John Sutter Pier — 1

Ken Jones

Administrator
Staff member
#1
The John Sutter Pier (officially the John Sutter Observation Pier) — I had the pleasure of fishing a new pier the other day with Robert G (Redfish). It was the John Sutter Pier that sits next to and somewhat under the Bay Bridge. We managed to get a skunk for the trip but it's always interesting to see a new pier and take a few pictures. However, a write up on the pier will take additional trips and information.

The pier in many ways reminded me of the old Vallejo Pier that was built from the original Vallejo bridge and that sat adjacent to and almost under the new bridge. That pier was noted for striped bass and some big sturgeon; it remains to be seen what thie pier will be known for. To date, it's mainly known as a good pier for bat rays (mud marlin). It's a site for a possible mud marlin derby but the distance would be a problem for some and it would need to be earlier in the day. I also imagine you cannot cook on the pier.

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It's a beautiful pier that is clean and provides good facilities for an individual or family and also provides some of the best bay views looking toward San Francisco. The main detriments for many will be (1) the long walk that is required to reach the pier, somewhere around 2/3 of a mile, and (2) the possibility that a fishing license may be require since it's listed as an observation pier, not a fishing pier. We will need to get clarification.

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There is even one nice set of tables for a family picnic.

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The pier is part of the larger John Sutter Regional Shoreline park.

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These bathrooms are adjacent to the parking lot and appear to be open every day until 5 p.m.

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There is a large parking lot that is apparently open from about 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. However, once parked you can still exit until about 10 p.m.

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There are two trails, this larger trail CalTrans trail and a smaller walking trail lined with beautiful vegetation.

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This porta-potty is located about half way along the trail.

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John.Sutter.P_2021.7_17.Sign.Shoreline.2.jpg
 

Red Fish

Well-Known Member
#2
Nice story-telling with pictures Ken. Now I see your style of photo-journalism. When I took some pictures for the Laney Tower, I went after the shots for the story that the writer told me to get (and threw in some supporting photos).

Edit: I see KJ did include a shot of the signage with the information about eel grass, spawning herring, and sturgeon in Part 3 of his blog.'

About the fishing: I mentioned what I had caught there from the first time I fished it last September to KJ. Note: I am more than certain we could have caught a bat ray if we had brought/threw out squid. The tide was more than half way in when we arrived with 1 young fellow snapping off a bat ray and other one landing one. I purposely don't use squid (although there is a pound in my bait freezer) there to avoid bat rays as I don't like to catch them at my age anymore. I use other baits for shark. I unfortunately caught a triple figure ray twice there using my big baits and hooks and was fortunate there was 1 other young person on the pier to assist me to: 1. pull on the crab ring rope with me to get it on the pier 2. me being able to dead-lift/squat the rays up to my waist and over the rail to put them back.
 
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Red Fish

Well-Known Member
#3
Ken, the map that you took a picture of is valuable to gain a perspective of the piers in this area if you are not from around the BA or you are not good with directions. I marked the three public municipal piers that are viewable from this map: Port View Park Pier (open 7A-10pm); John Sutter Observation Pier (same hours); and E2 Pier (most likely same hours but currently closed) Possibly open in October.
3 Piers near Bay Bridge.jpg
 
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#4
Talked to a east bay parks and rec guy who was fixing the wire mesh on the pier that someone had cut. Says it’s an observation pier and that fishing was not it’s intended purpose, but not explicitly prohibited either. However due to some people abusing the pier (cutting the fence, leaving trash, etc.) he is considering banning fishing at the pier. Hope it doesn’t come to that.
 

Red Fish

Well-Known Member
#5
Talked to a east bay parks and rec guy who was fixing the wire mesh on the pier that someone had cut. Says it’s an observation pier and that fishing was not it’s intended purpose, but not explicitly prohibited either. However due to some people abusing the pier (cutting the fence, leaving trash, etc.) he is considering banning fishing at the pier. Hope it doesn’t come to that.
That is a possibility that fishing will be banned. Funny thing is, will banning fishing reduce vandalism of the pier? There's probability that the cutting of the mesh fencing was done by a fisherman but not certainty. It always comes back to the image of "Pier Rats" that Ken Jones has always spoken of.
And, it is a fact all the blood and guts on the ground is from fishermen but there is also no running water on the pier. I was wondering if I (the public) was able to access the non-potable water on the sides of the pier to hose down the pier? We could also use our buckets to wash down the blood (as many of us carry buckets).
 
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Ken Jones

Administrator
Staff member
#6
Unfortunately too many anglers haven't learned the lessons we have tried to preach with the "Pier Rats Code." And though it isn't limited to pier rats—anglers on piers, it shows up more quickly on piers than on a boat at sea or an isolated spot on a beach or rock. Unfortunately it seems to be getting worse rather than better and though I hate to point fingers, many in the young crowd seem to have less respect for our environment and our piers than the older folk (although all ages, all ethnic groups, and all racial groups see knuckleheads among their members). Unfortunately it can lead to a loss of a pier and it's happened several times. Please, if you go to any pier, including this pier, clean up after yourself and don't vandalize the pier. Perhaps empty words to many but they can never be repeated enough.
 

Red Fish

Well-Known Member
#8
By the way, the reason why I had to make four parts to the post is that a post only allows ten pictures and there were upwards of 40.
That's good information to know (about the 10 picture limit). That is plenty for most things. I remember people use to use HTML tags long ago and then the auto HTML tags that came with stuff like Photobucket that Walt always used and Hashem.
 

Ken Jones

Administrator
Staff member
#9
I'm going to do a write up on the pier but given that there are about as many questions as answers at this point it's going to be a pretty short write up.