Anglers versus surfers — 2011

Ken Jones

Staff member
Date: January 27, 2011
To: PFIC Message Board
From: Jigmaster39
Subject: Fishin’ da Ventura Pier

I, as many other fishermen/women fish the Ventura Pier on a regular basis. Sometimes daily, all of a sudden we have been having a heck of a time with the surfers. For some reason, even though they have Surfers Point only a few hundred yards away with one of the best double breaks on the coast, there are a bunch of surfers that feel they need to surf right up against the side of the Ventura Pier. We have tried talking to them to no avail, now I am working with the Ventura City Council to develop a local ordinance, since the pier is owned by the city, to keep the area around the pier for 500 feet free of all boats, surfers, wave runners and other water craft. There is no real reason that these people need to surf that close to the pier.

Posted by polishfromthedeep

I believe they have to keep either 100 or 1000 ft away from the pier at all times... or at least that's the way it is around these parts. Good luck chasing them out.

Posted by Sin_Coast

Yeah, there s/b a city ordinance (at the very least) that establishes a safe distance for surfers & other ocean users. Otherwise, the city w/b liable for any injury that resulted from surfing beside the pier. Good luck & let us know if we can help (petition or something?).

Posted by fishsouthcounty

Good luck to you with that one... As an avid fisherman and a once avid surfer... I can tell you there will be no pleasing both sides with this topic. While you and fellow fisherman petition to pass such an ordinance there is a pretty big likelihood that the surfers will refute such a petition. The fact is that 500 feet is a bit of a stretch for needed casting space as I don’t imagine most people being capable of casting more then maybe 50 feet. On the other hand the city only needs to implement a small buffer zone to allow surfers to continue to do what they due and protect them from harm on the piers pilings. Either way, I find it hard to believe the surfers will abide by whatever it is that happens, and the lifeguards will have more important things to watch for then surfers in the buffer zone.

Posted by paulyboy18

We live in the age of The UFC TUFF GUY... This happens at Oceanside Pier all the time. If you are bold enough to say something or cast at them, all of a sudden you have a Heavy Weight Champion of the World walking onto the pier to beat you up...

Posted by kingfisher

Start using braid. They'll learn real quick to stay outta ur way! Hahaha

Posted by paulyboy18

So from Ventura to Mexico there are less than 10 Piers, and hundreds of miles of beach… So say by some wild figure a pier is 100 ft wide, right... follow me here? So say a 100 ft buffer, per side of the pier, per pier in SoCal... so that's 300 ft per pier, so that's 3000 ft of beach that would be off limits to surfing out of the HUNDREDS of miles of beach there are in Southern California?????????????? To be short this is a “retarded” argument, to say 100 feet per side of a pier is too much, but the poor old surfers have nowhere else to surf. wha wha wha

Posted by mahigeer

Most cities have 100 feet rule, but at Manhattan pier even the police officers were not aware of it. Surfers will ignore the rules no matter what they are same as bicyclist. Best to try fish so you do not have to cast to them or fish another spot. Most do not surf as long as anglers stay on the pier. It is not worth the fight, but if they try to hurt you, then do what you can to protect yourself. A lawsuit will get their attention.

Posted by pierhead

At Goleta Pier, despite the posted 100’ ordinance, we have always had numerous kayakers, surfers, SUP boarders and swimmers alongside the Pier and even crossing under it. I've been working with the head lifeguard to get additional signage and timely enforcement. This past summer the effort paid off… almost every violator was contacted by the lifeguards and even some tickets were written. Unfortunately the ‘season' is over on Labor Day. With the disappearance of the lifeguards the problem has returned but not at the former level. Hopefully, with time, the message will sink in.

Posted by fishsouthcounty

Yes I completely agree there is plenty of places to surf and majority of the good spots are not even remotely close to a pier. Like pierhead said though, most areas in Southern California only have seasonal lifeguards on duty. When they are there they have busy summertime beaches to deal with. With that there hands are already full worrying about other things like rip currents, drownings, etc. Their priority is not issuing citations for being to close to a pier surfing, and face it, how many people actually hurt themselves running into the pier for it to be worth the lifeguards to enforce it?

Posted by slowriprun

The brain of a hardcore surfer is cured. Saltwater has passed through the blood brain barrier. This is the cause of their sick obsession. It's way worse than any striper addiction that I’ve ever seen. It’s gotta be, doesn’t it? He/she will wake with the sunrise, and this is after digesting copious amounts of natural herbs and bubbling beverages. At this early hour, he/she is totally unable to communicate to anyone, other than a hardcore surfer. Yet, this pitiful looking ‘Being’ manages to somehow drive to the beach, strip naked “behind” a towel, put on a wetsuit and find the ocean. It’s when their feet hit the sand that you'll see their disease kick in. When the hardcore’s feet hit the sand, they surprisingly begin to jog toward the surf, stopping only when they feel the water between their toes. On goes the leash; the ‘hop-jog’ begins, until the forward dive to layout on the board. The water’s freezing; it feels as if their heads are being squeezed by a vice. They paddle out into the ocean. The hardcore surfer lives in a world of commitment to their passion, few can even imagine. Expecting them to abide by rules of distance from a pier is expecting a starving person to not steal food. Find a way to coexist; it'll be easier, more productive and more fun, than fighting ‘em. You’re right! They’re wrong! And? This is only a half-serious thought. The other half is talking to its other