Point Arena Pier - fishing report, and advice request.



Hi all, I’ve been cruising the forums for a while, and have just joined. I’m mostly a freshwater angler, but I’ve been heading out to the coast this year to beat the heat and learn how to fish the salt. I’ve been fishing in the surf and from the rocks. For the last several weekends, I’ve made my way to Point Arena Pier.

Fishing has been very slow every time I’ve gone. Sometimes there are a handful of others fishing, and I haven’t seen anybody do well - mostly skunked in fact. Most people using a high low rig or a carolina rig. Seen some fishing jigs and swimbaits, still other throwing jerkbaits and such. Seen people using squid, shrimp, anchovy, herring, sand crabs, shellfish, gulp baits.

I usually fish the few hours before and after high tide, but I’ve also fished around low tide, neap and spring tides, at dawn, dusk, all day and into the night. I have done well pulling rock crab with a hoop net, but usually only see 1 keeper greenling come out in an all day session, by only 1 angler on the pier. Not even perch. I saw a guy pull out a good cabezon exactly once in several trips. So thats the report. Slow as molasses!

So here is the advice request part - does anybody have success here? Is it the wrong time of year? I’ve read Mr. Jones say Point Arena is outstanding “at certain times of the year”. A young commercial guy said he thinks the commercial guys pick the cove clean from their boats. Another guy speculates that the creek isn’t running to deliver food, so fish aren’t coming. Old timers say they used to catch barrels full in the old days, but they always say that. Not even seeing people get bites.

Any ideas? Where are all the fish?

Ken Jones

Staff member
Hard to say. I haven't fished there in a few years and though expecting to visit this fall may be unable to do so due to some health issues. The fall months should be decent including the possibility of a lingcod but who knows? Small pieces of market shrimp were probably my number one bait for most species although fresh mussels were also usually productive (on high/low riggings).
In the past (been a couple of years), I've had decent success there fishing closer to shore on the south side. Mainly striped sea perch caught with...small pieces of shrimp.

Red Fish

Senior Member
I had 1 good trip up there a few years ago when I was visiting Gualala. I went to the end and casted to the left (south). Used a high low with like 2/0 circle hooks and anchovy on both hooks. A salmon/steelhead rod so I probably had 30-50# PP braid. About a 3 ounce torpedo weight. Caught 2 nice black and yellows. I also sent out a trolley rig with a big bobber (as to not be all the way in contact with the bottom) and caught a short ling cod. Might have been April or May or a summer month.