Newport Pier 9/9

evanluck

Well-known member
#1
Started fishing at 5:30AM. Started with a classic deadly dick style lure at the end of a larger 4 hook sabiki rig fishing at the end of the pier. Could not get the rig to stay in the water to my satisfaction so I replaced in with a 2 ounce sinker and started baiting the hooks with salted mackerel and squid.

In about 3.5 hours of fishing I caught 25 larger mackerel all bigger than the one's I've been catching off of Huntington Beach Pier. While I was there about 20 bonita were landed between the rest of the fishermen who were fishing at the end of the pier. All of them were using 8-10 hook sabiki rigs with colored string adornments and casting them far off the end and retrieving them unbaited. They would bring in strings of mackerel but every once in a while a bonito or two. Best catch of the day was four bonito on a single line, although they had worked themselves into a tangled mess.

End of the pier was fairly crowded from 6AM until when I left. People were courteous trying to avoid tangles and calmly resolving tangled lines on the rare occasion that it would happen.

It was my first time fishing at Newport pier. I definitely got the feel for what makes the end of that pier unique with its proximity to that Newport Submarine Canyon. Also read somewhere that the end of the pier is significant dirtier than what I'm used to at Huntington Beach Pier. Everything was damp and the bait cutting stations were heavily used and not cleaned thoroughly from the night before.
 
Last edited:

Ken Jones

Administrator
Staff member
#2
I've seen the same rigs at Newport but personally I find the idea of an 8-10 Sabiki-type bait rig ludicrous. Where's the sport? And, the question comes up of people keeping everything they catch? I'm pretty sure some of those guys are probably (illegally) selling their catch. In addition, the limit on small bonito less than 24 inches in length is five. It doesn't sound like they caught that many bonito but if over the five fish limit, were bonito returned to the water?

A final question was if the anglers were underhand casting the ten hook bait rigs given that overhead casting is prohibited?
 

evanluck

Well-known member
#3
I've seen the same rigs at Newport but personally I find the idea of an 8-10 Sabiki-type bait rig ludicrous. Where's the sport? And, the question comes up of people keeping everything they catch? I'm pretty sure some of those guys are probably (illegally) selling their catch. In addition, the limit on small bonito less than 24 inches in length is five. It doesn't sound like they caught that many bonito but if over the five fish limit, were bonito returned to the water?

A final question was if the anglers were underhand casting the ten hook bait rigs given that overhead casting is prohibited?
The end of the Newport pier does have a non-commercial fish market type thing going on. There are people actually walking to the end of the pier specifically to buy fish. Most that I saw cast were underhand casting. I agree with you on the sporting aspect of these rigs for game fish. Bait fish is one thing as an angler wants to spend the least amount of time catching bait as possible so they can go on to their target fishing. I find it overwhelming dispatching multiple fish caught quickly and in a manner that would ensure that the meat is preserved. Even catching one or two at a time, after the first hour I'm throwing fish back and being picky about size and species.

Have you been to Newport pier fishing recently Ken? The group at the end of the pier seems like a regular group and what they do definitely dominates the end of the pier. I can see how it would discourage people doing lower key, lower volume fishing from selecting the end as a spot. But according to your reports, the end of this pier is what is unique about the pier. Being casting distance away from that deep water valley, I'd be interested to try to target some rarer deep water species there. I guess you can't control how people fish so long as what they are doing is not illegal and all of them were perfectly courteous to me but I was fishing basically the same style as they were just much slower. I wonder how it would have been if I had a carolina rig that I just threw out there and waited for 30 minutes or so.
 

Ken Jones

Administrator
Staff member
#4
I wish I had an answer. The city could be more involved but when they enter into the fishing scene they tend to do more damage than help. I've long railed against the snaggers at the foot of the pier — to no avail, and I will probably continue railing against the commercial nature of those anglers, again to no avail. There are sport anglers, there are subsistance anglers, there are quasi-commercial, illegal anglers, and there are simple knuckleheads. Sometimes it is hard to differentiate who is what.
 

Rusty

Well-known member
#5
I've seen the same rigs at Newport but personally I find the idea of an 8-10 Sabiki-type bait rig ludicrous. Where's the sport? And, the question comes up of people keeping everything they catch? I'm pretty sure some of those guys are probably (illegally) selling their catch. In addition, the limit on small bonito less than 24 inches in length is five. It doesn't sound like they caught that many bonito but if over the five fish limit, were bonito returned to the water?

A final question was if the anglers were underhand casting the ten hook bait rigs given that overhead casting is prohibited?
the guys with the long sabikis feel it works better to imitate a school of bait, not necessarily to catch ten at once, but the more the better to them. I prefer not to have that many hooks, there is no reason to. I have only seen most of them only cast underhand, And they are good at it. They know the rules and laws, but they choose which ones to follow, sometimes they play the naive card, but they know what they are doing may be illegal or walking the thin line. Most follow the rules though. And yes, most do keep everything they catch, some of them may have little to no money for food, others are just plain greedy.
As for the selling, it is far too common on Newport Pier, blatantly selling to passers by, even buyers driving a fair distance to come and buy mackerel. I have seen DFW approach them but i never see tickets handed out. I dont like it at all, but there is not much I can do. I have tried talking with the sellers and they play ignorant or ignore me.
And i think you already know the answer but no, they dont throw any Bonito back, limits applied or not.