Having a really hard time getting reports.October 2021 Fishing Report, Southern California (#270)
Lobster season is now open
San Diego County Piers
Imperial Beach Pier – We still need a reporter but evidently there are continued problems with the city over areas on the pier open to anglers. 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 — Dominique at the Ocean Beach Pier Bait and Tackle shop on the pier said the action is really on two things, mackerel and lobsters, with the bugs being caught at night or early morning while the macs are pretty much hitting throughout the day. Action on most bottom species, including croaker, halibut and sharays, is slow. 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 – Pam, at the bait shop on the pier, reports recent action has been slow on most, species with the cool water. However, a seven-foot seven-gill shark was caught the day before I called along with a 42-pound yellowtail. So some fish, including quite a few mackerel, are still out there. 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. 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. 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. 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 (kelp, sand and spotted) 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 — It sounds like the main fish continue to be mackerel. 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 — A report from my friend Bill said fishing has slowed down. Some bonito were hitting but they’ve moved on and though mackerel are still available they are not in big numbers. Inshore croaker action is slow while mid-pier some short calicos (Kelp bass) and sand bass along with a few short halibut have been landed. Shark anglers were crowded out during the bonito bite and have not returned even though the bonito action has died down. How To Get There: From I-5 take Mission Blvd. west to Pacific, turn left and follow it to the pier.” How To Get There: From I-5 take Mission Blvd. west to Pacific, turn left and follow it to the pier.
Oceanside Harbor Pier — The pier is currently closed for repair. 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 — Waiting on a call from Hogan's Bait and Tackle (34320 Pacific Coast Hwy. Evenluck made a PFIC report on 9/23, “Met my cousin and her husband at San Clemente Pier. I fished from 7AM-11AM. They arrived around 8AM and left at 10AM. They switched off fishing a single rod with a Size 6 Hayabusa Sabiki under a float that was baited with market shrimp. They caught: 8 Jacksmelt, 2 Salema, 2 Walleye Surfperch,1 Black Surfperch and 1 Spanish Mackerel (Jack Mackerel). I fished a high/lo with a size 6 bait holder and size 8 mosquito hook baited with a piece of lug worm and a piece of market shrimp. I caught: 5 Black Surfperch, 2 Sand Bass, 1 small and a 15” (Personal best), 1 13” Sheephead, 1 Yellowfin croaker, 6 Jacksmelt and 1 Walleye surfperch. Probably the best time limited session I've ever had fishing on a mainland pier. While I was cleaning my fish I hooked a good-sized fish on live smelt that ran me under the pier and broke me off. A pretty big triggerfish was hooked by a guy fishing the left corner at the end of the pier but the fish came off the hook at the base of the pier. Some decent size mackerel were being pull in as we were leaving. More mackerel were caught as we hit high tide ~10:30am. No bonito were caught by anyone and did not see any bait boils while we were there.” 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 — Waituing for a report from Hogan's Bait And Tackle (34320 Pacific Coast Hwy. 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 long-time reporter Snookie says, “the fishing hasn't improved that much, but we are catching a few halibut. There has been one or two keepers caught, but they aren't big ones. The guys on the end are still catching some threshers. There has been a couple of bat rays caught. The two turtles were of interest this week. We do see a few once in a while. The bait situation is okay. Some sardines, smelt, Spanish mackerel. The authorities have gotten rid of our homeless encampments which makes our area much nicer to look at. Still have a couple we would like to see leave, but they are staying around. Hoping catching picks up this next week since it is a good time of the year.” 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 the action mirrors, for the most part, that seen at Balboa although when the fishing is hot the mobs will be bigger and the railing space more limited. How To Get There: From the Pacific Coast Highway take the Newport Blvd. turn off and proceed west watching for signs directing traffic to the pier. The pier sits at the foot of McFadden Place.
Huntington Beach Pier — Still unable to get through to the pier so it’s hard to report on the beach closure. The last report said all beaches are closed from Huntington Beach to Newport Beach so it’s possible the pier itself is closed or at least the fishing may be impacted. How To Get There: Highway 1 (Pacific Coast Highway) to Huntington Beach and the pier.
Seal Beach Pier —Pauli at Big Fish Bait & Tackle, 1780-C. Pacific Coast Hwy, said fishing’s been slow lately, some yellowfin croaker and corbina are showing inshore but not much else. The mackerel are missing and although a few bonito have been taken they come and go. Nothing is showing on the bottom further out on the pier. A PFIC report from MisterT on 10-/2 said, “Fished at Seal Beach Pier from afternoon (3/4 PM) to a bit after sunset. There were a lot more anglers than what I normally see. The fishing action was a bit slow throughout the day. Once the waves started picking up (around sunset) mackerel were being caught here and there.” A PFIC report from fish-ninja on 9/19 said, “I found myself at Seal Beach yesterday for a non-fishing occasion and managed to convince my better half to come to the pier with me for a short session for about an hour 1-2pm. Only tried the mid section with a high-low and a halibut live bait rig. No taker on smelt bait between the piles. But the high-low with shrimp enticed this sargo to me. Lots of mullet snaggers in inshore areas. I did not go to the pier's end but it seems slow as many anglers were leaving constantly. I did not see others catching anything.” 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 Veterans Memorial Pier — Pauli at Big Fish Bait & Tackle, 1780-C. Pacific Coast Hwy, said the fishing is slow at the pier. A PFIC report from Fishman Fishman on 9/29 said, “Had the good fortune to go fishing Tuesday morning. Fished the end of the pier and caught a sculpin, sand bass, large jacksmelt, topsmelt for bait and mackerel. The sculpin and sand bass were legal size but I released them. The jacksmelt was about 15 inches and it went back into the water. Used anchovy, squid and sardine as bait. Used topsmelt as live bait but, no takers. Fisherman next to me caught a large bat ray (approximately 30 to 40 lbs.) and a small round ray. Fisherman at the midpoint of the pier catching queenfish, salema and mackerel. One Fisherman caught a large lobster in his hoop net. He released it. Missed lobster season by a few days!” 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 — Expect the usual—tomcod (white croaker) and mackerel casting out from the pier, sargo and perch fishing the inshore waters. 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 the Rusty Hook, 245 N Gaffey St., San Pedro, said people are fishing the pier and getting some halibut and mackerel. Most of the halibut unfortunately are shorts, and most, whatever the size, are falling to swim baits to the regulars. The mackerel are mainly falling to bait, pieces of mackerel and a mish mash of other species to those just casting out a bait. A few bass and perch should be available against the rocks, a few small sculpin under the pier, and an occasional croaker on the bottom. 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) – Expect all the normal species—kelp bass, rock wrasse, senorita, opaleye, halfmoon, and sheephead. 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) — Recent reports indicate that all the regular species are showing up—kelp bass, rock wrasse, senorita, opaleye, halfmoon and sheephead. A few bonito are showing along with a few barracuda. 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 — Cortes at the Redondo Beach Tackle on the pier said good numbers of mackerel and bonito are being taken at the pier. However, very little is hitting on the bottom. How To Get There: From the Pacific Coast Highway, take Torrance Blvd. west to the foot of the pier and the parking lot.
Manhattan Beach Pier – Best bet mackerel in the morning and evening hours. How To Get There: From Sepulveda Boulevard, turn west on Manhattan Beach Drive and follow it to the pier.
Hermosa Beach Pier — Best bet mackerel in the morning and evening hours. How To Get There: Take the Pacific Coast Highway (Hwy 1) to Pier Avenue and follow Pier Avenue west to the pier.
Venice Pier — Is it open? Need a reporter. How To Get There: Highway 1 to Washington St., turn west and follow Washington St. to the pier.
Santa Monica Pier — Unable to get through for a report. 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 & Tackle (18757 Pacific Coast Hwy Malibu) said she’s been getting some good reports. She said people are seeing good numbers of mackerel mid-pier to the end while shallow waters are seeing small perch, yellowfin croaker and sargo (including some good big ones). Out at the end of the pier anglers using live mackerel continue to catch some thresher sharks, some of decent size. How To Get There: The pier fronts on the Pacific Coast Highway (Hwy 1) so just drive until you see it.
Paradise Cove Pier — Ginny at Wylie’s Bait & Tackle (18757 Pacific Coast Hwy Malibu) said anglers continue to report good numbers of BIG bat rays. How To Get There: Take Highway 1 to Paradise Cove Dr., turn west, and follow the road back into the parking lot. It’s very expensive unless you buy a meal at the restaurant and then you are allowed to fish for, I think, three hours.
Ventura & Santa Barbara County Piers
Port Hueneme Pier — No report this month. 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 — Ludia at Hyun’s Tackle, 3695 E Harbor Blvd., said it’s the usual—primarily perch and croaker showing up inshore, some halibut mid-pier, and sharks mid-pier to the end along with some mackerel. 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 — Ben Miller at Hook Line & Sinker at 4010-5 Calle Real, Santa Barbara, said he’s mainly getting reports on lobster and overall it’s been a slow opener. 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 — Ben Miller is the new owner of Hook Line & Sinker at 4010-5 Calle Real, Santa Barbara, and he said about the only reports he’s had the past few days were on lobster and unfortunately the results to date have been a little slow. He’s not heard much on the fishing. However, I imagine you can expect then usual—small brown rockfish, a few Johnny bass (olive rockfish) and calico (kelp) bass from the pipe reef on the right side of the pier and some mackerel at the end (and sharks at night). 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 has now been closed for eight years—and counting. Beginning to wonder if it will ever reopen. So much for state government and the California Parks Dept.! Ridiculous! How To Get There: From Highway 101 simply take the Gaviota State Park turnoff down to the beach and pier.