August 2018 Fishing Report, Southern California (#239)

Ken Jones

Administrator
Staff member
#1
August 2018 Fishing Report, SoCal (#239)

San Diego County Piers

Imperial Beach Pier – No report this month. Any volunteers to be a reporter for this pier? How To Get There: From I-5 take the Palm Ave. (Hwy. 75) exit and follow it to where Palm Ave. and Hwy. 75 divide. Follow Palm Ave. to Seacoast Dr., turn left and it will take you right to the pier.

Ocean Beach Pier — Chey at the pier’s bait shop said most of the action has been on stingrays (actually large bat rays), a lot of mackerel, and a lot of lobsters (which cannot be taken at this time). Action although a little different from the normal action. How To Get There: From the north, take I-5 to the Sea World Dr. exit and follow it until it turns off to Sunset Cliffs Blvd. From the south, take I- 5 to the Nimitz Blvd. exit, then follow that road to Sunset Cliffs Blvd. Follow Sunset Cliffs Blvd. to Newport Ave., turn right and follow the road to the pier parking lot.

Crystal Pier – Pam at the pier’s bait shop said action has been good! She says there are a lot of sargo and a few corbina inshore to mid-pier along with some croakers, both yellowfins and spotfins. A lot of mackerel are showing mid-pier to the end while the sharay action has continued strong with both shovelnose sharks (guitarfish) and bat rays showing in good numbers. Lastly, she said the kids’ derby was successful with a LOT of kids; the winner, she thought, was a boy that caught a corbina. How To get There: Take I-5 to Garnet Ave. then take Garnet west to the foot of the pier.

Pepper Park Pier — No report although there should be a few mackerel and bass. We need a reporter! How To Get There: From I-5 take the 24th Street off-ramp west to Tidelands Avenue and go left (south) on Tidelands to the end.

Bayside Park Pier — No report although some croakers and sharays should be available. We need a reporter. How To Get There: From I-5 take the J Street off ramp and go west. Take J Street to Tidelands Ave., turn right. Take Tidelands to Sandpiper Way, turn right. Take Sandpiper to Bayside Parkway, turn left and follow the road to the park.

Embarcadero Marina Pier — No report although some mackerel and bass (kelp, sand and spotted) should be hitting along with some sharays. We need a reporter! How To Get There: From the I-5 south, take the Front Street exit south to Market (just stay on Front Street, it runs into Market), take Market west to Harbor Dr. Turn left on Harbor Dr. and take it to 8th Ave., turn right onto Convention Way (formerly Harbor St.). Follow it a short block to 5th Ave. and the pier. It seems that with the new Convention Center the city is constantly working on these streets near the pier and renaming them; if you get confused remember that the park and pier are immediately to the southwest of the Convention Center. From I-5 North, approaching from the south, take the J Street exit, then go straight, three blocks up to Market, turn left and take it from there.

Ferry Landing Pier (Coronado) — Need a reporter although bass (a variety) always seem to be around as well as a mix of sharays (mostly round stingrays and bat rays). How To Get There: From San Diego, take the Coronado Bay Bridge (Highway 75) to Coronado. Once over the bridge you are on Third Street. Simply follow it to B Avenue, turn right, and follow it to the front of The Old Ferry Landing — the intersection of First Street and B Avenue. The pier sits behind the shops in the complex.

Shelter Island Pier — Dennis Borlek from the Crystal Pier bait shop says mackerel and small bass are being caught. How To Get There: Take I-5 or I-8 to Rosecrans (Hwy. 209) and go west, turn left at Shelter Island Dr. and follow the road until you see the pier and the entrance to the parking lot.

Oceanside Pier — Roy at the Oceanside Pier Bait and Tackle shop on the pier, reported fishing has slowed somewhat. He says anglers inshore are picking up a few croakers along with some good-sized sargo. Mid-pier to the end sees quite a few mackerel and fair numbers of calico (kelp) bass). Sharkers at the end continue to try for sharks and rays but only a few have been caught. How To Get There: From I-5 take the Harbor Dr. exit off the freeway, follow it and it will wind down to the harbor; where the road splits stay to the right on North Harbor Dr., and follow it to the pier.

Oceanside Harbor Pier — Ben, at Angler’s Tackle, 1413 North Coast Hwy, said the water changed color (to green) and things have slowed. He says a few croakers are being taken on bloodworms and lug worms along with a few small bass. Action on top is slow, a few mackerel but no bonito. Even shark and ray action has slowed. How To Get There: From I-5 take the Harbor Dr. exit off the freeway, follow it and it will wind down to the harbor; where the road splits stay to the right on North Harbor Dr., and follow it to the pier.

Orange County Piers

San Clemente Pier — Garrett at Hogan's Bait And Tackle, 34320 Pacific Coast Hwy, Dana Point said fishing’s been a little slow. He says a few croaker are hitting inshore, a few mackerel are seen mid-pier to the end, bonito are absent, and sharay action at the end is hit and miss. He says a few halibut have been picked up mid-pier and some sharks and rays have been caught at the end but, again, nothing steady. How to Get There: From I-5 take any of several exit streets west to El Camino Real, follow it to the center of town, and from there take Del Mar down to the pier.

Dana Harbor Pier — Garrett at Hogan's Bait And Tackle, 34320 Pacific Coast Hwy, Dana Point said action is slow with most of the fish being seen either being croakers or bass, all three varieties. How To Get There: The pier is located in the Dana Cove Park area of Dana Point Harbor. From the Pacific Coast Highway take Green Lantern Road south to the harbor, turn left on Cove Road, and follow it to the pier.

Balboa Pier — Snookie said she "just got back from a decent day of fishing today. Caught a 23 inch halibut on the very end of the pier. First bait, a big smelt and she quickly took it. There were some mackerel around and the barracuda are around now with some big ones in the surf area. It was somewhat tolerable weather wise today, but I don't like this heat. At least we had a west wind. There are some threshers around as well on the end of the pier. I am looking forward to next week because the Jr. Lifeguards are done" How To Get There: From the Pacific Coast Highway take Newport Blvd. which will turn into Balboa Blvd., follow it west to Palm Street. Turn right and follow it to the pier and the adjacent parking lot.

Newport Pier — Generally about the same report as at the Balboa Pier. How To Get There: From the Pacific Coast Highway take the Newport Blvd. turnoff and proceed west watching for signs directing traffic to the pier. The pier sits at the foot of McFadden Place.

Huntington Beach Pier — Michael at Let’s Go Fishing on the pier, says the fishing’s been fantastic. Most impressive have been the large number of bass being taken, both sand bass and spotted bay bass. Most are under the 14” size limit but he’s never seen so many bass. Nor, has he ever seen so many of the spotted bay bass, usually it’s kelp (calico) bass and sand bass. He says it’s amazing. Inshore it’s the usual, a lot of spotfin croaker and corbina making a showing although few yellowfin croakers are showing up. The bait is fresh mussels or worms—lugworms or bloodworms. Mid-pier is producing halibut, a lot, including some in the 23-23-inch size but most are too small to keep. He says most of the halibut are hitting under the pier in the depressions between the pilings and most are hitting on fresh dead or still alive sardines. BTW, the sardines apparently have been running in HUGE numbers for over a month, non-stop action daily. As for the sharays, he says he has seen a lot of gray smoothhound and leopard sharks (but only two of the leopards were keepers) while the round stingrays and bat rays continue to show in large numbers. No bonito to date. How To Get There: Highway 1 (Pacific Coast Highway) to Huntington Beach and the pier.

Seal Beach Pier — Jimmy, at Big Fish Tackle, 1780 Pacific Coast Hwy., says the fishing’s been fair. Inshore it’s corbina and yellowfin croaker while mid-pier to the end mackerel and big jacksmelt are making a showing. It’s slow on the sharks and rays. How To Get There: From the Pacific Coast Highway simply take Main St. west and follow it to the pier.

Los Angeles County Piers

Belmont Pier — Jimmy, at Big Fish Tackle, 1780 Pacific Coast Hwy., says anglers are picking up some nice-sized spotfin croaker, corbina, and sargo in the surf area while halibut are biting from the surf area to the mid-pier area (including a few good-sized halibut). Mackerel and sardines are hitting mid-pier to the end while sharkers are seeing some leopard sharks, smoothhounds and bat rays out at the end. How To Get There: From the north take I-405 to the Lakewood Boulevard turnoff, and then go south to 7th Street, turn west (right) until you come to Ximeno Ave. and then turn left. Follow it to Livingston Dr. and go west. You will see signs by Ocean Ave. and Termino Ave. indicating the pier. From the south take the Pacific Coast Highway to 2nd. Street (Westminister becomes 2nd. Street when it crosses PCH), go west, follow to Livingston Dr. Follow it to signs by Ocean Ave. and Termino Ave. indicating the pier and parking lot.

Shoreline Aquatic Park Piers — No report this month but some mackerel and the usual white croakers should be available with a cast out from the pier. Expect a few bass and perch/sargo/croaker along the inshore area. How to Get There: From downtown Long Beach, take Pine Avenue south to Shoreline Drive. For the northernmost pier #1 follow Shoreline Avenue west and follow it around the lagoon to where the street ends. For the southernmost piers #2-#5 follow Shoreline Drive east to the markings for Shoreline Village, continue past the shopping complex, and follow the road out to near the end of the peninsula. You will see the piers.

Cabrillo Pier (San Pedro) — Alex at Rusty Hook B&T, 245 N Gaffey St., San Pedro says some halibut are being taken, mainly by those using artificial lures with Zoom Flukes and Berkeley Gulp Jerk Shads leading the hit parade. He says if you look for some kelp along the breakwater you can also pick up some kelp bass. How To Get There: Take the Harbor Freeway (I-110) south; it will turn into Gaffey St. Follow it to 22nd Street and turn left. Follow 22nd St. to Pacific Ave. and turn right. Follow Pacific Ave. to 36th Street and the entrance to Cabrillo Park.

Green Pleasure Pier (Avalon, Catalina Island) – It’s the normal mix of fish — rock wrasse, senorita, opaleye, sheephead, jacksmelt, and kelp bass. Use sea-worms, frozen peas and small pieces of market shrimp. How To Get There: The trick here is to get to Catalina. Ships and helicopters make the journey several times a day from the Port of Los Angeles, Long Beach and Newport Beach. Information is available on all of these by calling the Avalon Chamber of Commerce on the Pleasure Pier (213) 510-1520 or the Visitor's Information & Service Center (213) 510-2500. Once in Avalon there should be no problem in finding the pier, which is located at the foot of Catalina Avenue.

Cabrillo Mole (Avalon, Catalina Island) — Bonito are present some days and gone the others. However, the resident population of fish should be present—kelp bass, opaleye, sheephead, halfmoon, blacksmith, kelpfish, and scorpionfish (sculpin). How To Get There: The trick is to get to Catalina. Ships and helicopters make the journey several times a day from the Port of Los Angeles, Long Beach and Newport Beach. Information is available on all of these by calling the Avalon Chamber of Commerce on the Pleasure Pier (213) 510-1520 or the Visitor's Information & Service Center (213) 510-2500. Once in Avalon there should be no problem in finding the mole that sits right where most boats disembark.

Redondo Beach Pier — Melanie at the Redondo Coffee Shop and Bait Shop on the pier said it’s mackerel and more mackerel. I think that makes about 238 straight months of mackerel activity. She says some calico (kelp) bass are also being caught along with a few halibut (including a 28-inch fish the day before I called). How To Get There: From the Pacific Coast Highway, take Torrance Blvd. west to the foot of the pier and the parking lot.

Hermosa Beach Pier — No report this month although a few mackerel should be around as well as some croakers inshore. How To Get There: Take the Pacific Coast Highway (Hwy 1) to Pier Avenue and follow Pier Avenue west to the pier.

Venice Pier — No report this month although a few mackerel should be around as well as some croakers inshore. How To Get There: Highway 1 to Washington St., turn west and follow Washington St. to the pier.

Santa Monica Pier — John, at the piers bait and tackle shop, said action has been sporadic. Good numbers of corbina were hitting inshore — until the swell picked up. Mackerel have been in — and out. Barred surfperch were biting inshore — but have slowed. Halibut have been showing but at most it’s 7-8 fish a day and most are too small to keep. And while the mackerel do show up, the bonito are still missing. There also hasn’t been any steady sharay action — a couple of leopard sharks were caught and a five-foot-long soupfin, but again nothing steady. Lastly, the regulars are reporting seeing LOTS of big sargo hanging around the pilings under the pier. The problem is that the fish aren’t biting even though the regulars are throwing a wide variety of baits at them. The water changed a little color and things just seemed to slow. How to Get There: From I-405 take Santa Monica Blvd. west to Ocean Ave. Turn left, go to Colorado Ave., and turn right onto the pier.

Malibu Pier — Ginny at Wylie’s Bait and Tackle says everyone is discussing the great mackerel action at the pier, tons and tons of mackerel from mid-pier to the end. She says the grunion are running so some halibut are also showing up (on live bait), from just outside the surf area to almost the end. Lastly, she’s gotten some reports of thresher sharks being taken at the end. How To Get There: The pier fronts on the Pacific Coast Highway (Hwy 1) so just drive until you see it.

Ventura & Santa Barbara County Piers

Port Hueneme Pier — No report this month although there should be a few mackerel along with surfperch showing up. How To Get There: From Highway 1 take Hueneme Rd. west until it turns into Port. At Ventura Rd turn left and follow it to Surfside Dr. Turn left again and follow it to the park.

Ventura Pier — No report this month although fishing for surfperch should be decent and the sharks should be biting. How To Get There: From Highway 101 take the Seaward Drive exit west to Harbor Drive, turn right and follow it to the pier.

Stearns Wharf — Bretzel, at the Bait Shop on the pier, says fishing has been good with large numbers of mackerel and bat rays leading the list of fish. She says a few halibut have also been caught, including a few keepers, but most are too small to keep. She says there are also a lot of bass—mainly calico (kelp) bass. How To Get There: From Highway 101 take Castillo St. or State St. west to the beach and follow signs to the pier.

Goleta Pier — Shaun, at Hook, Line and Sinker, reports that fishing has been pretty good. Anglers fishing toward the front of the pier in the shallows are picking up some halibut with about one legal-size fish a day. Mid-pier, anglers casting toward the “pipe reef” on the right side are getting a mix of the always present small brown rockfish, a few small bocaccio, and quite a few bass. Interestingly, there’s been a mix of calico (kelp) bass, sand bass and quite a few spotted bay bass (which seem to be making a showing at oceanfront piers this month). White seabass have also been showing up inshore to mid-pier but to date all the fish have been small, illegal fish usually called sea trout. Mid-pier to the end is seeing tons of mackerel and out at the end the sharays continue to hit—leopard sharks, some shovelnose sharks (guitarfish) and bat rays. A large thresher was also reported at the end. How To Get There: From Highway 101 take the Hwy. 217/Airport exit. Follow it to Sandspit Rd. and the Goleta Beach Park turnoff. Follow this to the park and the pier.

Gaviota Pier — The pier continues to be closed while the state moves in glacial speed and bureaucratic response in efforts to actually get it open. How To Get There: From Highway 101 simply take the Gaviota State Park turnoff down to the beach and pier.
 
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#2
Went to shelter island last week. Mackerel were all over the place. Medium to small sizes. Then, the crowds showed up and it got rediculous. I didn’t really fish though. I just baited the hooks for my older sisters and took the fish off.

Fished off the rocks off harbor island, by the airport. Got a 15” spotted bay bass. I was going to return it but I could hear the nagging in my head, “You fished for four hours and you didn’t get anything?!” So, I kept it. I returned a bunch of shorts though. Another guy got one too and a good size yellowfin croaker.
 

Ken Jones

Administrator
Staff member
#5
I really want to but many of my sources have dried up, especially those in the Bay Area and up north. I really need some new reporters.
 

Red Fish

Well-known member
#6
Ken, you could always call the local Baitshop’s near the locations you wish to report on.
For example, I called “Gotcha” and “Coastside 2” today to test the waters for reports. Solid information: one told me of the “red tides,” the other told me ‘not that many.’ All the info I needed to make an informed decision on where I might want to go to get what and how far I might want to travel to do so. I had my inclination already about the spots, but a reliable resource helps solidify your choice.