California Pier Report
February 2022 Fishing Report, Southern California (#272)
Wind has been a problem keeping down the number of anglers and angler reports.
Lobster season is now open
San Diego County Piers
Imperial Beach Pier – We still 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 — Dominique at the Ocean Beach Pier Bait and Tackle shop on the pier said the action is a little slow with the exception of mackerel who are doing their morning (8 a.m.) and evening (6 p.m.) bite which is pretty good. Not much else although a number of halibut have started to show. Lobster activity seems to be slowing down. 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 – Hunter, at the bait shop on the pier, reports recent action has been fairly slow on most, species although there is a decent morning bite on the mackerel (middle to the end of the pier) and the inshore catches of walleye surfperch remains fairly steady. He says there have also been quite a few bat ray taken lately and some thresher sharks have been showing up late in the day (probably feeding on mackerel since live mackerel seems to be the bait for them. So some fish are still out there. 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 — No report. 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 (kelp, sand and spotted) 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 — It sounds like the main fish continue to be mackerel. 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 — A report from my friend Bill said fishing has been slow most days interchanged by spurts of activity. About the only dependable action is on big jacksmelt but the end most days sees either mackerel, sardines, jacksmelt, or all three, and they are in and out. Inshore a few barred surfperch show up along with an occasion croaker while mid-pier sees some small kelp bass, an occasional sargo, and small leopard sharks. Mid-pier to the end is seeing good numbers of small walleye surfperch. Halibut? Only a few, most are shorts, and generally most are caught by the regulars using live bait. Note the two words slow and small. Sharary action has been slow with no great whites this month although another giant sea bass was hooked and released. How To Get There: From I-5 take Mission Blvd. west to Pacific, turn left and follow it to the pier.” How To Get There: From I-5 take Mission Blvd. west to Pacific, turn left and follow it to the pier.
Oceanside Harbor Pier — The pier has reopened but 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 — Stephanie Hogan's Bait and Tackle (34320 Pacific Coast Hwy. says the water is cold and the fishing is a little slow. Nevertheless she’s getting reports of fish for those that know what they are doing. Live bait, is producing some perch inshore along with a few croakers (yellowfin and spotfin). Mid-pier to the end is seeing a few kelp and sand bass, mostly small ones being taken on both bait and swim baits that are scented up. There’s also some sharay action, mainly bat rays and leopard sharks. Mackerel and some jacksmelt are available on top. 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 — Stephanie Hogan's Bait and Tackle (34320 Pacific Coast Hwy. says action has been slow. Expect a few bass, possible croaker or small sharay. 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 — It sounds like things have been slow at the pier. Snookie, our long time reporter, did report a keeper halibut that she caught on Jan. 27 using a live smelt. She said other than that no one in her group had a fish. Fishman Fishman visited on Jan. 23 and reported a thornback ray and a jacksmelt. 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 — Still unable to get through to the pier to get reports. How To Get There: Highway 1 (Pacific Coast Highway) to Huntington Beach and the pier.
Seal Beach Pier — Liz at Big Fish Bait & Tackle, 1780-C. Pacific Coast Hwy, said fishing’s been a little slow but fish are being taken. Inshore quite a few barred surfperch are making a showing while both croaker and corbina also showing but in lesser numbers. Nothing much in the top water with the exception of mackerel, which seem to be in decent supply, especially in the morning and at night. A few halibut are showing up but most have been shorts. Ditto some threshers; not fast action but an occasional shark. Same with the bat rays. I asked about bait and she does now have blood worms and ghost shrimp along with the lug worms and mussels. The shipments usually come in Thursday and sometimes by the end of the weekend they are gone. 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 Veterans Memorial Pier — Liz at Big Fish Bait & Tackle, 1780-C. Pacific Coast Hwy, said fishing’s pretty much the same there as at Seal Beach, a little slow but fish are being taken. Inshore quite a few barred surfperch are making a showing while both croaker and corbina also showing but in lesser numbers. Nothing much in the top water with the exception of mackerel, which seem to be in decent supply, especially in the morning and at night. Some halibut are being taken, more than at Seal Beach (which is the norm) but most are still shorts. Ditto some sharay action—sharks and rays. Fishman Fishman made a visit Feb. 1 and caught several white croaker and jacksmelt. He said there were lots of baitfish, anchovies and smelt, in the wter. 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 — Expect the usual—tomcod (white croaker) and mackerel casting out from the pier, sargo and perch fishing the inshore waters. 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 the Rusty Hook, 245 N Gaffey St., San Pedro, said the wind has been a problem lately keeping down the number of anglers but those fishing are getting the normal species, mainly white croaker and sand bass. He says the regulars who target halibut are also seeing fish but unfortunately most of the fish are shorts. He says nothing really has been hitting on top. 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 species—kelp bass, rock wrasse, senorita, opaleye, halfmoon, and sheephead, but recent reports have shown slow fishing for the pier. 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) — Expect the normal species—kelp bass, rock wrasse, senorita, opaleye, halfmoon, and sheephead and ocean whitefish but recent reports have shown somewhat slow fishing for the pier. The bonito seem to be in and out, good some days and not making an appearance other days. EgoNonBaptizo made a report on 1/27: “Took the 6 am ferry out to Avalon and started off fishing the Mole a two-hook feather rig. I hooked an 18" bonito fairly quickly, but afterwards fishing was brutally slow; I cast jigs, feathers, and splashers until around 2 pm for nothing except for a short calico. There were no opaleye to be seen, and blacksmith and garibaldi appeared to be by far the most abundant fish around the kelp. The anglers around me were having similar luck, with only 5 landed between 4 anglers. I moved to the GPP for a short while, but fishing there was similarly tough, with only one whitefish to show for maybe an hour of fishing. I headed back to the Mole by 4, and fished squid on a single dropper loop for endless small whitefish and a 14" calico.” 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 — Cortes at the Redondo Beach Tackle on the pier said things are really slow on the pier, even the mackerel are not biting. 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 – Best bet mackerel in the morning and evening hours. How To Get There: From Sepulveda Boulevard, turn west on Manhattan Beach Drive and follow it to the pier.
Hermosa Beach Pier — Best bet mackerel in the morning and evening hours. How To Get There: Take the Pacific Coast Highway (Hwy 1) to Pier Avenue and follow Pier Avenue west to the pier.
Venice Pier — Is it open? Need a reporter. How To Get There: Highway 1 to Washington St., turn west and follow Washington St. to the pier.
Santa Monica Pier — Unable to get through for a report. 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 it’s been very windy and not too many are fishing but the weather is improving. Anglers are getting the usual small walleye surfperch on Sabiki rigs while a few mackerel are hitting on Sabikis or cut bait. She’s also had reports of quite a few bass, mainly kelp bass. It’s slow on sharks and rays. How To Get There: The pier fronts on the Pacific Coast Highway (Hwy 1) so just drive until you see it.
Paradise Cove Pier — Ginny at Wylie’s Bait & Tackle (18757 Pacific Coast Hwy Malibu) said anglers continue to report decent action at the pier with a few bass showing up and lots of big bat rays. Surprising has been the reports of 7-gill sharks and smoothhound sharks (strange only because it’s a relatively shallow water pier). How To Get There: Take Highway 1 to Paradise Cove Dr., turn west, and follow the road back into the parking lot. It’s very expensive unless you buy a meal at the restaurant and then you are allowed to fish for, I think, three hours.
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 — Boyd at Hyun’s Tackle, 3695 E Harbor Blvd., said the surfperch inshore are still a little slow but improving, while croakers, white and yellowfin, are hitting mid-pier to the end on a variety of bait. Anything on top? He said a lot of big jacksmelt are also showing which can provide some fun on light tackle. As for the sharays it’s largely been a combination of bat rays and skates with sharks largely missing. The nighttime action is the best as usual. Eric at Eric’s Tackle Shop, 2127 East Thompson Blvd., said much the same. Perch fishing inshore is picking up after largely being missing in action for a while. Top bait? Lugworms. He said some mackerel are showing up but not in big numbers but jacksmelt are available. As for the sharays, not too many. It’s been very windy and not too many people have been fishing. 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 — Ben Miller at Hook Line & Sinker at 4010-5 Calle Real, Santa Barbara, said not much is going on, it’s been real slow in regard to the fish. Some perch are showing but mainly the action has been on crabs which continue to show in good numbers. 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 — Ben Miller at Hook Line & Sinker at 4010-5 Calle Real, Santa Barbara, said action is slow. He said it’s basically dead on top with no mackerel and while some halibut continue to show almost all are shorts. He did say there continue to be some rays and skates caught. 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 eight years—and counting. I was already wondering if the pier would ever reopen and now the state is stating to say the entire pier may be unsafe. So much for state government and the California Parks Dept.!!! Where's this surplus they talk about? Ridiculous! How To Get There: From Highway 101 simply take the Gaviota State Park turnoff down to the beach and pier.