Cayucos to Port Hueneme, an old fishing trip #6.

Ken Jones

Staff member
Date: August 2, 2004
To: PFIC Message Board
From: Ken Jones
Subject: Another Goleta report...and more.

Did the trip down to Goleta and had the usual wonderful time meeting a great group of people. The fishing was slow but that's secondary to the social aspects of these meetings.

Fished the Cayucos Pier, Morro Bay T-Pier, Gaviota Pier, Stearns Wharf, Port Hueneme Pier, Ventura Pier, Goleta Pier, Avila Pier, and Port San Luis Pier, in that order.

Highlights: (1) Cayucos Pier — Started fishing Thursday night around 6 p.m. and soon after someone says “aren't you Ken Jones?” It was James (Cal Rat) and Julie and we managed to do a couple of hours fishing together. A great couple and they were pier hoppin’ down the coast much the same as myself. Only fish worth mentioning was a decent-sized sand sole, my first at that pier. (2) Morro Bay T-Pier — Very late night, short visit. Great company again with James and Julie. (3) Gaviota — Got there and started fishing at 8 a.m. Soon after, OB Pier Rat says “Hey Skipper.” Another enjoyable fishing time with a PFIC family member. Only fish of note, a medium-sized rubberlip perch. (4) Stearns Wharf — a short visit produced several mackerel and kelp bass of which two of the bass were probably legal size (although I didn't measure them). (5) Port Hueneme Pier — Got my first cabezon from that pier. (6) Ventura Pier — Once again was joined by James and Julie. Only fish of note a couple of Pacific butterfish, aka pompano. Not big but I hadn't caught any since 2002. (7) Goleta Pier — food, food and more food. Only fish of note a bleeding kelp rockfish that was given to Dompha Ben for his bride. (8) Port San Luis Pier — Only fish worth mentioning were a beautiful rainbow seaperch, an elusive pileperch, and a couple of white seaperch. Total hours fishing = 24.25; total fish = 176.

Things that get the blood boiling...

(1) Stearns Wharf parking fees. I arrive at 11:35 and carefully make sure I'm back at the gate before 1:35. Attendant announces the fee is $6 for three hours. I say it was two hours. No, they charge a full hour for any part of an hour. So the 11:35-12 time is one hour, 12-1 is one hour, and 1-1:35 is one hour. New math? “What if I arrived at 11:55 and left at 1:05?” "It would be three hours!" I state my objections, get the business card of the supervisor, and pay the money, but get more and more mad as I fight the traffic back to the highway. Wonder why people mistrust government? It's stupid policies such as this, and people who give in, like myself, who allow such nonsense. I plan to call the supervisor this morning.

(2) Ventura Pier around 9 p.m. Friday night. James, Julie and myself head out to the end after fishing mid-pier for a couple of hours. The entire end of the pier is covered by poles — and a few shark fishermen. Estimate about five poles per fisherman, and of course the lines are in the water while the fishermen are fishing for bait in the cut out section of the pier. Too many poles, unattended lines, booze, etc. We decide to barge in and cast out some lines but finally figure after a short time that it isn't worth it and move back down the pier to some uncrowded lights. These seemed to be the regulars and it's obvious they need someone like Boyd to shape them up.

(3) Am talking to Boyd Saturday morning in his palatial motor home at Goleta. Tell him about Ventura the previous night and he says yes, they also had some problems at Goleta the prior night. Some fishermen were catching sharks and leaving them to die. One angler finally lit a firecracker off in the mouth of a swell shark — even though Boyd had told them not to molest the fish, told them that they were subject to a fine, and threatened Big Rich on them. Boyd called the police who sent a person out, but the police didn't even go out on the pier or do a thing to the anglers.

(4) Avila Pier 8:30 Sunday morning. Head out to the end to check out the new bait shop and what do I see but two dead and dying puffer sharks (swell sharks). They were kind of hidden, between the bait shop and restrooms, and obviously just left to die. The larger one, maybe a five-pound fish, is already dead. The second one, a true youngster weighing, at most, a pound and a half, is still moving so I return it to the water even though I do not think its chances of survival are great. I ask the small group of fishermen if any of them caught the “puffers” and they say no, must have been night shark fishermen. (Sounds like the same story as Goleta.) Stupid, stupid, stupid. And why? Seems the urban/pier legend says that swell sharks returned to the water regurgitate something into the water that ruins the fishing. Not true, but when did truth ever win out over stupid stories like that?

The events at Ventura, Goleta, and Avila show an all too typical disregard of what is right, not counting the legality of the issue. It's the type of behavior that PFIC tries to improve and a main reason why UPSAC was formed. But man, we've got a lot of work to do. Every pier needs people like Boyd and his regulars to teach and display new behaviors if we want to improve the fishing at the piers.