Last modified: October 22, 2021

Fishing Piers San Francisco Bay Area

Chevys Pier — Emeryville

Public Access Area — Status Unclear — Fishing License May Be Required

There are many small piers scattered along the shoreline of the East Bay, many not technically built for fishing but offering platforms for those who chose the piscatorial arts. This is one such pier. It is mainly used by joggers, diners from the nearby Chevys Restaurant who might need a walk after stuffin’ the gut, and people looking for a simple walk over the bay. But, as said, it also offers up some room for anglers and, as important, offers up some decent fishing at times. 

Most of the time the action is slow (excepting for some excellent bat ray action) but there times when the tide is high and the stripers are showing that the pier can also be very productive. The pier is found near the corner of the nearby Chevy’s Restaurant and is easily found.

Environment. The pier is relatively short and sits in fairly shallow water but it is water deep enough for several species and is deep enough to see some mussel growth on its pilings. Bottom here is mud with few rocks so primarily you will find flatfish, white croaker (less and less), sharks, bat rays and striped bass. There are many old broken pilings from former piers to provide some habitat for perch so they are a possibility but generally their numbers are less than at other nearby piers. 

Chevys Pier looking west

Fishing Tips. A live bait leader baited with pile worms, grass shrimp or ghost shrimp is the choice of equipment here for the flatfish. Use a small size 4-2 hook and fish on the bottom. The result may be a starry flounder (if you are very lucky) or sanddab (winter and spring), a sand sole, small halibut (spring and summer), or even a diamond turbot. If you’re seeking halibut, try to use a live shinerperch, small smelt or live anchovy fished on a Carolina rigging or try using a swim bait.

Most common are the sharays, sharks and rays. Small brown smoothhound sharks can be almost too numerous while less common are leopard sharks, some reaching pretty impressive sizes. For these, use medium equipment and a large chunk of oily fish like a sardine or mackerel.

Probably the number one fish caught at the pier is bat rays (mud marlin) and for these make sure you have a stout line (at least 30-pound test) and squid as bait. Daytime will yield some fish but the prime time for the sharks, bat rays and skates, is at night. Since there are no lights on the pier you will need to bring your own. If nighttime fishing, it’s probably best to be in a group.

During the spring and summer, schoolie striped bass (and a few older fellows) will check out the food (and perhaps your bait) on these flats. They will strike a good piece of sardine or anchovy fished on the bottom, or even better will hit a live shinerperch or bullhead (staghorn sculpin) which you are fishing with a live bait leader. Artificial lures will also work here on the stripers; try soft plastic lures (swim baits), plugs, spoons, bucktail jigs and even crankbaits. For the stripers, a late afternoon or early evening incoming tide is best but be warned that wind can be a problem.

Finally, try the pier in the winter by fishing with high/low leaders, size 4-6 hooks, and grass shrimp or pile worms for bait. Pileperch, white seaperch, blackperch and possibly a rubberlip seaperch can result. For the perch, fish directly under the pier around the pilings. For the other fish, try out toward the end and, if there are no other anglers, start at one corner and work the bait around to the other corner. Each time you cast, cast a few degrees more toward the other corner. Eventually you will have completed a half circle and hopefully discovered a school of fish.

<*}}}}}}}}}>< Special Bay Area Regulations:

  • A perch closure exits in San Francisco and San Pablo Bay from April 1 to July 31. No perch may be kept other than shinerperch (20).
  • In San Francisco and San Pablo Bay a fishing line may not contain more than three hooks.

Sturgeon Regulations:

  • A sturgeon report card and tags are required for anyone fishing for or taking sturgeon. (a) The card must be in the angler’s possession; (b) a tag must be used for any sturgeon retained by the angler; (c) the angler must record information on the Sturgeon Report Card immediately after catching and   keeping or releasing the sturgeon.
  • White sturgeon can only be kept from 40-60 inches; larger and smaller sturgeon must be released.
  • Green sturgeon may not be taken or possessed.

Chevys Pier Facts

Hours: Open 24 hours.

Facilities: Basically none since the pier was not really designed for fishing (although designated for Public Shore Access). There is some free parking on the Frontage Road.  

Handicapped Facilities: Basically none. The railings are approximately 40 inches high.

How To Get There: Take Interstate 80 to the Ashby Avenue exit, then go south on the Frontage Road till you see Chevy’s. Park on the Frontage Road. 

Management: City of Emeryville.

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