July 2021 Fishing Report, Southern Califonia

Ken Jones

Administrator
Staff member
#1
July 2021 Fishing Report, Southern California (#267)

Remember — Lobster season is now closed.

San Diego County Piers


Imperial Beach Pier – We still need a reporter. How To Get There: From I-5 take the Palm Ave. (Hwy. 75) exit and follow it to where Palm Ave. and Hwy. 75 divide. Follow Palm Ave. to Seacoast Dr., turn left and it will take you right to the pier.

Ocean Beach Pier — Shirley at the Ocean Beach Pier Bait and Tackle shop on the pier said fishing has been good. Anglers are catching a lot of mackerel along with quite a few bass, a few halibut, and lots of rays, different kinds and different sizes. She also said the end of the pier is closed off, from the bait shop to the end of the pier. How To Get There: From the north, take I-5 to the Sea World Dr. exit and follow it until it turns off to Sunset Cliffs Blvd. From the south, take I- 5 to the Nimitz Blvd. exit, then follow that road to Sunset Cliffs Blvd. Follow Sunset Cliffs Blvd. to Newport Ave., turn right and follow the road to the pier parking lot.

Crystal Pier – Pam, at the bait shop on the pier, reports that things have really picked up. Leading the list are lots of mackerel, quite a few sargo, some croakers, and good numbers of rays and guitarfish. A few halibut have been landed but all were small, illegal-size fish. An illegal lobster got a lady a $2000 fine a while back. She caught a lobster and refused to release it. Supposedly four different people called the Dept. Fish and Wildlife and a warden showed up in ten minutes and wrote her out a ticker resulting in the hefty fine (it’s good if true but my experience is that judges rarely give out such fines). Remember, lobster season is now closed! How To get There: Take I-5 to Garnet Ave. then take Garnet west to the foot of the pier.

Pepper Park Pier — No report. We need a reporter! How To Get There: From I-5 take the 24th Street off-ramp west to Tidelands Avenue and go left (south) on Tidelands to the end.

Bayside Park Pier — No report. We need a reporter. How To Get There: From I-5 take the J Street off ramp and go west. Take J Street to Tidelands Ave.; turn right. Take Tidelands to Sandpiper Way; turn right. Take Sandpiper to Bayside Parkway, turn left and follow the road to the park.

Embarcadero Marina Pier — No report. We need a reporter! How To Get There: From the I-5 south, take the Front Street exit south to Market (just stay on Front Street, it runs into Market), take Market west to Harbor Dr. Turn left on Harbor Dr. and take it to 8th Ave., turn right onto Convention Way (formerly Harbor St.). Follow it a short block to 5th Ave. and the pier. It seems that with the new Convention Center the city is constantly working on these streets near the pier and renaming them; if you get confused remember that the park and pier are immediately to the southwest of the Convention Center. From I-5 North, approaching from the south, take the J Street exit, then go straight, three blocks up to Market, turn left and take it from there.

Ferry Landing Pier (Coronado) — Need a reporter although bass (kelp, sand and spotted) always seem to be around as well as a mix of sharays (mostly round stingrays and bat rays). How To Get There: From San Diego, take the Coronado Bay Bridge (Highway 75) to Coronado. Once over the bridge you are on Third Street. Simply follow it to B Avenue, turn right, and follow it to the front of The Old Ferry Landing — the intersection of First Street and B Avenue. The pier sits behind the shops in the complex.

Shelter Island Pier — It sounds like the main fish are mackerel. How To Get There: Take I-5 or I-8 to Rosecrans (Hwy. 209) and go west, turn left at Shelter Island Dr. and follow the road until you see the pier and the entrance to the parking lot.

Oceanside Pier — A report from my friend Bill said a decent mix of fish have been showing up. Most surprising was the number of small shortfin corvina that have been showing up inshore along with some good-sized spotfin croaker. Out at the end the mackerel are showing but it’s only in the early morning and early evening hours. Fish during the middle of the day and you will not see a mackerel. Some calico (kelp) bass are showing down by the pilings along with good numbers of herring (queenfish). He said he saw the largest shovelnose shark (guitarfish) he had ever seen along with a 50+ pound butterfly ray. A couple of threshers were also taken but they were just baby 6-7 footers. A midmonth report by Fishman Fishman showed a nice variety of fish being caught— calico (kelp) bass, sand bass, mackerel, sculpin (scorpionfish), white seabass, spotfin croaker, and a 7-foot long thresher shark. How To Get There: From I-5 take Mission Blvd. west to Pacific, turn left and follow it to the pier.” How To Get There: From I-5 take Mission Blvd. west to Pacific, turn left and follow it to the pier.

Oceanside Harbor Pier — No report this month. How To Get There: From I-5 take the Harbor Dr. exit off the freeway, follow it and it will wind down to the harbor; where the road splits stay to the right on North Harbor Dr., and follow it to the pier.

Orange County Piers

San Clemente Pier — Waiting for the call!. Dana at Hogan's Bait and Tackle (34320 Pacific Coast Hwy, said it’s still the normal species. Inshore some croakers are being taken, both yellowfin and spotfin, while mid-pier to the end sees a few calico (kelp) bass and sand bass. A few halibut have also been taken but most are shorts. Mackerel action does seem to be picking up while the sharkers at the end are seeing a few leopard sharks but not much else. How to Get There: From I-5 take any of several exit streets west to El Camino Real, follow it to the center of town, and from there take Del Mar down to the pier.

Dana Harbor Pier —Dana at Hogan's Bait And Tackle (34320 Pacific Coast Hwy, said things are starting to pick up. Mostly what he’s heard is some halibut action, most being taken on artificial lures such as Lucky Craft and swim baits while spotted bass are also starting to hit but most have been small. How To Get There: The pier is located in the Dana Cove Park area of Dana Point Harbor. From the Pacific Coast Highway take Green Lantern Road south to the harbor, turn left on Cove Road, and follow it to the pier.

Balboa Pier — Our long-time reporter Snookie says, “Hi Ken, Things are picking up this week finally. Nothing big yet, but small halibut mean there are some big ones around too. Also caught some calico bass a few of which were big enough. Someone said that last night there were some smaller bonito caught after dark. The mackerel are not showing much. The thresher sharks are around, but they do require a mackerel for bait. It was cold today. Even had to wear our jackets. NO wonder there are so many people coming to the beach if it is that hot inland. Would you believe that the jacksmelt as big as the fall run sizes are around now? They think winter is coming. Our bait situation is good part of the time. Every now and then we have a lot of sardines, just not every day. I don't have the details yet, but there was a stabbing at the pier Sunday night about 10:20. The guy tried to kill the person, but couldn't finish the job. My daughter who works for Santa Ana P.D. warned us about this guy this morning before I left to go fishing. Take care. Snookie.” About a week later, another daughter, visiting from Virginia, managed to catch a legal 23-inch halibut while Snookie got a smaller halibut, some calico (kelp) bass and a spotted sand (bay) bass. How To Get There: From the Pacific Coast Highway take Newport Blvd. which will turn into Balboa Blvd., follow it west to Palm Street. Turn right and follow it to the pier and the adjacent parking lot.

Newport Pier — Generally the action mirrors, for the most part, that seen at Balboa although when the fishing is hot the mobs will be bigger and the railing space more limited. How To Get There: From the Pacific Coast Highway take the Newport Blvd. turn off and proceed west watching for signs directing traffic to the pier. The pier sits at the foot of McFadden Place.

Huntington Beach Pier — Unable to get through to the pier. Croker action should be picking up inshore, sardines and mackerel should be available mid-pier to the end, and, if history is a predictor of action, a few sharks should begin showing up. How To Get There: Highway 1 (Pacific Coast Highway) to Huntington Beach and the pier.

Seal Beach Pier —Rudy at Big Fish Bait & Tackle, 1780-C. Pacific Coast Hwy, said fishing’s been good lately. Inshore, anglers are picking up some corbina along with some croakers (yellowfin and spotfin) while barred surfperch are hitting during afternoon high tides. Mackerel are hitting mid-pier to the end but mainly in the morning and evening, not too many during the day. Sharkers seeking out the sharks are catching those mackerel and using them for live bait on sliders for thresher sharks at the end. A few halibut are also showing up but most are too small to keep. Fishman Fishman reported a family trip on July 1 that produced bat ray, thornback ray, round stingray, mackerel, smelt, herring, a spider crab and a starfish (sea star). An earlier trip on June 17 produced mackerel, queenfish, salema, smelt, round stingray, and a short halibut. His surprise catch of the day was a 17", about 4 lbs., spotfin croaker caught on a Sabiki rig, while jigging for bait. How To Get There: From the Pacific Coast Highway simply take Main St. west and follow it to the pier.

Los Angeles County Piers

Belmont Pier — No report this month. How To Get There: From the north take I-405 to the Lakewood Boulevard turnoff, and then go south to 7th Street, turn west (right) until you come to Ximeno Ave. and then turn left. Follow it to Livingston Dr. and go west. You will see signs by Ocean Ave. and Termino Ave. indicating the pier. From the south take the Pacific Coast Highway to 2nd. Street (Westminister becomes 2nd. Street when it crosses PCH), go west, follow to Livingston Dr. Follow it to signs by Ocean Ave. and Termino Ave. indicating the pier and parking lot.

Shoreline Aquatic Park Piers — Expect the usual—tomcod (white croaker) and mackerel casting out from the pier, sargo and perch fishing the inshore waters. How to Get There: From downtown Long Beach, take Pine Avenue south to Shoreline Drive. For the northernmost pier #1 follow Shoreline Avenue west and follow it around the lagoon to where the street ends. For the southernmost piers #2-#5 follow Shoreline Drive east to the markings for Shoreline Village, continue past the shopping complex, and follow the road out to near the end of the peninsula. You will see the piers.

Cabrillo Pier (San Pedro) —Alex at the Rusty Hook, 245 N Gaffey St., San Pedro, said some fish are being caught with reports of mackerel and halibut. Unfortunately two big halibut were lost at the top when the anglers who had hooked the big fish had not brought hoop nets with them and would see their line snap while trying to bring the fish up to the pier. How many times do we have to say follow the 7 p’s—proper prior planning prevents piss poor performance? How To Get There: Take the Harbor Freeway (I-110) south; it will turn into Gaffey St. Follow it to 22nd Street and turn left. Follow 22nd St. to Pacific Ave. and turn right. Follow Pacific Ave. to 36th Street and the entrance to Cabrillo Park.

Green Pleasure Pier (Avalon, Catalina Island) – Expect all the normal species—kelp bass, rock wrasse, senorita, opaleye, halfmoon, and sheephead. How To Get There: The trick here is to get to Catalina. Ships and helicopters make the journey several times a day from the Port of Los Angeles, Long Beach and Newport Beach. Information is available on all of these by calling the Avalon Chamber of Commerce on the Pleasure Pier (213) 510-1520 or the Visitor's Information & Service Center (213) 510-2500. Once in Avalon there should be no problem in finding the pier, which is located at the foot of Catalina Avenue.

Cabrillo Mole (Avalon, Catalina Island) — Recent reports indicate that all the regular species are showing up, some in increased numbers, and additional warm water species like barracuda, bonito and even yellowtail are making an appearance. Expect all the normal species—a mix of kelp bass, rock wrasse, senorita, sheephead, opaleye, and halfmoon plus an occasional ocean whitefish. To Get There: The trick is to get to Catalina. Ships and helicopters make the journey several times a day from the Port of Los Angeles, Long Beach and Newport Beach. Information is available on all of these by calling the Avalon Chamber of Commerce on the Pleasure Pier (213) 510-1520 or the Visitor's Information & Service Center (213) 510-2500. Once in Avalon there should be no problem in finding the mole that sits right where most boats disembark.

Redondo Beach Pier — Joanna at Redondo Beach Tackle on the pier said most of the action continues to be on mackerel. How To Get There: From the Pacific Coast Highway, take Torrance Blvd. west to the foot of the pier and the parking lot.

Manhattan Beach Pier – Best bet mackerel in the morning and evening hours. How To Get There: From Sepulveda Boulevard, turn west on Manhattan Beach Drive and follow it to the pier.

Hermosa Beach Pier — Best bet mackerel in the morning and evening hours. How To Get There: Take the Pacific Coast Highway (Hwy 1) to Pier Avenue and follow Pier Avenue west to the pier.

Venice Pier — Still closed? Scheduled to reopen this spring (but when). How To Get There: Highway 1 to Washington St., turn west and follow Washington St. to the pier.

Santa Monica Pier — Waiting for the report. How to Get There: From I-405 take Santa Monica Blvd. west to Ocean Ave. Turn left, go to Colorado Ave., and turn right onto the pier.

Malibu Pier — Ginny at Wylie’s Bait & Tackle (18757 Pacific Coast Hwy Malibu) said she’s been getting some good reports. She said people are seeing corbina inshore, bass down around the pilings, a few small halibut, and some leopard sharks, bat rays, and threshers out at the end. The grunion were just starting to run when I called and usually that means the halibut and bat rays will be following them in. Snag up a few baitfish and put on some live bait for the hallies. How To Get There: The pier fronts on the Pacific Coast Highway (Hwy 1) so just drive until you see it.

Paradise Cove Pier — Ginny at Wylie’s Bait & Tackle (18757 Pacific Coast Hwy Malibu) said anglers continue to report good numbers of BIG bat rays. How To Get There: Take Highway 1 to Paradise Cove Dr., turn west, and follow the road back into the parking lot. It’s very expensive unless you buy a meal at the restaurant and then you are allowed to fish for, I think, three hours.

Ventura & Santa Barbara County Piers

Port Hueneme Pier — No report this month. How To Get There: From Highway 1 take Hueneme Rd. west until it turns into Port. At Ventura Rd turn left and follow it to Surfside Dr. Turn left again and follow it to the park.

Ventura Pier — No report but surfperch should be available inshore along with increasing numbers of croaker. Mid-pier to the end should mackerel. Sharay action should also be picking up; use live mackerel, herring (queenfish) or tomcod (white croaker) for the larger sharays. How To Get There: From Highway 101 take the Seaward Drive exit west to Harbor Drive, turn right and follow it to the pier.

Stearns Wharf — Still no answer—is the bait shop still open? How To Get There: From Highway 101 take Castillo St. or State St. west to the beach and follow signs to the pier.

Goleta Pier — Shawn at Hook Line & Sinker at 4010-5 Calle Real, Santa Barbara said fishing has actually been slow given the number of people fishing the pier. He said there reports of upwards of a thousand people over the fourth of July weekend but not too many fish. As usual, you can expect some small brown rockfish, a few Johnny bass (olive rockfish) and calico (kelp) bass from the pipe reef on the right side of the pier while the end area is producing some mackerel. He says there are also a lot of bat rays and some leopard sharks for those seeking the sharays. So, some fish but also big crowds. How To Get There: From Highway 101 take the Hwy. 217/Airport exit. Follow it to Sandspit Rd. and the Goleta Beach Park turnoff. Follow this to the park and the pier.

Gaviota Pier — The pier has now been closed for eight years—and counting. So much for state government and the California Parks Dept.! Ridiculous! How To Get There: From Highway 101 simply take the Gaviota State Park turnoff down to the beach and pier.