New to San Francisco pier fishing...need advice

#1
Hi, I’m new to pier fishing in California (I live in SF, close to Torpedo Wharf) and I’d like to start pier fishing. I have river fished in Ireland (I’m Irish) so not a total newbie to fishing. I don’t drive so I need a setup that I can walk with using a backpack or on bicycle. I want something easy that I don’t need to worry about getting live bait with COVID etc, so I’m thinking maybe spinning with lures. Would love your expert advice on what a good setup would look like. I am starting from scratch gear wise...

Thanks!!
 
Last edited:
#2
First thing I would do is search for Fort Point Pier on this site. Good information right away. As for gear, a lightweight two-piece rod and reel (yes, spinner in this case*) with four 3/4oz to 1oz swimbaits in greenish and white colors. That will serve you in case of snags or line breaks. I'd go light on the line (I prefer mono but others here will promote braid) to help with longer casts and a more "believable" lure presentation. Right now, perch are off the list until August, but you stand a chance with striped bass, halibut, and rockfish. Not too shabby a selection. Best of luck.

https://www.pierfishing.com/fort-point-pier/

*You could try, for example, an Okuma Avenger and 10# test line, paired with a light Ugly Stik rod. Won't tax the budget to much. There are other possibilities, but I would suggest you buy the reel and the rod separately and not get suckered into lesser quality instant "combos."
 
#3
Not much of a lure guy, but shark and ray fishing might be picking up soon, if you’re into bait fishing with surf rods. Still, not much experience lure fishing but from what I’ve seen, it looks like guys are using kastmasters, drop shots and buck tails in the same weight for stripers and halibut. Gearwise, I’d say a new penn pursuit is a good budget choice, even though the line lay with penn spinners could be a bit better. Heard the drag is good on the 3rd gen that and it’s pretty solid. Line wise it’s your call. I have a fierce 4000 with 20lb braid and a mono leader. Rod wise I can’t say much. I just bought a cheap 8’ whuppin stick from cabelas. Very slow action, but it gets the job done well enough for me.
 
#4
First thing I would do is search for Fort Point Pier on this site. Good information right away. As for gear, a lightweight two-piece rod and reel (yes, spinner in this case*) with four 3/4oz to 1oz swimbaits in greenish and white colors. That will serve you in case of snags or line breaks. I'd go light on the line (I prefer mono but others here will promote braid) to help with longer casts and a more "believable" lure presentation. Right now, perch are off the list until August, but you stand a chance with striped bass, halibut, and rockfish. Not too shabby a selection. Best of luck.

https://www.pierfishing.com/fort-point-pier/

*You could try, for example, an Okuma Avenger and 10# test line, paired with a light Ugly Stik rod. Won't tax the budget to much. There are other possibilities, but I would suggest you buy the reel and the rod separately and not get suckered into lesser quality instant "combos."
Thanks a million for the advice! I was searching for the wrong thing on the forum so thanks for the heads up re Fort Point.
 
#5
just go to the pier and learn from the Viet and Chinese guys there. Get a small rod and reel and use the sabiki rig with a weight; and jig it up and down. don't need to hit the bottom. Catch some smelt and perch.
 
#6
Definitely buy a large foam bobber or make your own. It should hold about 1 ounce depending on what weight you use. It’ll work with a baited sabiki for jacksmelt, and the big ones do put up a bit of fight. Something styrofoam about the size of your fist should work. If you are desperate, a small water bottles tied to your rig could work.
 
#7
then get a bigger gear, bigger hooks and use those smelt and perch for bait. they do it a lot over on that pier. closer to the shore.

next thing you know you'll be throwing a plastic swimbait or hair raiser