March 2021 Fishing Report, SoCal (#264)
Waiting on a number or reports; this is what I have so far.
Waiting on a number or reports; this is what I have so far.
Remember — Lobster season is now open. Follow all regulations and make sure you have a lobster card in possession.
San Diego County Piers
Imperial Beach Pier – We really 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 — The pier suffered storm damage and is apparently still closed. 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 the bait shop on the pier, reports action is still somewhat slow but seems to be getting better every week. Expect some mackerel and jacksmelt while fishing top-water areas along with some croaker, mainly yellowfin, if fishing on the bottom inshore. He says there are a lot of schools of fish but they just aren’t biting. 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 — Waiting for the report. 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). 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 — Dennis Borlek from the Fathom Bistro Bait & Tackle (on the pier says “it’s really slow right now just a few Mackerel here and there, and some stingrays.” 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 — Bill in Oceanside said that overall it’s been a slow month although there also have been some good days. It’s mostly mid-sized croaker inshore while out at the end action has largely died. The mackerel are gone but jacksmelt show up along with quite a few salema. Every few days the herring (queenfish) will also show up as well as a few short halibut. It’s been windy some days but overall the weather has been good. A big white shark was hooked but the regulars climbed down the ladder and released it, something that has been fairly common lately. Final note — 2/21 was the last day for Ruby’s at the end of the pier, it’s now closed. 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 — Dane at Hogan's Bait and Tackle (34320 Pacific Coast Hwy, said things are still a little slow due to the cold water but fish are being caught. Inshore it’s mainly yellowfin croakers on lugworms and mussel while Pacific mackerel and jacksmelt are showing in the top-water sections from mid-pier to the end. The sharkers continue to pull in some sharays, mainly bat rays, but a couple of white sharks were also hooked and released this month. 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 —Dane at Hogan's Bait And Tackle (34320 Pacific Coast Hwy, said things have been slow, mainly a few spotfin croakers and bass (a variety). 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, “Fishing is awful; no, the catching is awful. We have been getting some bait especially Thursday. Lots of different-sized smelt. It just didn't do any good. Not even a strike. Don't know what is wrong, but I am looking forward to a change. At least we finally saw a whale Thursday. One was going the right direction finally. This is the latest they have been as long as I have been watching them. We have had lots of wind and the water is cold. Not many fishermen lately which makes it nice for us. There are a few mackerel on the end, but they aren't big. Looking forward to a better month.” 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 — No report, phone out? When the weather cooperates there should be yellowfin and spotfin croaker inshore with a mix of fish including mackerel and big jacksmelt further out on the pier. How To Get There: Highway 1 (Pacific Coast Highway) to Huntington Beach and the pier.
Seal Beach Pier —Rada at Big Fish Bait & Tackle, 1780-C. Pacific Coast Hwy, said things are slow, few fishermen on the piers and generally slow fishing. Expect a few croakers and surfperch inshore, mackerel and jacksmelt on top, and perhaps if you are lucky a sharary or halibut on the bottom. 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 — Rada at Big Fish Bait & Tackle, 1780-C. Pacific Coast Hwy, said things are the same as at Seal Beach. There are a fishermen on the piers and generally slow fishing. Expect a few croakers and surfperch inshore, mackerel and jacksmelt on top, and perhaps if you are lucky a sharary or halibut on the bottom. 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 — No report this month but expect some perch, sargo and croaker while fishing the inshore shallower waters. Mackerel and tomcod (white croaker) should be available with a cast out from the pier. 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) — I talked to Alex at the Rusty Hook, 245 N Gaffey St., San Pedro, and the pier is still closed due to Covid restrictions (the only one in the state closed due to the restrictions). It’s been closed since March. It’s too bad since Alex reports that kayakers fishing around the pier are picking up halibut. 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 mix of fish—small kelp bass, opaleye, halfmoon, rock wrasse, senorita, sheephead, etc. 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) — The Mole is open and kicking out good numbers of the usual fish—kelp bass, halfmoon, blacksmith, sculpin (scorpionfish), garibaldi, senorita, rock wrasse and whitefish. Most interesting are the high number of sheephead being taken although the opaleye have seemed to slow. 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 the Redondo Pier Tackle (on the pier), said it is real slow. There are still quite a few fishermen but no fish. They all say “Next Month!” We’ll see. 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 – Sounds like things are slow in the area. How To Get There: From Sepulveda Boulevard, turn west on Manhattan Beach Drive and follow it to the pier.
Hermosa Beach Pier — Sounds like things are slow in the area. How To Get There: Take the Pacific Coast Highway (Hwy 1) to Pier Avenue and follow Pier Avenue west to the pier.
Venice Pier — Currently closed while undergoing repairs and renovation. Scheduled to reopen in the spring of 2021. How To Get There: Highway 1 to Washington St., turn west and follow Washington St. to the pier.
Santa Monica Pier — Mike at the Santa Monica Pier Bait & Tackle shop (towards the end of the pier) reports the pier has seen sporadic action. Baitfish, mackerel and jacksmelt have been good some days, slow the others, while a few keeper-size halibut and some bass have also shown up. He says some corbina are being caught at the start of the pier in shallow water. Bait? Generally on fresh mussels from the pilings. It sounds like the shop has been mostly open lately, 10-6 most days. 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 still getting reports on good numbers of mackerel and small perch along with a few yellowfin croaker inshore. She said the weather has been iffy at times with a lot of wind, which can make it hard to fish. 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 are reporting some really nice fish from the pier. It’s mostly a number of BIG bat rays but it’s also smaller rays and a mix of other fish. Remember this is a private pier so a license is required. 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 increasingly available inshore along with good numbers of jacksmelt from inshore to mid-pier. 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 — Waiting for a report. 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 — Expect the usual at the pipe reef, small brown rockfish and a mix of bass and perch along with possible flurries of mackerel out at the end. 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 six years—and counting. So much for 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.