Last modified: August 25, 2019

Fishing Piers Southern California

Del Mar Pier — Gone But Not Forgotten

Good Fishing From Pier At Del Mar

Ed Gerson, consistent and successful angler, is advertising his corbina-loving friends to journey to Del Mar Sunday with plenty of Pismos wrapped up in gunny sacks. Allie Meyer, Seymour Swartz and Ed Gerson landed sixty-two good-sized corbina from the Del Mar Pier on July 4 between the hours of 8 and 11:30 a.m. —Los Angeles Times, July 7, 1917 Fishing is exceptionally good at Del Mar at the present time. Corbina, spot fin, yellow fin, halibut, white fish and barracuda are being caught in great quantities off the one-quarter-mile Del Mar fishing pier and at the mouth of the San Dieguito River about a mile north of Del Mar. Deep-sea fisherman also report tuna, swordfish, bonito, yellowtail, barracuda and skipjacks are running fine right now. “Del Mar has become more and more popular each year as a sports resort,” reports Arthur Stock, manager of the Del Mar Hotel.” —Los Angeles Times, August 14, 1927

What’s Wrong With Country — Even Lobster Has No Respect for Law; Steals Deputy Sheriff’s Badge

San Diego, Aug. 25.—The whole trouble with this country is that there just isn’t any respect for the law—even among lobsters—Archie J. Hicks, publisher of the Encinitas Coast Dispatch, is convinced today. A lobster stole Hick’s special deputy sheriff’s badge.

“I was fishing for bass on the Del Mar pier, but this isn’t any fish story, it’s a lobster story,” Hicks explained to Sheriff Cooper. Hicks caught the lobster instead of a bass, he explained, but, as lobsters are out of season, he started to toss it back into the ocean. The lobster caught Hick’s shirt front with one claw as he tossed it back, and part of the shirt front and his special deputy sheriff’s star went onto the ocean with the lobster. Hicks got a new star. —Los Angeles Times, August 27, 1931

Mediterranean Fish Caught at Del Mar

Del Mar, Dec.11—Jess West of Solano Beach, a surfpole-fishing enthusiast, casting near the Del Mar Pier, came up with a louver, one of the rarest catches on the pacific Coast. John McGreger, U.S. Wildlife Service biologist, today identified the catch as one of only four of the species ever reported caught on the Pacific Coast, its native habitat being the Mediterranean, where it was name by Sicilian fishermen. Two of the other three louvars were caught in a net at a depth of more than 1000 feet, off San Francisco Bay, the third off the coast of Monterey. West’s specimen was described as about 24 inches long, and between 8 and 10 pounds in weight. “It had a head like a male dolphin, with a high-bumped forehead, its fins and tai; resembling those of a tuna, although reddish in color,” says McGregor. “It appears to be a cross between the albacore and an unknown fish of the deeper ocean depths.” The louver will be mounted and placed on display at Scripps Institute of Oceanography at La Jolla. —Los Angeles Times, December 12, 1956

San Diego’s  Forgotten Piers — Carlsbad and Cardiff-by-the-Sea Piers

The earliest pier in San Diego’s north coast may have been a wharf built at Carlsbad in the 1880s. It was destroyed in the December storm of 1888, the same storm that damaged the Oceanside Wharf. It’s reported that unsympathetic Oceanside residents, some of whom may have had a vested interest in the competing Oceanside Wharf, helped gather up the Carlsbad Wharf’s lumber for use as firewood.

In 1915, a 300-foot-long pier was constructed at Cardiff-by-the-Sea by J. Frank Cullen, the town’s developer. He wanted a hotel and pier like that found at Del Mar. His pier was located midway on today’s Cardiff State Beach. At the end of the pier were situated two barrel-like baskets that went up and down with the tidal surge and swell; this “perpetual motion machine” was built to harness the energy of the waves. Both the machine and the pier were washed away by winter storms in 1916 (or 1919).

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