Balboa Pier 11.11.2020


New member
Fished from noon to 5pm.

We were at the second wider area on the south side, across from the sinks.

Two people fishing one lightweight (8lb test) spinning rig each. My buddy fished a high/low dropper loop rig with medium (around size 6) treble hooks. I fished a basic sabiki rig.

I jigged the sabiki for a while with small squid strips onboard. The macs were running on the north side of the pier, but few made their way under to our side. Folks with the bigger sabikis got a few between us and Ruby's. From what I could see the usual folks were killing it on the macs out by the end. I got bored of watching everybody else catch fish so I re-baited and put the sabiki on the bottom about 40 feet out. Result, one good sized smelt with another one chasing but not hooked. Smelt was repurposed for bait. Both rods switched to smelt, he fished chunks and I just kept abusing the sabiki as a bottom rig with small strips. Most of the fish I was seeing were small, so I fished small.

The mackerel specialists continued to demolish them on the south side despite many appearances from a sea lion. As the sun started to set, air temps dropped like a rock and tourists fled the pier like Godzilla just poked his head out of the water. After pretty consistent taps, I hooked a mack on one of the higher hooks, and as it came out of the water I saw that it also had two small flatfish on board lower on the rig, which I would describe as most likely longfin sanddabs by appearance. Both bailed off the hooks before they got to the pier. That was interesting as I've never seen them before. I only saw them for a few seconds, but I can confidently say they were tan colored, lighter than most halibut, flatfish about 5-6 inches long.

Finally I switched to mack and as the sun was almost down I retrieved one of his cannibal schoolmates.

My buddy caught nothing, as he refused to size down the rig to match the conditions IMO. He was seeing consistent taps as well but nothing stuck.

All of this is secondary to the sunset which, by itself, would have made the trip worth it. Crazy visibility, Catalina looked close enough to touch, and a lovely cotton candy sky which had a lot of the tourists stuck around for another fifteen minutes, would have made their day.

One lady spent a good 45 minutes at the cleaning sinks, monopolizing both sides to prep no less than 100 small to medium macks for transport. Annoying, but I respect that she's got it down to a science.

Bite picked up hard as it was getting dark. If we had warmer gear and didn't have guests and grilling to do back at my house, I would have really liked to have stayed longer. Brave the cold and do some night fishing if you're going to hit Balboa, that seems to be the ticket right now.

Next week: Malibu Pier!