Interesting posts and pictures regarding the Coronado Ferry Landing pier...

Ken Jones

Staff member
The Pier Rats Speak —
Pier Fishing In California E-Mail Messages

Date: August 9, 1997
To: Ken Jones
From: Ritchie Reano
Subject: Reporter for Coronado Ferry Landing Pier

Howdy! Great site by the way and I do have your book. I fish the Coronado Ferry Landing Pier almost exclusively. Here's my report.
All around great pier. Varied species. Small pier, no concession or bait stand, but the Ferry Landing has a number of nice places to eat. When the fish aren't biting you can take a walk and shop along the shops in the Ferry Landing.
Halibut seems to be the prize catch at the pier and lately are being produced consistently, average of one keeper per day. Lively smelt is the bait of choice and among the piers in San Diego, Coronado seems to have the biggest smelt population. Smelts are being caught with dip nets or small baited hooks. I recently landed and kept a 23-inch halibut using a 6-inch smelt. Jigs are also catching the flatties. Natural color shad bodies or grubs seem to work the best. Halibut rigs consist of egg sinker and snap swivel, but lately the sliding leader technique described in your book is becoming popular.
Bonito have been seen splashing the waters around the pier. But it seems every time they run by, no one seems to have their Cast-a-Bubble rig ready. I've not seen one landed recently. Mackerel runs are fair to good. Squid strips and fresh mackerel cuts are the bait of choice, but when the macs are finicky, small smelt will entice them to hit.
Yellowfin croaker are scarce and fall mainly to ghost shrimp, with a few taken on small smelt. Sand bass are abundant using live smelt or mackerel cuts. Fishing on the shore side of the pier seems to be the best area to catch them.
Good-size guitarfish are also seen being caught on this pier with squid and mackerel slabs being the bait. Other notable catches... needlenose fish (which seem to be more of an annoyance) and flounder.
Thanks! And keep up the great work with the website. Ritchie Reano

Date: August 31, 1997
To: Ken Jones
From: Ritchie Reano

Subject: Ferry Landing update

Hi Ken, Just got back from fishing today from the Ferry Landing Pier... Mackerel are visiting the pier in numbers. I'm seeing bucketful’s lately. Most anglers are using bait rigs sweetened with squid or mackerel. Best times seemed to be early morning or late afternoon. Smelt still cloud the waters with their abundance. Catching your own bait is a breeze.
Halibut are still hitting consistently. Most are caught on smelt. I landed a 23.5-inch halibut today using a 6-inch smelt on a sliding rig. I was also talking to a father and son team and they caught a 30” halibut about two weeks ago using smelt. In fact, the halibut was so strong that it yanked his pole into the water. Fortunately, the pole floated and a treble gaff was on hand...
Recently, a friend of mine hooked a 4-foot-wingspan ray but it came off while trying to net it. No sign of bonito. Thanks! Ritchie Reano

Date: March 27, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Rich

Subject: Coronado

Hi Ken,

I like the new website look. Have you ever considered getting a domain name? Like
Anyway, fishing is getting interesting at the Ferry Landing. During the recent grunion run, quite a few anglers were hooking up with some decent size rays. I only observed the catches during the day. The night fishing must have been even better. Another interesting catch was a nice sized barracuda, although a little short of legal. It was caught using a Salas iron jig fished on the surface. Live bait such as smelt are hard to come by at this time. Most of the smelt near the pier are much too big. Even if there’s not a lot of catching going on, it's still a nice place to hang out on a weekend. There are shops and decent eateries only a short walk away. Take care! Sincerely, Rich Reano

To: Rich
From: Ken Jones
Subject: Domain Name

Hi Rich, In answer to your question regarding a domain name, no I don't know too much about it. What are the advantages? Best, Ken

Ken, Your website name will be easier to remember. (which by the way is available) is easier to remember than and looks more professional. Also, you would probably get more visits to your site. I am sure someone has tried typing in to see if a website like that existed. I know I have. Sincerely, Rich

Date: May 26, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Rich Reano

Subject: Coronado Report

The halibut have started showing up... finally. I have seen three over 22 inches being pulled up. Two on live smelt, the other on a Fish Trap. Also, some pelagic crabs are swimming about the waters. I haven't noticed an impact on the fishing though. Mackerel have been sparse. I went fishing for a few hours over the 3-day weekend and managed to catch one good-sized mackerel and two small halibut on live smelt. The night action with croaker, I heard, is pretty good. The bait of choice is ghost shrimp. That's it. Have a great day. Best regards, Rich Reano

Hi Rich,

Thanks for the report! As you might have noticed I'm having a little problem right now with my webmaster but hope to have everything back up as soon as possible. Best wishes and good fishing. Also, hope to be down there the second week in July. Ken

[That summer I visited San Diego and had lunch with Rich. Soon after he became the new webmaster for Pier Fishing In California. A short time later he developed the Pier Fishing In California Message Board.]

Date: July 5, 1999
To: Pier Fishing In California Message Board
From: Ken Jones

Subject: Ferry Landing Pier — Coronado

I joined Rich Reano for a couple of hours of early evening fishing on the 1st. Nothing much was biting on top and I only managed 6 round stingrays and one good-sized gray smoothhound on the bottom. I did see one angler catch a decent-size sand bass.

Date: December 28, 1999
To: PFIC Message Board
From: Dave McD

Subject: Needlefish in San Diego?

I read a few San Diego reports that say there are needlefish around. I used to catch 2-3 foot needlefish when I was stationed in the Philippines using a “bonito splasher” type rig. The needlefish there are long and skinny like a baracuda, shiney silver, and bluish coloration with white belly, and have a very boney mouth with a snout about 4 inches long, lined top and bottom with plenty of needlelike teeth, and the water is much warmer there. Is this the same type of fish?

Posted by Rey

I have caught some big Needlefish at Coronado Ferry Landing. You can see them cruising near the surface from this pier. I usually don’t target them, but when I see them I use a cast and retrieve method using a long strip of squid on about 6-pound line. The faster I retrieve my bait, the better luck I get on strikes.

Date: April 15, 2000
To: PFIC Message Board
From: Mark Taylor, LAc.

Subject: Coronado Ferry Landing report

Fished the landing this afternoon between about 4:30-8:00 pm, incoming tide. I’m kind of a beginner in these waters so I'm used to getting skunked, and today was no exception. Fished fresh sardines and frozen ‘chovies off the bottom. One good strike, but I didn't set the hook in time. Tried some Fish Traps, plastic grubs and a Kroc for a while, but nothing.
There were about 10 of us on the pier and one guy fishing over near the floating ferry dock was pulling in bass after bass. Every time we looked over this dude was pulling another decent bass out of the water. I'm told he was using dines, live or dead I don't know. He didn't look real friendly so I didn't ask. Two guys near me caught a too short butt, a nice keeper sand bass and what I think was a spotted bass. Same bait/rig as me.
One of these guys next to me must have caught a dozen small foot-long stingrays (or the same one 12 times; you have to wonder, they were identical in size) in an hour, until he decided to stop squandering his ghost shrimp and switch over to dines/chovies.
The rest of us did our best, but...that's how it goes sometimes. I wonder if the place to fish on this particular pier is where that bass-o-matic guy was—over near the floating ferry dock, which forms a right angle with the fishing portion of the pier: Maybe the decent fish like to hang out in all that cover. Tight lines and good luck!

Date: June 6, 2001
To: PFIC Message Board
From: Ken Jones

Subject: Ferry Landing Pier — Coronado

Fished this pier midday on Saturday for an hour and a half with Rich Reano. The weather was cool and the fishing slow. Rich managed to pull in a gray smoothhound and a shortie sand bass; all I managed was a small bat ray. All fish were released. Did see a couple of anglers with plastics and it appeared they landed a small bass and halibut.

Date: April 29, 2002
To: PFIC Message Board
From: pescador5312

Subject: Coronado Ferry Landing Pier 4-27-02

I fished from about 9pm-12am. I caught two spotties off the beach side of the pier while the tide was really high, one 13” and one 11” both released. Caught on squid strips on high-lo rig and 4oz spoon sinker. I had another line out for bat rays, a sliding rig with 4-oz egg and 5/0 hook... Nothing though. Some guys left us some live ghost shrimp when they left. We used them but just kept losing them. Caught four sandies off the northern tip same hi-lo rig. Squid but kept losing the ghost shrimp.
—don't bother me... I'm fishin’ <*)))>=<| pescador5312

Date: May 12, 2002
To: PFIC Message Board
From: pescador5312

Subject: Coronado Ferry Landing Pier

King Neptune must have been satisfied by the sacrifice that was made last week at bird rock. I caught one 30” bat ray and the net that I made out of a tailgate net works! Just needs some fine tuning, but it works. I also caught a short sandie on a Kalin’s grub tipped with squid and a mackerel. Yes. That’s what I said, a mackerel, but just one. Weirdest thing. Caught on a grub too. Weirdest thing was it was the only mack caught on the pier tonight. Usually one means more, at least from what I’ve seen. But anyways, I got some good bait for the next trip.
Details: Coronado Ferry Landing Pier (duh); 9pm-midnight: 1 bat ray 30”; 1 sandie (short); 1 circle ray; 1 mackerel ~16”. All fish were released unharmed except for the mack.
—don’t bother me... I'm fishin’. <*)))>=<| pescador5312

Date: May 16, 2002
To: PFIC Message Board
From: pescador5312

Subject: Reminds me of my first halibut (picture)

All this talk about how to catch a hali. makes me wanna tell a fishing story.


The above [25-pound] hali was caught on squid strips on Valentines Day this year. I threw out a top and bottom rig with a 2oz sinker. Half way down my line just went slack so I start reeling this thing in. I thought it might just be a shovelnose that stopped fighting already but when I saw color I almost choked. I was just using some pre-snelled size 4 hooks on probably 10-lb leaders so I was real careful in walking him around the light posts on the pier and onto the beach.
When I got to him at the shoreline I didn’t know how to bring him up. So first I tried to gill him. Didn’t work. Kept closing up on me so I tried to lip him. Didn’t work, the sucker bit me. That’s when I jumped back and ended up putting some tension on the line. The hali started thrashing around in the water and broke the leader. I wasn’t gonna lose this one so I jumped in, put my foot on his head, grabbed him by the tail and threw him onto the beach! Gonna get one of those Berkley lip grips next pay day!
From now on I’m releasing all halis but I had to keep the first one. A whole lotta meat on that guy! Oh yeah forgot. Caught him at the Ferry Landing Pier in Coronado, San Diego. Fish on! pescador5312

Posted by Rich Reano

Damn! I’ve caught my share of 22”+ halibut off the Ferry Landing but that thing is huge. Good work. I wouldn't dare put my fingers in a hali’s mouth. It'd get ugly if he clamped down and start thrashing about.

Date: June 30, 2002
To: PFIC Message Board
From: Rich Reano

Subject: Coronado Ferry Landing

Fished the Coronado Ferry Landing Pier for an hour from 2:30pm ~ 3:30pm hoping to catch a corvina. There were quite a bit of baitfish around but large ones were nowhere to be seen. No corvina but I did manage a spotted sand bass on a watermelon red/flake zipper worm. Got him out of the water, snapped a picture and back into the water in less than 30 seconds.


Date: July 6, 2002
To: PFIC Message Board
From: jimmyrig

Subject: Coronado Ferry Landing, July 5

Fished the landing yesterday from 10:30A.M. till 7:30 P.M. Caught 8 fish all together: 4 sand bass, 1 guitarfish, 3 stingrays. Only one bass was a keeper 12.5”. The guitarfish was 34”. Everything was caught on live smelt.

Date: July 25, 2002
To: PFIC Message Board
From: Drac0

Subject: Coronado Ferry Landing Pier

I caught up with pEsCaDoR5312 today at the Coronado Ferry landing pier. Right as I arrived on the pier to check it out, one of the guys next to him caught a shovelnose well over 4 feet long. I had to run back to my car because I wasn't sure if I was at the right place or not and didn't want to drag all my gear with me if I wasn't. When I got back, I weighed the shovelnose, it was 18.1 pounds! I didn’t catch the exact length, I just know it was 4 foot something...
People all around were catching fish, pEsCaDoR5312 caught himself a bat ray, which was released and again the same guy with the shovelnose caught one too. A little later the shovelnose guy (I didn’t catch his name, what else to call him?) caught another one, this one was 4’1/2” and weighed 15.5 pounds. A little later, I caught my first and only fish for the night, a 4-inch spotted bass, which was released of course.
Others were catching mackerel, and grunion were running too. I even saw a large corvina (I think that is what it was.) The people who caught it said it was a 5 pounder, but I didn't weigh that one so I can't vouch for their accuracy. Most people were using Squid, some were using live smelt and others were using grunion.

Posted by pEsCaDoR5312

Well, good fishing with you Drac0. As for that night at the pier. VERY productive while the tide was incoming and the current pulled south. The two shovelnose were caught by the Mexican guys that are always there. Yeah the ones that always take the corner regardless of who’s there. But I’ve learned to live with them and get along. The first one was caught by Carlos. 4’1” and his brother caught the other one, just a half inch shy of the first. They were both caught on dead grunion. Another one, about 3.5ft was caught a little later but released and that was when I hit my bat ray. Finally got to test the strength of the rod I built. Didn’t weigh it but I’d say it was about a 15 pounder. Hit on squid chunks. Another regular, Adrian, was hitting some big bass on the beach side of the pier. Gave my friend a good 14-incher for dinner.
I brought my co-workers with me too (the ones that are always clowning me for fishing so much) and let them use some of my rods. Let them backlash a couple of my reels. hehehe. But all in all they had some good fun and went home with no more jokes about fishing. Especially after seeing the two shovelnose! hehehe. It was a good day even though I got stuck hauling all the gear and the cooler back to the truck because they all left early.
—don’t bother me... I'm fishin’. <*)))>=<|pEsCaDoR5312

Date: July 29, 2002
To: PFIC Message Board
From: pEsCaDoR5312

Subject: Coronado Ferry Landing

Went to the Ferry Landing today right after work. Fished from 4-7pm and caught one bat ray about 15lbs on squid. That was the only thing big that I saw caught on the pier while i was there. Caught a couple of short bass on live smelt though. no skunk! Hehehe
Anyways, there were some gangstas at the pier today and I witnessed them catch a 15” halibut. Funny because the guy who caught it almost tried to grab it before I told him not to or he might get bit. He says, “if it bites me I’m gonna kill it.” I say, ”no you’re not” and I head over there with my pliers. I take the hook out and one of them was like, “hey I’m gonna keep it, blood.” I tell him it’s too short and I’m throwing it back. His girl yells NO! as I toss it over. They proceeded to talk their $|-|!T as i walked away but didn’t do anything. I just stayed quiet. They can talk all they was since I know they’re not going home with that fish.
—don’t bother me... I'm fishin’. <*)))>=<| pEsCaDoR5312

Date: July 31, 2002
To: PFIC Message Board
From: pEsCaDoR5312

Subject: Coronado Ferry Landing

I went to the Ferry Landing last night due to my friends calling me out there even though I didn’t feel like going yesterday. I went, got there, and there were three of my friends. One had a cooler of live bait so we started hooking up the smelt for shovelnose. The guy that caught the 4-footer last week was there and guess what, he caught another one. This one was just short of 4’. Totaled 47” but heavy. I was soon to find out why. He gave the fish to me. and I decided to clean it right then and there. So I cut her, bled her, opened up her belly and noticed two large, dark sacs and they were moving. I said to myself “please no” but it was. I broke open each sac and there were four 5” baby shovels in each. I carefully took them out and released them. I hope they were developed enough to make it. They looked it though and I looked at the “poop-chute” on the mom (I don’t know if its still called a vagina for fish) and it looked pretty dilated, like it was ready or close to ready. Well, that tail won’t go to waste and I just hope the babies make it too.
As for me, I caught one 3-foot shovel on smelt too. You know, I thought that the bigger the bait the bigger the fish but we were using little 2” smelt on 3/0 hooks. A 3 and 4 footer ain’t too bad for that little of a bait. I left earlier than the other guys so I don't know if they caught anything.
Fished from 8-10:30pm, weather was cool but not cold, sky was cloudy, water was calm. Bait was live smelt, Carolina rigged on 4oz eggs, 18” steel leader, 3/0 - 5/0 hooks.
—don’t bother me... I'm fishin’. <*)))>=<| pEsCaDoR5312

Date: August 4, 2002
To: PFIC Message Board
From: six1ninerider

Subject: Coronado Ferry Landing... My first bat!!

Finally got a bat... he put up an awesome fight. pescador5312 (Arvin) helped me out as I had no idea what I was doing. Not even 20 minutes after that a guy at the other end of the pier caught what Arvin called a banded guitarfish. It was cool. I got this one on tape it must have been just under 4-ft. I had one of those when Arvin first sucked me into fishing but he snapped my 12-lb line when I got him to the surface. Anyways we stayed out there till nearly 2 AM and called it a night. Great night. Now I know why Arvin is always going for bat rays.
Fishing and women: don’t understand either one, but I keep on trying.

Posted by Matt

Bat rays will make your arms feel like Jello, and women will turn your brain into Jello. Congratulations on getting hooked into those bad boys.

Posted by Sinker

Wow, I have only seen pictures of them [banded guitarfish], never got to see one myself. Have caught a lot of their brothers but never a banded one. I did not know they came into the SD area. Way cool... I agree about Bat Rays, I love catching them as they are great fighters. Congrats

Posted by pEsCaDoR5312

When I first heard about the one that 619rider lost I wasn’t really sure but when I saw that bad boy last night I was in awe. Beautiful creature. The guy wanted to keep it but I convinced him that there was not enough meat on it and to just let it go since it was so rare. Funny that their tails don’t have nearly as much meat on them as the shovelnose of the same length. Nevertheless they are still beautiful fish. and I’m glad that it got to live. Good job on the bat ray Jason, next time we'll get one in the double digits. Oh hey, you didn’t tell them about the legal bass that you “released” hehehe.
—CAPT SAVAFISH don’t bother me... I’m fishin’. <*)))>=<| pEsCaDoR5312

Date: August 13, 2002
To: PFIC Message Board
From: pEsCaDoR5312

Subject: In reply to strange people...raver fish...

I was at the pier with my brother one day (this is the Coronado Ferry Landing Pier which is probably visited by interested tourists and weirdos more often than other pier).
Well, one night the last stop of the ferry hits and two girls got off of it. I noticed they were ravers by the way they were dressed. They noticed that we were using light sticks (mackerel) and one girl asks me what we used the light sticks for. I told her they’re for “raver fish, the light stick attracts them because they like to dance around it. That’s why they call it a raver fish. Then when they see the bait they hit it.” The girl looks at me in awe and says, “that’s F***ing amazing!” So I say “yup” and they leave. My brother and I laughed about it the whole night.
*note*—raving is a style of dancing. A raver is one who likes to go to raves and dance to quasi-techno-style music. Many like to use light sticks in their hands while they are dancing to give a cool effect to their actions. I posted this story in no intentional offense toward any ravers on this board.
Don’t bother me... I’m fishin’. <*)))>=<| pEsCaDoR5312

Date: August 28, 2002
To: PFIC Message Board
From: Rayhawk
Subject: Old Ferry Landing Pier

Went to my old favorite spot. I fished from 9 to 11:30 pm. I have not fished this pier in a while. The gear I used is my light spinning outfit with 8 pound line. I used 4-inch Fish Trap lures in a Smelt pattern with Hot Sauce for bait scent. All I caught was a 16-inch Orange Mouth Corbina. Cool fish with a nice set of teeth. I caught a couple of these fish Last year at the Old Ferry Pier using Ghost Shrimp. It seems this area is a good spot for them. I fished everywhere in San Diego and it seems this is the only place to catch the Orange Mouth Corbina.
I also had a decent sized Halibut follow my lure to the surface but did not take my lure. My fishing partner also using Fish Trap lures hooked up to something big, but broke him off. I am sure it was a big Halibut. We fished mainly in the surf region. People at the end of the pier were catching Mackeral with their glow lights. I also saw a guy catch what appeared to be a legal Spotted Bay Bass. Even though I caught only one fish, I still had fun. Old Ferry Pier is still a cool place to fish.

Posted by pEsCaDoR5312

The fish you caught is a corvina with a “v”. I used to think they were the same thing but a corbina doesn’t have teeth like a corvina. Corbina look more like croakers, where corvina look like juvie WSB in a way. I almost went out there last night but am still busy building my new spinning rod for my Baitrunner. Do you happen to have a pic of the fish you caught? So far nobody has been able to post one yet and whenever I see someone hook up on one it’s the day I forget to bring my camera. Do a search for “corbina” and check out the pics. I’m sure the fish you caught was not the same. Even though everyone on the pier will pronounce it corBina. This board has taught me otherwise. Either way great catch. I still have yet to catch one.

Posted by Rich Reano

Corvina have snake-like fangs somewhat aft of their mouth openings. I too have caught them at that general location... nowhere else in San Diego.

Posted by Ken Jones

[Those] would be shortfin corvina not orangemouth corvina. Orangemouth corvina are native to the Sea of Cortez, were imported into the Salton Sea, and were, for many years, a trophy fishery in that body of water. I don’t believe they’ve ever been caught in the ocean waters of California. Shortfin corvina though uncommon outside of San Diego Bay, seem to have established a residency in South San Diego Bay (although some are occasionally caught at oceanfront piers along San Diego’s coast.

Date: September 17, 2002
To: PFIC Message Board
From: pEsCaDoR5312

Subject: Coronado Ferry Landing

After a long day of kayak fishing/tubefishing… I met up with the guys at the Coronado Ferry Landing Pier. It started real slow. I caught a short sandie then six1ninerider gets a baby smoothhound shark. Then after a couple hours of waiting Ryan hooks up with a nice 31” bat ray; after some good coaching and warning about adjusting drag mid-fight we get this bad boy in, measure, and release. Not ten minutes after re-rigging and casting Ryan hooks up again with this big butterfly ray; biggest I’ve ever seen.
—don't bother me... I'm fishin. <*)))>=<| pEsCaDoR5312

Date: May 12, 2003
To: PFIC Message Board
From: adieboy80
Subject: Another Good Outing @ Ferry Landing 5/12

Since I had pretty productive afternoon yesterday, I decided to head over to Coronado Ferry Landing again for another shot at mud marlin and whatever else I could hook up into. Arrived at 6pm, bout an hour prior to high tide. Same bait, same setup as yesterday. Sure enough they were still out there, and hungry. First catch yielded a nice size bat ray approx.. 20lbs. 15 mins later clicker SCREAMED, so I ran over to set the hook. The line literally melted off my Penn 500, and the ray (or shark) pretty much had its way with me, taking me to and fro, up and down the pier, around light poles, fishing poles, etc. until finally it wrap me into the pier piling and snapped me off. It was crazy... I couldn’t even turn its head!
I wasn’t even finished re-rigging my tackle when my spinning rod got hit and I almost got spooled (only had 15 lb test Ande) and after a 15 min battle of tug and war I finally landed a fat 35+ ray; that thing was a bruiser. Catch of the day was a HUGE shovelnose, which put a heck of a fight on 25-lb test. BTW all rays were released in exception to the shovelnose, which was given to a fellow fisherman to take home for dinner.


Total Caught: 4 bat rays and 1 shovelnose; Bait Used: whole squid; Tackle: 4 oz pyramid sinker,4/0 circle hook, dropper loop rig, 12 inch leader; Gear: Penn 500/Seeker rod spooled with 25# Ande; Daiwa spinning reel spooled with 15# Ande
Tight lines y’all—Adrian

Date: May 28 2003
To: PFIC Message Board
From: skale

Subject: Coronado Ferry Pier

Fished from 8:30pm yesterday until about 1:00am today. I used frozen grunion as bait but no luck so I decided to go for live smelt. I had much better results and ended up catching 2 corvina, 3 spotted bay bass, and 1 small halibut. All were caught then released with the exception of the corvina (hooked on gill). It was a pretty good night with light winds that eventually died down. Later on in the evening as the tide was going out, there were some huge corvina swimming around but I ran out of live bait and couldn't catch anymore.

Date: August 11, 2004
To: PFIC Message Board
From: SDBrian
Subject: Coronado Ferry Landing

The fishing was quite good today. All fish were caught on sliding rigs with live smelt. Fished from 10am to 3:30 pm. Total fish caught: 1 Shovelnose; 6 spotties; 2 micro hallies; 1 calico; 2 bonito; 1 head sun burn (OUCH)

Date: May 25, 2006
To: PFIC Message Board
From: Raider

Subject: Speckled midshipman

I just saw on Channel 7 News that a speckled midshipman was caught at the Coronado Ferry Landing Pier. They said that they usually live in deep water between Baja and Catalina. The fish looked to be about 7 inches long with huge teeth. Finals are done tomorrow, I’ll be fishing all next week!!!


Date: August 2, 2007
To: PFIC Message Board
From: Ken Jones

Subject: Coronado Ferry Landing Pier

Fished the Ferry Landing Pier from 8:25-11:10 PM on July 29. Although I had never visited the Coronado Ferry Landing Pier without catching at least one round stingray, that string was broken. Instead I caught a small diamond stingray, which was a new species for my list. Totals: 2 Pacific Mackerel; 1 Gray Smoothhound Shark; 1 Spotted Sand Bass; 1 Diamond Stingray.

Date: March 28, 2008
To: PFIC Message Board
From: woody
Subject: Ferry Landing Pier

I used to fish it back in the 90’s. Empty back then. I caught the biggest bat ray in my life, (140-lbs+!!!!), and biggest shovelnose, (53-lbs!!!). I used to catch...loads of them. Bay bass, corvina, butt's, calicos, croakers, macks, bonies, barries, needlefish, grunion, lobster, and even a few juvi white sea bass!!!! Don't know how it is now; live in the Bay Area.
Try for butt’s at night on an incoming tide, on west end, cast live bait on slider, parallel to shore. Used to be about one legal to about five short, and FAST action!!!!
For the bats chuck squid on slider and 8/0 live bait hook as far as you can into the middle of the bay, (seems to be an oyster bed starting about 150 ft out), on an in or out tide to about an hour before or after, set your clicker and get ready, won’t be long, and you'll catch a bunch!!!
Cast grubs near the dock, (ferry loading platform), bounce ‘em and get ready for explosive calico and spotted or sand bass action, (one out of three are 15 inches +!!!) Dive there during the lobster season and find HUGE bugs!! Late summer brings short barracuda with a few just at 28 inches; gotta cast far, off the northwest corner with Kocs or live smelt. Summer brings the bonies and macks, about half of them average, 1/4 of them tiny, the other 1/4 pretty damn big.
Fall full moons find the white seabass cruising by the pilings at high tide; drop a brown bait to them, and, WHAM!!!!! Measure closely, most of these are just short. When winter gets there, get some mussels, ghost shrimp, or sand crabs and fish corvina and croakers on light line, a slider, size 8 or 6 bait hook. Yellowfin, spots, and white croaker are all here. Be ready for perch too though. Used to love this place, a favorite for both fish and solitude.

Date: April 9, 2008
To: PFIC Message Board
From: AaronL

Subject: Bonito

I don't know if the boneheads are still there, but the Coronado Ferry Landing in San Diego was kicking out good numbers of bonito (to at least 5-6 lbs) about a week and a half ago. All the ones I saw were caught on small green plastic grubs rigged behind a 1-ounce chrome torpedo sinker.

Date: May 19, 2008
To: PFIC Message Board
From: aaronL
Subject: Re: Anyone fish the Ferry Landing Pier lately/shortfin corvina?

I was talking to a very successful (2 halibut and 1 WSB) man there who said that if you fished live bait or a drop shot Fluke bass bait during a grunion run, you were “guaranteed to get corvina.” I'm going to see when the next run is, and will try to fish the Coronado Pier this weekend.

Date: May 27, 2009
To: PFIC Message Board
From: tunafshr93

Subject: Ferry Landing Pier

Stayed on Coronado and fished all weekend at the pier. Bass fishing is great. Caught both sand and calicos (all fish caught were released.) A lot of 13-15 inch fish with small ones mixed in. My biggest was a 15-inch calico caught at night under the pier. Had a bigger one wrap me around the pier and break me off. Calico were on high low leader with squid strips, and the sandies on a sliding sinker rig with cut up anchovies (they seemed to prefer the tail section the best.) Baitfish colored soft plastics were working at night for sandies. Usual rays also caught. Mackerel swing around from time to time but nothing spectacular maybe one or two caught each time. I caught a few of them on the calico rig. I saw a few halibut caught on a dropper loop rig with baitfish colored plastics at night. One legal, rest not. All released. Anglers were just enjoying the fishing. Also on Friday a fisherman caught a 30-lb black sea bass on the pier fishing for calicos. He wanted to keep it but somebody handed him a California game and fish regulations booklet and he immediately released it unharmed.

Date: November 24, 2009
To: PFIC Message Board
From: tunafshr93

Subject: Ferry Landing Pier

Fished Ferry Landing today from 9:00 to 1:00. The macks were plentiful in the morning caught five in 30 minutes. One of the regulars caught 20 of them. Mackerel started being scarce after 10:00 and after that they came by about every hour. Ended up catching seven total. Water really clear, could see mackerel hitting bait and swimming around. Baitfish showed up about noon. Three stingrays caught. A Guy caught a 13” spotted bay bass and a 23” Halibut both on the live smelt, which were around 4”.

Date: August 16, 2010
To: PFIC Message Board
From: pescador619
Subject: Coronado Ferry Landing Pier

Went out to CFL with Erwin last Tuesday. Decided I needed to pick up the pace a bit with my fishing so I broke out the live bait net. Chummed ‘em up with bread crumbs. Netted up some small smelt and used them to catch a few bass, while another rod was out on float for the macks. We were there from 1530-2330 and caught a bunch of fish. Unfortunately still no mud marlin for me all year but here’s a pic of something I had never seen before [a moray eel]. Pretty weird to see it caught off that pier, as I am not aware of any nearby structure that would house a moray. Vicious little buggah.


Date: September 15, 2011
To: PFIC Message Board
From: tunafshr93

Subject: Coronado Ferry Landing

Fished Ferry Landing from 9 to 3. Fishing was good. I got a bucket full of macs for bait. Macs came around every hour or so for about 10 minutes and when they showed they came heavy. The Sabiki rigs were getting no love; fly lining a chunk of Mac was the best technique. Tons of bait in the water; bring your net. Bass were slow and all that were caught were short. Sharay action was steady with guys at the end getting a couple nice guitarfish around 3 feet, one being a banded guitarfish, and a 15-lb bat ray all caught on mackerel chunks and all released. Croaker were non existent.

Date: October 11, 2013
To: PFIC Message Board
From: Ken Jones
Subject: Coronado Ferry Landing Pier

Fished the Ferry Landing Pier from 9:40-11:40 a.m. Results: Numerous small kelp bass (18), two sand bass, one rock wrasse and one round stingray. Quite a few people were fishing but action was slow.


Round Stingray


Rock Wrasse

Date: February 1, 2016
To: PFIC Message Board
From: Ken Jones

Subject: Ferry Landing Pier and a 7-Gill

Interesting catch of a 7-gill at the Ferry Landing Pier by Beto.