California Pier Report — February 2021
Remember — Lobster season is now open. Follow all regulations and make sure you have a lobster card in possession.
San Diego County Piers
Imperial Beach Pier – We need a reporter. 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 — The pier suffered damage several weeks ago and is currently closed. 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 bait shop on the pier, reports a terrible month with the pier being closed much of the month due to (1) high tides and then (2) they got hammered by the rain. When the sun is out they’re getting some surfperch (mainly small walleye surfperch), jacksmelt and small leopard sharks. A few lobsters continue to show up but in limited numbers. 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. 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. 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 — Waiting for the report. 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 (kelp, sand and spotted) always seem to be around as well as a mix of sharays (mostly round stingrays). 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 — We still need a reliable reporter. 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 — Bill in Oceanside said it was a really rough month, big “king” tides made fishing very hard for a time, a lot of rain, dirty water with red seaweed, and now muddy water coming out from the harbor has made the ocean look like a muddy puddle. When the weather cooperates some big spotfin croaker are showing inshore, mackerel, jacksmelt and sardines mid-shore to the end. Quite a few kelp bass are found by the pilings and some halibut are even showing up when the weather cooperates. How To Get There: From I-5 take Mission Blvd. west to Pacific, turn left and follow it to the pier.
Oceanside Harbor Pier — No report this month. 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 — We have had several reports on PFIC from evanluck who's been catching a really nice variety of fish out at the end of the pier—yellowfin croaker, spotfin croaker, queenfish, blackperch, white seaperch, calico (kelp) bass, walleye surfperch, sculpin (scorpionfish), jacksmelt and good numbers of mackerel. Skyler at Hogan's Bait and Tackle (34320 Pacific Coast Hwy, simply said things have been slow, mainly a few croakers and perch inshore, bass and perhaps a few sharays further out on the pier. 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 — Skyler at Hogan's Bait And Tackle (34320 Pacific Coast Hwy, said things have been slow, mainly a few spotfin croakers and bass (a variety). 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 — Our reporter Snookie said, “No fishing today as it was supposed to rain. Am still waiting for it. Got to the pier on Tuesday and it was a beautiful day with no wind. It was cold but sunny and somewhat comfortable. Got live bait on the end of the pier. Only got one small shovelnose guitarfish. Saw a big barred surf perch caught near us probably on sand crabs. Our fishing has been terrible lately. We haven't had live bait around so we have switched to lugworms and gulp. Caught a few perch on the worms, but their sizes weren't the biggest. We are not seeing any whales yet which surprises us. There are quite a few cargo ships around towards Newport Pier and one tanker. We certainly have a mess with the homeless around the pier. At least they are staying away from us. Wish Newport wasn't so worried about doing something about it. I hear that Newport Pier is much worse than we are. Let's hope for a better year all the way around.” 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 the action mirrors, for the most part, that seen at Balboa although when the fishing is hot the mobs will be bigger and the railing space more limited. How To Get There: From the Pacific Coast Highway take the Newport Blvd. turn off and proceed west watching for signs directing traffic to the pier. The pier sits at the foot of McFadden Place.
Huntington Beach Pier — No report, phone out? When the weather cooperates there should be yellowfin and spotfin croaker inshore with a mix of fish including mackerel and big jacksmelt further out on the pier. How To Get There: Highway 1 (Pacific Coast Highway) to Huntington Beach and the pier.
Seal Beach Pier —Pauli at Big Fish Bait & Tackle, 1780-C. Pacific Coast Hwy, said things slowed down due to the recent weather. Only a few reports but the usual variety, yellowfin croaker and perch inshore. A few small sharays and halibut further out on the pier. 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 — Pauli at Big Fish Bait & Tackle, 1780-C. Pacific Coast Hwy, said things really slowed down due to the recent weather. Few reports but the usual should be there—croaker and corbina inshore and some mackerel mid-pier to 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 expect some perch, sargo and croaker while fishing the inshore shallower waters. Mackerel and tomcod (white croaker) should be available with a cast out from the pier. 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) — The pier has been closed since March. 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) – Expect the normal mix of fish—small kelp bass, opaleye, halfmoon, rock wrasse, senorita, sheephead, etc. 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) — The Mole is open and kicking out good numbers of the usual fish—kelp bass, halfmoon, blacksmith, sculpin (scorpionfish), garibaldi, senorita, rock wrasse and whitefish. Most interesting are the high number of sheephead being taken although the opaleye have slowed. 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 — Joanna, at the Redondo Pier Tackle (on the pier), said most of the action is still on mackerel. How To Get There: From the Pacific Coast Highway, take Torrance Blvd. west to the foot of the pier and the parking lot.
Manhattan Beach Pier – No report this month. How To Get There: From Sepulveda Boulevard, turn west on Manhattan Beach Drive and follow it to the pier.
Hermosa Beach Pier — No report this month. How To Get There: Take the Pacific Coast Highway (Hwy 1) to Pier Avenue and follow Pier Avenue west to the pier.
Venice Pier — Currently closed while undergoing repairs and renovation. Scheduled to reopen in the spring of 2021. How To Get There: Highway 1 to Washington St., turn west and follow Washington St. to the pier.
Santa Monica Pier — Manny at the Santa Monica Pier Bait & Tackle shop (towards the end of the pier) reports the pier has been closed off and on due to Covid (mainly on the weekends) but he thinks it will now be open. Mackerel are hitting fairly well along with quite a few bass and he saw a couple of halibut the morning I called. 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 & Tackle (18757 Pacific Coast Hwy Malibu) said anglers are still reporting some mackerel and people using Sabikis are getting small perch (probably walleye) but not too much else is biting. She said the weather has been iffy at times, including rain, so not a lot of people have been fishing. How To Get There: The pier fronts on the Pacific Coast Highway (Hwy 1) so just drive until you see it.
Paradise Cove Pier — No report. How To Get There: Take Highway 1 to Paradise Cove Dr., turn west, and follow the road back into the parking lot.
Ventura & Santa Barbara County Piers
Port Hueneme Pier — No report this month. 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 but surfperch should be increasingly available inshore along with good numbers of jacksmelt from inshore to mid-pier. 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 —Mike at the Stearns Wharf Bait Shop, on the wharf, says things have been very slow with few fishermen fishing. Most businesses on the wharf are closed (only two restaurants open) and the recent rains didn’t help things. As for the fish, there are lots of sardines, huge bait balls but they are getting worked over by the sea lions and dolphins. Surprising has been the number of perch and he says it is several varieties including barred surfperch. Bat rays are steady, everything form 10-pound babies to 100-pound mama bat rays. Lastly he’s seen quite a few halibut but he’s also seen three lost in the past few days to anglers not having nets. 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 — We got a mid-month report from Dompha Ben who reported the pier looked to be in excellent condition. He was mainly crabbing and caught a lot of crabs, mostly sub-legal in size while his son managed a couple of white croaker. Waiting for a report from evenluck who was headed there on 1/30. Surfperch should be available inshore, seaperch should be available around the pilings (especially by the crane), and the usual species (brown rockfish and bass) should be available out at the pipe-reef. 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 has now been closed for six years—and counting. So much for the California Parks Dept. Ridiculous! How To Get There: From Highway 101 simply take the Gaviota State Park turnoff down to the beach and pier.