Huntington Beach Pier 9/12, 9/13


Well-Known Member
Got to the Pier around 7:45AM on Saturday. About an hour of so in people started catching bonito on the back right side of the pier behind Rubies. I would estimate maybe 15-20 were caught on that side in about a 2 hour period.

I fished with my sister until 12:30PM or so and had to leave. Only one bonito was caught on the part of pier that we were fishing on and unfortunately not by me. I was fishing a four hook size 12 Hayabusa sabiki rig with a 62g Colt Sniper at the bottom serving as a weight. I had another pole with the same rig with a 2 ounce sinker that I was fishing baited on the bottom as a high low rig. Was catching decent sized mackerel through the time we were fishing.

My sister ended up fishing a fish finder rig baited with salted mussels and caught a few fish with the most interesting being a decent sized 11-12" barred sand bass. Not a keeper but it bent the heck out of the pole that she was fishing and attracted a crowd that cheered and applauded when she landed the fish.

Got there at 5:30AM looking to grab a spot on the "hot" side of the pier where the bonito were caught the day before. Unfortunately I made an error and ended on the left side behind Rubies where almost all the poles that weren't mine were set up to fish for thresher sharks. Was a fun exercise casting a jigging line in between a side full of static threshed setups. I was able to avoid any serious tangles and offered the smaller mackerel I caught to their community live bait pool. That little setup which was like a tiny low walled kiddie pool attracted lots of attention from people walking around the pier as there were 10-15 small mackerel and sardines swimming around in it. People were fascinated almost like a public aquarium. There were a handful of small bonito caught on the other side of the end of the pier while I was there but much less than the day before and significantly smaller in size.

Anyways the bite in that spot was not great for me there. I caught a thornback ray on a fish finder rig baited with salted squid and I landed a line full of mackerel once and onesie, twosies here or there. So I left my thresher shark hunting friends for my usual spot which is the front right side of the end of the pier just to the north side of Rubies. The bite was better there but still slower than usual. I guess this is the first day I've been recently where the smaller mackerel were not really around in large numbers. This slowed down the fishing to a "normal" pace but not what I've become used to recently at the Huntington Beach pier. For some reason the sardines were down lower than they usually are as they were biting on my girlfriend's sabiki rig baited with mussels that she was dropping to the bottom looking for blue perch.

I left with about 5 decent sized mackerel and a big jacksmelt that my girlfriend caught. Some non-mackerel, smelt or sardines I saw caught around our area was a couple small blue perch and a small sculpin. The last hour or so before we left, the wind picked up and the current was very strong pushing rigs to the Southeast. I would cast out with a 3 ounce pyramid weight at the end of my line and it would roll along the bottom to the end of the pier in less than 5 minutes. On the way back to the car we saw a very decent sized yellow fin croaker caught by one of the guys fishing the surf section of the pier.


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