. Just finished up our webpage and was wondering if you could link it into yours: http://members.aol.com/fisher890/prof/index.htm
Thanks The Hermosa Pier work is continuing I don't know when they will have it done but I'll keep you up to date on the progress as I get info.

Thanks, Don

Don,
Be glad to link up.
Best wishes Ken

Great !Thanks al lot Ken I am really excited about the prospects. This has been a threat for a year now! Finally Had the nerve and it was too easy to make.......
Catch ya later. Don @ Just Fishing


Date: March 8. 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Roger SL
Subject: Redondo bonita
Hey Ken! a few weeks ago my buddy and i were out inside the harbor and yes the bubble hole was shut off and yes the water was cold. we still managed to land 2 bonies each. We would have caught more but the sardines we had were all about 7 to 9 inches long so we kept getting bit short. They just couldn't swallow the whole thing. People think there are no bonito inside the harbor because Edison turned off the bubble hole but the truth is that they are still there. We fished way inside the harbor by the yacht club. Well that's my report .thanks and good luck on your next trip

ROGER

Thanks Roger,
I'll get the word out.
Best wishes, Ken


Date: March 8, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Steve R
Subject: Redondo Beach Pier and Redondo Sportfishng Pier
Ken:
I stopped by Redondo Pier (the public one) twice yesterday.
After fishing from the surf near the pier without success from around 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. I went up on the pier for 15 minutes. There were about fifteen anglers there, but none caught anything while I was there and neither did I. I was using a chartreuse soft plastic bounced along the bottom looking for halibut. Most of the anglers were using frozen squid, frozen mussel or frozen anchovy. One of the restaurants has a little bait shop window that sells those items as well as frozen clams. There is no live bait sold.
I was in the area so I stopped by again around 8:30 p.m., not to fish, but just to see what was happening. 15-20 anglers were braving the unusually cold weather, but again none were catching anything on the frozen baits.
The tidal movement was very weak this weekend. I may give the pier a try next spring tide.
Incidentally, on Saturday morning I nailed those little fish under the Redondo Sportfishing Pier, using a leader made of 6x fly fishing tippet (extremely thin) and a size 14 Gamakatsu hook. According to the landing attendant, they were "senorita" and some kind of small perch. One guy showed up with a legal halibut he had caught from the beach nearby, which is what inspired my Sunday morning surf fishing efforts.
Steve R

Steve,
Congratulations on the seniorita -- which can drive an angler crazy at times. Didn't sound too good at Redondo! By the way, I got a report saying the mackerel bite was very strong at Cabrillo Beach.
Best wishes, Ken


Date: March 8, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Jim A
Subject: Piers in the Bay Area
Ken,

I went to the Dumbarton Pier Sunday I didn't get anything, but my friend landed a 25" striper. The funny thing is he didn't mean to catch him. When we first got there my buddy cast out into the water, he didn't have enough weight to stay on the bottom. As he reeled his line back in that's when the fish hit his bait. Thought you might want to know.
Jim

Jim,
Thanks for the report -- and I'll take a 25" striper any day.
Best wishes, Ken


Date: March 8, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Josh Y
Subject: King Harbor bubble hole inf.
Ken
I am not a pier fisherman yet but I do fly fish King Harbor quite a lot. I live in Redondo and after reading that the bubble hole was turned off in your pier report section, I looked into it a little more. I posted on another site about the situation and a person replied that he read in a magazine about the bubble hole being shut down. He said that the bubble hole will be shut down for good. I guess the power plant now uses a different method for cooling that is more efficient and there is no need for the system that used the bubble hole. And more efficient means more money for them so the chances of it ever turning back on is slim to none. This is bad news for fishermen. I did quite well on bonito this fall but they are gone now and only time will tell when the water warms up and they return. I guess the winter runs of bonito might be no more.
Thanks for the site. I love to hear reports on what is around. Sorry to bring the bad news about the bubble hole though.
Josh

Josh,
Thanks for the information but what a pity about the "bubble hole". I hear a few bonito are still being caught in the harbor but I imagine the number is nowhere what it would be like if the water was warmer.
Best wishes, Ken Jones


Date: March 9, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Mark Jackson
Subject: Newport Pier/Balboa Pier
Dear Ken,

The last week has been slow again. Like I said, I only get the chance to fish in the mornings. Today was really slow. I could not ever get a little bite. I've had the pleasure of hearing some gray whales come in close to the end of the pier. It's been too dark to see them, but one can tell the difference between a whale breaching the surface to exhale and a dolphin. There have been large pods of dolphin the past week. It reminds me of one day I was sitting on a preview on a home during the middle of the week. It was the largest pod I have ever seen! Dorsal fins as far as I could see just past the breaking waves. Really cool!
Talk to you later, Mark

Hi Mark,
Even when the fish aren't biting there is always something to see - like the dolphins.
By the way, I sent a note to Snookie and I imagine she will be contacting you.
Best wishes, Ken

Dear Ken,

You were right! A few mac's were out there today. I landed one large hornback ray. Lots of bait in the water. I need to take my net along and start netting some bait again. The gray whales continue to come in really close. I think I would have felt the spray when it exhaled if it was any closer to the end of the Balboa Pier. It was dark and I couldn't see. Take care.
Mark


Date: March 9, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Hepcat
Subject: Fish sign
That's easy, it's in Costa Mesa/Newport Beach!

(In reference to the Games 'n Things contest)

Hepcat,
You're right, it's the sign for the Crab Cooker Restaurant in Newport Beach; unfortunately, someone beat you to the prize.
Sorry, Ken Jones


Date: March 9, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Matt Shockney
Subject: Squall at Pacifica
Hey Ken,
I don't know if you got my last mail, but I said that I'd mail you a report. Anyway, the only day that I don't call the pier is the day I get to go to the pier, and wouldn't you know it. I got there and it was like fishing in a squall. The wind was very cold and blowing about 40-50 mph creating waves and whitecaps. As for the fishing/crabbing, it was rated as very poor. Some other lady and I were the only one's to catch a fish. I caught a small ling cod or greenling (very difficult to tell what it was) and the lady caught an average sized striped sea perch. All that I got in my new crab trap was a few small rock and Dungeness. Although, Jimmy and I were talking with this guy in the bait shop and he had landed a 17 pound striper the other day. A truly huge difference in the rating of success for the weekend. I really want to get to Antioch!!
Matt

Hi Matt,
If this rain ever stops we may be able to do some fishing. I did get a report that the black perch are starting to spawn around San Francisco Bay and there should be good fishing at places like Fort Point and Fort Baker.
Thanks again for your reports, Ken


Date: March 11, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Peyton
Subject: I like this site
Hey, I like your site! I think you had a good idea making this site up. Not like those other fishing sites. Most people don't have big boats or other things but everybody can go pier fishing and that's why I like your site

Peyton,
Thanks for the kind thoughts. We'll try to keep the site informative and interesting.
Best wishes, Ken Jones, The Pier Fisherman


Date: March 13, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Matt Shockney
Subject: Pacifica
Hey Ken,
Probably not even worth mentioning, but I made a trip out to the Pacifica Pier today. What turned out to be a nice pleasant day turned out to be not so cool. The waves and weather were great but one element was missing; fish. I and a couple of others out at the end managed to catch a few small shiner perch and a bullhead. Eventually, it got slower, more windy, and the waves began to almost breach the pier. That's when I called it. Lots of striper fisherman though but no stripers. I did however make friends with this lady who commonly comes to the pier. Just thought that I'd let you know how it flows.
Matt

Hi Matt,
You might want to give perch fishing in the bay a try; it seems to be picking up.
Ken


Date: March 13, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Nate
Subject: e-mail trouble

Ken,
I don't know why my e-mail hasn't been working. Blame it on damn AOL. Anyway, I have hooked up with Mike Jones and we met last Friday night at the Martinez Pier. We should be catching fish together soon. Also, I volunteered to be your reporter for Eckley pier and am ashamed to say that I've slacked off on my duties, and after I told you I was responsible!!!
The fact is Eckley has become a difficult pier to fish. Cold winds, strong currents, and slow action in addition to increased popularity with some booze swilling idiots have soured my last two trips there. Fact is, Martinez pier has been producing good striper action for me lately (albeit mostly shakers, but action is action) and it is much closer to my house. But I haven't given up on Eckley, not by a long shot. I will continue to forward any inf., first hand or otherwise, that I have on the action there.
Thanks again for sending up a flare!!!
Nate D.

Hi Nate,
Sound good! Glad to see you hooked up with Mike Jones but sorry to hear about the Eckley Pier.
Best wishes, Ken


Date: March 13, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: leart
Subject: PIER REPORT
We went fishing yesterday (3-12-99) at Coyote Point and Oyster Point.....my husband and my son caught 3 Leopard sharks in total. Size 4' and longer. It was a fun day for newbies like us. Oh, my brother in-law also caught one, just before we decided to call it quits.
Don't forget to visit my homepage at http://www.mindspring.com/~leart

Date: March 13, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Mark Jackson
Subject: Newport Pier/Balboa Pier
Dear Ken,

I didn't fish today, but I did fish yesterday morning. There was a ton of bait in the water and I caught about 10 small bait sized mackerel. I was almost out of salted mackerel in the freezer so I was
really glad. It was great to have a little run like that after a dry spell. Oh two lizards also. I talked with Hank and Frank for about a half hour this morning on my walk. Frank, the older of the two at 91, came up with a lizard. I can't wait to start taking my son out four or five times a week. I really notice a difference in our relationship this winter not spending the time fishing. You know how hard it is to expect a kid, or at least a kid like mine, to sit still if there is no action.He is also having a continual bout with asthma so the cold damp air is not really good. I'm going to call Snookie today and see if I can hook up with her to fish this next week. I need to take a day off during the week. I work too much!
See ya, Mark Jackson

Hi Mark,
I know what you mean about children since I raised two myself (together with my wife I might add). Both are grown now and while my son rarely fishes, my daughter does, and I think it gives us one more special thing to keep us close.
Good fishin' and hope you're able to hook up with Snookie.
Ken


Date: March 13, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Glen
Subject: Recent pier visits
Hi Ken.
This week I checked out Eckley, Point Pinole, and Berkeley Piers. They're so close, I'm walking on them once a week now.
Eckley Pier is absolutely crawling with mitten crabs these days. Hard to keep your bait safe. There were four other anglers but nobody got anything resembling a bite.
At Point Pinole, it's still the same old story: deserted. The water is the color of chocolate milk and there are mitten crabs there, too. A few guys I've talked with who are regulars have given up for a while.
Berkeley Pier is still low on perch and there are a few kingfish per angler, but not in great numbers. Smelt are still concentrated in the south bay. However, some of the halibut regulars have started to make an appearance. They're using frozen anchovies because there are no shiners yet, and a few of them have reported catching halibuts in the last couple days. (This has to be related to the recent swarm of anchovies entering the bay system.) Not exactly a run, but encouraging. An associate whose information is impeccable told me that three sturgeon were taken off the pier two days ago. Since the area is still closed for sturgeon fishing and also since Berkeley Pier is not known for strict observance of legal sizes, I couldn't find much else about the diamondbacks.
Rumors: Brian, who owns Johnson Brothers Bait in Richmond, told me today that he was fishing in a boat just off the pilings at Horizons in Sausalito and he saw shore fishermen pulling in quite a few rubberlips ("they did better than me," he added). Fort Baker is said to be haunted by sea lions and the fishing is poor, but a friend just came back from Fort Point with a bucket filled with respectable striped and rubberlip perch a few days ago.
Hope this information is useful. I did a bare minimum of angling this past week. I went out to Slide Ranch again and donated more tackle--of course--but I came up with three huge perch so it was worth the hike and so on. Striped bass are back in San Francisco Bay in a large way (literally) but I'm not
hearing too much from pier folks. All the decent catches have taken place along the frontage road adjacent I-80 in Berkeley.
Glen

Hi Glen,
I went fishing at the pier by Horizons yesterday, as well as Fort Baker. The fishing was slow but I caught two rubberlips at Sausalito (one the largest I have ever caught), and several black perch at Fort Baker (and saw some nice rubberlips, pileperch, and one good-sized redtail surfperch). The fishing was fairly slow at both places but the quality of the fish made up for the lack of quantity.
I'm going to try to come back down in two weeks and try out the perch fishing again.
Best wishes, Ken

PS, glad to hear things are picking up a little at Berkeley.

Ken,
Nice going on the rubberlips. As for the black perch at Fort Baker, do they still smell heavily of iodine? For the longest time they've been quite odiferous. I made the mistake of trying to cook a large one, but nothing I did could reduce the stench. Sort of like bleach or chemicals. I'm told by marine biologists that this is a natural phenomenon due to the fish ingesting local kelp or the crabs that eat the kelp. Red crabs are especially redolent; you catch a whiff of iodine right away when you hook into them and have them halfway up. Weird. Doesn't seem to affect the striped perch resident in the area.
Had a nice web-enthusiast encounter Saturday. I went to the secluded beach adjacent Fort Chronkite and ran into this really nice individual who was armed with gear and knowledge. He told me he found out about this spot from a friend who was surfing the net and discovered a page by "some guy called songslinger". They're both novices insofar as saltwater fishing and they've downloaded reams of useful data from various sites (yours, mine, Steve Lau's, Lon Tokunaga's, etc), determined to "do it right" and by the book (so to speak). He was delighted when I told him I was the infamous songslinger -- as I was delighted by meeting someone who found the site worthwhile. We fished together and, wouldn't you know it, luck was very much with me and I was able to put on a perch clinic for he and a couple others who wandered by. Not showing off--or not showing off too much. It was just a great day with a wide variety of species: calico perch, redtail perch, barred perch, white perch, walleyed perch, silver perch (the big three shiny types, complete with classic identification marks--thank you, Pier Fishing!), and a large one who resembled a rubberlipped in every way except for the telltale thick pinkish lips. These were small and indistinct, the dorsal fin was consistent, the tale flukes were smallish and decidedly not split-tailed, and the bronze skin was tinged with lemon coloring. Never seen anything like it. It looked like a cross between a barred perch and a rubberlipped perch, with a pile perch somewhere in the woodpile. I've done some reading and discovered that barred perch don't always have the vertical blotch-bars or striping, so maybe it was one of those. The sea always carries mysteries. Incidentally, I've sent the guy out on a mission to purchase your book.
By the way, I've noticed that few sites, if any, have any data concerning knots, so I've added a couple links on my page. Knots are cool, and they give you something to do while you're playing the waiting game (I don't smoke and I don't like to drink while I'm angling). Your book has some really nice ones. I designed my perch rigging from ideas I gleaned from you. Gotta go. Glad you got to fish in Marin and got some rubberlipped perch. They've still eluded me this year -- though I can hardly complain, eh?
Regards, Glen

Glen,
Yes, I was glad to get the rubberlips. I had brought along one of my students who had never fished on piers and I think he was a little skeptical until we starting catching the perch. He actually caught the first couple of fish but then I caught the big rubberlip. I really wish they would fix that pier in Sausalito; it's always been a producer of fish although many on the small side.
As for the perch at Fort Baker, we let them go so really didn't notice any smell to the fish. However, the other anglers were saving their fish. One older angler said fishing had been dead for about three weeks -- both fish and crabs -- although he caught the redtail surfperch and one rubberlip. I almost always catch some blackperch at the pier although again, they often are on the small side; this was one of the few times I've seen the variety of bigger perch at the pier.
Hope to get back down in a couple of weeks and hope the perch are still biting. I also hear the striped perch are going crazy at the Point Arena Pier and if so, they're early.
Best wishes and good fishing,
Ken


Date: March 13, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Rich G
Subject: Point Pinole Pier
I went fishing on March 12, beautiful weather, I was all by myself but I caught a 24" striped bass; not sure what he was doing around there this time of year but either way he tasted really good....I spoke to the ranger and he said its been slow, hardly any sturgeon.
I got some news for you though there has been a new pier built called Eckley pier its a 200' foot pier it is by the Carquinez straight supposed to be really nice. You can find out about it on East Bay Parks, web site under Anglers' Edge report about fishing it has a map and everything.
Well Ken, I'll send you a message next time I go fishing

Richard,
Thanks for the report! I've been down to Eckley and have had several reports on the pier. Evidently it has pretty good fishing but lately the Chinese mitten crabs have been so thick they're attacking all the bait.
Glad you caught the striper; I've heard they are finally in the bay. Also heard the shoreline along Emeryville is putting out some good fish.
Best wishes, Ken

Ken,
Ya, the mitten crab is having an effect, do you know how serious it is, and where can I fish to avoid them or is that just another obstacle in fishing in the bay area
Thanks for the message, I plan to fish Berkley Pier soon, what have you heard about that pier lately and what should I expect to catch this time of year.

Hi Richard,
As far as avoiding the mitten crabs -- they don't like saltwater, so the closer to the bay entrance the less you should find. I put a short update on the Berkeley Pier on the message board, check it out.
Best wishes, Ken


Date: March 14, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Steve R
Subject: Redondo Beach, Pier and Sportfishng Pier
I went to Redondo Pier today. It was totally dead. I was there for about 3 hours and didn't see a single fish landed. There must have been around 30 anglers. You could hear the sea lions on the buoy a few hundred hours off, and occasionally see one cruise by. So maybe they scared off the fish.
I had gathered some mussels from under the pier at low tide the prior day, so I had mussel bait and also ground mussel chum. I also picked up some ghost shrimp and blood worms at Paul's bait in San Pedro, so I tried all of those. I think the fish just were not there today.
The only brief excitement I had was when a heavy weight on the end of my ghost shrimp baited line, that I assumed was inanimate because of the lack of twitching, turned out to be a rather large crab. It let go of the ghost shrimp just as it got to the surface.

Hi Steve,
Doesn't sound too encouraging. But, things should improve as the water starts to warm.
Ken


Date: March 14, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Daren J
Subject: Pacifica Pier story
Ken,
I recently saw a page you did on the Pacifica Pier. It contained some very interesting information, and the photos were great.
I live in Pacifica, and am starting yet another fishing page. I am concentrating on party boat fishing in the SF bay area, but would love it if visitors to my site could see that page. It looks like it was a while ago and you obviously have been going strong.
With your permission, I would like to reprint your Pacifica Pier page, with full credit of course, and put a link to you site at the bottom.
If this is OK with you, just let me know.
Thanks for your help, and the great job you did on our pier.
Respectfully,
Draen J, Pedro Point, Pacifica

Draen,
No problem! Also let me kow when your page is done and we'll put a link to your site.
Best wishes, Ken

OK will do.
Thanks Ken
Daren


Date: March 16, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Mark Jackson
Subject: Newport/Balboa Piers
Dear Ken,

Wow! My wife and I took the kids to the beach on Sunday to have a picnic lunch and I decided to screen some sand crabs. Snookie told me that there were some beds under the pier. I hit a bed by Coronado street. I could not believe how many crabs I screened with one setting. I didn't think when I came up with so many that I hit a bed as I was so excited. I returned but discovered I couldn't find the place again. I back tracked for 5 minutes and found it once again. I'm stocked with frozen sand crabs. I haven't' been fishing for two days. Talk to you later
Mark

Mark,
Glad to see you hooked up with Snookie -- and glad to see she had some good advice for you.
Best wishes, Ken


Date: March 16, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Jim A
Subject: Piers in the Bay Area
Hi Ken,
Well I went to Dumbarton and got skunked!!! Nothing not even a bite. Just thought I'd drop you a line. Where are you from? Do you live in the Bay Area?
Talk to you later, Jim

Jim,
I used to live in the East Bay in Pinole but now I live in Boonville in Mendocino County -- two hours to the north. It does make it a little hard to fish my favorite Bay Area piers.
Best wishes, Ken


Date: March 16, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Brian.S
Subject: Greetings
Greetings from Mississippi! I'm originally from California and am now serving in the Air Force, stationed in Biloxi, Mississippi. I never went pier fishing before coming to Biloxi but I am loving it! Especially redfish and something here they call sheepshead. Anyway, was surfing the net and saw this site - wow! what a great thing you are doing. Keep up the great work, say hi to all my friends in Santa Cruz! Brian S.

Hi Brian,
Glad you like the site, we try hard to keep it interesting,
Went fishing in Biloxi a few years ago and had a great time fishing on the pier next to my motel. I caught over 60 fish while fishing in the middle of a driving rainstorm (that seemed more like a hurricane); all the other anglers left and I was catching fish after fish while using shrimp for bait. I caught croaker, a couple of gafftopsail catfish (one almost 7 pounds), hard heads (catfish), sharks, and a couple of other species. My wife thought I was crazy but I was having too much fun to stop fishing (and the pier was covered out at the end).
Anyway, good to hear from you and catch a few fish for me while you are down there,
Best wishes, Ken Jones, The Pier Fisherman
PS -- tell your fishin' friends about the site.


Date: March 17, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Snookie
Subject: The Season is Starting
Hi Ken,
Yes, the season is finally starting on Balboa Pier. The bait (smelt) are back, and the halibut came with them. No, we did not get any keepers, but we will.
I caught several nice size halibut, and I had lots of strikes. All of this happened in the surf area.
The corbina are in the surf area by the dozens right now. It looks like a spawning pattern. Didn't realize we had so many still around.
If the rains don't hamper our fishing, maybe we'll get some keepers tomorrow. The halibut don't care if the water is cold. They just don't like a drastic change in the temperature of the water.
We have some unusually warm current going through as of this last weekend. While on my boat out of Dana Point Saturday, we saw an 11 degree change upward, then down again. The next day the temperature of the water went from 58 degrees to 67 degrees then back down. That is very strange. Fish don't like that kind of change.
That's it for now, Snookie

Snookie,
Got your pictures today and they look great. I'm trying to decide whether to put them on the pictures page or in a special section of a games 'n things page; think I'll do the latter.
Glad to hear the fishing is improving and I'm hoping to shoot down there for a couple of days the week after Easter.
Hope I can make it down and when I do I'll see you at the pier.
Best wishes, Ken


Date: March 17, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Bob G
Subject: Berkeley Pier
Can Sturgeon be caught on Berkeley Pier? I've never seen one there in 30 years of fishing it! If so, where-beginning, middle or end of pier?

Hi Bob,
I've gotten reports that several were caught last week. They didn't say where, but I imagine out toward the end. HOWEVER, that area of the bay is closed to sturgeon until March 15 so I hope they didn't keep the fish.
I'm pretty sure the best bait would be grass shrimp, ghost shrimp, or, if you can get some, herring eggs.
Let me know if you give it a try.
Best wishes, Ken


Date: March 20, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Chris
Subject: hi
Hi,
Do you have a new pier fishing book coming out because I liked your pier fishing book

Hi Chris,
I'm hoping to have it available this summer or possibly in the fall.
Best wishes, Ken


Date: March 20, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Dave Strong
Subject: Goleta Pier Report
Hi Ken,
I ordered your book last week and included a note about helping you cover the Goleta Pier. Here's a quick report may be worth mentioning:
The Goleta Pier will be closed for two weeks, 3/22-4/2, for piling repairs. However, it will remain open on the weekends. Regular anglers are catching small mackerel, herring and a lot of surfperch. My kids are catching live bait for me on their fly-rigs, mostly anchovies and surf smelt. I have been trying for bottom dwelling halibut, rays and sharks, but only seen to attract bait-munching crabs. Time for a crab net! Saw a couple sea otters in the kelp bed last week. First time I've seen them this far south.

Dave,
I just got your order and your letter and yes, I would be pleased to have you be the reporter for the Goleta Pier.
What I am looking for is a report toward the end of each month that includes what kind of fish are being caught, what type of baits are working, and any unusual or large fish have been noted -- together with helpful or interesting information. Since this is pretty much like your report of today, you're already an expert.
Look forward to your reports and your book will be in the mail Monday (I've had the flu for the past few days).
Best wishes, Ken Jones, The Pier Fisherman

Thanks for the reply Ken. I'm excited about the book! Hope you feel better soon. I'll send another report at the end of the month.


Date: March 21, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: James Pan
Subject: fishing reports
Hi Ken,
I am back from my vacation.
Went fishing at Berkeley pier on 3/14. The weather was not cooperating: windy and rainy in the morning. But did caught two bullheads and one flounder using grass shrimp.
Went fishing at Pt. Pinole on 3/20. Weather was beautiful, but not too many angler early in the morning. Caught more bullheads, one kingfish during the last 1/2 hour of incoming tide. Went home early in the afternoon due to rain. For some unknown reason, I always have better luck here during the incoming tide.
(Also went out on a private boat on 3/13 near Suisun Bay and the Mothball Fleet. The Mitten crab is finally disappearing according our own experience and reports from other boaters, which could be good news for anglers at Eckley pier. That includes me as well.)
By the way, you did a great job on your web site. My friends and I enjoy reading your reports, like the layout and learned a lot from it. It's very logical, easy to follow, with good choice of color. Thanks! Your web site provides us with invaluable information, which I am sure other anglers would appreciate as well.
Best regards, James Pan

James,
Thanks for the message and sorry for the late reply (been in bed with the flu). I'll get your information into this month's report!
Also thanks for your kind thoughts regarding the site; much of the credit must go to Rich Reano who does the actual design. I'm sure you can tell it's a labor of love and we hope to keep it going.
Best wishes, Ken


Date: March 21, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: The Fisheye Fool
Subject: In regards to your need of reporters for piers.
Would y'all be interested in calling Alameda Rockwell a pier. It is really a jetty, but F&G class it a pier. No lic. req. two rods per. This long jetty has been my safe haven for sturgeon from the bank, or "pier." The standard shrimps seem to prevail, but I favor herring butterflied shad -- three keepers this week. Also 5 or 6 leopard sharks, the standard king fish [golden bass]. Rains continue which should kick the fish up again. I've seen no sigh of the linesiders. Hoping all your fishing days are goodness.

The Fisheye Fool -- Arkansas Bandit

Bandit,
Not sure if I call it a pier but it sure sounds like a good spot, I'll mention it in the report and I would appreciate reports.
Best wishes, Ken Jones, the Pier Fisherman


Date: March 21, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Kendall
Subject: Redondo Beach Pier Report
Hi Ken,
Thought this might help the site out made a visit to Redondo Beach Pier on Sunday March 21, 1999 from 9:00 am to 2:00 PM. Slow at the end of the pier. Small mackerel in the middle of the pier. Things are quite slow also. I managed to hook a small crab with cut squid which I threw back. One other angler caught a decent sized crab. Other than that nobody else was catching anything at the mid part of the pier. I later moved to the surf-area. Hooked a 13 in. yellowfin croaker in about 35 mins. Recast and hooked another yellowfin croaker in 20 mins, this one was about 12 in. Recast again and hooked a 15 in. yellowfin croaker. All croakers were caught using nite-crawlers! That's right, nite-crawlers! That was about it. I left due to the overwhelming sea-weed deposits which made it extremely difficult to just let the line sit without getting tangled with some sea-weed
Hope this helps, Kendall

Kendall,
Thanks for the interesting report about Redondo Beach; it is included in the April report.
Best wishes and hope you catch a big one,
Ken Jones, The Pier Fisherman


Date: March 23, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: KGQ
Subject: Questions from a fisher with bad luck
Hello
I have a question I was wondering if you could answer for me. I have been trying to fish for the past two years on and off but I have never caught anything. Currently I went fishing today at the Antioch Bridge Pier for 4 hours, but still nothing. I had bites but nothing. The were four kids right next to me that were getting hits every so often. The stripers that they were catching were to small that they had to throw them back. It seemed like that every one was catching or reeling in something but me. But me nothing, I could not catch a fish if my life counted on it. I would not even mind catching the illegal fish. I just want the excitement of reeling them in, not so much for the fish itself. You gave me tips earlier I was the guy "Fishing two years and nothing to show". I am getting to tired of fishing for a few hours and nothing. My girlfriend and family laugh at me for catching nothing all the time. But I love to fish. When I know that I am going to go fishing the next day I dream about the fish that I would catch. But if something doesn't change soon I might just give up on fishing. Just throw away my poles and reels for good. I was wondering if you could give some tips on how to change my luck. Like which way is the best way to set up my line. I saw so many different set ups that I wasn't sure which one is the best. The way I do it is that I have my weight at the end and I tie on two hooks about 10 inches apart. If you could give me some tips on have to fish I would really appreciate it. Anything would help. Sorry for the long story.
Thanks, KGQ

KGQ,
I'm a little stumped since it is usually easy to catch fish at the Antioch Bridge.
My suggestions:
(1) Make sure you're using a fairly light pole which allows you to feel the fish as they bite.
(2) Make sure you are using small enough hooks and small pieces of bait. Also make sure the point of the hook is outside the bait.(size 6-4 hooks, small piece of anchovy, shad, or pile worm)
(3) Hold your pole; do not sit it down to wait for the fish.
(4) Check your bait frequently; at that particular pier your bait will often be hit as soon as it is in the water. Cast, reel in slowly and be prepared for a strike as you reel it in.
(5) If you have the proper tackle, proper bait, and are using those techniques you should catch fish.
Next up would be a good prayer.
Best of luck, Ken


Date: March 23, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Mark Jackson
Subject: Newport/Balboa Piers
Dear Ken,

The mackerel are back! Saturday night I went to Ruby's to get the family some food and there were buckets full of med. to large mackerel. I have not been able to fish for about 2 days. The last time I fished I meet a guy that is a legend to me. His name is Fumio Demora. I have studied martial arts since I was 15 years old. This guy was a hero to me. I had to go home so I thought I would be a good fisherman and share some of the sand crabs I had. He had a jacket with his last name on it. And then I immediately knew who he was. We fished together for about an hour. Nothing was caught, but what an honor for me to be able to fish with this man. You never know who you will meet when you are fishing at a pier. Hope all is well. Talk to you soon.
Mark,
What an interesting story in your last message. It isn't often that we are able to meet our "legends" in such a fashion and then able to spend some time with them. It truly shows the beauty of fishing.
Best wishes and thanks,
Ken

Date: March 25, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Snookie
Subject: Balboa Pier Report for March
Hi Ken,
Well I'm happy to say things are beginning to pick up a little--finally. Our bait situation is sometimes iffy, but most of the time we are getting some smelt. My group is spending our time in the surf area because of the grunion being there. Naturally the halibut come to where the good food is. We are getting some undersized halibut fairly regularly but not in any quantity. On the 18th I caught two keepers that were seen by all of us. Each one won its freedom. One shook the hook loose, and the other shot out of the water and up the pier and around a piling before I could catch up with him. That did let us know that the halibut are here and almost ready to be ours. Our biggest thrill that day was because of the clear water we saw a "barndoor" halibut swim out from under the pier. She must have weighed around thirty or more pounds. She was in about two feet of water just paralleling the shore. We all have plans for her even if she did thumb her nose at us. We know they are territorial, and that she lives here. I and one other of my group have each had her in the last year or two.
There are lots of corbina in the surf in the spawning mode but not the biting mode.
One morning when I was getting my bait there was a Pacific Cutlassfish swimming just under them. I was helping him catch his breakfast. They are a beautiful fish to watch, especially if the sun is shining on them.
The weather is still giving us some problems. None of us are crazy about fishing in the winter rains. Apparently the mackerel fishermen aren't either. They are not doing well with the mackerel as yet.
This last Tuesday my group made the most of the drizzly weather. Milton brought us a big box of doughnuts from the new doughnut shop in La Habra. It's the place from back east called Krispy Kremes that the news media has been touting. With our umbrellas in place and our rods baited we enjoyed the doughnuts so much that we even drew the attention of people passing by. They knew what we were eating, and were just as excited about just seeing those doughnuts for real as we were eating them. Fish or no fish, we do know how to enjoy fishing.
Hope you get our way after Easter.
Snookie

Snookie,
Thanks for another great report. By the way, how big are the cutlassfish?

Best wishes, Ken

Hi Ken,
The Pacific Cutlassfish was just under three feet long.
Snookie


Date: March 27, 1999
To: ken Jones
from: Norm D
Subject: Bay Shore Pier - Chula Vista
So ya need a reporter for Bay Shore Pier..here I am....Last week the smelt were running during the day...a few way-undersized Halibut. But at night...if your into sharks, I was able to catch a guitar fish...not a bad size either. But seem to be pestered by bat rays....fun to catch...but I personally don't have a need for them. Did seem to hook one good size halibut...but it was a line cutter...bummer. Saw quite a few guys in boats (in the bay) drifting for halibut. Some of the nights have been nice and calm...some of the days have been pretty windy. Going to try my luck this weekend. Will write and let ya know. By the way...THANKS for the having your cool web site. It really helps a lot as to know where the fish are biting.
Norm - Chula Vista

Norm,
Thanks for the information and you're now the reporter for the pier. By the way, how do you fish the pier at night? I thought they closed the park at night?
Best wishes, Ken

Ken,
We park down by the marina and walk to the pier they only bother you if your parked inside the park 24th street had a few mackerel yesterday but we went to Crystal Pier and got one croaker for the two hours out there were still new to the area so were checking out everywhere to see where we like the best.


Norm


Date: March 27, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Nate D
Subject: Corbina
Thanks for trying to identify the species of crab and shrimp. Anyway I thought that you'd find this interesting. When I used to fish at Goleta Pier, I met regulars who only fished for specific fish (which ever they preferred). One of the guys (we will call him Joe, since I don't quite remember his name) who only surf cast showed me a unique approach to catching California corbina. First, I'd like to ask what is considered a "lunker" for corbina? I have seen some that look to weigh at least 8-10 lbs.
To catch corbina:
1. Attach a 2-3oz. pyramid sinker.
2. Affix a strip of tin foil by the sinker, and one approximately ten feet up the line.
3. Using whatever knot one may prefer, tie three large treble hooks (I am not sure what size, but big, real BIG).
4. Cast out about 15 yards at about 1-2 foot depth (shallow enough to see the aluminum foil reflect the sun).
5. When the Corbina swim past in between the two strips of foil, SNAG it in the side!
He mentioned that corbina are very picky eaters and most bait will not work. Hope you enjoyed this story!
By the way I am planning a trip to Newport Beach next week, any tips?
Fellow angler, Ken Park

Ken,
I've seen people snag corbina but never done so myself -- doesn't really seem too sporting to me (although it is legal). But, a lot of people do snag corbina and an 8-10 pound fish would be a BIG fish.
As for Newport, I hear a few mackerel are starting to show up but there are also some halibut around, and evidently some fish in the surf area. Live bait is always best but you'll have t catch it yourself.
Sounds like more fish have been caught lately at the Balboa Pier than at the Newport Pier.
Best wishes and let me know how you do, Ken


March 27, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Dion
Subject:: Cabrillo Beach and Manhattan Beach
Hi Ken,
At Cabrillo Beach Pier, there's a lot of mackerel being caught. Most of the mackerel being caught on this pier are larger than 12 inches. The bait of choice for this species is mackerel. The best technique used so far is using a float.
For the bottom dwellers, it seems that cut pieces of anchovies are producing rubberlip perch, shinerperch, and corbina.
At Manhattan Beach Pier, the walleye surfperch are still around. I'm still catching around my limit using Kalin's Grub. Also, the yellowfin croakers are being caught in abundance using bloodworms and mussels. I even saw them being caught on cut pieces of shrimp, but less frequently.
Regards, Dion

Dion,
Thanks again for the excellent reports and it sounds like the fishing is starting to improve.
Best wishes, Ken


Date: March 28, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Mark Grim
Subject: Fishing Report
Hi Ken,
Here are my fishing reports for the month. Hope all is fine with you and that you have been able to enjoy some of the nice weather out on the pier lately.
Antioch Bridge Pier
Anchovies have been the best bait for stripers here lately. Many have been caught and some up to 25 inches long. Shad and sardines have also been used to catch the stripers and a few catfish.
 
City of Antioch Pier
A local movement has begun here and at the other Antioch piers to help improve fishing conditions on the Antioch river front. Many businesses have chipped in with donations and special jars have been placed in downtown Antioch businesses for others to pitch in their own donations. The program is called the River Bottom Cleanup Project. The master plan is aimed at removing debris off the river bottom that has discourage anglers and make the river front "fishable" again.
Fishing here has been slow lately. I had a few snags that this project may hopefully remove in the near future.
Antioch Marina Pier
Stripers and catfish have been biting lately. The best baits have been shad or anchovies. Be on the lookout for a humpback whale that was sited in this area recently. The whale reportedly surfaced a few yards from this pier and was witnessed by people in Humphey's restaurant next to the pier.
A bait shop will open up at the marina this month. Mello's Bait and Tackle will relocate from their current 2nd Street location to the vacant building near the marina. They will continue top offer live and frozen baits along with a bigger selection of lures.

Hi Mark,
I was able to get out a couple of weeks ago and caught some nice perch down by Sausalito. Hope things are going well with you and you're still enjoying your vinyl web site. I've still got boxes of my old 33 rpm records but for the most part I haven't played them for years. But I think the sound is better on them.
So long for now and this year we've got to get together and go fishing.
Best wishes, Ken


Date: March 28, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: James Pan
Subject: fishing report
Hi Ken,
Went fishing yesterday at the SF Muni. Pier. The weather was beautiful, albeit somewhat cold and breezy. Caught one tiny bullhead (4") and one giant sea anemone attached to a piece of rock weighing over 3 LB! My bait must have just landed right above its mouth. Managed to catch one small kingfish in the afternoon, and an unknown fish. The fish is about 6" long, appeared like an eel, very slimy body, and disproportionately large mouth, very sharp teeth. I will let you know the name of the fish once id. There were some twenty anglers scattered over the entire pier. Neighbors caught a few kingfish, bullhead and perch. Many were also crabbing. I am no exception. Caught ten crabs while fishing. Take care and have fun fishing.
James
Thanks for the very interesting report. Sounds like you might have caught a fringehead which are really mean little critters with a mouth full of sharp teeth. But you never know what you'll catch on a visit to a pier.
Best wishes, Ken

Date: March 28, 1999

To: Ken Jones

From: Jason

Subject: I just found your web site!


I've had your CA Pier Fishing book for about five years and it has been invaluable. Especially in fish identification and pier locations. It never leaves my tackle box as it is a necessary tool in my fishing. I would GENUINELY like to thank you for writing such a book and encourage you to write a new edition as mine is worn and is stained with fish blood.

Thanks again,

Jason - San Francisco

Jason,

Thanks for the comments! A second edition is almost done and I am hoping to publish it later this year.

Best wishes, Ken Jones, The Pier Fisherman


Date; March 30, 1999

To: Ken Jones

From: Nate D

Subject: April Report, Eckley Pier
Fishing continued very slow in March at this new pier, mostly due to Mitten crabs attacking baits constantly. The pier is getting heavy use on the weekends. I fished it twice and visited a few other times. I caught nothing both times and saw only two small stripers the whole month, which is strange because there has been heavy fish populations just up Carquinez Strait off Martinez pier. When some of the spawning crabs clear out action should pick up. Also, this pier has become popular with some booze swilling "thrill seekers" who seem to think it was built just for them. East Bay Regional Park rangers should put a little pressure on this area for us DFG regulation followers and true pier rats.

Nate D., loyal pier rat

Nate ,

Thanks for the interesting report.

Best wishes, Ken


Date: March 30, 1999

To: Ken Jones

From: Glen

Subject: A Few Minor Points

Hey Ken,
Talk about serendipity. The other day I was checking out your site and reading about the diamond turbot, a fish I'd seen caught twice in the Bay Area but never captured myself. Then, that same day, fishing by the Berkeley Flats, I caught a really nice one on blood worms. As I'd also bagged a couple of decent starry flounders, I kept Mr Turbot and took him home. What a fantastic dinner. I've always been a fan of flatfish (sole, flounder, halibut, in about that order) but the turbot was an excellent surprise. (For the record, I lightly poached with an absolute minimum of seasoning; I like the taste unimpaired.)
About your site. Most times I use Netscape when I browse, though sometimes just AOL. With Netscape, Pierfishing comes out splendidly, all the buttons and links perform well -- but not so on AOL. There, things work grudgingly and I can't access the pier reports at all (maybe because AOL alone doesn't utilize Java?). It's interesting how different ISPs and/or browsers affect the display and performance of various sites. I have a friend in Texas who uses Eden and his description of my site sounds like someone else's, in terms of script and color and possibly even layout. Weird. Things are standardized and yet not standard. Sounds Zennish.
Hot tip for ya: the jacksmelt just came in to the northern part of SF Bay. Yesterday I hit into a voracious school and had some furious action on light tackle. Expect to see them at Berkeley Pier and Fort Baker Pier (where they were MIA only days ago). With bat rays and leopard sharks just starting to move in from the Gate, things are going to heat up in this area quite soon. Already a pair of halibuts landed at Berkeley Pier in the last few days. along with the persistent kingfish and not-so persistent perch. About time things improved!

Heading out to the Delta today for catfish, crappie, and stripers (and maybe a sturgeon, though that will be a hell of a challenge on 10# line). Have a good one! Glen

Hi Glen,

Thanks for the information and report. I may try to shoot down there for a couple of days next week (spring break) and try out the action.

Best wishes, Ken


Date: March 30, 1999

To: Ken Jones

From: Hal S

Subject: Possible California Delta Site Link


Ken, I did not realize there was a whole pier-fishing culture out there, until I got an e-mail from a visitor the other day asking about the tides at a certain Bay Area pier.
We only have a couple of piers in the California Delta, but our site is loaded with inf. that might interest your visitors. Please have a peek at it, and if you feel it worthy, a link would be appreciated. Thanks....hal schell. http://www.californiadelta.org/


Date: March 30, 1999

To: Ken Jones

From: Mark Jackson

Subject: Re: Newport/Balboa Piers

Dear Ken,


The fish are back! I want fishing on Friday and Saturday morning. A man that I fish with there said he saw a bat ray taken Friday night. He said it was about 4 inches thick in the center. Lots of mackerel. It's really great to be catching fish again. On Saturday morning I hooked into something that must have been big. I follow your recommendations to the letter when it comes to the type of rigs I use to fish with. I have a heavy rig on my cart at all times. I was catching mackerel and decided to put a line out on the bottom as far out as I could with a whole anchovies. My mistake was that I used my light rig. Anyway, something hit my line hard. My pole was set with the tip of my pole on the railing and it almost went over sitting that way. I picked up the pole and the spool starting singing from the speed at which the line was being taken out. It was running straight away from me. My drag was set light so is all I had to do was hold the pole. I tried to slow the spool a bit with some resistance from my hand. It didn't work and the line snapped. I only had a #4 hook and 20 lb. line with a 15 lb. leader. Needless to say, my heart was in my mouth and I was ticked for not using the correct rig. Fishing is just like real estate. I tell all the new agents that Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. My lesson, and a rule to add to those in your book. Expect the unexpected! What kind of fish would take a bait like that on the bottom at this time of year and run like that? Please take a guess.
Took the family Sea world on Sunday. It was really great to see some of the fish we catch swimming in the tanks. The people around us were really impressed to hear a five year old yelling out the names of the fish that were not on any of the place cards describing the animals in the tank. "Look dad, there's a barred surf perch and a pacific mackerel." Dad is that a wolf eel or a moray eel? It was really a treat. I am amazed at how little most people know about the sea or the animals. I was watching a sea lion pup the other morning learning and refining his hunting skills. There were lots of small fish in the water. He would go out about 10 yards from the pier and make a run straight at the pier. This forced the schooling fish to separate as they ran into the front of the pier and he would pick up a few. Talk to you soon.
Sincerely, Mark

Mark,

Thanks for the report. As for the fish, I bet it was a big shovelnose guitarfish or a bat ray. In the reports it sounds like both are beginning to bite.

Best wishes, Ken


Date: March 31, 1999

To: Ken Jones

From: Norman Dorman

Subject: Bay Shore Pier - Chula Vista
Hey Ken I hear they're catching halibut in the bay. If so, where at? I hear there's a place down by Shelter Island that's got some statues and a police patrol do you know how to get there

Norm,

Norm,

I'm not familiar with the spot you are speaking about. Sorry.

Best wishes, Ken


Date: March 31, 1999

To: Ken Jones

From: David Chiang

Subject: Supporting this site

I enjoy your book and your site, and I would like to help support this site.
However, I already got the book last year, and I don't plan to buy the same book again!
You may wish to sell other things, perhaps advertising for bait & tackle shops, gear, etc. This will give existing book owners something else to buy.
Good job on this site. I always enjoy reading about fishing, especially when I do not have time to go
out there myself.

Hi David,

Check out the merchandise page, I do have several other items for sale.

Thanks, Ken


Date: March 31, 1999

To: Ken Jones

From: Mark Jackson

Subject: Newport/Balboa Piers

Dear Ken,
I didn't fish this morning. But I walked on the pier with my dog, Rebel. Two guys were catching croaker and barred surf perch. About 4 perch and 6 croaker. One guy I'm familiar with got hooked up on both rigs at the same time. I volunteered to reel in one rig so I got to catch a barred surf perch. No mackerel this morning. Talk to you soon.

Mark

Hi Mark,

Sounds like things are improving.

Best wishes, Ken


Date: March 31, 1999

To: Ken Jones

From: West Coast Dave

Subject: Bay Area Pier Regulations
I put up a post on the message board and only got one reply. And he did not fully understand my question. I was hoping you would answer. So I am going straight to the Pier Master Himself. The Fishing Regulations are not that clear concerning the S.F. Bay. It states that only one rod with 3 hooks can be used. And then states that only two rods or lines can be used from the shore, piers, and jetties in the following sentence. Are the regulations concerning fishing from a boat only? Or are they for the whole S.F. Bay as defined in the regulations or for a certain section of the Bay. I would like to know. My friends and I have always used two rods (one for big fish and one for small fish)when fishing from Bay Area piers. We always have used the Sabiki, Lucky Laura, Lucky Joe, Etc. multi-hook rigs to catch jacksmelt, shiner perch, etc. from piers and the shore. Have we been fishing illegally all these years. I know we are not the only ones, we learned how to fish the Bay Area from the locals.

Thank You, Dave


Dave,
Like you, I have always used two poles in the bay, one for the smaller species and one for the bigger species. However, I think the technical requirement is one pole with no more than three hooks.
I do agree that the regulations seem to be misleading but I think they are talking about several different things. In the ocean there is no limit on poles or hooks, i.e., rock cod rigs. However, on piers and jetties which do not require a license, they seem to want to limit anglers to two poles. But then the third example is in S.F. and San Pablo Bay where they want only one pole with no more than three hooks.
As a practical matter, I have been on piers in the bay where signs have said anglers could use two poles. And, I have never been questioned even when wardens were present. Still, I always recommend the use of no more than three hooks on a line when fishing in the bay (even though some jacksmelt fishermen will have six or more hooks on a line).
In summary, I think wardens could give a pier angler a ticket when they are using two poles in the bay. But I do not think they would. The real intent of the bay rules was to restrict over fishing on striped bass and sturgeon by boat fishermen.
Still, it is a risk that an angler takes when using two poles in the bay.
I wish I had a better or easier answer but I don't. Have we been doing it wrong all this times -- yes, I think we have. Do I still recommend two lines? Yes. I think it is fair to fish for perch/jacksmelt/or bait fish with a light line and to have a heavier line out for stripers, sharks, rays etc. But I am on pretty shaky ground here and I know it.
So, let your conscience be your guide.
Sorry I don't have a better answer, Ken Jones