Visitor Comments and Letters - May '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: May 1, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Glen
Subject: Fishin'

Hi Ken

It hasn't been too cold down here, but it has been unseasonably windy. Very rough, in fact, so bad that only a few hardy souls have been getting out in the Bay System. And the ocean-forget about it! All those redtail and walleyed perch out there, and no one can reach them. Even when the wind is
down the surf is so rough that it's impossible to keep a 5oz sinker in place. I even feel sorry for the salmon boaters.

Sluggish tides, dirty water, winds and crabs. Any one of these is bad enough and too often we suffer all four at once. Halibut aren't in yet and the stripers are mostly undersized (though they at least have provided a little entertainment by plugging). Last week there were some sharks and bat rays caught in fair numbers, but even they have slowed down. Perch are invisible save for a scattering of little guys that must have been born last year. Right now, the only thing you can be sure to catch is jacksmelt and plenty of them, usually on the outgoing tide on anchovies.

I've been to Point Pinole and Berkeley piers recently. The mitten crabs are savage in the San Pablo Bay. We ran into them everywhere we cast. When we caught a couple bullheads we considered ourselves lucky. Oddly, there was a nice 50# sturgeon caught there on pile worms a little over a week ago. Some stripers, but they are the irritating 10-12 inch variety. Also, the occasional kingfish.

At Berkeley Pier things were better. Up and down the pier people were catching large bat rays (I'd guess one was nearly 60#; I've caught and weighed similar beauties) and leopard sharks. I got a four-foot 7-gill shark and had a ball landing and releasing her. Some guys at the end were catching turbots on cut anchovies. They almost threw them back as undersized halibut until I came to the rescue. There three turbots were each over fifteen inches, not too shabby. There are plenty of shinerperch to go around but no halibut to chase them. Strange how there haven't been any black or pileperch at all. All in all, April wasn't too great. Then again, El Nino really spoiled us last year.

I fished right beside Fort Baker Pier last week. No one was on the pier. I caught two cabezon and two rockfish, all four in respectable sizes. Most of the rockfish are small there, but at least it's something. I've caught small blues and browns each time out in the past few weeks. Haven't tried Sausalito because it didn't seem worth it on these awful tides.

So it's clearly time for Delta fishing, and that has been very nice indeed. Catfish, stripers, crappies, and black bass are all doing well. As a matter of fact, all four of those species are being caught at both Antioch public piers right now. Talked with East Bay Parks and also a young shoreliner who lives out that way. Minnows and plugs for the black bass, blood worms and fish baits for the stripers, just about anything for the catfish, and jigs and red worms for the crappies. It's supposedly quite good there currently.

Me, I'm a little fatigued with local lackluster angling, so I'm headed to the South Delta to plug for stripers and soak livers for the 12# channel cats people have been catching. I might even to some ultra light jigging for crappies and largemouth bass. It's a catch-and release only, as I'm full of rockfish as of this writing and still have some blue catfish in the icebox. I just want that 20 pound striper on a Rat-L-Trap for a glorious moment.

Here's to moments and good fishing!

Glen

Glen,

Thanks for the usual outstanding report. Hope we're able to go fishing together this summer.

Best wishes, Ken
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Date: May 1, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Kelley Cruise
Subject: Ventura Report...

Here's what was happening out at Ventura Pier today...

Clear, sunny and slightly windy. The water was fairly clear, not a lot of sediment. There's quite a bit of kelp and seaweed towards the shore end of the pier.

We fished the middle and shore ends. Here's what we caught: Perch (silver and barred) were biting around the pilings. They were ignoring baits and going for jigs. One or two jacksmelt. Also caught a couple of sardines. Big suckers, about 6-8 inches long.

People were catching sharks out towards the end, but no one had the right equipment for them. Have to try it next weekend.

Kel

Kelly,

Thanks for the report and I'll try to get it in the May Report.

Best wishes, Ken
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Date: May 2, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: James Pan
Subject: fishing report

Hi Ken,

Thanks for your always prompt response.

I went fishing yesterday (5-1) at the Berkeley Pier again, and results were mixed.

Caught 1 kingfish, ~10 bullheads, three bat rays (one weighing over 35lb using my hand held scale) and one sand ray (id through my Peterson Field Guide). The sand ray was a first. It looked much prettier than the picture in the Field Guide.

An older Chinese angler next to me caught two walleye (perch), two jacksmelt using nightcrawlers dug up from his backyard. The Berkeley Pier bait shop owner told me that nightcrawlers do not work in the Bay, and recommended pile worms, which is more expensive. Now I know what to use next time. One guy caught a small halibut using live anchovies just below the pier. No stripers yet.

All fishes were caught 1-2 hours before the incoming tied, and the bite stopped during the slack.

Good luck fishing to you.

Best regards, James

James,

Thanks for the report.

By the way, did you mean sand ray or sand sole; I'm not familiar with sand ray.

As for nightcrawlers, sometimes they will work but pile worms usually work much better. But you're right, there is a big difference in cost, especially if you can dig your own worms.

Sounds like the halibut season is just beginning and it should do nothing but get better between now and June.

Good luck and catch the big one, Ken

Hi Ken,

Sorry for the confusion. The "sand" fish I caught was a sandpaper skate. It was extremely fun to catch such skate. This particular skate actually "flied" out of the water once when hooked, but it did not provide as good of a fight as bat rays.

Regards,

James

Hi James,

You're lucky since that is a pretty uncommon skate, especially in shallow water. It just goes to prove that you never know what you'll catch at a pier.

Best wishes, Ken
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Date: May 3, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Matt Shockney
Subject: Pacifica

Hey Ken,

Made a visit to Pacifica Pier yesterday. What looked like a decent day turned into madness. The ocean was fairly calm, light breeze, overcast skies and clear water. Not to many people out there, but I grabbed my usual spot at the end and cast out. Well, the entire day I didn't even get a bite. Nothing in my crab trap either. No one else got anything either. I stayed for 5 hours and got the unusually rare skunk for this pier. Some guy fishing the surf had two incredibly huge perch.

Matt
P.S.- where are the stripers all ready!!
P.S.S.- I just got a great new job at the local trout farm! Really cool place. Great pay and free fishing.

Matt,

Pacifica sounds dull but the trout farm sounds great. By the way, I never see you enter anything on the Message Board -- what do you think of it?

Best wishes, Ken
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Date: May 3, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Matt Barraza
Subject: reporter?

I noticed that you don't have a reporter for the Seacliff Pier and a was wondering, how do I become a reporter?

Thanks, Matt Barraza

Matt,

If you fish the pier regularly you're the new reporter. What I need is a report at least once a month (generally at the start of the fourth week) telling what fish are being caught and how; what bait is being used and tips you might have. Also, were there any unusual fish caught during the month -- big fish or unusual species?

I can't pay you for your report but many, many fishermen will thank you.

Best wishes, Ken Jones, The Pier Fisherman

Ken,

I will be able to give you reports for the summer cause that's where I fish at in the summer. Is there anything special I say to people when asking there names? and do I send you the report?

Hi Matt,

Yes, send me a report toward the end of each month. You do not need to get people's names unless they catch something unusual or big and you think they deserve credit. Tell them it is for the Pier Fishing in California web site.

Thanks and look forward to your reports, Ken
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Date: May 4, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Gary Higgins
Subject: Ocean Beach and Embarcadero Marina reports -

Ocean Beach is still in the winter doldrums, with queenfish and an occasional lima perch (salema) being taken on small strips of jacksmelt. Also landed an undersized calico bass on a piece of anchovy. Best bets are ganglions of 3 to 6 hooks (Aberdeen hooks are preferred) with a terminal sinker of no more than 1 ounce, bounced off the bottom.

Embarcadero Marina was better, with small mackerel being taken on fly lined squid strips, and an occasional sting ray on anchovies. Bait shop said the sand bass were starting to spawn, but no one took any while I was there, as the conditions were poor.

Gary,

Thanks for the report. By the way, I am looking for a new reporter for the Ocean Beach Pier. Any interest? All it requires is a report toward the end of each month telling what fish are being caught, what they are being caught on (bait), and how/ where. If interested, let me know. I can't pay you any money but many, many fisherman will thank you.

Best wishes, Ken Jones, The Pier Fisherman

Ken,

I'm happy to help out, however, I only hit this pier 3 or 4 times per month. On those weeks where I don't fish the pier, I can always check with Bruce at the bait shop.

If you should happen to need a fishing buddy the next time you come down, I'd love to wet a line with you.

Best wishes,

Gary,

Thanks for the reply and I will be looking forward to your messages. Unfortunately, Bruce is no longer at the bait shop and the other people there appeared uninformed -- at least in my last call.

Thanks and best wishes, Ken
________________________________________________________________________________

Date: May 4, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Jerry O (Goatfish)
Subject: Ocean Beach Pier

Dear Ken,

I noticed that you need a new reporter for Ocean Beach Pier. I used to fish this pier constantly when I lived in San Diego, and now that I live in Long Beach, I still find myself making occasional trips to this pier because the bite is almost always consistent (especially in summer). In my opinion, this is one of the best fishing piers in So. Cal.! Summertime bonito and white seabass are not uncommon off this pier (as I'm sure you know!) Anyway, I was wondering what kind of commitment this entails, and how the whole reporter thing works. By the way, what happened to Bruce??

Jerry,

Regarding the Ocean Beach Pier, you're the second person today to show an interest. All it takes is a report toward the end of each month telling what fish are being caught, what bait is working, and how/where they're being caught. In addition, it's nice to know if any large fish or unusual species have been landed.

As for Bruce, I'm not sure what happened. He worked at the bait shop and was a really good reporter. Apparently he is no longer employed (and the girl who answered the phone did not have a clue regarding the fishing).

By the way, I really would like to see a new reporter for the Seal Beach Pier (apparently Janie no longer is there) and would also like to get some reports on what's happening at the finger piers that are found down by the Shoreline Park in Long Beach (there are four small piers).

I cannot afford to pay reporters at this time but many, many anglers will appreciate the reports.

Best wishes and let me know if you want to report on any of these piers,

Ken Jones, The Pier Fisherman

Dear Ken,

Thanks for the info. If you also need a reporter for Seal Beach Pier, I could certainly do that, I'm only a few minutes from there. (Actually, I only live about two blocks from Belmont pier, but Seal Beach is just right down the street!) The money is insignificant, I get paid in beautiful sunsets, and the thrill of someday "hookin' that big one". I'm in school for a couple more weeks, but after that, I plan on spending at least a couple days a week fishing! (Not that I don't already sneak a day in here and there!) Sorry to hear that Bruce is no longer at the bait shop at Ocean Beach pier, I spent many a day fishing alongside him. He was notorious for getting 2 or 3 casts in between customers, and was quite a fixture on the pier. I'll miss him. Also, should I send reports to your e-mail address, or is there a more preferred method, and is there any particular format for reports? Regards, Jerry O. (goatfish)

Hi Jerry,

I agree, Bruce will be missed. As for the reports, all I need are the type of fish that are biting, baits they are hitting on, what area of the pier is producing, and any large or unusual fish that you've heard were caught. The easiest way for me is to e-mail me at this address toward the end of each month. We're getting more and more reporters and I look forward to your reports. Also hope to see you when I'm down there this summer.

Best wishes, Ken
_______________________________________________________________________________

Date: May 7, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: John (buckwhip)
Subject: Fishing

Hey, what's up? Love your page. I just moved down to San Diego last month and saw that you need a reporter from Ocean Beach Pier. I go at least once or sometimes two or three times a week. I can give you reports anytime. If you want me to just e-mail me back.

Also, I was wondering if you know if they have re-opened the old San Mateo Pier for fishing? That's where I'm from and used to love going there till it closed (and a few times after). Well, thanks for your time and please e-mail me back. '

Have a good one, John (buckwhip)

Hi John,

Would love to have your reports and I think a couple of others are also going to send in reports. What's biting, what bait/riggings are successful, what parts of the pier are productive, and anything unusual or big; that's usually what I am looking for and I like to get the reports around the 25th of each month.

As for San Mateo, so far still no good news. I thought it would be open by now but Cal Trans still has it closed.

Thanks for your help and I'll look forward to your reports.

Best wishes, Ken
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Date: May 7, 1999
To: Snookie
From: Ken Jones
Subject: Games 'n Things

Hi Snookie,

I guess Rich is having some formatting problems with the Games 'n Things Page but it is still coming (together with all the pictures).

By the way, have you ever made a list of the unusual fish you and the gang have caught at the pier? So far you mentioned the middling thread herring, the bonefish, a tripletail (which I have not been able to identify), a small fish you couldn't identify, and Cass' striped bass. Have there been any other unusual fish over the years.

Also, it sounds like you do a lot of boat fishing and own (?) some type of fishing company. Given that, what is the attraction of the pier that keeps you coming back week after week? And, how long has your group of "pier rats" been together?

On a different note, I hope you'll let me use your recipe in my book; I already have a place with your name on it.

Last but not least, is there anything you think would make the site better or more useful? And, do you think Balboa would be a good pier for a "pier rat" meeting place this summer? Right now the two dates that look promising are the last week of June or the last week of July but specific dates are still problematical.

Let me know, Ken

Dear Ken,

I have mailed a letter answering your questions. I got to writing the answers, and got carried away. I thought that it would be better to mail it than to E-mail it. It was too bulky. In the letter I said that I am still thinking about the message board question having to do with tackle. Soon.

Did you get a copy of the Register with "our" article? Dave did a great job. Now more people know about your web site.

A fishing friend,

Snookie

Hi Snookie,

Thanks for the message. No, I haven't gotten the article yet but Dave said he would send me a copy. Obviously I am interested in seeing it. Several times over the years I have been interviewed for articles on Boontling, the unique local language of Boonville, and sometimes the article was pretty accurate, sometimes not. I prefer an interview in person or by e-mail/mail so that I can clarify any questions but this interview was over the phone and there were several things that I thought of later that I might have added

As for your fish, one of things I have tried to do is go back and list unusual fish which have been caught at the various piers. I think Balboa and Newport would probably lead the list because of the proximity to the deep water canyon, and your catches would tend to confirm that thought.

I think your pictures (on the new page Games 'n Things page) will be up this weekend on the net (fingers crossed). However, I'm not too pleased with the page. I used the old newspaper article that described your group and thought afterward that it may be a little dated. But I will do a new one this summer and incorporate your various messages and letters.

Look forward to your new article and our meeting this summer.

See you then (and I plan to stay a couple of days at Newport), Ken

Dear Ken,

I was going over my E-mail when I discovered that I missed part of one of your letters. The pictures you may return when you are here. The triple tail I do have pictures of. Its' Latin name is Lobotes surinamensis. The Pacific coast relatives' name is Lobotes pacificus. This one is found from Petacalco Bay, Mexico to Panama.

Good luck fishing.

Snookie
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Date: May 8, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Huy L
Subject: another pier

Hi Ken,

I wanted to know if there are any pier reports for another pier in Oakland? I don't know the exact name but it is referred to as the Seventh Steet Pier. I fish there sometimes but I can't get any report of it on this site.

Huy

Huy,

No, I haven't been able to find a reporter for the pier -- but I would love to have one. That pier is officially the Port View Park Pier but you're right, everyone seems to call it the 7th St. Pier. When I lived in the East Bay (in the '70s) I fished that pier many times and found it to an excellent pier for sharks, rays, and sometimes stripers. There also always seemed to be a lot of little rockfish, perch, and smelt in the inside area.

If you fish it regularly I would love to have you be the reporter. All it would take is a report toward the end of each month telling what fish are being caught, what bait is successful, and any unusual or large fish you might spot.

It would be useful since that pier (and the new area by the parking lot) are an attractive place to fish.

As a matter of fact, I would like to have reports on all the piers along the Oakland waterfront someday.

For now, best wishes and hope you catch the big one,

Ken Jones, The Pier Fisherman
____________________________________________________________________

Date: May 9, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Chris W
Subject: Shark

I was surfing the net trying to get info on San Pedro (my next place to hang my hat). Got a link to a California Pier Fishing site. Saw a picture of a dude with a sand shark. I think he caught it on the Huntington Beach or Redondo Beach Pier. I'll have to do some more research. I saw your name on
the home page. I guess I sent it to the wrong person. OOPS.

I'm currently living in South Korea. The internet is my source of info for how things are in the states. I'll be stationed at L.A. Air Force Base next Feb.

My wife and I enjoy fishing on piers. How's the fishing on the San Pedro/Oceanside (me and my wife's old hangout)/Huntington Beach/Piers et. all in So. Cal.?

I know Feb. is over 9 months away but I need to plan accordingly.

Over and Out, Chris

Hi Chris,

I'm the right dude, I'm just not sure which shark picture you were referring to since there are so many pictures on the site.

Go direct to the main page (pierfishing.com) and you should be able to hook up with the Reports Page (which details what's happening at 50 or so piers), the Pier of the Month Page (which has featured some of the piers you mention), the Message Board (which has up-to-the-minute information -- sometimes), or the Comments Pages which has letters from viewers). Each of those pages also has archived the past pages so you can further check what has happened.

Glad to have you aboard on the site and hope you can spend many pleasant hours reading about the local pier fishing even if you are a few (perhaps more than a few) miles away.

Best wishes, Ken Jones, The Pier Fisherman
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Date: May 10, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Kim Gale
Subject: foul hooked

Just back from a week in Tampa Bay, Florida where the weather turned out to be about the same as hereabouts. Decided to spend Mother's Day morning fishing a promising tide off the new Eckely Pier between Crockett and Port Costa. Pulled into the parking lot at 7 a.m. to find the gates shut until eight. Spent an hour in Port Costa soaking a bullhead without crab interference before returning to the pier. Disgruntlement had turned to sunny optimism as I tossed a bullhead into the still powerful current near the top of the tide. Used a second, lighter rig to offer cut anchovies to those who would disdain a live breakfast. The anchovies elicited quick response: the tap, tap tapping of baby bass. The tide slowed and the ubiquitous mitten crabs moved in to do their number on the bullheads. Nine o'clock. The remains of a bullhead had just been taken on a quick run and as I was assessing the damage, ding-a-ling! My smaller rod top bounced big time. I grabbed it, set the hook, and nothing . . . then a second or two later it bent seriously, line leaving spool, goin' toward Benicia. I started reeling, recovering a few yards then loosing it. Felt like a small sturgeon. Oh, well. Several minutes later found me in much the same muddle. The fish about 100 feet from the pier, pulling a few yards and then losing it. I stifled ill considered thoughts of tightening the drag just a tad and just kept reeling. Finally saw the fish as it tired and came meekly to a spot right under the pier. The only other angler on the pier took over my pole while I maneuvered a mid-sized bass into my crab net and then saw the reason for my confusion. The silly slub had hooked her pectoral fin while darting about stealing my anchovy chunks.It was a real pretty, clean looking, fat bass with bright stripes. 27" long, probably about nine pounds. She was full of roe and appeared to have been eating shad and mud suckers. Haven't kept a bass all winter so this one, foul hooked or not, will afford me one of my favorites recipes tonight: stuffed striped bass fillet.

Caio,
Kim Gale

Hi Kim,

Another interesting tale -- and by the way, you're quite a writer. Up here the wind was blowing like a hurricane last week so fishing was out. Have to get back down there.

Best wishes, Ken
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Date: May 10, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Mike G
Subject: San Diego Piers

I will be in San Diego next week 5-17 to 5- 21 and was wondering if you could direct me to a fishing pier I could get to and maybe fish for half a day. It is one of those " got to go see grandma" budget driving all night one week VACATIONS. You know the type. I thought that since I would be out there I might try to fish off a pier as I am not independently wealthy and cannot afford deep sea fishing. Being landlocked here in Oklahoma and being from the D.C. area originally, I miss the sea.

Hi Mike,

I think the easiest suggestion is to check the Monthly Report Page. Each pier listed shows direction to the pier after the report. So you can see which piers are currently having some action and how to get there. The last time I talked to them (a couple of weeks ago), the Embarcadero Marina Pier and Shelter Island Pier both sounded pretty good. By the way, the easy new address is pierfishing.com

Also, you do not need a California fishing license when fishing from a pier.

Good luck and let me know how you do.

Best wishes, Ken Jones
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Date: May 11, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Robert Thompson
Subject: Locations

This is a great web site, thanks. Perhaps I missed it, but I did not find a map of the locations of the piers, and the directions to them

Thank you, Bob aka drbob

Hi Bob,

Thanks for your comments. No, there are not maps showing the piers but there are directions to the piers at the end of each fish report on the Monthly Report Page. Good luck and catch a big one.

Best wishes, Ken Jones, The Pier Fisherman
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Date: May 13, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Jeff Ishikawa
Subject: Pacifica Pier

Ken,

I went fishing at the Pacifica Pier last Saturday (May 8th). When we got there at 6:45 am in the morning there was only one other person on the pier (that should have been our clue!). It was very cold, windy and the seas were very rough! Nevertheless, we fished for several hours, using pileworms and anchovies and caught only one very small kingfish. Didn't see any fish except for a couple of very small perch.

Keep up the good work on the website. It's the only site of its kind that I've found useful.

Sincerely, Jeff Ishikawa.

Jeff,

Thanks for your kind comments. This weather is killing the fishing throughout the northern part of the state. Hope it improves soon.

Best wishes, Ken
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Date: May 15, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: James Pan
Subject: fishing

Hi Ken,

I wonder if its easier to post my fishing report to the message board? (Whatever makes your work easier. Please let me know)

Went fishing on 5/14 and 5/15. Caught five bat rays, two of them weight 5 and 12lb. The third one, which I managed to brought to the surface of the water, is probably in the 40lb range based on the size. But the line snapped. The other two were too small to mention.

Also caught a variety of other fished: tons of bullheads, one kingfish, one flounder, one leopard shark (34"), one shiner, and to my surprise, one small striper (12").

A neighbor caught a 42" leopard shark today. (5/15) Others caught hundreds of jacksmelt, most 1-2 hours before the incoming.

Regards, James

Hi James,

Whichever is easier for you is o.k. It is probably faster to post directly to the Message Board but I do enjoy the information.

Which pier were you talking about in your report?

Best wishes, Ken

Hi Ken,

My apology. I went fishing at the Berkeley Pier last weekend.

I was at the same pier again yesterday, but caught only bullheads. Perch and jacksmelt action was very hot yesterday 1/2 to 3/4 down from the base of the pier. There were still a number of bay rays being caught, mostly on anchovies.

James
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Date: may 16, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Jason R
Subject: crabbing

I have been looking for Southern California piers to go crabbing on like the rock jetty in Northern California at Bodega Bay. Any good places you know of?

Jason,

I really don't know of any such places in southern California. For the most part, edible size crabs in the south are found in deeper waters. However some piers are noted for good catches of spider crabs. Included are Santa Barbara, Port Hueneme, the Sportfishing Pier in Redondo Beach and Newport.

Sorry, Ken
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Date: May 17, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Jeff Ishikawa
Subject: Seacliff Pier

Ken,

Went fishing at Seacliff Pier on Sunday, May 16. The weather was nice and the surf was not too rough. Caught a lot of small perch in the morning, mostly on worms. Many were pan-sized and good enough for eating. Saw a couple people with some nice-sized perch (1-2 lbs.)

Jeff Ishikawa.

Jeff,

Thanks for the report and I'll post it today.

Best wishes, Ken
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Date: May 21, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Sol Gilboa
Subject: need info

Hello,

I live in Haifa, Israel on the sea. We are in the process of trying to build the first pier in Israel that would provide fishing, boat launching, restaurants and entertainment...We are looking for ideas and/or addresses or pictures to help the Haifa Mayor and council visualize it ...any idea?!!

Thanks, Sol Gilboa

Mr. Sol Gilboa,

I'm enclosing some ideas and addresses which might be of help to your project. Some of the ideas are philosophical in nature and reflect my personal feelings, some of the information is of a more objective, concrete nature.

(1) Why should communities build recreational piers and what impact do they have on towns?

The impact of piers depends on a number of factors and thus can vary from town to town. As a general rule, piers offer aesthetic, recreational, and economic benefits to most communities. Fishing piers, designed mainly for recreation, are used by a plethora of groups, many with little interest in fishing. They're great for a stroll, a place to clear the mind, or a meeting place for romantic liaisons -- you name it. As for the fishing, the piers are used by all but especially the young, the elderly, the poor, minorities, and increasingly, the handicapped. In my eyes, piers serve as a democratizing force among America's diverse society.

Almost all towns agree that piers, especially the larger, multi-use piers, provide an economic stimulus to the area and the city. Bait and tackle shops, restaurants and other businesses seem to spring up around most piers -- but not all. Much of this depends on the size of the pier. Small piers, built solely for angling, offer the esthetics and recreation, but may have a minimal impact on other aspects of the community. California has over 100 public piers and each offers its own unique answer to your question.

2) Who could supply some hard data on the costs of piers and the dollar impact they may have on communities?

In California, two agencies are primarily responsible for pier building and repair. The Wildlife Conservation Board, part of the California Department of Fish and Game, was for many years the prime shaker and mover in this area. In simple terms, they would agree to fund 50% of a pier project when cities and towns proposed and could come up with the money for a pier. In exchange, the city had to agree to make the pier a Public Pier where anglers could have free access (and no fishing license is required). In some cases this was done for new pier projects; in many instances money was used to rebuild or repair piers damaged by winter storms. The program continues to today although the board's role has decreased somewhat.
In the last few years, the California State Coastal Conservancy has taken an increasingly active role in pier preservation and building. This organization today oversees many of the pier projects and acts as sort of a coordinator between the various groups. For instance, they will try to find funding for a town that is proposing a pier project, and then work to convince the WCB to go along with the project. Thus, their job is a little different than that of the WCB. Whatever the case, the two organizations have done a pretty impressive job during the past ten years -- a time of tight money for almost every government agency.
I'm sure both agencies would be of tremendous help if you contacted them. The addresses are:

Wildlife Conservation Board
P.O. Box 944209
Sacramento, Ca 94244-2090

State Coastal Conservancy
Urban Waterfronts Program
1330 Broadway, Suite 1100
Oakland, Ca 94612

http://ceres.ca.gov/coastalconservancy/index.htm

I'm afraid I could go on for hours but I'm sure you can feel my attachment to the piers already. I think they are an important source of recreation and one of the best values for government funding of recreational projects.

Best wishes, Ken Jones, The Pier Fisherman

PS, You might also look at the various Pier of the Month articles archived on my site for ideas and images on how many of the piers look and how they are built.
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Date: May 21, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Jerome G
Subject: pier reports

Hi Ken, how are ya? Fine I hope. I was hoping you could help. For some reason I am unable to get the web site to go to any of the pier reports. When I click on the report the hour glass comes up and disappears instantly. The rest of the web site works just great. Is there some thing I should be doing?
Please help.

Thanks, Jerome

Jerome,

I'm sending your note to Rich, my webmaster, to see if he can figure out the problem. Hope we can solve the problem,

Best wishes, Ken

Thanks !
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Date: May 23, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Eric S
Subject: May Report

Here are my reports for May:

FORT POINT PIER:

Went to Fort Point Pier on 5/8 around 4 when it was incoming tide. Plenty of people there. About 20 people were at the first part of the pier jigging small Kastmasters to the Golden Gate side catching some very big pile, rubberlip and rainbow perch. I was fishing with pile worms catching some ok sized perch to the golden gate side in the middle. There were salmon fisherman there but they were not getting anything. I think its a little early for salmon in the bay. Well the fishing is starting to get very good at the Fort Point Pier.

TIBURON:

I went to Tiburon on 5/9 for about 2 hours fishing for leopard sharks but got skunked. However I lost one and had a bite from another. This was at low tide so if i would have stayed a little longer I would have caught more fish. The good news is that Elephant Rock pier is finished and all they have to do is put the gate to enter it. It looks very nice. It is not wood but is metal and has nice wooden railing. I hope it will be done by the end of this month.

Erik

Erik,

Thanks for the report! We'll have to meet sometime and fish at the Elephant Rock Pier.

Best wishes, Ken

Ken,

Maybe we can set a date when we can go fishing at the pier this summer. I am only 14 but know a lot about fishing. I don't think I will be able to go anytime in July because I will be in Alaska catching salmon and halibut. I can probably go around August or September. I catch a lot of sharks out there August through October so that would probably be a good time to fish. Hope we can go fishing around that time.

Erik

We'll check a little later in the summer and set a time to meet at the pier.

Good fishing, Ken
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Date: May 24, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: James Pan
Subject: fishing report

Hi Ken,

Managed to fish yesterday (5/23) morning at the Berkeley pier. The bullheads were busy munching on whatever was on the hooks and keeping me entertained all morning. Also caught a few rock crabs, but nothing else. The action has been slow for other anglers as well.

Regards, James

Hi James,

Got a chance to stop down at the Berkeley Pier on Thursday for a couple of hours. Unfortunately, all I caught were bullheads (on every cast if I wanted them), some shinerperch and one walleye surfperch. Didn't see much but it was kind of windy. Looks like I missed the hot action. Also stopped at the San Antonio Pier and hooked a huge bat ray but it managed to find some kind of obstruction on the bottom which resulted in its freedom (and I think it was one of the largest bat rays that I've ever hooked). But there will be more!!!

Best wishes and thanks for the reports, Ken
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Date: May 24, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Matthew Michie
Subject: fishing reports

Hey Ken,

I've been reading your reports for the past couple months and I have to a say you have a really nice web site. I was wondering if I could give you reports on how the fishing is on the Monterey Coast Guard Jetty? I know it's not a pier but I was wondering if you would still want reports. I don't fish the Monterey Pier (except when the salmon are around in Aug.). I have posted a few reports on your post board before. I'm sure you have seen them. Just to let you know I fish the jetty about 3-4 times a month. I also walk down there at least 2-3 times a week, so I have a good idea how things are fishing down there. Well, I guess just let me know if you want a report.....thanks for your time.

Tight Lines, Matthew

Hi Matthew,

Why don't you send me a report, I'll post it, and we'll see what kind of feedback we get on it.

PS, If I'm not mistaken, most people call it the Coast Guard Pier. Is that the same one? Also, could you send directions and what hours it is open?

Thanks, Ken
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Date: May 24, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Thomas Brett
Subject: Fort Baker Pier

Ken,

Went to Fort Baker on Sunday afternoon, May 23. Wind was horrific and made fishing difficult. A few larger rubberlips were evidently taken in the morning on small Kastmasters, and smaller perch were being caught once in a while on shrimp. Pretty slow, though. There was an exciting flurry of activity in the early afternoon as a school of jacksmelt came by. I got a couple nice sized jacksmelt on a tiny Kastmaster which was pretty fun, but the people around me using cut bait under bobbers were making me look foolish as they pulled in two and three fish at a time. One guy using bloodworms had so many fish coming up it was almost obscene. The action lasted for about 30 min, then pretty quickly died out. After that only the rare perch again. No crabs, either. Once again, though, the views of the city and the bridge were spectacular.

Brett

Brett,

Thanks for the excellent report, it makes me want to head down there.

Best wishes, Ken
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Date: May 25, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Buckwhip
Subject: Ocean Beach Pier

Hey what's up? Here is a report for the Ocean Beach Pier from "buckwhip." Been out about five times this month. Caught a bunch of mackerel of course using mackerel and anchovies. At the end of the pier, using anchovies on the bottom, caught about 8 sand bass one day and 6 the other. Some were nice size. Saw a guy using shrimp at the end of pier and he caught like 10 nice size perch in about 2 hours. He also caught a huge red looking fish (not sure what it was). Of course the lobsters are always biting but they aren't in season. Haven't seen anyone catching sharks or rays at night like usual. Other than that though they are hittin' and being caught.

We'll see you out there, 'buckwhip"

May 27, 1999

Hey what's up again? I just sent you a pier report the other day for the Ocean Beach Pier. Well, I just wanted to add to that cause I was there yesterday and people were catching mackerel left and right and I caught a few sand bass. But what I wanted to tell you is this guy next to me caught an eel at least 4-foot-long. It was crazy. He said it was a 'morrow eel'. I have never seen anyone catch one before. He caught it using mackerel on a big hook. Nobody there wanted it so he threw it back. I took a picture of it and also a big sheephead that he had caught. When I get the pictures developed I will scan them and send them to you. Talk to you later

"buckwhip"

Buckwhip,

Thanks for the interesting reports. Moray eels are fairly rare at most piers and certainly ones that big. Ditto large sheephead. I hope the pictures come out good, they would be great for the Pictures Page.

Good fishin', Ken
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Date: May 25, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Snookie
Subject: Balboa Pier Report

Dear Ken,

Nothing great has been happening. The fishing is picking up, but it isn't happening fast. The weather is still interfering.

We're getting barred surf perch and walleyed perch (lots of those) The barred surf perch are hitting blood worms, and the walleyes are hitting the snaglines. Also on the bloodworms was a female rock wrasse. She was about two pounds. The sand dabs liked the bloodworms as well. I saw about a dozen that day which is a nice surprise as they have not been around for a while.

There is a small amount of smelt for bait, but we have had to really work for them. We're still struggling to get some keepers, but we do have quite a few halibut up to 21.5 inches. We'll get there.

The mackerel have been hit and miss. Some good days--some bad days.

Thank goodness I've got a boat, and I finally got out there last week. I got my keepers there. Got a 24 pound, 39-inch, and also a 25 inch halibut with some nice sand bass. Felt good!

Going to the high Sierras tomorrow to find some trout while it's still cool.

Good luck if you get fishing for Memorial Day.

Snookie

Hi Snookie,

Thanks once again for an excellent report. Sorry the reply is late but I had a little trouble with Eudora (thought I lost all my data/messages from the last two years). But finally figured out a way to salvage the messages and I'm back in business.

No. I can't go fishing over the weekend because I have to take a business trip to Sacramento. However, I had to take my wife down to the San Francisco airport today and missed school. So, to make a long story short, I managed to stop at a couple of Bay Area piers for short visits on the way back. Not much in the way of fish although I hooked a HUGE bat ray that simply was not going to let me land him/her and managed to find some type of obstruction on the bottom -- and gain its freedom. But that's o.k., there are always more.

Hope to see you the last week in June and will let you know what exact day as soon as plans are finalized (and I may make a second trip down in August).

Best wishes, Ken
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Date: May 25, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: David Strong
Subject: June Pier Report - Goleta

Hi Ken,

I caught your article contributions in the Orange County register, thanks to my father-in-law who lives in Costa Mesa. He's been fishing the Newport Pier for 30 years. He swears that he remembers you peddling around on your bike. His name is Ray Jones (no relation I'm sure) and he liked the book and sends his best. Now when we get the families together, we tie flies, rigs and sneak in a little fishing excursion instead of watching TV. There's a little thanks to you in there somewhere.

Here's your June Report for Goleta Pier:

Nasty winds kept me off the pier more than a few times last month. During the Grunion run evenings (right at the beginning of May) the water below the mid-pier area was literally ALIVE with fish. Their shadows and reflections were so dense and consistent, that I first thought I was just seeing the texture of the surface. I guessed that they were grunion, but the kids kept pulling up Spanish mackerel with their lucky jig lines. The regular anglers seem to be concentrating on the surf area for barred surfperch -- and getting lots of nice ones! I saw a young guy pull up a beautiful 25-inch halibut from the mid-pier area. He says, "You gotta use live bait!" The kids continue to pull up a lot of frigate mackerel (tiger striped backs) and itty-bitty kelp bass?

Took a trip to Gaviota for a little camping and fishing. Talk about nasty wind--sheesh! Anglers there spoke of a "barn door halibut" flirting glimpses in the afternoons but not biting any lines. Supposedly, they've also seen a nice 4-5 foot thresher shark that comes by each evening, but the winds chased me out so I didn't see either. The Gaviota Pier is now open, with only the last third still fenced off. The new campground store just opened and sells frozen bait at reasonable prices. I'll be going back for that Halibut soon!

David Strong

Hi David,

I enjoyed your report, as usual, and was very glad to find that the pier at Gaviota is open -- or at least part way open.

As for the wind, it's been terrible up this way as well, and it really makes it hard to fish.

As for Ray Jones, no I don't think we're related although I had an uncle named Ray Jones. Most of my Jones relatives are back in Indiana and I don't think I have any relatives in California except for my family itself.

But, you never know.

Best wishes and hope you catch that big 'un.

Ken
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Date: May 25, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Mark Pearson
Subject: link

I am working on a new community site for Cayucos called cayucosbythesea.com. I am searching for some fishing information to include in the fishing section and would like to link to your site. Is there a specific address your would like me to use that relates to Cayucos. Could you add a reciprocal link? Thanks, Mark Pearson
www.cayucosbythesea.com

I had another quick question. I was wondering if you had a past fishing tip article that could be reprinted for the fishing section of cayucosbythesea.com. In exchange we could provide a space for an ad banner for your new book as well as all the proper credits for the article. Please let me know if this is a possibility,

Thanks, Mark

Mark,

The net address for Pier Fishing in California is

pierfishing.com

and yes, I would be willing to put a link to your site.

As for the article, you have my permission to borrow the archived article on the Cayucos Pier that you will find on the site. Please give me credit and I will have my webmaster send you a banner for the use.

Best wishes and hope your site is a success, Ken Jones, The Pier Fisherman
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Date: May 25, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Mark Jackson
Subject: Newport/Balboa Piers

Dear Ken,

I have been walking the pier in the mornings. Not much going on early in the morning. One of the local early morning rats named Min has not been able to come with any fish. The last two days the tide has been high but no fish coming in with the tide. Newport Landing has been taking in hundreds of barracuda. And some nice white sea bass. Talk to you soon.

Sincerely, Mark Jackson

Hi Mark,

Forgot to tell you that I plan on being down there sometime the last week of June. Will give you a more specific date as soon as I've got it.

Best wishes, Ken
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Date: May 26, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Jay Bute
Subject: Alvey reels

I got a hit on your site with a search on "alvey+reel" but cannot find anything on these reels on your website. Do you have any experience with the Alvey Sidecast reels from Australia?

Jay Bute, El Lago, Texas (on Galveston Bay)

Hi Jay,

I'm sorry but I don't have any experience with them. There have been a few references to them on some of my back comments pages. You might check there.

Best wishes, Ken
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Date: May 26, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Goatfish
Subject: Seal Beach Pier report

Dear Ken,

The fishing is starting to pick up a little, I've been seeing several nice, legal (~14"-16") sand bass being taken on live bait off the end of the pier, along with a few shovelnose. Yellowfin croaker (some rather large!) are being taken in the mid-pier area, all the way to the surf zone. Also have been seeing some mackerel being caught here and there, I caught two the other day, but not in any large numbers. The water temp. has warmed up a couple more degrees in the past couple of weeks, so be on the lookout for more mackerel coming soon. Saw one guy catch a starfish, but the strange species award goes to the guy fishing next to me a couple of weeks ago who caught a cabezon! I've seen many scorpionfish off so. Cal.. piers before, but I think this cabezon was a first for me, especially this far south.

Keep those lines wet! Goatfish

Goatfish,

You're right about the cabezon, they're pretty rare on so. Cal piers. However, I did catch a couple off the Newport Jetty quite a few years ago.

Thanks for the report and keep up the good work, Ken
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Date: May 27, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Mark Grim
Subject: Monthly Pier Report

Hi Ken,

Been kind of windy out the last few weeks, but I was able to get a couple of trips in this month. I hope that you have been able to get out on a pier lately also. I am coach of my 9 year old daughter's Ponytail Baseball League team - so I've had to give up some fishing time for her, but it is worth it.

I am going down to San Diego next week and am bringing my fishing gear. Hope to hit Ocean Beach Pier and Crystal Pier. I'll let you know how I do.

Here is my report for this month:

Antioch Bridge Pier

Using anchovies, shad, and grass shrimp have all been successful in catching lots of "throw back" sized stripers here. I couple of legal sized striped bass have been caught here weekly, but you must be patient and work through a lot of little ones. It is really cold out on the pier when the wind is blowing like it has been lately, don't be fooled by the warm weather in town - bring a jacket or sweatshirt.

Antioch Marina Pier

I was able to catch a couple of small stripers her by using frozen anchovies. Someone else caught a good sized catfish off of anchovies while I was there. The bait shop at the marina has reopened which makes getting bait a little more convenient.

That's all this month.

Mark

Hi Mark,

Thanks for the report. As for San Diego, I haven't been able to find out much about Crystal Pier but Ocean Beach finally seems to be picking up. The Embarcadero Pier also seems to produce some decent fish.

I know what you mean about your daughter and sports, that's how I got into teaching. I was spending so much time coaching teams at our school that the superintendent one day said I should go back and get my credential. I did and soon after was teaching at the school.

Best wishes, Ken
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Date: May 27, 1999
To: Rich Reano
From: Ken Jones
Subject: June Report

Rich,

Don't know if you got my last message! My Eudora program crashed and I thought I had lost all of my messages for the past two years (as well as recent messages with fish reports). However, I was somehow able to fix it and retrieve the messages and I think it is now working. Hope, hope, hope...

Anyway, here is the Report Page for June.

Have also thought it over about your trip. What days will you be up in the Bay Area? Maybe (not sure yet) I can figure out a way to come down and see you. As I said in the previous message, which you may not have received, I will be down in San Diego at the end of June (looks like for sure).

I'll let you know exactly when as soon as I find out.

Best wishes, Ken

Hi Ken

I got your message. I hope your Eudora is all fixed. I know how frustrating it is to lose material like that.

I anticipate being in the Bay Area around Saturday evening or so. What's a good pier to visit that also is shopping friendly so my girlfriend, Tami has something to do while I fish for a bit. If not this time, we'll definitely meet up in June.

Hi Rich,

I'm sorry but I have to be in Sacramento on Saturday so it looks like I will miss you. A couple of thoughts on piers: (1) The Muni Pier is old but sometimes offers some interesting fishing. Just up the street is Ghiradelli Square and the Fisherman's Wharf Area. (2) Pier 7 is just down the Embarcadero from Pier 39 and Fishermans Wharf and I think you can find some parking next door for free on the weekend. (3) Angel Island is a fun place to visit. You can fish where the ferry boat lands and adjacent are picnic grounds, a snack bar and a pretty little cove. You can catch a ferry to the island from Tiburon (which is a fun shopping/dining area itself) or you can catch a ferry from San Francisco. I'm attaching the updated pages on these various piers. Do bring some warm clothes since it has been cool lately and far too windy. A final thought is to drive over to Sausalito; it's another great place to visit with great views of The City and just up the road from the town is the Fort Baker Pier which has been decent lately for perch and big jacksmelt. Have a great time.
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Date: May 28, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Dan Ahlberg
Subject: SoCal Piers

Got and liked your pier fishing book long time ago. When I was in high school (later 60's), my Dad worked at Rockwell Seal Beach, and during the summer would drop me off at the Seal Beach pier to fish all day, and then pick me up after work. Always had a great time, getting a couple of halibut, and five or six bonito on the slider bobber rig. Too bad we haven't kept the waters clean, my boys love to fish, but all they get at the piers are mackerel. My 19-year-old did pick up an 8lb spotfin off the Dana Point/Doheny jetty last night - on peas! Great Web site, I'll visit often - and maybe pick up a hat when it becomes available.

Dan,

Thanks for your kind comments, it makes the work worthwhile.

We sound alike, I fished Newport Pier almost daily in the early '60s and like you caught bonito instead of today's mackerel. However, times do change and we've got to do the best we can with what we've got. So, I'll take the mackerel.

Congratulate your son for me on his nice spotfin and hope you have good fishin' for your entire family.

Best wishes, Ken Jones, The Pier Fisherman
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Date: May 29, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: James Pan
Subject: Pier Report

Hi Ken,

Thanks for your message.

I went fishing yesterday (5/28/99) morning at the Berkeley Pier (3 hrs before the incoming) and caught a lot of bullheads. Also caught two large bay rays, but this time was not able to bring the fish to the surface at all, and in both instances, my 20lb fireline broke. However, I did get to battle with he fish for about 5 minutes and it provided a lot of fun. I was fishing on the north side of the pier, two benches from the end of the pier. Like you said, there's a bullhead on the hook in almost every cast. I will go fishing tomorrow and Monday, most likely at Berkeley Pier or Pier 7. For some strange reason, I have not seen a kingfish for a full month now.

Regards,

James

James,

You're certainly right about the bat rays, they provide a lot of sport.

Best wishes, Ken
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May 29, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: Yvonne L
Subject: Pier

Hi, I'm not really into pier fishing and certainly not in CA as I'm in England but I was wondering if you could help me find a pier I'm looking for. I think it's in California, the entrance to the actual pier itself has an arched sign over it with KENNY'S COVE written on it. It was in a music video and would really like to go and see it if I knew where it was. Thanks

Yvonne

Yvonne,

There isn't a pier with a sign like that although the Santa Monica Pier has a large arched sign at the entrance. Perhaps the movie crew changed the name? Also, a lot of video's (and the Rockford movies) are/were photographed at the Paradise Cove Pier just north of Los Angeles.

Hope you find it, Ken Jones, The Pier Fisherman