Papafats and mamafats...Ventura Pier

Ken Jones

Staff member
Date: February 9, 1999
To: Pier Fishing in California Message Board
From: Papafats and mamafats
Subject: Ventura Pier

Hi, My husband and I try to get to Ventura Pier as often as we can. In fact, this weekend we have plans to camp near Ventura and enjoy a bit of fishing. We just started fishing again after 25 years of getting caught up in the “No time too busy LA life style.” We're not experts by any means just enjoy the peace and solitude of fishing and meeting fellow anglers on the pier.
We generally use salted anchovies or squid. Sometimes for fun we'll throw out a lure. Our catch is for fun and all fish are returned whenever possible (providing the fish are not caught in mid air by seagulls). I especially enjoy visiting with the many children who stop by to feel or look at the fish as we land our lines.
We generally catch sand shark, dogfish, bat ray, lobster (once-caught him/her while I was reeling in the line to change bait) and host of others that are still unknown to us. I guess you'd say we enjoy bottom or near bottom fishing. Our favorite spot is near the end of the pier.
Once this summer we were fishing in the evening while there was activity at the Ventura Fair Grounds (which is right on the coast). The lights from the Fair Grounds illuminated the water at the end of the pier and the fish that were swimming close to the top. What a beautiful site! ...
In 1970-74 the pier seemed a lot longer and we would fish all night. Always had a great time.

Date: February 18, 1999
To: Pier Fishing in California Message Board
From: Mamafats

Subject: Ventura Pier

Saturday the 13th, fishing was great! My Husband and I landed the following: six ea. skates, One California halibut (8” long) and a white croaker... We did hear earlier in the morning that two baby hammerheads were also landed. The weather was great until the wind kicked up, about 3 PM. The Channel Islands were crystal clear and absolutely breathtaking...While waiting for the 'big strike' we witnessed a very dangerous incident involving two teenage girls. Luckily for them their daily diary entry will be one of laughter and excitement and not one of sorrow... The girls decided for kicks to jump off the pier. As they were giggling their way back to shore, they realized they weren't swimming alone. A large seal decided to join in the fun! As the seal's head bobbed next to them their screams shattered the silence and startled the seal. Those of us watching laughed until we were breathless... It was evident the seal only wanted their company. As the seal disappeared, the fish took notice and started to nibble once again... Sunday the 14th turned out to be a wash...The wind was far too strong and cold. The pier started to rock. So, we called it a day. Catch y'all next time...Happy Fishing!

Date: February 20, 1999
To: Ken Jones
From: papafats and mamafats

Subject: Question of the Month—What is your favorite pier and why?

Yup! our favorite pier is Ventura! We enjoy the fun, excitement, and on a clear winter day the view of the Channel Islands. Quite spectacular! As you look at the islands you think about what the seas were like during the days of the Chumash Indian Tribes. As you sit on the pier try imagining a Chumash Chief fighting large fishing game with a hand made spear and line in order to feed and warm his family. Now try imagining this same Chumash Chief is fishing from a small canoe!! Amazing!
You never know what you'll see or experience while fishing or just strolling on a lazy afternoon or evening. During the summer you can be sure to play ‘line tag’ with a few sharks and rays! The dolphins visit regularly in July, August and September. Springtime can guarantee regular visits by the local seal population. I hear the halibut stop by in March to check out the local action. I hope one stops by my line this year!
So Ken for now I must say I love the Ventura Pier! Regards, Mamafats
PS, Many German and British tourists love to stop and talk. I love to see their faces as they talk about the versatility of visiting the California coastline, mountains and especially the National Parks.

Date: July 1, 1999
To: Pier Fishing in California Message Board
From: Mamafats

Subject: Ventura Pier

Hi all, It's been awhile. My husband, grandson and myself fished Ventura Pier last Saturday. I caught a good-sized sand shark (guitarfish) but the rest of the family was not as lucky. Other fish caught included good-sized bat rays, stingrays, smoothhounds and a small thresher. It was great to escape from the LA heat. One thing I must add to this report is disappointment and sadness felt for a fellow fisherperson. The individual was fishing the end of the pier and caught several bat rays. Once the ray was landed, this individual cut off the wings and threw the body back. Pretty sad. Either fish to eat or fish and throw the back in one piece, but don't be sadistic about it. By the way when this individual prepared to leave for the day everything else went back into the ocean. What a jerk! Thank you for letting me get this off my chest. Everyone have a safe and great Holiday Weekend!