25 Years of Fish Reports — Today's Pier — Redondo Sportfishing Pier

Ken Jones

Staff member
PFIC Fishing Reports — Redondo Sportfishing Pier

March 1997—Matt at Redondo Beach Sportfishing reports a continued hot bite for bonito off the pier. As is common most winters, the warm harbor water (5-10 degrees warmer than in the open ocean due to two warm-water outlets from the nearby Southern California Edison plant) is producing the best bonito bite in southern California. Anglers are also catching a lot of Pacific mackerel, and both fish are falling for the live anchovies that are available at the pier. Bottom fishermen continue to pull in a mixed bag sculpin (California scorpionfish) as well as perch or perch-like fish. Included in the catch are blacksmiths, blue perch (halfmoon), and opaleye—as well as a few blackperch. Most of these fish are falling for mussels or shrimp. An interesting catch a couple of weeks ago was a California sheephead that weighed in at about 4 1/2 pounds (they are not common at the pier but also are not that rare). Quite a few spider crabs are also falling to those anglers seeking the ugly beasts. Finally, illegal broomtail grouper continue to be sighted by anglers at the harbor. Apparently this is from a resident school of the fish (which are normally found in Baja waters). Since they mainly seem to show up at wintertime, a logical question might be—are they there to feed on the wintertime bonito? If you hook and land one, be sure to return it to the water (as in stiff fine if you don't). Most of the fish look to be in the 30-60 pound range and most that are hooked eventually break off.

April 1997—Matt at Redondo Beach Sportfishing says the bonito continue to bite and most are nice fish up to around five pounds in weight. (As I mentioned last month, this is the best place to fish for bonito in California during the cold water months. Two warm-water outlets from the nearby Southern California Edison plant warm the harbor waters and produce temperatures 5-10 degrees warmer than in the open ocean.) Most of the bonito are falling for the live bait that is available on the pier. Bottom fishermen continue to pull in a mixed bag of fish, mostly perch and perch-like species but also a few bass and sculpin. Matt says he has seen opaleye, blacksmith, and blue perch (halfmoon) recently as well as a spotted sand bass that weighed nearly 4 pounds. There has also been a continued good catch of spider crabs at the pier. Lastly, Matt corrected me. I had written of the broomtail grouper that have become residents in the harbor. I mentioned that most seemed to be 30-60 pounds in weight; Matt says he has seen several that would easily top 100 pounds in weight. I keep having visions of catching a 100-pound grouper and then telling my wife how I had to toss it back because it was illegal. I can see the look on her face now. Nevertheless, if you do hook one of the fish remember to put it back, the fish need to live and the alternative is also a very costly fine.

June 1997—TC at Redondo Beach Sportfishing says that live anchovies have been the key at the pier. Anchovies are available on the weekend and on those days the anglers out toward the end of the pier (and only 8-10 will fit) are almost guaranteed their 5-fish limit. On weekdays, when the live anchovies are unavailable, few bonito will be hooked—although a few will be landed on lures. Pacific mackerel continue to fill buckets during early morning and evening hours; the macks will hit almost any bait but seem to be driven away during the daylight hours by the sea lions. Bay bass (spotted sand bass) are being caught by anglers tossing out plastic lures—but they're also primarily being caught during the morning and evening hours. Inshore, the action is a little slow although a number of opaleye (up to 4-pounds) have been landed recently on fresh mussels, as well as a few sargo.

November 1997—Kevin, at Redondo Sporfishing, says almost all the action is on the bottom. Water temperature remains high and the bonito, and mackerel for the most part, have deserted the harbor for the open ocean. About the only mackerel have been a few flurries around sunset. Still, anglers fishing on the bottom with mussels, shrimp or small pieces of squid, are pulling in nice strings of sargo (up to 3 pounds), blue perch (halfmoons), and opaleye. Kevin says netters also continue to catch a lot of spider crabs but he really hasn't seen too many lobsters.

March 1998—Kevin, at Redondo Sportfishing, says that there is a nice run on large, 2-3+ pound sargo, and that good numbers of buttermouth perch (blackperch), rubberlip seaperch, and opaleye perch are also being landed on the right bait. The right bait is live ghost shrimp and it's available at the shop. Most other species are slow although a few sand bass are also entering into the mix. The wintertime run on bonito has not materialized this year and they're beginning to wonder if the boneheads will even show up.

April 1998—Tim (TC), at Redondo Sportfishing, says that there has been a good run of sargo recently at the pier. (In fact, the morning I called it was too rough for the boats to go out so several anglers decided to fish from the pier. Lo and behold, they pulled in a plethora of 1/2 to 2 1/2 pound sargo. The bait to use for the sargo seems to be live ghost shrimp (which are available at the shop). In addition, opaleye are still hitting as are a few spotted sand bass and barred sand bass (although more of the barred sand bass are being caught from the adjacent rocks). The bass are also hitting on ghost shrimp. A few forktail perch (pileperch) are being landed on mussels and worms. The bonito never really showed up this year which TC attributes to the great number of sea lions in the harbor waters. With the severe El Nino-generated storms, the seals and sea lions have seemed to use the harbor as a safe haven and over populated the waters to the detriment of fishing. Whenever bonito or mackerel tried to make an appearance they were quickly chased away (or eaten?).

July 1998—Tim (TC), at Redondo Sportfishing (on the pier), says that the mackerel action has heated up, mostly in the late afternoon, and anglers can catch all they want. Some bonito have also been seen, but so far they aren't biting. The bait of choice remains live anchovies and small sardines—and they're available on the pier. There has also been good fishing recently for bay bass (spotted sand bass) and sand bass. They only show up around 5-7 a.m. in the morning, and then again in the evening, and hit best on an incoming tide. What to use? Plastics are the answer, especially Worm Kings. There's also some perch and smelt under the pier but they're getting harder and harder to get. Finally, those big 60-80 pound broomtail grouper that have adopted the harbor as home base continue to hang out under the bait barge. Tim says the little submarine that gives the tour around the harbor sees them every day. I guess they are also hungry! The day I called they had been so anxious to get some spilled anchovies that they had actually splashed the bait boys on the barge. Guess they were REALLY hungry. AND REMEMBER, IT IS ILLEGAL TO CATCH BROOMTAIL GROUPER SO DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT.

October 1998—Ron, at Redondo Sportfishing (on the pier), reports that bonito and mackerel continue to be caught in good numbers from the pier along with some sand bass. The bonito are being caught on cast-a-bubbles with feathers. As usual, there are also a lot of the smaller fish under the pier—blackperch, opaleye, senoritas, etc. He said he was recently surprised when he hooked a large blue perch (California halfmoon) while fishing out the back window from the bait shop. Said it fought like a bonito at first

December 1998—T.J., at Redondo Sportfishing (on the pier), reports lots of rough water the last few days. Anglers are still getting some opaleye (to 1 1/2 pounds), sargo, and blue perch on mussels and bloodworms under the pier. Some bonito are also being caught on anchovies and sardines. Remember that the rougher the weather and ocean outside the bay, the better the fishing in the harbor.

February 1999—TC, at Redondo Sportfishing (on the pier), reports some good news and some BAD news. On the good side, anglers are regularly pulling in opaleye perch, buttermouth perch and sargo from the pier. The opaleye hit on frozen peas, the buttermouth and sargo on mussels, ghost shrimp or pieces of shrimp. In addition, two striped bass were taken at the pier in the last two weeks—the first he has ever seen. The fish, 16-18 inches long, appeared to be in excellent condition and both were released. The BAD news is the lack of bonito, even though live anchovies are available for bait. The famous “bubble hole” has been non-existent for the past month and the water temperature in the harbor is 55 degrees, the same as outside the harbor.

March 1999—Nancy, at Redondo Sportfishing (on the pier), reports that things are slow at the pier. About all that anglers are catching are the usual mix of fish found under the pier by the rocks—senorita, opaleye, blackperch and other fairly small species. As reported last month, the power company that took over the Edison plant has evidently turned off the “bubble hole” which means the temperature of the water in the bay is the same as the ocean, and the bonito, which should be in the bay this time of the year, are absent. Two striped bass were also caught at the pier, both around 2-pounds in size.

November 1999—TC, at Redondo Sportfishing (on the pier), reported that an angler had just hooked a bonito when I called but he managed to lose it on line that looked to be at least ten years old. The good news is that the hot water bubble is back in business and bonito are starting to show in the harbor area. Yellowtail have even been cruising above the bubble but few are being hooked. TC also said there is a good mackerel bite during the evening hours. Under the pier, anglers are hooking opaleye, buttermouth perch (blackperch), and a few sargo on mussels. He said it was amazing the day I called; not a single angler was fishing from the rocks around the harbor. Ten years ago the rocks would have been lined with anglers trying for bonito. But, as mentioned, the hot water is back on and the bonito are beginning to show.

June 2000—Nancy, at Redondo Sportfishing (on the pier), reports a pretty good bite on sand bass up to about 2 pounds in size. Surprisingly there have also been a few halibut landed, the largest a nice 12-pound fish. Mackerel are also showing up in good numbers but it is almost totally an evening fishery at this point; few are seen during the day. Perch fishing has been slow. Asked her about the bay’s resident school of broomtail groupers and she said they’re still there. However, most are seen out by the bait barge.

July 2000—John, at Redondo Sportfishing (on the pier), reports good runs of mackerel, especially in the evening, a few bass (sand, kelp and spotted), and the usual small perch species under the pier. He’s also seen quite a few needlefish taken recently, most by anglers using live bait (smelt).

November 2000--Andy, at Redondo Sportfishing (on the pier), reports that the main action is still on bonito (using splashers and feathers) but most are being taken in the early morning, before 8 a.m. He’s also seeing some nice-sized sand bass and calicos (kelp bass). Anglers using fresh mussels and ghost shrimp are landing some sargo and opaleye. He said there are also a few mackerel around. Under the pier it is the normal small species—perch, blacksmith, smelt, senorita, etc. I asked him if they had seen any grouper recently and he said they had, just the day before. It was seen under the pier and then apparently grabbed a bonito (I didn’t clarify if the bonito was on someone’s line). Andy said there is pretty good pier fishing right now.

January 2001—Andy at Redondo Sportfishing (on the pier), says that fishing is good right now for anglers that know what they are doing. Some big opaleye and sargo are being taken by anglers using green peas, fresh mussels and ghost shrimp with the best bite mid-morning, 7-10 a.m. A few mackerel are still around as are some buttermouth perch (blackperch) but only a couple of bonito per day are showing at the pier.

March 2001--Barney at Redondo Sportfishing (on the pier), says that anglers are getting some nice opaleye and blue perch (halfmoon) under the pier using peas and moss while quite a few sargo are being caught on ghost shrimp. A few bonito continue to fall to Rapalas and live bait while a few halibut, mostly small, continue to be caught on the bottom.

April 2001—Andy, at Redondo Sportfishing (on the pier), says there’s been a real good bite on white sea bass at night with at least a couple of legal-size fish (up to 15 pounds) every night—and lots of shorts. Best fishing is usually on an incoming tide and the bait of choice is a live mackerel taken from the pier. There’s also a wide-open mackerel run (at times) from all around the pier. A few bonito also are showing up and falling to Rapalas or live bait when it is available. Ditto some halibut, mostly taken on lures such as small 3” Worm Kings or Big Hammers. Perch are still available under the pier but the sargo bite is beginning to drop off (use worms or ghost shrimp).

May 2001—Julio, at Redondo Sportfishing (on the pier), says there’s been a good run of mackerel and sargo lately. Best baits are strips of squid for the mackerel, ghost shrimp, bloodworms or mussels for the sargo. Bonito are also available if you bring along some live anchovies. Under the pier the usual species are still present–opaleye, blacksmith and other small perch. Good numbers of bass are also being taken (on squid strips) but most are short. Two less common species are also showing up in good numbers: (1) needlefish are thick and being taken on anchovies, and (2) barracuda, mostly shorts but some of bigger size. The key for the barracuda has been using Krocodile or similar flashy spoons.

August 2001—Andy at Redondo Sportfishing on the pier, reports that things have picked up lately. Anglers are picking up a few bonito and he says they are all big fish. One angler also got a small 6-pound yellowtail off the pier using a live smelt as bait. And, while the mackerel action has died down, there is real good action on jacksmelt. Anglers fishing the bottom with bloodworms are doing good on buttermouth perch (blackperch) and rubberlip perch.

February 2002—Mike at Redondo Sportfishing on the pier, reports a good mackerel bite every day late in the afternoon. There are also lots of bonito in the harbor but most aren’t biting—they’re too stuffed from the smelt that are also thick in the harbor. A few perch are also being taken under the pier: brown perch (blackperch?) and forktails (white seaperch?). He says there’s also an occasional sargo. A few white seabass showed up last week but the water temperature dropped and now they’re gone

August 2002—Cory at Redondo Sportfishing on the pier reports anglers are getting bonito on live bait, bubbles with feathers, and Krocodiles. A 25-pound halibut was also landed from the pier by an angler using a Worm King. He says there are lots of sargo, opaleye and blue perch (halfmoon) under the pier. A few mackerel are also showing up.

April 2003—Mike at Redondo Sportfishing on the pier says that the bubble was turned back on in the harbor and as a result the water temperature is rising. The last few days has seen good mackerel fishing together with the usual smaller species—senorita, sargo, buttermouth, etc. Anglers are seeing good numbers of bonito swimming by the pier (to about 7 pounds) but the fish are apparently stuffed with the sardines that are also in the harbor. The result is a dearth of bonito strikes even though the fish are present. Mike has also seen a few short bass taken and one keeper halibut—on a plastic lure.

August 2004—Juan, at Redondo Sportfishing on the pier, says things have been dead. He says it caused by the release of high chlorine water intro the adjacent swimming lagoon. He says it’s killing the fishing through the harbor.

October 2004—Frankythefish has been reporting decent catches of sargo, calico bass (kelp bass), small opaleye and senorita on most visits. The opaleye are being caught on peas. Bonito are also thick in the harbor. When bonitolover, who said he’d been catching the boneheads on Krocodile spoons (shiny chrome with orange stripe), asked for additional advice, Mola Joe (who’s THE EXPERT) chipped in “Krocs do work, but nothing catches bonito in this harbor like a broken-back 3 to 4 inch floating Rapala with a black back. The trick is casting such a light lure from the rocks (fishing it from the pier is hard, but not impossible). Fished on a light, long, fast taper rod is the ticket. Something in the 8-foot range with 8-pound line works great. Slow retrieve right on top or just below the surface will outfish Krocs and splasher and feather. Krocs will outfish Rapalas if you need distance to reach fish. For the most part, schools of bonito cruise very close to the rocks in this harbor. Releasing fish with Rapalas is tougher than with Krocs, but you can make it a lot easier if you remove the front trebles. A few years back I watched Shorepounder nail bonito after bonito on bass spinnerbaits, so trying different stuff is worth while at times. Another bass bait called ‘Little George’ (hard heavy body with a small spinner in the rear) is another killer bait that a few locals fish. Still, a Rapala would be my #1 choice in this harbor. As far as color on your Kroc, straight chrome has always worked for me.” Dompfa Ben added “blue mackerel is another hot color this year. Informal surveying of a number of people, as well as personal experience, has demonstrated that the bonito seem to be keying in on that blue/chrome Kroc this year. My cousin Andy was hooking 3 fish for every one I hooked last week. We were using identical Krocs, except he was fishing the blue mackerel pattern, and I was fishing the green.” CST added “I have a Rattle Trap in blue and chrome with a mack pattern, that thing totally owns all the bonito, mackerel and calicos that come in its path.”

January 2005—Paul, at Redondo Sportfishing, says the pier is still yielding up some bonito and mackerel along with lots of sardines and micro-sized Spanish jacks (jack mackerel). He says there’s also been a decent bite on sargo for anglers using ghost shrimp.

August 2005—John, at Redondo Sportfishing, says the mackerel and bonito are thick; most of the bonies are being taken on feathers since live bait is not available at this time. Under the pier the usual number of small fish are back—small opaleye, sargo, senorita, blacksmith, jacksmelt and shinerperch. Some bass are also available to anglers casting out from the main stem of the pier; use cut bait or plastics.

June 2006—Renee, at Redondo Sportfishing, on the pier, says it’s mostly short calicos (kelp bass), sargo and opaleye along with the other small perch and perch-like species under the pier. Mackerel are only so so at the pier. PFIC reports indicate a few sanddabs and lizardfish also being present.

April 2007—The good news is that there are a few legal size kelp bass (calicos) around although most fish of the fish that are caught are under-sized. Some halibut are even present. The bad news is that you have to get through about 4,374,207 senorita to get to them. The cigar-shaped bait stealers are thick and will tear apart almost any bait except for squid/octopus. So use something tough or use artificials. And the usual perch and perch-like species are under the pier—opaleye, halfmoon, blacksmiths, buttermouth, and even a few illegal garibaldi (don’t keep them if you hook them).

June 2007—Kelsey at the Sportfishing office reports it is mainly short calicos (kelp bass) along with the usual mix of perch and perch-like species under the pier—blue perch (halfmoon), blacksmith, senorita and small opaleye. The good news is that there have been a few halibut also showing up but again most are shorts.

March 2008—Kelsey at the Redondo Sportfishing office said the big news recently was a 29.7-pound sheephead taken from the end of the pier. It hit on squid. Another sheepie, a 10-15 pounder, is seen daily hanging under the pier but so far no one has been able to hook it. He said there is also a good calico bass bite and quite a few blue perch (halfmoon).

November 2008—Joshua, at Redondo Sportfishing, said there are tons of mackerel at the pier along with too many under-sized calico bass (kelp bass). He also said there’s been a good run of big sargo (most 2-3 pounds). As usual, there are a ton of perch, perch-like species, and senorita under the pier.

December 2008—John, at Redondo Sportfishing, said there continue to be good numbers of mackerel and bonito available at the pier along with the smaller perch and perch-like species. There also continue to be white seabass hanging under the pier but only one fish has been hooked to date.

May 2009 — John, at Redondo Sportfishing, said things are picking up. Lots of perch are being taken as well as quite a few bass, including an 8-pound sand bass the day I called. There’s a good afternoon mackerel bite and big bonito are swimming by the pier daily, swimming by but not biting as yet.

July 2009 — John, at Redondo Sportfishing, reports a lot of small calicos but also an occasional legal fish (including a 7-pound fish) along with the perch under the pier and some decent mackerel numbers on top.

Sept. 2009 — Joey, at Redondo Sportfishing, reports good mackerel action along with small calicos and the normal fish under the pier—senorita, small perch and perch-like fish. This week did see the catch of several large opaleye on strips of squid.

January 2010 — Josh, at Redondo Sportfishing, says things are fairly slow although there’s been the usual—bass and a mix of rock-frequenting species under the pier. The pier saw a recent fishing derby put on by UPSAC (United Pier and Shore Anglers of California) and the results reflected those species. The top prize was won with a legal kelp bass that grabbed a live senorita being used as bait, while opaleye, halfmoon, and numerous senorita provided fish for all the participants. Market shrimp, peas and squid were the bait of choice.

July 2010 — John, at the pier’s tackle shop, reports that the pier continues to kick out some legal-size halibut (including a recent 30-pound fish). Good numbers of small calico (kelp) bass also continue to be landed along with the usual mix of fish on the bottom and under the pier. Expect perch and perch-like species including opaleye and halfmoon. The mackerel have been in and out while a few bonito continue to show up. Most of the bonito have been landed on live sardines (sometimes available at the pier). A few pencil-size barracuda are also showing.

September 2010 — Dee, at the pier’s tackle shop, reports that though the mackerel are still available on top, calico bass on the bottom, and various perch and perch-like species under the pier, action has slowed. In part that’s because the pump on the live bait tank is broken (they’re awaiting parts) and the absence of live bait has really hurt the capture of the bigger species—bonito, barracuda and halibut. In fact, just before the pump broke the pier was having one of its best halibut runs. In one week’s time five halibut over 20 pounds were landed by anglers including a 40-pounder. (I think if I was an angler down there I would be trying to Sabiki up some small Pacific or Spanish mackerel and tossing them out for the halibut.)

Sept. 2011 — Larry at the Sportfishing shop on the pier says they’ve been getting some really nice fish lately including both yellowtail and bonito. The key is the live sardines that he has in his bank tanks on the weekends. A 7-pound yellowtail was caught the day before I called but many yellows have been hooked—and mostly lost. He said one guy had hooked seven but lost every one of them to the kelp that is in the harbor right now. Bonito are also showing as well as mackerel, some really big sargo, and the usual small perch under the pier. The pier s now open 5AM to 6PM with Larry and/or his wife Lisa there most days after 1PM.

November 2011 — Lisa at the Sportfishing shop on the pier says most of the action is on the small perch and perch-like fish under the pier—opaleye, halfmoon, blacksmith, black perch, etc., but a nice-sized cabezon (7 pounds) was landed on Tuesday the 25th). Other than that it’s mostly the mackerel that seem to come and go throughout the day.

March 2012 — Sam at the Sportfishing shop on the pier says the action has been fairly decent. Lots of mackerel are showing on the top along with a variety of fish on the bottom—bass, perch, and perch-like species. Most of the bass are under-sized fish but some are legal. An 18-inch cabezon was taken and released by one lucky angler while another startled angler took a 3-pound garibaldi which, of course, also had to be released (since they are illegal).

July 2012 — Scott at the Sportfishing shop on the pier says that the normal perch and perch-like species are under the pier BUT the news this month is about big fish. Heading the list was a 21-pound striped bass taken on bloodworms. Next up was a 5 ½ -pound triggerfish, a 12-pound halibut, and an 8-pound halibut (with the halibut taken on live bait).

July 2013 — Sam at the pier’s bait shop says things have been a little slow although anglers are getting quite a few calico bass up to about 13 inches (which is an inch short of being legal). He himself did catch a 3 ½-foot shovelnose that weighed around 20 pounds; he said it’s only the second one he’s seen from the pier. Action is DEAD on top (no mackerel or sardines) but there are the assorted perch and perch-like species (opaleye, halfmoon, blacksmith) under the pier.

August 2013 — Scott at the pier’s bait shop says things are slow, a few under-sized bass, some small opaleye, and the mix of perch-like species under the pier. No mackerel and a keeper halibut about once a week. Oh, and a few lizardfish.

March 2014 — Scott, at the pier’s bait and tackle shop, said fishing has been slow. Evidently the harbor is changing with the demise of any warm water releases and the colder water is reflecting in a growth of kelp, which could affect the fish population down the road.

August 2015 — Scott, at the pier’s bait and tackle says the bubble is turned on and the water in the harbor is warm. Kelp bass under 14” remain the main species being caught but now some bonito are showing up and the anglers are happy (although it’s not steady action). Scott says the bubble is turned on for ten days a year in conjunction with the state’s carbon credits and cap and trade policies and for those days the harbor will see warm water and improved fishing.

Sept. 2015 — Elliot, at the pier’s bait and tackle shop, says anglers are getting bonito and yellowtail from the pier. The bonito are small ones as are the yellowtail (2-4 pounds) but they’re still fun to catch. Most of the bonito have been on lures, the yellowtail on mackerel. One 15-pound sheephead was recently caught as was one barracuda. The normal small bottom dwellers are under the pier.

November 2015 — Jake, at the pier’s bait and tackle shop, says things seem to be slowing down. Anglers are still picking up some under-sized kelp bass and perch but luckily most are returned to the water. Yellowtail remain in the harbor but few anglers are able to get them in (if they are lucky enough to hook them). Several have been lost to kelp or pilings.

April 2016 — Jake at Redondo Sportfishing on the pier says most of the action has been on mackerel and small calico (kelp) bass although some keeper-size bass are also showing up including a 20-inch fish last week (taken on an anchovy). A 17-inch sheephead also grabbed some bait, although it preferred a strip of squid. He says quite a few sargo are also showing up and some are pretty good sized. Expect the normal perch and perch-like species under the pier.

July 2016 — Scott at the pier says they are still picking up small yellowtail (2-4 pounds) although not in the numbers seen a few weeks ago. What bait. Cut bait/cut anchovies as well as feathers and lures. As usual there are also a lot of calico (kelp) bass and though most are small, illegal fish, keeper-size fish are caught every day. He says last but not least are some sargo including some nice-sized ones.

June 2017 — Jason at the pier says it’s mostly kelp (calico) bass but they’re also getting some sand bass along with the usual good numbers of perch under the pier. He does say the senorita (aka bait stealers) are out in big numbers The good new is that bonito are starting to show and some are decent-sized. Most angers are using the traditional bubbles with a feather but anglers are also getting them on MegaBaits and LuckyCraft lures. He says a few halibut and rays have also shown but they are few and far between. I asked about the bubble and warm water. He says they power up the plant when they are expecting a need for more electricity and if you see smoke from the stacks that means the plant is on and that cool water is being sucked in—and warm water being expelled. When that happens the bonito and yellowtail enter the harbor. So, keep an eye out for the smoke from the stacks!

August 2017 — Jake at the pier says it’s still mostly kelp (calico) bass but they are also getting a few halibut on the bottom (though most are shorts). Bonito and yellowtail are showing in the harbor and though boiling at times most of them are staying away from the hooks (although a few bonito have been landed). A 5-foot long shovelnose was caught the morning I called but overall things have slowed a little since they closed the end of the pier. As for under the pier, it’s the normal perch and perch-like species. He also said they pier may be closing in a couple of months. The City Council is considering rebuilding the pier along with other harbor projects. No idea on how long it could be closed.

Sept. 2017 — The BAD news is that the pier will probably close around November 1. The good news is that there’s still a little time to fish the pier. Jake at the pier’s tackle store says it’s still basically kelp (calico) bass after kelp bass and not too much else although an occasional perch, sargo, opaleye or other bottom fish shows up. Bonito are boiling in the morning but they are reluctant to bite. I was there on 8/28 and saw the same thing. I caught many, many kelp bass but all were small, illegal-size fish. Bonito were boiling out by the “bubble” but I only saw one hooked and it was “farmed” by the angler. A small boat was anchored right by the bubble and they were catching bonito and at least a couple of yellowtail so the yellows should also be available off the pier. I was surprised the day I was there because I didn’t get my usual mix of bottom fish. I did catch quite a few senorita, a couple of rock wrasse, and a small opaleye but I didn’t see any of the other perch and perch-like species that are normally are found under the pier. As for the pier, it will be closed but so far the city fathers are saying it will be rebuilt.

Closed — waiting for a rebuild.


Well-Known Member
What a dramatic contrast between the first and last reports. I spent many days in my youth fishing from that pier. Great reading, Ken. Thanks for posting.
Haven't been there for several years, guessing it's still closed. Makes me a little sad to think it's gone the way of Blue Chip Stamps (that's how I got my first rod and reel) and nickel Hershey bars.