California Pier Report
June 2022 Fishing Report, Southern California (#275)
Remember that the lobster season is 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 — Jason at the Ocean Beach Pier Bait and Tackle shop on the pier said most of the attention lately has been on the mackerel that seem to be in good supply. Regulars continue to fish for queenfish (herring) inshore from the bait shop while other action seems more sporadic. He reported a very large leopard shark, some shovelnose sharks and stingrays (possibly bat rays). The end is still fenced off which cuts down on some of the fish typically hanging out there by the kelp. I made a visit on 5/13 but it was a fairly slow visit for me with mainly mackerel being caught. The regulars were doing better catching both herring (queenfish) and mackerel. I also saw two small barracuda caught on artificial lures. 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 – Hunter at Crystal Pier Bait & Tackle says most of then action right now is on yellowfin croaker with good numbers of the croaker being caught. Not much else on the bottom (no halibut) but there’s still a lot of mackerel in the top waters most days. I did make a personal visit on 5/14, an excellent visit that saw many, many mackerel and sardines along with a solitary shovelnose guitarfish. Unfortunately the bait shop is being forced to close (they raised their rent a $1,000 a month) with the last day scheduled to be July 22. Ridiculous! 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 from the pier authorities but a PFIC report from Ray619. On 6/3 he reported, “Fished this pier from 6pm till about 8pm yesterday. Tide was ideal for catching but only got one nibble. Talked to some regulars and they say a good shark and bay bite happens when it gets dark. One guy mentioned he caught a 4-foot shovelnose the previous night. While there were no mackerel, plenty of smelt were being caught.” 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 — No report from the pier authorities but several PFIC reports from Ray619. On June 1 he reported, “Mackerel being caught using glow sticks. Most are small and the bite is slow. They bit the strips of squid. Fished a bottom rig using market shrimp. Caught a small spotted bass and a black croaker. Also caught a small perch but not sure the species. It unhooked itself before I can bring it up to identify it. It was silver in color...might of been a walleye perch.” On 6/9 he said, “Fished the pier the last few days and am finally catching fish...three decent bass and a few tiny ones. Also some mixed rays. two big Sargo. All caught on fresh or frozen bloodworms. Pics don't do justice.” On 6/10 he said, “Went back last night. Water temps must be rising. A bunch of small sting rays being caught. I ended up with one more Sargo and a yellowfin croaker. All were caught on bloodworms. Nothing bit the market shrimp.” On 6/14 he said, “Fished 6/13/22 from 9pm to about 1130pm. Tide was high. From 9pm to about 10pm I caught 13 Mackerel using a Glowstick and squid for bait, then the mack bite shut down. Then fished towards my favorite spot and caught three short spotted bay bass and one legal bass. Overall the bite has been good for me.” 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 the pier’s seeing some improved action. Inshore the croaker are biting but it’s not hot action nor are the croaker very large; it should soon improve. Mid-pier to the end sees a lot of mackerel, sardine and herring (queenfish) but it seems like each day sees one or the other; rarely are all three present. Some sharays are showing up but at this time it’s more rays than sharks and the threshers really haven’t made much of an appearance. Bill said the week I called the tides were very low in the morning and going out which meant most fishermen (who arrive early) were not seeing too many fish. The tides will change. He also said the cost of bloodworms is now up to $8 a half dozen. He says many locals are switching to artificial bloodworms and bloodworm juice (apparently available in a bottle) and it seems to work. I asked him to experiment and let me know how the fake bloodworms/juice works. I did pay a short visit to the pier myself on 5/15 when I saw a good bite on sardines, mackerel, jack mackerel and walleye surfperch. On 5/31 we got a PFIC report from TheFrood, “Chilly in the morning. Decent bite on Sabiki all day long. Goodly number of small jack mackerel with a smattering of smelt. The sardine bite was great though. After cleaning I wound up with roughly 3lbs of them. Now to just figure out how to cook them! Yum!” 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 — The pier has finally reopened. I visited the pier for a short visit on 5/15, a day when fishing was very, very slow and all I managed to catch was a kelp bass and large jacksmelt. I did see one garibaldi caught as well as a couple of small mackerel. We also had a PFIC report on May 9 from TheFrood, “Stopped here on the way down to Shelter Island as I'd never been here and noticed a sign that directed the way to a "fishing pier." This harbor seems odd in that there are "no fishing" signs posted just about everywhere I looked with the exception of the pier, although I only noticed the area about 200 feet on either side of the pier entrance. Only one fisherman on the pier and he said fishing had been slow with only one medium octopus which he had released. The sea lions were doing something further out, looked like somebody had thrown something to them but they were beating and slapping it and slowly pulling it apart to eat. No idea what it was. Maybe it was a bat ray? It looked vaguely like a Frisbee. Bad experiences in the past with sea-lions so decided this wasn't the place for me to fish.” 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 — Skyler at Hogan's Bait and Tackle (34320 Pacific Coast Hwy. says things are picking up a little bit due, he thinks, to the water warming a bit. He said it’s about 64 degrees (and rising). It sounds like inshore is where most of the action is occurring at this time. Croaker fishing for both spotfins and yellowfins has seen an upsurge while increasing numbers of halibut are also in the shallow water area. Out at the end a few sharks and rays have been landed, including a few small threshers, but it sounds like the mackerel action is still slow. A PFIC report from evanluck on May 26 reported, “Arrive around 7AM and started fishing for bait. Bait bite was sleepier than I remember it ever being here. No mackerel and even the smelt were shy about biting. I did catch about seven good bait-sized smelt. I fished a few on these on a Carolina-rig in various spots around the end of the pier. No takers on the live bait. I also hooked a walleye surfperch, a salema and a small calico bass while fishing for bait. I found a decent bite casting out to the reef off the end of the pier with a hi-lo rig and a combination of size eight mosquito hook and size six bait holder hook with pieces of market shrimp. On the day I caught two short calicos, one very good sized rock wrasse, and two black perch with this setup. I broke off my original set up which had 20-lb leader on some kelp and quickly replaced it with the same hooks on 8-lb leader that I had previously setup to fish for opaleye on another trip. On my last cast, I hooked a decent-sized fish and when I got it to the surface I realized it was a keeper-sized sheephead. Wary of the ability of the 8-lb test to get the fish over the rail, I asked the gentleman next to me who was drone casting to hold my rod while I got my hoop net. Having not been used for many trips, my hoop net rope was tangled so with the help of two other observers I detangled the hoop net rope and netted the fish. Was grateful for the help of three other people to land what turned out to be a 15"-Sheephead. I fished with a buddy of mine who also caught a black perch and a small yellowfin croaker on a Sabiki rig baited with shrimp. Another angler caught a medium-sized spot fin croaker on a dropper loop with mussel. Was able to talk more with the drone-casting fisherman who was mentioned in Ken's previous post. He uses archival photos from Google Earth from 2013 on a day where the water was exceptionally clear to get a sense of where the reef structure is around the pier. He then sends his drone out up to 1400 yards to cast a dropper loop with a grub-style swimbait coupled with pieces of cut bait. Today he was using shrimp. He then slowly retrieves his rig dragging it across the bottom all the way back to the pier. He's caught a number of good fish with this method including a 21" sheephead and some similarly-sized bass. In his experience when the fish are biting they will bite right away and he usually gets the bite around 400 yards away from the pier while retrieving. If he is unable to get a bite in the first few casts he leaves. Almost reminds me of the mindset of someone fishing from their own boat. He is just using different methods to cover ground and look for a wide-open bite. Nice to have an enjoyable and productive morning at my favorite mainland pier.” I visited the pier on the 16th for a few hours but action that day was very slow, I only managed a few jacksmelt, yellowfin croaker, queenfish, walleye surfperch and topsmelt. On May 9 we received a PFIC report from TheFrood, “Fished here from 8am to noon. Swells were huge, coming within four or five feet of the bottom of the pier at times. Saw a couple sand bass taken at the end. Small perch and very small corbina taken just outside the breakers. Myself, I was skunked.” 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 — Skyler at Hogan's Bait and Tackle (34320 Pacific Coast Hwy. says overall action is slow (hit and miss) but an increasing number of bass, both spotted bay bass and calicos (kelp) bass have been showing with most being taken on artificial lures. Expect an occasional croaker, sargo or even perch (especially if fishing by the pilings). We got a PFIC report from TheFrood on May 2, “Fished the pier on Sunday from about 3:30 to 7 pm. A few small nibbles on small hooks tipped with squid but no bites. No bites on a dropper-loop with Squid. About five spotfin croaker taken by others on shrimp (two I think were taken on a hand-line). Chilly weather but not too bad.” 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 reporter Snookie says the halibut have been biting. The day I called, a Wednesday, she said she had already caught three keepers that week as well as several shorts. Other members in her group had also caught halibut. Bait? Live smelt and live Spanish mackerel (jack mackerel). Not too shabby. Some small mackerel are still available out at the end and she’s seen several white seabass but all were small. Biggest news of the day was the supposed hooking of a huge striped bass but it was lost and with no pictures it’s hard to verify that it was indeed a striped bass. On June 4 we had a PFIC report from bilfishing, “Needed bait. Decided to try Balboa. Took me 40 minutes to find parking. Yup, summer is here. Swell is ripping good...no sardines anywhere. Did get non-stop smelt, a few mini-macks. Pin one of them on a c rig and 10 minutes later, got a 20-incher butt. Threw him back and went home to watch the fight. Also, don’t get the fish and chips...just get the burger at Rubys.” 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. A five-foot-long white seabass was reported from the pier mid-month and pictures showed it was indeed a very large WSB. The only question is if it was snagged and most evidence to date seems to point in that direction. I visited the pier myself on the 16th for a very short visit that only produced one sardine but as I was leaving people were just starting to bring in mackerel so I assume the sundown bite probably would have been good. 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 — A PFIC report from Fishman Fishman on 6/8 said, “Fished a few hours this morning. Caught a variety of fish but not very many. Used Sabiki, sometimes tipped with shrimp. Caught Pacific and Pacific (chub) Mackerel, [Actually Pacific aka chub mackerel are the same. Jack mackerel aka Spanish mackerel are a seperate species.] Queenfish, Topsmelt and juvenile Bocaccio (released). Last time I caught a Bocaccio was many moons ago on a party boat. How To Get There: Highway 1 (Pacific Coast Highway) to Huntington Beach and the pier.”
Seal Beach Pier — Liz at Big Fish Bait & Tackle, 1780-C. Pacific Coast Hwy, said fishing’s been fair. Inshore expect some croakers, mainly spotfins, along with some corbina (ghost shrimp or worms). Mid-pier to the end expect some herring (queenfish) under the pier at mid-water depth along with some mackerel in the top waters. Apparently the numbers of sharays is increasing as well as the number of shark fishermen seeking out (mainly) threshers. Got several PFIC reports from Fishman Fishman. On May 3 he said, “Fished the morning and fought through the wind until it passed around 8 a.m. Mackerel and Jacksmelt steady bite. Released a short Calico caught on cut sardine on a Sabiki. Queenfish caught at pier midpoint on Sabiki's. Family catching Walleye surfperch near lifeguard tower on mussel. Haven't seen Walleyes in a long time! On June 4 he reported, “Had some steady action at Seal Beach Thursday morning. Caught a variety of fish - Topsmelt, Queenfish, Pacific and Chub Mackerel, Salema, Round Stingray, Calico Bass (one short, one legal, both released), and White Sea Bass (short). Tossed out Topsmelt and Queenfish as bait, no takers. Calico's and Round ray caught on frozen anchovy. The other fish caught on Sabiki sometimes baited with shrimp, squid or anchovy. Big bait ball cruising around pier appeared to be very small Queenfish. Caught several in the 3 1/2 inch size and used them as bait. Yellowfin croaker bite active with mussel at mid-pier.” On 6/11 he said, “Celebrated my birthday by going pier fishing at Seal Beach today - Saturday June 11th. Had the extra bonus of my wife fishing with me. We had a great day catching a lot of fish. We caught two Bat Rays, two Round Stingrays, two Thornback Rays, two White Seabass (short), several Pacific Mackerel, Salema, Topsmelt and Queenfish. One White Seabass caught on live smelt. The other hit on a Sabiki rig. The Seal Beach PD held a "Cops n Bobbers" fishing derby for kids from 7 - 9 a.m. A lot of Mackerel, Queenfish, Walleye Perch, Yellowfin Croaker and a Spotted Sandbass caught by the kids. It was very enjoyable to see so many children and their parents getting involved and learning how to fish. I had the personal satisfaction of watching a father and son fishing with a Sabiki loaded with too much shrimp. They weren't getting anything. I recommended they reduce the amount of bait on each hook, mix up the hooks baited with squid, anchovy, and shrimp, leaving some hooks bare. Drop to the bottom and slowly work the bait up to the surface. First cast and the kid caught a seven-inch Salema. Father and son ecstatic! For all experienced fisherman, we do what we do so naturally on the pier, and we catch fish. Share your knowledge with a newbie and "our fishing routine goes to another level. Father couldn't thank me enough.” 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 Veterans Memorial Pier — Liz at Big Fish Bait & Tackle, 1780-C. Pacific Coast Hwy, said she hasn’t had many reports from the pier lately. We did get a PFIC report from Fishman Fishman on May 19 that said, “Crazy morning of fishing on Wednesday at Belmont Pier. Fishing at southeast end of pier caught the usual white croaker, mackerel and a nice 20"-shovelnose guitarfish (released). Myself and another fisherman just enjoying the quiet morning. Then came the big bad shark fishermen! Keep in mind the southwest end of the pier was empty. We were on the southeast side of the T. The west side - empty. Sharker came with six rods. Five big rigs for shark. Smaller rod for jigging mackerel. He parked next to us and placed his five rods in between our rods. The other fisherman packed up and moved. I watched this guy set up. I held my tongue and I even gave him a live mackerel for bait. I knew the quiet morning had ended. While the sharker smoked a joint. I packed up and moved to the southwest side. At my new spot I caught a bucketful of mackerel and smelt. Caught and released two legal size sand bass (15 & 16 inches). I had fun! I left around 12 noon. As I was leaving I glanced over at the sharker. He was joined by a friend. Between the two they had 10 - 13 active lines rigged for shark in the water. They had taken over the entire southeast end of the pier. I decided to call CalTip. Dispatch sent over a Warden to handle the situation. I didn't stick around. I'm tempted to call back and learn of the results. But, I don't want to be disappointed if nothing substantial happened. I'll just settle for the satisfaction that their conduct regarding multiple rods was addressed. All I wanted to do was relax with some pier fishing! LOL. A PFIC report from Chimi562 on May 7 said, “Went last night with my dad to Belmont Shore. Fished from 9pm till midnight. We both skunked, but a group across from us were catching small mackerel. They had a light in the water, which helped them out. It was still a good time with the old man. Hopefully next week will be better.” 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 (Long Beach) — 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.
Pier J Piers (Long Beach) — White croaker are available most days as are a variety of fish. How To Get There: From I-710 follow the signs saying S. Harbor Scenic Drive. From downtown Long Beach follow Queens Way past the Catalina Landing and on to the Queens Way Bridge over the water and take the S. Harbor Scenic Drive.
Cabrillo Pier (San Pedro) —Alex at the Rusty Hook, 245 N Gaffey St., San Pedro, said the grunion runs are on tap which usually means improved fishing for some species, i.e., halibut and bat rays, but at the same time there’s a full moon which often means a dip in fishing for other species (that will be feeding at night). So, it’s somewhat of a crapshoot. He has been getting report of halibut along with some mackerel and an occasional bass, most kelp (calico) bass. Fish the rocks for an occasional perch and other rock-frequenting species. On May 7 we received a PFIC report from Fishman Fishman, “Fished from morning to noon. Caught three Chub mackerel, two Jacksmelt, one short Sandbass, one legal Kelpbass aka Calico. For the bass I used a Carolina-rig with a whole frozen anchovy fished straight down (I ran the hook through the upper back just below the fin).” 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 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, Newport Beach (near the Balboa Pier) and Dana Harbor. 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) — Expect the normal species—kelp bass, rock wrasse, senorita, opaleye, halfmoon, and sheephead and ocean whitefish but recent reports have shown things slowing down. A report from Hashem on 6/14 said some bonito and barracuda were being caught but the resident species like opaleye and halfmoon were few and far between. Strange. He did say the kelp is thick and really growing back, which typically means cold water conditions. A PFIC report from fish-ninja on May 25 said, “I joined Mahigeer for a day of fishing at the Mole. Tides were high at 6am and 7pm and low at noon. Thought it could be good morning and evening bites of pelagics. I wanted to test a new casting setup so I did not bring bait tackle this time. It was Mackerel day. Morning bites on Mackerel were good on jigs. Size kept improving and I landed the fattest mac that I have ever seen on shore. It was not long probably a foot and half but it was chunky. It fought like a bonito so I was surprised to see what came up...We had another late afternoon runs of Mackerel. In depth, I found Spanish macs as well in mornings and evenings. Bonito were sporadic Mahigeer had one. I had one. Another angler had two. That was all for that day. Mahigeer had a nice Calico shy of keeper. I saw some short sheepheads and a moray eel landed. 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, Newport Beach (near the Balboa Pier) and Dana Harbor. 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 when you walk off the ferry onto the landing you are at the Mole.
Redondo Beach Pier — Cortez at the Redondo Beach Tackle on the pier said mackerel fishing has been good most days. We got a PFIC report from TheFrood on May 1 that said, “Fished this pier on Saturday. Caught a goodly number of jack mackerel and topsmelt using a Sabiki. I was on the southern rail. People on the western rail casting out towards the sea were catching Pacific mackerel on Sabikis, frequently three to six on a single hookup. Some of the mackerel hooked up were good size.” 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 — No report this month. How To Get There: From Sepulveda Boulevard, turn west on Manhattan Beach Drive and follow it to the pier.
Hermosa Beach Pier — No report this month How To Get There: Take the Pacific Coast Highway (Hwy 1) to Pier Avenue and follow Pier Avenue west to the pier.
Venice Pier — No report this month Get There: Highway 1 to Washington St., turn west and follow Washington St. to the pier.
Santa Monica Pier — Unable to get through for a 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 the pier is seeing some good fishing. The water is saturated with bait and one result is lots of mackerel along with a surprising number of bass, both kelp (calico) bass and sand bass. Meanwhile the grunion runs have produced good numbers of halibut (as usual). Lastly is the uptick is shark and ray fishing including thresher sharks out at the end of the pier.
Paradise Cove Pier — Ginny at Wylie’s Bait & Tackle (18757 Pacific Coast Hwy Malibu) said anglers report a variety of fish including a 33-inch white seabass and several halibut. Mackerel are around as well as many sharks and rays, especially some good-sized bat rays. She says due to the high cost of parking most anglers are walking in from the street. It used to be free but she’s heard they are now charging $5 to walk in. 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 — Boyd Larson at Hyun’s Tackle, 3695 E Harbor Blvd. Ventura, said jacksmelt, mackerel and small perch should be available. 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 — Boyd Larson at Hyun’s Tackle, 3695 E Harbor Blvd., (who was fishing at the Baby Beach at Oxnard when I called and catching halibut) said the fishing has been real good. Inshore the anglers are catching small barred surfperch while the surf area out to about mid-pier is seeing good numbers of yellowfin croaker, spotfin croaker and a surprising number of smoothhound sharks (I assume grey smoothhounds). He said the same area, inshore to mid-pier, is seeing a wide-open halibut bite and he says they are hitting on both live bait and even cut frozen anchovies. Mid-pier to the end sees some mackerel and large jacksmelt but it’s sporadic action while the shark and ray fishermen are starting to see good numbers of sharays including some thresher sharks. 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 — Boyd Larson at Hyun’s Tackle, 3695 E Harbor Blvd., said the fishing has been good for halibut using both live and frozen anchovies. He says there are a lot mackerel and sardines although the sardines are primarily an afternoon bite. He’s also seeing lots of bat rays but not too many sharks. Crabs, both rock crabs and spider crabs, also continue to be taken in fair numbers. Do remember that is you use a raised crab hoop net you need to get a new $2.42 crab trap card. Kai at Hook Line & Sinker, 4010-5 Calle Real, Santa Barbara, reported much the same with anglers getting good numbers of halibut (shorts and keeper-size) and lots of bait (mackerel, sardines and jacksmelt). She said there’s also some white seabass with most being caught inshore. Crabbing though still decent, has slowed down. 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 — Boyd Larson at Hyun’s Tackle, 3695 E Harbor Blvd., said the fishing has been really good with a big variety of fish. Topping the list is good fishing for halibut inshore with both sub-par size fish and keepers showing up. As usual, anchovies are the top bait. Top water action sees a lot of mackerel, primarily mid-pier to the end, along with quite a few smelt. Meanwhile the pipe-reef continues to kick out good fish including legal-size sheephead and quite a few brown rockfish, kelp (calico) bass and sand bass. Squid, shrimp and anchovies all seem to work on the reef. Last but not least was a 30-inch white seabass taken by one of Boyd’s friends. 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. Beginning to wonder if it will ever reopen. So much for state government and the California Parks Dept.!!! How To Get There: From Highway 101 simply take the Gaviota State Park turnoff down to the beach and pier.