Pier Fishing San Diego

#1
I am in town for a couple of days and have always wanted to fish from a pier/dock in the ocean. I do have experience in freshwater but am basically green to ocean style fishing. I would like to try it, but i need a pier that has gear rental as well, plus a spot to possibly filet what i catch (love fresh fish tacos!). Any advice or tips would be great, i am currently looking at crystal pier since they have gear rental?

Option B would be any advice one bang for the buck charters as well...

Thanks ahead of time!
 
#2
Depending where you’re at I’d surf fish for surf perch or reef fish around this time of the year. You can cast and reel in gulp sandworms or 2” motor oil grub tails on a “C” rig. If you want to “soak” use ghost shrimp, mussels, clams, worms, or even store bought shrimp pieces. Or you can even throw small krcodile spoons for croakers or halibut. Ocean Beach Pier use to do rentals but I’m not sure now and the pier has been damaged due to storms. So, I don’t even know if the pier is open. You could try Oceanside Pier but I don’t know if they do rentals. You can get surf fish there and some reef fish in the deeper water on the soaking baits mentioned above.

As for charters you would have to call Seaforth Sport Fishing in Mission Bay or Fishrman’s Landing in San Diego bay. I’m not sure what they fish for at this time of year.
 

Reel Newbie

Well-known member
#3
If you’re staying far from a pier with rental equipment, I’d say that a cheapo Shakespeare tiger rod combo from Walmart will work. Just get a size 4-6 Sabiki rig and a 3oz sinker and you’re ready for full stringers of mackerel if they show up at a whopping price of ~20$ give or take. Jig the upper water column or fashion a bobber with a bottle connected to your fishing line. Otherwise, baiting with a half pound of shrimp from an Asian market will produce on the bottom. Watch the regulars. If you’re a bit more refined than getting full stringers, the 10$ shakespeares or zebcos will work with smaller bait rigs. When you’re done, you might just make a kid’s day if you give them a free rod. Or you could abuse the Walmart return policy. Your choice of morality here.
From a freshwater point of view, I would think that packing an ultralight rod or something lighter with you and some basic lures like spoons and small jigs might make for fun with mackerel. From what I’ve seen, mackerel are powerful for a fish the size of a trout, slam your baits and fight hard like a tuna.
Not sure about the party boats, but it will be a lot more chaotic than what you might think.
 
#4
If you’re staying far from a pier with rental equipment, I’d say that a cheapo Shakespeare tiger rod combo from Walmart will work. Just get a size 4-6 Sabiki rig and a 3oz sinker and you’re ready for full stringers of mackerel if they show up at a whopping price of ~20$ give or take. Jig the upper water column or fashion a bobber with a bottle connected to your fishing line. Otherwise, baiting with a half pound of shrimp from an Asian market will produce on the bottom. Watch the regulars. If you’re a bit more refined than getting full stringers, the 10$ shakespeares or zebcos will work with smaller bait rigs. When you’re done, you might just make a kid’s day if you give them a free rod. Or you could abuse the Walmart return policy. Your choice of morality here.
From a freshwater point of view, I would think that packing an ultralight rod or something lighter with you and some basic lures like spoons and small jigs might make for fun with mackerel. From what I’ve seen, mackerel are powerful for a fish the size of a trout, slam your baits and fight hard like a tuna.
Not sure about the party boats, but it will be a lot more chaotic than what you might think.
Awesome, i will be trying out one of the piers tomorrow, it is funny you mentioned wal-mart as i was looking at their cheapo combos. I've never had mackerel before so i just might do that! Thanks guys!
 

Reel Newbie

Well-known member
#5
It’s an oily fish, so bleed and gut them as soon as you can. Also would be best to put it on ice. Check out those recipes. Might also be good for sashimi.
 

K1n

Active member
#6
I second the great table fare of mackerel. A lot of people make the mistake of not keeping them properly. As stated above, you need to care for them properly. If you don't have ice, make sure you at the very least bleed them in a bucket of seawater right away. Don't dunk them in fresh water until you are ready to consume them because the fresh water degrades their flesh. My personal favorite method of eating macks are seared with a touch of wasabi.
 

Ken Jones

Administrator
Staff member
#7
Sorry I was out of town when you posted but the Ocean Beach Pier is currently closed. I probably would have recommended heading down to Crystal Pier or trying out of of the bay piers, Shelter Island, the Embarcadero, or the Ferry Landing Pier in Coronado.
 
#8
Sorry I was out of town when you posted but the Ocean Beach Pier is currently closed. I probably would have recommended heading down to Crystal Pier or trying out of of the bay piers, Shelter Island, the Embarcadero, or the Ferry Landing Pier in Coronado.
Thanks Ken! i am planning on hitting crystal pier in the morning, i fished embarcadero today but only got a couple of little bites. My biggest problem is i did not bring any gear with me (serious fisherman foul) so i have to rent. Crystal seems to rent out the most complete set of gear?
 

Ken Jones

Administrator
Staff member
#9
If you go to Crystal say hi to Pam at the bait shop for me. She has rental rods, tackle and some bait (frozen).

By the way, I usually like to use live blood worms or ghost shrimp down there for most bottom species but if you decide to do the same you'll probably need to go to Squidco, 3518 Barnett Ave. (619-222-8955) to get both. Read my articles on those piers before you go.