Planning first fishing trip

#1
Hello,

I am planning a day trip to San Diego in a couple of weeks to go pier fishing. I plan on going to Ocean Beach pier. This will be my first time fishing. I got a vintage Shakespeare sea wonder reel from goodwill that I cleaned up and then ordered an ugly stik bigwater pole to go with it. I'm still working on getting my gear. I ordered the pier adventure kit from Senko Skipper and some other random items from Amazon (pliers, crab lures, standing jig head, line, shrimp lures, pier cart). I'd welcome any advice.
 
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Ken Jones

Administrator
Staff member
#2
I wish I was down there to show yo the ropes but I'm not. Take a look at the article on the Ocean Beach Pier and you should have a better idea on what you need — but keep it simple. Pier fishing does not require a lot of equipment but just an understanding of the basics. You need to figure out what fish you want to catch, where they are located, and the bait and rigs needed to catch them.
 

Fishmom

New member
#4
posh girl, don't be shy about looking in other people's buckets and asking questions. Many of the people fishing will have been doing it for years, and they can be a great source of information if you are friendly and polite. Good luck!
 

Mahigeer

Well-Known Member
#5
If you are in SD on August 11th, and come to Shelter Island, I can help you afterwards.

We could use help from 7:00 AM to about 1:00, and then I can share some tips. Lunch is provided.
 
#6
If you are in SD on August 11th, and come to Shelter Island, I can help you afterwards.

We could use help from 7:00 AM to about 1:00, and then I can share some tips. Lunch is provided.
I appreciate the offer, but I won't be there until the end of the month. I'm in Phoenix, so need a bit of advanced planing.
 

Gary

New member
#7
Considering how far you'll be traveling I'd suggest you make sure your equipment works and is reliable. Test it in your back yard, at the park, wherever. An equipment failure is a headache. The weak link sounds like it could be your vintage reel. Getting a new one would be cheap insurance.

I'm only an occassional pier fisherman, but I would personally never hit a pier without a pack of 20# surf leaders, some 2, 4, and 6oz pyramid sinkers, fresh bait (squid, shrimp, or anchovies), and some snelled hooks (maybe a pack of 5/0, a pack of 1/0, and a pack of size 6).
 

Mahigeer

Well-Known Member
#8
If you are going to be in Los Angeles, or Orange County area, with advance notice, I may be able to meet you and fish with you.
If you are flying, I can provide everything for you so you know what to get.
 

mav

Well-Known Member
#9
Hello,

I am planning a day trip to San Diego in a couple of weeks to go pier fishing. I plan on going to Ocean Beach pier. This will be my first time fishing. I got a vintage Shakespeare sea wonder reel from goodwill that I cleaned up and then ordered an ugly stik bigwater pole to go with it. I'm still working on getting my gear. I ordered the pier adventure kit from Senko Skipper and some other random items from Amazon (pliers, crab lures, standing jig head, line, shrimp lures, pier cart). I'd welcome any advice.
Are you accustomed to using vintage gear? I fish them on ocasion and vintage gear can be very different to use compared to more modern gear. The main thing is getting your baits out there. On some vintage reels you almost have to use an upside down fly casting like technique, under the pier, to cast light stuff.

Another thing, if you are using some sort of braid, use a floural leader.

Check out Squidco if you have time and you need bait n supplies or more advice. It's not too far from OB.

Ob? Hmm. What do you want to fish for?

Mackerel: Surface to where you cant see the bait. Middle to near end of the pier.
Jigs/lures: 5/8 krocodile spoon, smaller than 1oz megabait lure, sabikis/fly rigs.
Bait: strips of squid, cut mackerel or other cut fish.
Rig: 1/4 or lighter splitshot with a single hook at the end.

Bonito: Surface (not sure if they're around yet) End of the pier. Limit 5 per person per container less than 24" tail fork length.
Jigs/lures: 5/8 krocodile spoon, 1oz megabait lure
Bait: preferred live anchovies or sardines. Sometimes they will hit whole small dead bait on surface.
Rig: 1/4 or lighter splitshot with a single hook at the end.

Calico bass: bottom all around pier. 14" minimum nose to tip of the tail.
Jigs/lures: at least 1/2 oz jighead with a plastic grub or swim bait attached.
Bait: live or dead fish, cut or whole baits. They usually dont care.
Rig: c-rig

California Halibut: bottom all around pier. 22" minimum nose to tip of the tail. My need to fish heavy line or have a crab net to get on pier.
Jigs/lures: at least 1/2 oz jighead with a plastic grub or swim bait attached.
Bait: preferred live smelt, sardines, and anchovies.
Rig: c-rig

Queen fish: mid water
Jigs/lures: sabikis/fly rigs.
Bait: they love cut anchovies. Other cut bait works but not as well

Yellowfin croaker: mid to bottom
Jigs/lures: sabikis/fly rigs, caught larger ones on small jigs.
Bait: seem to eat most any bait that fits in their mouth.

White croaker: mid to bottom
Jigs/lures: sabikis/fly rigs
Bait: seem to eat most baits that fit in their mouth.

Rock wrasse: bottom all around rocky spots near end.
Rig: dropper loop
Bait: Ghost shrimp, worms, mussels

Sheephead: bottom. best spot far left at end of the pier. 12" minimum length.
Rig: use dropper loop
Bait: Ghost shrimp, worms, mussels. Sometimes squid.

I hope this helps. There are a few other fish to be had but I have to go do some errends.
 
#11
@mav thanks for the info. This my first time fishing, so not familiar with any equipment, lol. I got a 9' ugly Stik big water pole that's way too unwieldy, but I'll make due. I think I want to target sheephead, bonito, and maybe halibut or flounder.

For bait, I have some preserved squid. For lures, plastic shrimp, gulp crabs, and some bucktails in various sizes and colors.
 

Ken Jones

Administrator
Staff member
#12
You need to keep it simple; use light tackle and the appropriate bait. Your chances for sheephead during the summer months from a San Diego pier are small (although a few are taken at the Ocean Beach Pier). Bonito so far have been missing in action even though water temperatures are very high (so they could show up any day). Halibut will hit on live bait that you will probably need to catch yourself (smelt, small perch or brown bait) and that's why God invented the Sabiki's. No flounder are caught in San Diego although a few sole and turbot might show up (primarily in the bay). The biggest mistake newbies make in fishing California's pier is thinking they need big tackle and big bait. As for the squid, I rarely use it unless fishing for sharks and rays.

This video we filmed last year at the San Clemente Pier gives some ideas:
 

Mahigeer

Well-Known Member
#13
God Invented Sabiki? But seriously Sabiki fishing by itself could be fun too.

Some people were surprised when we decided to lower the batray with the net during that seminar.

Good day to be on the pier.

Look for my upcoming report from Catalina after 24th. Good chance of bonito and sheephead there.
 

Ken Jones

Administrator
Staff member
#16
The main reason is that I see such a waste by people using them. I don't have a problem with people using them to catch some bait but when I see people catching 4-6-8-12 fish at a time it seems like a real waste. I've seen people at Redondo, Balboa, and other piers tie two Sabikis together and catch huge numbers of mackerel. Many, I would be willing to bet, wind up being thrown away. Of course when they tie two Sabiki's together it's also somewhat unweildy and I've seen several people hooked or nearly hooked by the rigs. But, as a general rule, I don't mind people fishing for bait fish such as sardines, herring, or small perch as long as they use them. I do think using Sabiki's can prevent many people from learning how to fish.
 

mav

Well-Known Member
#17
@mav thanks for the info. This my first time fishing, so not familiar with any equipment, lol. I got a 9' ugly Stik big water pole that's way too unwieldy, but I'll make due. I think I want to target sheephead, bonito, and maybe halibut or flounder.

For bait, I have some preserved squid. For lures, plastic shrimp, gulp crabs, and some bucktails in various sizes and colors.
No problem. The important thing is to enjoy yourself. Try to get live Ghost Shrimp at Squidco. Flounder love them but find a sandy patch. Not sure if they sell processed clams there. I'd try to get worms too, if you are not squeamish. I am but I just deal with it. Lol I use rag and don't look at the wierd thing the worm is doing. Hehe


The main reason is that I see such a waste by people using them. I don't have a problem with people using them to catch some bait but when I see people catching 4-6-8-12 fish at a time it seems like a real waste. I've seen people at Redondo, Balboa, and other piers tie two Sabikis together and catch huge numbers of mackerel. Many, I would be willing to bet, wind up being thrown away. Of course when they tie two Sabiki's together it's also somewhat unweildy and I've seen several people hooked or nearly hooked by the rigs. But, as a general rule, I don't mind people fishing for bait fish such as sardines, herring, or small perch as long as they use them. I do think using Sabiki's can prevent many people from learning how to fish.
I admit, I was one of the first people to use sabikis when they first came out. Nowdays, my inventory only consists of the smallest size to only catch small live bait. I've seen how sabikis devastated the walleyed perch population that once frequented the Imperial Beach Pier every spring. Before the 10 limit rule, greed would have people filling their buckets with 2" perch. I've seen people catch their limit on small bonito and they are still fishing for them and everything else. Makes you think about the "magic trick" they used to make those fish disappear from their bucket. I could make a good guess where they went.