Paradise Pier 6/5 - slow and full of algae

nolandw

Active member
#1
Parking finally opened up at Paradise Pier on June 1 and I decided to stop by on my day off. Got there around 10pm and the pier was actually pretty full, most people staggered about 6 ft apart. The winds were pretty brutal but it was very quiet on the pier save for the howling winds. People actually began to leave around 11am, largely due to how slow the action was and the howling wind.

It's worth noting that the surrounding waters are now filled with algae, something I did not observe coming here last year. The algae is pretty heavy and easily gets caught...on one cast retrieve, I literally probably had 5lbs of algae on the weight and it took me about 10 min to cut it all off. Everyone's retrieve was affected by this.

Ended up using a mix of live perch, live jacksmelt, live pileworms I foraged, and dead anchovy for bait. I was able to catch the perch and jacksmelt at the pier using sabiki and worms. I was told that the perch I got at 1130 was actually the first fish caught all day on the pier. Eventually, I did manage to hook onto 3 bat rays, 2 of which were reeled in. The other ray actually spooled me but was lost using a hi-low with too light of a test line on the dropper loop (which is what i get for using someone else's rig I found on the pier...)

I'm almost positive I missed out on a halibut as one of the larger shinerperch I used had a slow bite and just a slight movement on the drag, but I moved to set the hook too early out of earnest and pulled up an empty hook :( Oh well, lesson learned for next time.

In all, it was a slow day for the pier. I left at 5pm, and only saw two other bat rays and one striper from all the other fisherman (most were also using live anchovy; some used shiner, some shrimp, few used squid).

Anyone have any insights to the affects of algae and adjusting the fishing approach, or have different luck at Paradise this year?
 

Reel Newbie

Well-known member
#3
Seaweed isn’t too bad on oyster point, but I just tie on a very high 3 way rig and just hope when it is. Checking bait often helps, but is still a massive pain in the ass to get off.
 

Red Fish

Well-known member
#4
Parking finally opened up at Paradise Pier on June 1 and I decided to stop by on my day off. Got there around 10pm and the pier was actually pretty full, most people staggered about 6 ft apart. The winds were pretty brutal but it was very quiet on the pier save for the howling winds. People actually began to leave around 11am, largely due to how slow the action was and the howling wind.

It's worth noting that the surrounding waters are now filled with algae, something I did not observe coming here last year. The algae is pretty heavy and easily gets caught...on one cast retrieve, I literally probably had 5lbs of algae on the weight and it took me about 10 min to cut it all off. Everyone's retrieve was affected by this.

Ended up using a mix of live perch, live jacksmelt, live pileworms I foraged, and dead anchovy for bait. I was able to catch the perch and jacksmelt at the pier using sabiki and worms. I was told that the perch I got at 1130 was actually the first fish caught all day on the pier. Eventually, I did manage to hook onto 3 bat rays, 2 of which were reeled in. The other ray actually spooled me but was lost using a hi-low with too light of a test line on the dropper loop (which is what i get for using someone else's rig I found on the pier...)

I'm almost positive I missed out on a halibut as one of the larger shinerperch I used had a slow bite and just a slight movement on the drag, but I moved to set the hook too early out of earnest and pulled up an empty hook :( Oh well, lesson learned for next time.

In all, it was a slow day for the pier. I left at 5pm, and only saw two other bat rays and one striper from all the other fisherman (most were also using live anchovy; some used shiner, some shrimp, few used squid).

Anyone have any insights to the affects of algae and adjusting the fishing approach, or have different luck at Paradise this year?
If it’s the red alga, it should pass after a few days. Knocks off the bite tremendously. Try to suspend your bait above it. There were a couple halibut caught before they opened up but only one or two per day. Course, there where only like four or five fishing then.
 
Last edited:
#5
"Ended up using a mix of live perch, live jacksmelt, live pileworms I foraged, and dead anchovy for bait."

You should specify which species of perch because perch season is closed inside the S.F. Bay from April to August with the exception of shiners. Obviously, you know what a shinerperch is, so you should address it accordingly. There are enough poachers out there. There's no need to put out FALSE information. I've seen guys who throw their cast nets out and catch walleye perch and use that for bait and they say it's halibut candy... in the middle of May...

The best fishermen check their baits OFTEN and keep their focus on their rods. If you do this religiously, then, algae shouldn't be a problem. What if you drop your bait down and a crab steals your bait just when the line hits bottom and you didn't notice and you let your line soak for 2 hours with no bait? What are your chances of catching a fish? Very slim. Although, I have caught fish on bare hooks before. Your window of opportunity to catch a fish is very small. Maximize your opportunities! If you keep your focus on your rod tips, slight tugging usually indicates either the presence of crabs, seaweed, or the occasional sturgeon. That's when it's time to check your line. That's weird because the best days are usually the windiest of days at Paradise. I've seen the most fish and the biggest fish on days where hats and panties are flying off of the pier. As for your report on the rays, I guess they are still there...
 
#6
I think they should just rename the pier and park Bat Ray City. Never seen so many bats coming up there recently. Last year about this time Halibut were everywhere, saw people with nearly zero fishing skills getting limits. 20 to 30 Halibut days not uncommon. It's now crowded and slow. The kayak guys have been telling me where they are, but nothing really accessible from the shore. I know a few are being hooked up at the SF wharfs and piers but still very slow compared to last year. Hopefully things pick up soon.
 

Red Fish

Well-known member
#7
I think they should just rename the pier and park Bat Ray City. Never seen so many bats coming up there recently. Last year about this time Halibut were everywhere, saw people with nearly zero fishing skills getting limits. 20 to 30 Halibut days not uncommon. It's now crowded and slow. The kayak guys have been telling me where they are, but nothing really accessible from the shore. I know a few are being hooked up at the SF wharfs and piers but still very slow compared to last year. Hopefully things pick up soon.
That’s how it’s been from shore this year for halibut, slow. As you mentioned, kayaking fishermen have been doing better because the fish in numbers are probably closer to the channel.
 

StripeDoc

Active member
#8
Paradise has also been off for boaters - the algae is actually a fine seaweed carpeting the bottom out to 40 FOW - totally gunks up trolling rigs and even drifted live bait.

Has been a good halibut season for boat guys but only in a handful of spots - Alcatraz, SW Angel Island, Oyster, Berkeley Flats / Southampton Shoals have all had keepers. Alameda Rockwall has high % of shorts but is the one shore spot that seems to be consistently producing. Downside of that is that it’s extremely crowded and people are not social distancing.