Last modified: October 29, 2018

Fishing Piers San Francisco Bay Area

McNears Beach Fishing Pier — San Rafael

Here’s Mel and a YouTube video of him catching a 67.5 inch sturgeon from the pier.

<*}}}}}}}}}><  Limited surveys done by the California Fish and Game Department between 2004 and 2007 showed white croaker as numerically the number one fish. The other fish in order: striped bass, jacksmelt, starry flounder, white sturgeon, longnose skate, Pacific tomcod, redtail surfperch, silver surfperch, leopard shark and big skate.

<*}}}}}}}}}>< A fish bulletin from 1953 gives background as to the importance of this area to fishing over the years.

McNears Landing (Point San Pedro) — San Pablo Strait connects San Francisco North Bay with San Pablo Bay. On the northwest side of the strait is Point San Pedro, better known to fishermen as McNears Point. McNears Landing is just north of the point on San Pablo Bay. Point San Pedro was first known as Point Abastos. Later (1811) the present name was given by one of the Padres. This should not be confused with San Pedro Point on the coast of San Mateo County. McNears Landing has been a fishing port for more than 50 years. Shrimp fishermen and set liners made headquarters there. In 1927 or 1928 there were four or five shrimp camps near here but only one inactive camp remains. During the height of the sardine fishery there were three canning or reduction plants at this place and during the nine-year period 1937–45 the sardine landings averaged about 21 million pounds per year. Since then two of the plants have been dismantled and the remaining one has not operated recently. The last sardine landings were made in 1950 and since then fish deliveries at this port have been negligible. For many years a large rock quarry has operated at the point. Just a little way northwest of the point is the campground and resort area of McNears Beach. From this campground there is sport skiff fishing, especially during the striped bass season.

California Fish Bulletin #96, 1953

History Note. Although the fish bulletin above gives credit to the McNears name to “one of the padres,” most sources say the park is named after John McNear who owned this land and the nearby brick-making operation at Point San Pedro back in the 1880s.

<*}}}}}}}}}>< 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.

McNears Beach Fishing Pier Facts

Hours: Spring/summer: 7:00 A.M. to 8:00 P.M. weekends and 10:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M. weekdays. Fall/winter: 9:00 A.M.—5:00 P.M. daily.

Facilities: There are benches, water faucets and fish cleaning stations on the pier. There are no lights on the pier. Adjacent to the parking lot are two portable restrooms. Nearby is the snack bar; adjacent to it are a swimming pool, tennis courts, and extensive lawn areas. Entrance cost to the park varies: the walk-in fee is $2; car costs vary depending upon season. An August visit was $10.

Handicapped Facilities: Some handicapped parking spaces. The surface of the pier is concrete and the railing is approximately 40 inches high.

How To Get There: From Highway 101 take Point San Pedro Road east — follow it for approximately 8 miles to the park entrance and road.

Management: County of Marin – Department of Parks and Open Space.

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