November 2018 Fishing Report, Southern California (#242)

Ken Jones

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California Pier Report, November 2018 (#242)
Southern California


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 – No report this month. Any volunteers to be a reporter for this pier? 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 —Pam at the pier’s bait shop said action HAD been really good on mackerel and bonito — tons of mackerel, but things seemed to be slowing and she hadn’t seen much of anything the day I called. A few sharks continue to be caught, including a 5-foot thresher but most of the bottom fish are missing. 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 – Sue at the pier’s bait shop said most of the action has been on mackerel and, since the start of the lobster season, on lobster although people have to seek them out during the day since the pier is closed at night (and the pier is hard to hoop given the way the pilings are situated and the wood extends out past the railings). A few croaker still show up inshore and both sharks and rays continue to bite on the bottom. 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 although there should be a few mackerel and bass. 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 although some croakers and sharays should be available. 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 although some mackerel and bass (kelp, sand and spotted) should be hitting along with some sharays. We still need a reporter! 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 (a variety) 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 — Michael, at Angler’s Choice, 1910 Rosecrans St, reports that most of the action continues to be on mackerel on the top while action on the bottom has slowed (excepting for an occasional stingray). He says there’s tons of small pinhead-size bait in the water and the fish are stuffed. A few hoopers are out but they aren't getting much.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 at the Oceanside Pier Bait and Tackle shop on the pier, reported that things have slowed although quite a few fish have still been caught. Inshore, some big corvina have been taken on live smelt while a few spotfin and yellowfin croaker continue to show (mainly on fresh mussels). Not a lot of croaker but a few for the regulars. Mid-pier, several halibut were caught but most were small, the largest reported was only 23-inches. For a time mid-month the action on mackerel and bonito, big bonito running 7-10 pounds, was fantastic but then the city started dredging the harbor, the water turned dirty, and the bonito disappeared. Most sharay action has been on leopard sharks, mostly small ones, although a huge bat ray (probably approaching a hundred pounds in size) was caught and released about a week before the end of the month. The bat rat apparently took the angler on a merry ride around the pier before it was finally landed. Bill said he’s hoping for the water to clear. 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.

Oceanside Harbor Pier — Forrest, at Angler’s Tackle, 1413 North Coast Hwy, said water in the harbor is dirty due to dredging and as a result the fishing has been slow. Best action is on the boats that can go offshore — they’re getting big bonito. 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 — Scott at the “Pier Grill” at the end of the pier reports that things have slowed down although a few croaker show inshore and a few mackerel and bonito mid-pier to the end. He said he did see quite a few kelp bass the past week (at the end) and even a few small white seabassa but overall most of the action is simply slow. Hoopers are still out at night seeking out the lobster although numbers are decreasing. Brecke at Hogan's Bait And Tackle, 34320 Pacific Coast Hwy, Dana Point said about the only reports he has gotten is on decent inshore fishing for croakers (on fresh mussels and lug worms). 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 — Breck at Hogan's Bait And Tackle, 34320 Pacific Coast Hwy, Dana Point said there’s been some decent action on croakers by those using lug worms and mussels, some small halibut being taken on artificials, and a mix of bass on plastics. Large jacksmelt have also begun to show up that are fun on light tackle. 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 said: After the best fishing day we've had in years it has returned to the regular nothing much. That day we caught so any big bonitos we really thought they would stay a while. Off and on there are a few smaller ones still around. The mackerel are still here in mass even into the surf. The halibut are hitting but not hanging on. A man across from us got stung by a stingray. He didn't know what it was. Poor guy got a quick lesson that day. The weather has been great this month, and the bait have cooperated with a variety of smelt, baby herring (queenfish), Spanish mackerel, sardines and anchovies sometimes. Oh and a small yellowtail was with those bonitos that good day. Too bad you weren't here for the great fishing. I'm surprised we were so lucky to be there. It's usually a case of, "You should have been here yesterday." 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 about the same report as at the Balboa Pier. How To Get There: From the Pacific Coast Highway take the Newport Blvd. turnoff and proceed west watching for signs directing traffic to the pier. The pier sits at the foot of McFadden Place.

Huntington Beach Pier — Will at Let’s Go Fishing on the pier, says things are starting to slow down. Inshore, a few croaker still show up, most being caught by the regulars, while a few mackerel and bonito are showing mid-pier to the end (but the action has really dropped). No report on sharks and rays. `How To Get There: Highway 1 (Pacific Coast Highway) to Huntington Beach and the pier.

Seal Beach Pier — Rada, at Big Fish Tackle, 1780 Pacific Coast Hwy., says it’s the same old thing, a few croaker inshore and decent mackerel fishing mid-pier. Not much else.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 Tackle, 1780 Pacific Coast Hwy., says anglers are getting good numbers of mackerel in the mid-pier area along with quite a few halibut but almost all are small. 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 some mackerel and the usual white croakers should be available with a cast out from the pier. Expect a few bass and perch/sargo/croaker along the inshore area. 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) — Alex at Rusty Hook B&T, 245 N Gaffey St., San Pedro says he’s not getting many reports (which usually means the fishing is slow). He has heard of a few small halibut along with a few bass, both calico (kelp) and sand bass. Not much on top. 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) – It’s the normal mix of fish — rock wrasse, senorita, opaleye, sheephead, jacksmelt, and kelp bass. Use sea-worms, frozen peas, mussels, and market shrimp. 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) — Bonito are present some days and gone the others. However, the resident population of fish should be present—kelp bass, opaleye, sheephead, halfmoon, blacksmith, kelpfish, and scorpionfish (sculpin). How 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 — Melanie at the Redondo Coffee Shop and Bait Shop on the pier said there continue to be a lot of mackerel but this month they were joined by a few other fish. For a week or so the bonito showed up, most running 24-30 inches, but they have now slowed. Some halibut were caught, including a 24-inch fish, and a couple of sharks were caught including one five foot or so thresher. How To Get There: From the Pacific Coast Highway, take Torrance Blvd. west to the foot of the pier and the parking lot.

Hermosa Beach Pier — No report this month although a few mackerel should be around as well as some croakers inshore and flatfish mid-pier. 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 although a few mackerel should be around as well as some croakers and perch inshore. How To Get There: Highway 1 to Washington St., turn west and follow Washington St. to the pier.

Santa Monica Pier — Jeff, at the piers bait and tackle shop, said a ton of mackerel are around but not much else. An occasional small halibut and a few sargo show under the pier but overall it’s “mac city.” 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 and Tackle says most of the action is on mackerel although some really big jacksmelt are being caught along with a few small halibut and kelp bass. How To Get There: The pier fronts on the Pacific Coast Highway (Hwy 1) so just drive until you see it.

Ventura & Santa Barbara County Piers

Port Hueneme Pier — No report this month although there should be a few mackerel along with surfperch showing up. 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 this month although fishing for surfperch should be getting better and better. 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 — Bretzel, at the Bait Shop on the pier, says fishing has been somewhat slow although a number of species continue to be caught. Mackerel have slowed but more and more jacksmelt are showing, a few halibut have been caught, and some sharks, both leopard sharks and shovelnose sharks (guitarfish). Lobster hooping is slow but people are getting some crabs. 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 — Tiffany, at Hook, Line and Sinker, reports that a really nice mix of fish has been showing at the pier (in fact she called the fishing phenomenal). She says anglers have been catching big thresher sharks at the end, some halibut inshore to mid-pier, some calico and sand bass, small brown rockfish by the pipe reef, mackerel and even a horn shark. She says lobster hoopers are even getting a few lobsters. 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 continues to be closed while the state moves with glacial speed and bureaucratic response in efforts to actually get it open. How To Get There: From Highway 101 simply take the Gaviota State Park turnoff down to the beach and pier.
 
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Imperial Beach Pier: Bonito and Vinas gone. Some mackerel still being caught, occasional large specimens.

Bayside Park Pier: A few small spotted bay bass spread out.