A visit to a new pier....and some fish

Ken Jones

Staff member
Yesterday I had the chance to visit a new pier with Robert (Redfish), the P-2 Pier that sits on Yerba Buena Island, midway between San Francisco and Oakland. Why P-2? Because it is was the P-2 piling for the original Bay Bridge. It has been changed into a fishing/viewing pier. A beautiful spot and though the pier has a couple of negative features it's a great place to visit. As for the fishing? We fished from 9:20 a.m. -12:20 and I wound up catching 13 jacksmelt, 2 blackperch and 1 cabezon (first fish at the pier). All of my fish were caught on pileworms and it actually would have been easy to catch MANY more jacksmelt if I had been trying but that wasn't the quarry. The ones I did catch were caught when I decided to make a slow retrieve with my bait before trying a new spot. The jacksmelt were waiting for some movement and bait to enter their mid-depth area.

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The pier

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The entrance to the pier

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Old pilings sit at the front of the pier and midway up the sides of the pier making it harder to fish those areas, i.e., it would be difficult to net a large fish


The first fish of the day, a cabezon caught on the inside of the pier

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Robert and I both cast out rods into the deeper waters and it's probably 30+ feet deep at the end. Robert was using some live small smelt he netted for bait, I was using ghost shrimp. Neither of us got a fish in that area excepting one brown rockfish for Robert.

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Robert setting up his rigs


The second and third fish of the day were two blackperch I caught fishing near the inshore rocks

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I liked the area between the pier and the shoreline


There were many jacksmelt

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Some great views from the pier

It was a fun visit and moved the needle up to 131 California saltwater piers that I have fished from (always looking for more) and it was a great day with temperatures in the 70s and just a light wind.

A great pier with potential but there are a few negatives. Facilities are limited: (1) no lights given it is only open from basically sunrise to sunset (or 5 a.m. to 6 p.m.) when the gates are locked/unlocked, (2) no trash cans, (3) no fish cleaning facilities, (4) one lone port-a-potty that was probably the dirtiest I have seen in 50 years (it really needed to be emptied and cleaned—it was really nasty), (5) old pilings along the front of the pier and midway up both sides that would make it hard to land large fish such as sharks and rays unless you climbed over the railing and that wouldn't be smart. Good features: (1) some free parking spaces although not a great many, (2) guards on patrol to keep an eye on things. We talked to a guard who said he watches and you shouldn't have to worry about your car (uinlike many piers today in the Bay Area), (3) a great place to just relax if you don't mind the cars up above.

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