October 2018 Fishing Report, Southern California (#241)

Ken Jones

Administrator
Staff member
#1
October 2018 Fishing Report, SoCal (#241)

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? Hoping mav jumps in with some info like last month. 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 —Isiah at the pier’s bait shop said most of the action has been on mackerel and bonito with the latter just starting to show in the past few weeks. Several sharks have been taken, mainly smoothhounds, while lobster are being taken at night. 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 croakers 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 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 has been on mackerel although some small bonito have also starting to show up. On the bottom, halibut are still available for those anglers who take the time to catch some live bait. 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 — Ed at the Oceanside Pier Bait and Tackle shop on the pier, reported that “huge” mackerel are making a real showing, mackerel that are as big or bigger than many of the bonito he has seen. He says the mackerel are getting most of the attention especially since the croaker bite has slowed (although sargo are still making an appearance most days). A few small bonito have started to show as well as some small bass (mainly kelp bass), and a few sharks and rays. Lobster action at night has been mixed. 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 — Peter, at Angler’s Tackle, 1413 North Coast Hwy, said he’s not getting many reports from the pier so it’s probably the normal mix—spotfin croaker, bass, sargo, perch and the usual sharays including smoothhounds, thornbacks and bat rays. He did confirm that an employee, Ben Howard, saw a dorado caught at the pier at the end of August. He said it was small, only about 30 inches and 5 pounds but he did not take a picture (darn). Still, that’s the first dorado that I have been able to verify (at least verify in part) from a California pier. 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 a wide variety of fish and some excellent hooping for lobster during the first few nights of the lobster season. He says there are “tons” of mackerel but they now have also joined by a lot of small bonito. Inshore to mid-pier, the action remains good on sargo and also good numbers of “short” halibut. Bass too are showing up, especially sand bass and several in the 16-17-inch range have been caught. Shark and ray action has been just fair but a couple of good-sized threshers were taken on 9/29. Out of the ordinary fish for the month were two moray eels, two garibaldi (that are frequently seen down around the pilings), and some big sheephead (taken on fresh mussels). As for the opening of the lobster season, he said there were many limits of the bugs. However, typically the action drops off fairly rapidly after the opening nights. Scott is the new owner of the “Pier Grill.” The store is open Tuesday through Sunday. Hours are 7-4 Tuesday-Thursday and Sunday; 7-5 (or later) Friday and Saturday. Bait he carries is frozen anchovies, shrimp, squid, mussels and mackerel.] Skyler at Hogan's Bait And Tackle, 34320 Pacific Coast Hwy, Dana Point reported much the same. Inshore to mid-pier some croakers and bass on lug worms and fresh mussels. Regulars fishing for sharks continue to pull in some bat rays, leopard sharks and sand sharks (shovelnose guitarfish). 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 — Skyler at Hogan's Bait And Tackle, 34320 Pacific Coast Hwy, Dana Point said action continues fair on bass and croakers with an occasional halibut. 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: “Well, we have had lots of bait this month, but nothing seems to want it. Maybe they are full. There are some big bonito around this week and some small ones too. The bonito ran from 5 to 10 pounds in the middle of the week. Now what few there are, are small again. My friend caught a 24-inch sargo by snagging this week. That was a beauty. The snaggers are getting a lot of mullet. Did you all know it is illegal to snag a striped bass? Oh by the way this week the city decided to have a sonar device for sharks installed from Balboa Pier. IT is called CLEVER BUOY. There are several markers around the pier area and the pier itself has a box about the size of a traffic signal box on a corner placed at the end of the pier. The conduit has been laid, and as far as I can tell it is active now. There is supposed to be an app for the lifeguards to know when a shark is lurking nearby. Guess they didn't have one in Encinitas for that young man who was bitten. Wonder what the whales will register when they come through. For those of you who fish mackerel there are plenty of them all the way into the surf.” 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. The one exception is mackerel and there are tons of the greenbacks but everything else is sporadic. Inshore, a few corbina and croakers still show up, most being caught by the regulars, while some bonito are showing mid-pier to the end but again it’s sporadic, simply a few here and there. However, thresher shark action has been better than average with quite a few taken out at the end of the pier. Not much else. How To Get There: Highway 1 (Pacific Coast Highway) to Huntington Beach and the pier.

Seal Beach Pier — R, at Big Fish Tackle, 1780 Pacific Coast Hwy., says the fishing’s been fair. Inshore it’s corbina and yellowfin croaker while mid-pier to the end mackerel and big jacksmelt are making a showing. It’s slow on the sharks and rays. 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 — Ron, at Big Fish Tackle, 1780 Pacific Coast Hwy., says not much is biting with the exception of mackerel. 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 most of the action continues to be on mackerel with an occasional halibut being taken by those who know what to do. Most of the hallies are taken on live bait or lures with pearl white-colored Zoom Flukes fished on a drop shot seemingly the best lures. 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 — Sunny at the Redondo Coffee Shop and Bait Shop on the pier said mackerel are the main fish. I think that makes about 239 straight months of mackerel activity. She says a few calico (kelp) bass are also being caught along with a few halibut and lately, some sharks are beginning to show up. Not much else. 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 — Darren, at the piers bait and tackle shop, said action is very slow. It’s mainly a few mackerel and a few perch. 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 lot of small halibut and small kelp bass. Threshers too have been caught although not in the numbers seen in some years. She’s also has been amazed by the number of big white seabass being taken in the area by those casting in the surf. 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 decent. 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 fairly slow although a number of species continue to be caught. Mackerel action remains fair along with quite a few jacksmelt and some small bonito are also starting to show up at the pier. A few croakers and halibut are being caught on the bottom along with a few shovelnose sharks (guitarfish). Quite a few people are hooping for lobsters and they are getting lobsters as well as quite a few spider (sheep) crabs. It’s that time of the year. 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 the lobster season has started off strong with quite a few legal-size bugs being taken. As usual, action on small rockfish and calicos remains strong on the pipe-reef while locals with the know-how continue to pull in a few halibut inshore to mid-pier. Sounds like the action remains decent. 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.
 
#4
Some macks. Occasional large bonito still being caught. My brother told me to go pick one up last week. It was around 24” fork length. Big fish! One confirmed yellowtail caught. It was pushing #10 or more.

The barred surf perch should be fattening up right now getting ready for the spawn.
 
#7
mav, Is the second pic the black skipjack (which it appears to be).
Yep. Second pic is the black skipjack. I have an old bad phone pic of a couple that were caught laying on the deck of the pier that year. (2015) They were caught by my bros friends and were laying under a folding chair. So, I had to take a wierd angle shot with bad lighting.
 

Ken Jones

Administrator
Staff member
#8
Thanks. Always appreciate pictures from Imperial Beach since it actually is one of the piers with my fewest pictures, at least pictures of fish.