Imperial Beach Pier — San Diego anglers — Your thoughts?

Ken Jones

Staff member

Any San Diego anglers out there? Do you feel these changes will be good for anglers?

The San Diego Union-Tribune
Port wants to make Imperial Beach pier the best on the West Coast
By Tammy Murga, Jan. 30, 2022

IMPERIAL BEACH — The Port of San Diego wants to make California’s southernmost pier, which stands in the waters off Imperial Beach, the best in the west by 2024.

“We want to make this the best pier on the West Coast and that’s really not hyperbole. That is really what we’re trying to do here,” Port Chairman Dan Malcolm, who represents the South County city, told the Imperial Beach City Council on Jan. 19.

Built in 1963, the wood-plank pier is a few blocks south of Evergreen Avenue and extends about 1,500 feet out west toward the western horizon. It’s a popular destination for beachgoers and surfers as it covers the entire surf zone and attracts anglers who say they catch from the pier the best fish in the area, from yellowtail to thresher sharks.

There are also restrooms, benches and the Tin Fish, which is the only restaurant on the pier. Nearby is the iconic, colorful Portwood Pier Plaza entrance, parks, bike paths, restaurants and shops.

The Port owns the pier and contracts with Imperial Beach to provide services such as public safety.

While already an iconic and important source of revenue for the city, the Port is looking to attract more foot traffic via a series of enhancement projects that would be located near the beach area, or the easternmost portion of the pier, as well as mid-pier and toward its end on the west side.

On the beach area, the Port is looking to build outposts with modern, cable railing and custom-made furniture. The main attraction will be a three-dimensional canopy that will give visitors a “beneath the waves” perspective like the view surfers have before emerging from the water.

“When you’re underneath the waves … and when you’re coming back up, you’ll kind of see a mirrored surface,” said Malcolm, adding that the design re-creates that image with shadows of a surfboard and seafoam.

Mid-pier, which already has extensions on its sides and restrooms, will also get new furniture and a similar canopy with a 3-dimensional shark figure. Near the end of the pier, the Port wants to replace old panels with clear, Plexiglass to provide visitors with better views of the pier’s infrastructure and the ocean.

“What we were looking for was merging function and art,” Malcolm said about the project designs.

The Port has already installed several new murals and fishing rod holders. There are also plans to incorporate informational storyboards about the pier’s history, distance markers and new fishing cleaning stations.

Council members said they appreciated that the Port was incorporating amenities for anglers, especially after a heated discussion last year when the City Council decided to continue prohibiting fishing at the end of the pier and allow it farther east. The city determined that the move, which started during the pandemic, kept the area cleaner but anglers said they were unfairly being singled out.

“I really like that there’s a focus on our fishing community because I think, first and foremost, as beautiful as we want to envision... our coastal ... bayfront infrastructure, I think it’s important for us to always continue to think about accessibility for all,” said Councilmember Paloma Aguirre.

Councilmember Ed Spriggs raised concern for the Tin Fish, which has been open for more than 10 years, amid enhancements to the pier.

“It seems to me, especially the way Imperial Beach has been developing as a visitor-serving community and its restaurants and other amenities, that that’s kind of a missing piece in what the Port is thinking about for the pier,” said Spriggs.

Malcolm said there are possibilities for improving the restaurant or even bringing in a second business, although the current priority is to complete the other pier projects.

All the improvements will cost a total of $3.9 million, with the beach area project costing the most at $2.29 million, according to the Port. The agency plans to use $2.5 million in capital improvement plan funding and COVID-19 stimulus dollars. Malcolm said he is certain the Port can get the remaining $1.4 million.

With a phased approach, Malcolm said he believes the pier will not be closed to the public during construction, which is slated to begin at the end of this year and be complete by 2024.

Over the past 10 years, the Port has invested nearly $2 million to refurbish the deck, replace lighting and make other pier repairs. The Port also helped pay for the $2.7 million reconstruction of the pier after more than 500 feet went down during the 1982-83 winter storms.

Ken Jones

Staff member
Found this old thread. We certainly had a lively group back then.

Date: April 25, 2001
To: PFIC Message Board
From: jimbojack

Subject: Don't let anyone handle your fish!

If you read aafrench's Seal Beach Pier report from Sunday, you might recall his mention of a guy catching a big shovelnose guitarfish. This fish was probably 4'+ and around 30 lbs. The guy that caught it is a regular and I've talked to him once or twice and have learned a lot from watching him. He catches more sharks and rays than anyone I've seen out there and his name is Ruben. Here is the rest of the story as told by an old wind surfer who knows Ruben and most of the regulars at Seal Beach. His info has always been reliable in the past, but I will ask Ruben next time I see him.

Ruben had already gutted the fish and it was laying on the deck while he was doing some more fishing. Some guy and his kid come up and the father asks Ruben if he could hold the fish and show it to his son. Ruben obliged and the dad is showing the fish to his kid and telling him all about it. After he was done showing his son the fish, he throws it over the side into the ocean!

I don't know about you, but if someone did that to my fish, I wouldn't let them get away with it. I think after I broke his jaw, I would toss him over the rail and tell him he better not come out until he has my fish. I guess Ruben was mad but didn't do anything except chew the guy out. The guy's excuse was that he didn't think that Ruben wanted the fish. How lame! It was already gutted! I wonder if this guy isn't some commie pinko, tree hugging, green peace Peta animal Nazi? It would be just like Peta to be using a new tactic like this. I always get attention when I catch a shark and lots of people will want to touch the rough skin, but I don't think I will let anyone hold my fish. Makes me mad just thinking about it! Jim

Posted by stinkyfingers

Either way - no excuse. "thinkers" Some people may say, "Oh, he's not PETA.... he just didn't know any better." To those I say - It does not matter one bit. The guy is a flippin' idiot in that case. An absolute moron that deserves to get pounded. What if I walk up to some big guy working on his truck and pick up the carburetor off the ground to show my kid, and then throw it away because I "thought he didn't want it." Stop "thinking"! - you'll only hurt yourself and the ones around you. I hate people that "think" like that...

Posted by Songslinger

Morons. I suppose they serve a purpose on Earth, but I still don't know what that would be. Can't be very good for the gene pool...
All I Want Is A Fair Fight

Posted by stinkyfingers

They're purpose in life is to make us feel better about ourselves on our worst days. Because at our worst, most of us are better than they at their best....And I'm sure they find a creative way to take themselves out of the gene pool. DARWIN! :) Hey: Anyone got a link for Darwin awards?

Posted by baitfish

MORONS AND THEIR ANTIQUATED PURPOSE... It is my theory that morons are here from years of evolution. Imagine yourself in the Stone age... There are two groups of people walking by, one is the Stone Age MENSA group and the other is Morons Anonymous (Stone Age Moron's Anonymous would be redundant. Along comes a Sabertooth tiger. Now the Mensa group had a lookout for things like this and ran the other way. However the stupid people don't see the Sabertooth until they notice that Fred and Bob haven't been around much in the last 5 minutes. But with the three of them left, they think ooh what a pretty kitty, let's pet it...

So this means that The strong have survived and the weak are now Sabertooth Kabobs. However the only true predator we now have is one of our own and that enemy is the Moron. Shouldn't there be a "Wack a Moron on the Head Day"? I wonder what the Bag limit on Morons is? ..Hmmmmm

Posted by Red Fish

Please release all morons you catch unharmed [EOM]

Posted by The Fishin Magician

Darwin Awards & The problem with Darwin's theory is that the idiots, morons, and otherwise stupid people are the ones that reproduce much faster than the smart ones. If we could just sterilize them all....Later, Adam

Posted by lucy

Pet Food—"Moronburgers" for your dog. "Moron kitty chow" for your cat.

Ground-up moron bones processed into fake cuttlefish for your parrot to chew on. Little "moron pellets" for your hamster, gerbil, rabbit, and other rodent pets.

Posted by Nufo

You may find this mean but we need to find some way to thin the herd and some people just shouldn’t reproduce. I have a few friends who are about to have kids and man there ain’t no way I would want any of there genes.

What ever happened to common sense? A few weeks ago I was coming home from an early morning pig hunt up in Livermore and some idiot passes me on a double line coming into a blind curve. I was doing 60 in a 50 zone. I felt like running this guy down and dragging him out of his car. He could have killed himself, me, and anyone else on the road. It was a Saturday too. What could possibly be so important your willing to risk peoples lives over?

Posted by stinkyfingers

I get FURIOUS on the road. I've actually been bumped by a truck that was on my tail. If that happens again, the guy's gonna find bullet holes in his windshield and his head. I don't care - I'll blow out my own back window without hesitation, especially in this day and age. I don't f### around when it comes to endangering my life or the ones I love. No room for patience, zero tolerance, absolute rage and insanity - strike down the evils of this world and "no remorse, no repent - we don't care...what it meant". After all - it IS considered ADW=Assault with a Deadly Weapon - that weapon being a car.

By the way: on the HUNT. I've never been out for oinkers, because I can't afford to pay for access to a "hunt ground", and I don't know anyone that owns property. When you went in Livermore(near me), did you go on private property? Or was it a public land where I may go? Virgin here begging for help.

Posted by fishfinder

I saw the same type thing happen at Santa Monica Pier. I guy came up and saw the fisherman's bucket full of nice 1-1/2 to 2 pound range perch and reached in and grabbed the one that was freshly flopping around and threw it back The only difference is that the fisherman began to severely beat the offender with an Eight foot Penn rod. I guess Penn rods are good for more than just fishing after all.>:) The cops had to come out and pull the guy off. TL

Posted by lucy

Now, that's the proper response! Beat the fool with your rod (even better if it's an Ugly Stik--it's SO appropriate). Test the reel on his head to see if it's really as tough as the manufacturer claims! Then, while he's lying stunned on the ground, trying to get up, stomp his rotten little fingers to mush. Guarantee, he'll NEVER go near anybody's fish bucket again, much less steal a fish from it. (Yes, I said "steal." The fish was the rightful property of the person who caught it. When the guy reached into the bucket and took it, that was theft same as if he'd stole something from the guy's tackle box.)

Posted by aafrench

Don't let anyone handle your fish! I think anybody with any common sense would realize that a gutted fish sitting on the pier was meant to be a keeper. This guy probably has a problem with fishing and fisherfolk and thought it was his place to take some action. I think he needed to be slapped upside the head with a 7' ugly stick. Where is Redfish when you need him? Andrew

Posted by Red Fish

Amen. [EOM]

Posted by Snookie

Fishermen are protected with laws. These laws are to keep persons such as the one mentioned from throwing a legitimate catch back into the ocean or fresh water. It has to do with the food for the fisherman. At the moment I can't recall the law, but I will try to remember what it is and report the info to the message board. Snookie

Posted by Joseph

It's really dumb for someone to do that to your fish and especially if you have spent so long to catch one at that, but considering the reaction of some of you of what you are capable of doing to a person who does that to your fish and for a fish for that matter, I certainly will advise to anyone who will listen not to touch your fish or face hell fire. I'm sure California Justice will protect you for your action and for a fish for that matter.....Joseph

Posted by lucy

Like I said—STEALING. I don't know about any specific laws protecting a fisherman's catch, but there certainly are laws against theft, and stealing a fish out of somebody's bucket or whatever is definitely theft. And by the time you add up the cost of your fishing equipment, license, bait, travel expenses, plus the time spent catching the fish, it's not exactly "petty" theft, either! After going to all that expense and effort and time to catch a fish, that fish is MINE and anybody to tries to steal it is going to get the same reaction he'd get if he tried to steal my wallet or steal my fishing equipment.

Posted by Joseph

Now that I got your attention, have you ever fished Albany pier? Yes, it no longer exist but there are other productive piers in the Bay Area that I thank local governments and organization for making it possible for me to have a place to fish and enjoy life to the fullest. Yes I am thankful and mostly thankful for KEN's msg. board which provides me reliable info of piers from you pier rats out there. I have given away more fish within the context of the law then what was stolen from me. I guess I am still ahead of the game and don't share your view of justice and revenge. May you catch lots of fish and more than you can use and I wonder if you know what that means.....Joseph

Posted by stinkyfingers

Please clarify. I'm trying to fully understand your post. Like when you say you gave away more fish "within the context of the law" than what was stolen from you - what does that mean? Thank you for providing an alternative viewpoint, but I really doubt that you or anyone else would be happy having ANYTHING stolen from them. Sure, if someone breaks into your house and robs you, you may choose not to physically subdue them, but rather let them get away, or see if the cops can ever find him(ha!). But I think most people will do whatever is neccessary to CAPTURE the thief and MAKE HIM PAY.

Posted by Joseph

Stinkyfingers, I catch lots of fish as I believe you do too. I give more away than I keep. If someone was to steal or result in a way as that poor guy who's fish was thrown overboard by some dingdong. I would be angry but not to the point of going beserk and end up on the short end of the stick. Losing a fish in this matter is no way the same as someone breaking into your house but if you believe that I make sure I don't touch your fish. Now if you put a strip of squid (about 2 inch long and 1/4 inch wide at the end of your lure (rat-trap or hair-raiser) you just might catch more fish. Learned that from thee old salt.........and it works.... See ya at the piers.....Joseph P.S. Something about scent eh

Posted by stinkyfingers

Joseph, Personally - I do NOT see someone taking my fish exactly the same as breaking into my house. Breaking into my house leaves anyone little chance for survival. Even if I didn't have to pop him, I'd probably bust him up pretty good. I was just using that example as an extreme, and now that I think more - it really doesn't fit. If someone throws away a good keeper of mine - I'll be pis.... Would I start a fight over it? Probably not. I've been getting a lot better with my temper recently, for example: Some guy at the gas station yesterday was totally eyeballing my girl, and then I guess he said something rude in the store about her. I saw RED, and I was unable to have a conversation with anyone for about 15 minutes, because my brain was in a state of insane rage. But after 15 minutes, I was able to speak again, and stop shaking and gritting my teeth. My only apology is to my girl, who suffered from losing her boyfriend for that period of 15 minutes while my brain was "gone." So, I guess the moral of the story is: Reactions should not exceed the actions that caused them.

Posted by Joseph

You my man good buddy. Ever tried the arm that connects Lake Merrit (Oakland) to the Bay by the flood control gates. Good for stripers and occassional steelhead during May and into June. Use to catch stripers in Lake Merrit itself but haven't tried lately but will try next month. Catch those fish............Joseph

Posted by Cruelpoet

I'm an outdoorsman and a naturalist. I hunt and fish and I'm a tree hugging member of the Sierra Club. The guy who threw away Ruben's fish was an ass, plain and simple. Please don't make generalizations regarding people's ideologies. There are plenty of "conservative" environmentalists and, considering the state of the, once communist, countries, there are very few "pinko-commie" conservationists.

Posted by jimbojack

To Cruelpoet. Touche` Cruelpoet, point well taken. I wish that conservative conservationalists would make their voices heard louder than the extremists such as PETA who seem to get more press and media coverage.(not that I pay much attention to the general media) I admire you for your convictions and beliefs and in all fairness this idiot may have had no other agenda than being an idiot. But in counterpoint to your communist reference, some of the EXTREME groups like PETA want animals to have all the same rights as humans and that is extreme communism. Everything shared equally. Even with animals. No communist nation was ever truly communist. They were/are corrupt totalitarian dictatorships disguised as communism. I am all for conserving nature. I just believe where possible, groups should raise money and buy forests rather than whine that the taxpayers should foot the bill. Then, that group owns the land, and no one including the government can tell them to develop it or plunder it's resources. Capitalism and conservatism. I understand that this can't apply to ocean based conservation since no one has found a legitimate way to own pieces of it yet. Sorry to have offended you Cruelpoet. Enough of political crap. I have fishing to think about. Jim