Fisherman Keeping Illegal fish at San Clemente Pier

#1
I was at SC pier today and this guy who was obviously not very experienced was fishing and catching more fish than anyone on the pier. (beginner's luck)
Anyways he cuaght a small sand bass (10 inch) sculpin (6 inch) and a "legal sized" lobster and just threw all of them in his bucket. Lobster are out of season and you can't keep one caught on line anyway. He had numerous people confront him including me about how the fish and lobster were illegal. His reponse was "yeah I should probebly get schooled up on the rules. Thanks." There wasn't much we could do in the moment. Anyways he left with 2 illegal fish and an illegal lobster and didnt get a single fine. Its just so frustrating watching these people get away with this stuff. I remember hearing there was like a Caltip number or something...? Can someone tell me what I can do to actually stop these people next time.
 

Ken Jones

Administrator
Staff member
#2
You can call CalTip and sometimes you will get a response: https://wildlife.ca.gov/Enforcement/CalTIP

Other than CalTip, the best approach is to know the rules and fish yourself so that you can point out (with specifics) illegal fish/lobster/etc. Some people will listen and some will not. Some people will be offended and some will not. Some people will put the fish back, most will not. And though we've had some people suggest confrontation over the years we do not recommend it. PFIC was started in 1997 to educate anglers and hopefully help in situations like the one you describe, and though I know many anglers that have improved their knowledge and changed the way they view angling, there seem to be new people every day that break the rules. A never ending problem.
 

Mahigeer

Well-Known Member
#3
The previous owners of the small cafe at the end of pier had direct number to F&W warden.

Not sure about the new owners. They are open all the time either.

I know of a local who does know the rules, but does not obey them.
 

Fishman Fishman

Well-Known Member
#4
I was at SC pier today and this guy who was obviously not very experienced was fishing and catching more fish than anyone on the pier. (beginner's luck)
Anyways he cuaght a small sand bass (10 inch) sculpin (6 inch) and a "legal sized" lobster and just threw all of them in his bucket. Lobster are out of season and you can't keep one caught on line anyway. He had numerous people confront him including me about how the fish and lobster were illegal. His reponse was "yeah I should probebly get schooled up on the rules. Thanks." There wasn't much we could do in the moment. Anyways he left with 2 illegal fish and an illegal lobster and didnt get a single fine. Its just so frustrating watching these people get away with this stuff. I remember hearing there was like a Caltip number or something...? Can someone tell me what I can do to actually stop these people next time.
Here is some information I keep on my phone. Hope it helps.
CalTip 1 (888) 334-2258

Email for Lt. Scott Bringman, Game Warden.
Scott.bringman@wildlife.ca.gov His jurisdiction is LA County. Perhaps he can refer you to someone who handles Orange County.

San Clemente Park Rangers
(949) 289-3527. They handle municipal violations on pier such as overhead casting.

FYI. Bail schedule for keeping undersize fish totals $1095.00. Take a look at DFW website for more information. Sometimes letting people know the cost of a ticket deters violations.

Thanks for trying to get this individual to do the right thing. Good luck on your next fishing trip!
 

Mahigeer

Well-Known Member
#5
One way to battle poaching is to do what the Turkish government does. No recreational fishing regulation. No fish and game no license……nothing. Keep whatever you catch. Now they starting to realize that they are running out of fish.


In reality I think educating the public is one way to cut down poaching. This could be done by using/adding fines to make public service announcement on TV, in several languages that are most commonly used at the public fishing piers. This way the number of “want-to-be” wardens increases.


I recall during the recent Catalina trip, I was fishing and talking to a sheriff deputy who was a fisherman at the Mole.

An elderly couple approached us and said they thought an angler who was catching a lot of Opaleye was keeping too many. I had been keeping an eye on him, and asking him how many he had caught. At that point he said he had eight, and I knew he was not lying. However, by the end of the day he had way more than ten (10) limit of Opaleye. Later some other anglers who knew him told me that he always keeps more than he should.

I have seen him on several trips, and actually previously having seen him skunked, I had given a nice Opaleye to him. No more. Next time, I will have the Harbor Patrol look in to his cooler. I know the Harbor master, and many of the officers.
 

MisterT

Well-Known Member
#6
I think people need to get fined and have their gear taken for deliberately not following the regulations. They won't learn otherwise.
 
#7
Keeping under size fish is a problem just this week I met a real nice guy gave him some bait he caught a short sand bass and happily offered it to me i told him it was under size needs to release it he immediately asked some one else if they wanted it and they took it i just shook my head in disbelief so blatant he was older should have known the basic regulations this was on the belmont pier I'm thinking some signs stating limits and sizes might help but then again some people just don't care Jeez
 

Mahigeer

Well-Known Member
#8
I think people need to get fined and have their gear taken for deliberately not following the regulations. They won't learn otherwise.
That is currently the system, yet it has not been too successful. However, if the guy who is paying a lot of money tells the TV audience about his experience, perhaps some anglers will realize that there is serious penalty.
 

Ken Jones

Administrator
Staff member
#10
Some people, who knows the percentage, simply do not care about the rules whether it be the rules on fish or on other matters. They just don't care and though we've had some impact on those who may not know the rules, and are willing to follow them once educated, you are still left with those who see no need to follow the rules. Given that political and government leaders themselves pick and choose which laws they will enforce it's understandable that many people simply see little need to follow the rules/laws.
 
#11
I've experienced the same thing and I really believe people know the regulations but don't care. For the people who are just your once or twice a year angler, they might get a pass. Recently I saw 2 groups at Fort Point pier who were crabbing and filled their buckets up with dungeness crab. They knew what they were doing. Too bad the game wardens were not around, they are usually pretty good in the area.
 

Rusty

Active Member
#12
This problem will never go away. Confronting the poacher(s) seldom helps. I agree that educating the public is part of the solution, but it is tough to accomplish in a world where everyone feels entitled to do whatever they want.
- DFW need to step up in issuing citations, this will help curb some poaching maybe
- require a fishing license everywhere. I propose a “free” license aquired after an exam, for current “free” fishing areas, (piers, man made, etc). The regular fishing license stays the same. This will require each prospecting angler to pass an exam/safety course before being allowed to fish.
Too much? Will this infringe upon our freedoms?
 
#13
Today, on my bike ride, I saw a “Gentleman” using 6 rods at Irvine Park Lake. He had a bucketful of Bluegill and super small Bass. Basically cleaning that tiny pond out. I told him I called the DFG. He ran at me and told me to mind my own #+cking business. Ken is right. Some people just don’t care. Not worth a fight on my Bike ride. I did tell the Rangers he tried to assault me while I was riding my bike. I’m sure nothing happened.
 
#15
I have called CalTip on two occasions - once in 2015 over a short out of season lobster and the second time on a group keeping undersized kelp bass. Both times were at Stearns Wharf. The first time the dispatcher answered but I was not contacted again and no one showed up. The second time it was an hour later the ward called me back for more information. Another hour later he was on the scene but called to say he couldn't see anyone matching my description. The system does not seem to be working well.