Years back when Edison would dump the warm water through the channel, we would catch Needlefish one after another with pieces of anchovy. You're right, they are difficult to hook, but when they get bigger, you better have some long needlenose pliers or you will be bloody.
"Years back when Edison would dump the warm water through the channel" The two power plants north of Westminster Blvd. still release warm water into the San Gabriel River and warms the water attracting everything from Sea Turtles to Bonito to ribbon and needle fish. My point being, years back, we fished splasher rigs off the rocks and caught bonito galore occasional needle fish and on those real El Nino years Ribbon fish. Sea Turtles were a common sight. When I used to surf the "River" my buddy Lance was riding the same wave as me and hit one with his board stopping it on the spot. So we're talking the '70s back then. Tight Lines Erik