Record California Pier Fish — Our best information

Ken Jones

Administrator
Staff member
#1

“Record” Pier Fish
Unofficial records —gathered from various reports
(and taken with a grain of salt)


Giant (Black) Sea Bass — In the early years there were an amazing number of large bass caught and many pier regulars specifically targeted the giant bass with special equipment.

≈ 600 Lbs. — Manhattan Beach Pier, 1929
Source: Manhattan Beach Historical Society

≈ 500 Lbs. — Point Mugu Fish Camp Pier, Frank Kubota, June 19, 1925
Source: Oxnard Daily Courier, June 19, 1925

485 Lbs. — Stearns Wharf (Santa Barbara), Joe Foxen, June 21, 1919
Source: San Francisco Chronicle, June 21, 1919

480 Lbs. — Southern Pacific Wharf (Newport Beach), J. S. Stewart, March 12, 1918
Source: Santa Ana Register, March 18, 1918

465 Lbs. — Redondo Wharf, E. H. Borhing, November 12, 1905
Source: Los Angeles Times, November 12, 1905

453 Lbs. — Stearns Wharf (Santa Barbara), R. A. Hendricks, October 22, 1925
Source: Santa Barbara Daily News, October 23, 1925

452 Lbs. — Balboa Pier, Carl Sandino, May 12, 1930
Source: Santa Ana Register, May 13, 1930

435 Lbs. — Newport Pier, “New Jersey man,” 1937
Source: Personal communication, Patrick Kennedy, Baldy’s Tackle (1990)

428 Lbs. — Manhattan Beach Pier, 1923
Source: Manhattan Beach Historical Society

427 Lbs. — Hermosa Beach Pier, Texan, May 16, 1921
Source: Newspaper

415 Lbs. — Belmont Pier (Long Beach), Lester Bobb, June 14, 1929
Source: Long Beach Press-Telegram, June 15, 1929

408 Lbs. — Redondo Beach Pier, C. E. Allen, May 19, 1918
Source: Santa Ana Register, May 20, 1918

402 Lbs. — Santa Monica Pier, Jack Racke, July 3, 1923
Source: Los Angeles Times, July 4, 1923

400 Lbs. — Port Hueneme Wharf, Arthur Kovalovsky, July 1927
Source: Oxnard Daily Courier, July 25, 1927

400 Lbs. — Wharf No. 3 (Redondo Beach), Tommy Prizgint and Will Cody, June 1, 1909
Source: The Redondo Reflex, June 3, 1909

387 Lbs. — Newport Pier, Tex Rogers, June 7, 1921
Source: Los Angeles Times, June 8, 1921

370 Lbs. — Jones Wharf (Santa Monica), June 1, 1899, J. Dibble
Source: Los Angeles Times, June 2, 1899

≈ 370 Lbs. — Pine Avenue Pier (Long Beach), John Miller, December 29, 1910
Source: Los Angeles Herald, December 29, 1910

365 Lbs. — Pine Avenue Pier (Long Beach), John Leach, June 11, 1914
Source: Santa Ana Register, June 12, 1914

365 Lbs. — Wharf No. 3 (Redondo Beach), H. O. Patey, George C. Bowman & Tom Peterson. September 30, 1910
Source: The Redondo Reflex, October 6, 1910

360 Lbs. — McFadden Wharf (Newport Beach), March 26, 1896
Source: Los Angeles Times, March 26, 1896

356 Lbs. — Hotel Del Coronado Pier, April 1894
Source: New York Times, May 6, 1894

354 Lbs. — Santa Monica Municipal Pier, I. A. Taft, July 5, 1923
Source: Los Angeles Times, July 6, 1923

351 Lbs. —Manhattan Beach Pier, C. C. Campus, May 15, 1922
Source: Manhattan Beach Historical Society

350 Lbs. — Santa Monica Municipal Pier, F. M. Stites, October 27, 1915
Source: Los Angeles Times, October 27, 1915

327 Lbs. — McFafdden Wharf (Newport Beach), 1886
Source: San Bernardino Daily Sun, August 3, 1916

320 Lbs. — Newport Pier, June 1902
Source: Los Angeles Times, June 5, 1902

310 Lbs. — Balboa Pier, Lew Williams, June 25, 1933
Source: Santa Ana Daily Register, July 5, 1933

304 Lbs. — Wharf No. 3 (Redondo Beach), William Sartor, November 16, 1916
Source: Los Angeles Times, November 16, 1916

304 Lbs. — Newport Wharf, C. S. Hemstreet, August, 1908
Source: Santa Ana Register, August 3, 1908

303 Lbs. — Hermosa Beach Pier, Ed Dorsey, May 15, 1922
Source: Los Angeles Times, May 15, 1922

297 Lbs. — San Diego Steamer Wharf, April 3, 1891
Source: Santa Cruz Sentinel, April 8, 1891

294 Lbs. — Newport Wharf, D. C. Winans, August 1908
Source: Santa Ana Register, August 3, 1908

290 Lbs. — Wharf No. 3 (Redondo Beach)
Source: The Redondo Reflex, October 29, 1908

286 Lbs. — Oceanside Pier, 1936
Source: Oceanside Pier Bait Shop

285 Lbs. — Avalon Pleasure Pier, John Kassar, December 9, 1918
Source: Catalina Islander, December 10, 1918

285 Lbs. — Redondo Beach Pier, A. E. Putter, May 19, 1918
Source: Santa Ana Register, May 20, 1918

278 Lbs. — Redondo Beach Pier, C. E. Allen, May 19, 1918
Source: Santa Ana Register, May 20, 1918

275 Lbs. — Redondo Pier No. 3, D. S. Martin, October 1, 1920
Source: Los Angeles Times

260 Lbs. — Newport Wharf, Dave Winans, June 1911
Source: Santa Ana Register, June 26, 1911

255 Lbs. — Pine Avenue Pier (Long Beach), Rochester Sandusky, December 26, 1906
Source: Los Angeles Herald, December 26, 1906

250 Lbs. — McFadden Wharf (Newport Beach), June 13, 1894
Source: Los Angeles Herald, June 14, 1894

250 Lbs. — Stearns Wharf (Santa Barbara), Jo Delaney, 1886
Source: San Francisco Chronicle, April 22, 1887

240 Lbs. — Redondo Pier No. 3, W. H. Clark, September 30, 1920
Source: Los Angeles Times

228 Lbs. — Redondo Pier No. 2, Carl Ahrens & Ralph Ahrens, May 23, 1909
Source: Los Angeles Times, May 30, 1909

225 Lbs. — Wharf No. 3 (Redondo Beach), C. A. Ahrens, May 25, 1909
Source: Los Angeles Times, May 26, 1909

225 Lbs. — McFadden Wharf (Newport Beach), Mort Hubbard, July 10, 1889
Source: Santa Ana Weekly Blade, July 11, 1889

223 Lbs. — Redondo Beach Pier, James Helbach, May 19, 1912
Source: Oakland Tribune, May 20, 1912

221 Lbs. — Long Wharf (Santa Monica), Joseph J. Embold, August 27, 1913
Source: Los Angeles Times, August 27, 1913

216 Lbs. — Wharf No. 2 (Redondo Beach), E. H. Borhing, November 8, 1905
Source: Los Angeles Times, November 12, 1905

205 Lbs. — Redondo Wharf, Ed Borhing, November 1, 1905
Source: Los Angeles Times, November 2, 1905

202 Lbs. — Oceanside Pier, Charles Martin, 1933
Source: Los Angeles Times, August 24, 1934

≈ 200+ Lbs. — San Clemente Pier, September 2015
Source: PFIC

≈ 200+ Lbs. — San Clemente Pier, August 2010
Source: PFIC

≈ 200 Lbs. — Oceanside Pier, June 2009 (Released)
Source: Oceanside Pier Bait Shop

≈ 200+ Lbs. — Oceanside Pier, September 2002 (Released)
Source: Oceanside Pier Bait Shop

≈ 200+ Lbs. — Newport Wharf, Frank Duffy, November 12, 1911
Source: Santa Ana Register, November 13, 1911

200 Lbs. — Newport Wharf, L. F. Nafzgar, May 22, 1907
Source: Santa Ana Register, May 23, 1907

200 Lbs. — Newport Pier, June 1902
Source: Los Angeles Times, June 5, 1902

198 Lbs. — Hotel del Coronado Pier, John D. Spreckles and Fred Boach, October 10, 1908
Source: Los Angeles Times, October 11, 1908

195 Lbs. — Wharf No. 2 (Redondo Beach), E. H. Borhing, November 6, 1905
Source: Los Angeles Times, November 12, 1905

181 Lbs. — Ventura Pier, 2000
Source: PFIC

180 Lb. — Newport Pier, Summer 1999
Source: PFIC

177 Lbs. — Long Beach Pier, H. C. Hambien, November 13, 1906
Source: Los Angeles Times, November 13, 1906

175 Lbs. — Newport Wharf, Chas. Hall, September 1907
Source: Santa Ana Register, September 10, 1907

175 Lbs. — McFadden Wharf, Mort Hubbard, July 10, 1889
Source: Santa Ana Weekly Blade, July 11, 1889

167 Lbs. —Newport Pier, “Blackie” Haldman, October 1933
Source: Santa Ana Register, October 15, 1933

160 Lbs. — Hotel del Coronado Pier, November 10, 1898
Source: Los Angeles Times, November 11, 1898

157 Lbs. — Huntington Beach Pier, Mr. Warner, November 2, 1906
Source: Santa Ana Register, November 3, 1906

150 Lbs. — Hotel del Coronado Pier, Jim Middleton, November 23, 1898
Source: Los Angeles Times, November 24, 1898
Reportedly caught six giant sea bass at the pier between November 10 and November 24 weighing 70 to 160 pounds.

≈ 150+ Lbs. — Oceanside Pier, May 2003 (Released)
Source: Oceanside Pier Bait Shop

143 Pounds — Oceanside Pier, May 1997
Source: Oceanside Pier Bait Shop

135 Lbs. — Newport Wharf, Clarence Brown, John Luxembourger and Bruce Scholes, April 1907
Source: Santa Ana Register, April 22, 1907

Halibut—These are the favorite pier fish for many anglers but most of the big fish were caught many years ago. Today few really big halibut are caught from SoCal piers although many large, but few small halibut are caught from Bay Area piers.

62 ¼ lbs. — Long Wharf (Santa Monica), August 17, 1917
Source: Port of Los Angeles, A Phenomenon of the Railroad Era, Ernest Marquez, 1975

58 Lbs. 11 Oz — Santa Monica Pier, Darrell Barry, March 10, 2001
Source: Several including Santa Monica Pier Bait Shop, PFIC and Western Outdoor News, March 23, 2001

57 Lbs. 30 oz. — Port Hueneme Pier, Joseph C, Groth, Sr., February 28, 1965
Source: Pasadena Independent, March 4, 1965

54 Lbs. — Huntington Beach Pier, W. S. Keith & H. C. Carmichael, May 4, 1939
Source: Santa Ana Register, May 5, 1939

≈ 50 Lbs. — Santa Cruz Wharf, Unknown angler, January 4, 1940
Source: Santa Cruz Sentinel, January 5, 1940

49 ½ Lbs. — Seacliff Pier, Unknown angler, July 2, 1948
Source: Santa Cruz Sentinel, July 4, 1949

48 Lbs. — Long Wharf (Santa Monica), Charles A. Sheldrick, June 26, 1902
Source: Los Angeles Times, June 27, 1902

47 Lbs. — Capitola Wharf, May 19, 1934
Source: Santa Cruz Sentinel, May 20, 1934

45 ¾ lbs. — Balboa Pier, Harry Campbell, May 20, 1927
Source: Santa Ana Register, May 21, 1927

45 ½ Lbs. — Redondo Beach Pier, Virginia Lively, June 24, 1975
Source: Long Beach Independent, July 2, 1975

45+ Lbs. — Capitola Wharf, June 28, 1930
Source: Santa Cruz Evening News, June 30m 1930

45 Lbs. — Seacliff Pier (Aptos), Jack Elliott, July 1, 1946
Source: Santa Cruz Sentinel, July 2, 1946

44 Lbs. — Monterey Wharf No. 2, Neil Dow, September 1, 1939
Source: Santa Cruz Sentinel, September 1, 1939

44 Lbs. — Huntington Beach Pier, Seymore Wilson, June 1933
Source: Santa Ana Register, June 5, 1933

44 Lbs. — Newport Pier, R. O. Stull, July 29, 1931
Source: Santa Ana Register, July 29, 1931

43 Lbs. — Capitola Wharf, Wilbur Boyea, May 14, 1934
Source: Santa Cruz Sentinel, May 16, 1934

42 Lbs. — Cayucos Pier, Ruby Clark, July 17, 1968
Source: Fresno Bee, July 18, 1968

41 lbs. — Santa Monica Pier, Hoyt Holdridge, March 1957
Source: San Bernardino County Sun, March 5, 1957

41 Lbs. — Seacliff Pier, May 17, 1953
Source: Santa Cruz Sentinel, May 20, 1953

41 Lbs. — Hermosa Beach Pier, Mike Mattos, June 1936
Source: Los Angeles Times, June 21, 1936

40+ Lbs. — San Francisco Muni Pier, Matt Shockley, August 5, 2019
Source: PFIC (48.5 inches and perhaps as much as 46 pounds)

40+ Lbs. (Two)—Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf, August 1942
Source: Santa Cruz Sentinel, August 6, 1942

40 Lbs. — Redondo Sportfishing Pier, August 2010
Source: Redondo Sportfishing

≈ 40 Lbs. — Oceanside Pier, September 2004
Source: Oceanside Pier Bait Shop

40 Lbs. — Laguna Beach Pier, Barney Anthonsen, July 4, 1975
Source: Pasadena Star-News, July 16. 1975

40 Lbs. — Seacliff Pier (Aptos), August 1942
Source: Santa Cruz Sentinel, August 6, 1942

40 Lbs. — Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf, Henry Kalb, July 22, 1942
Source: Santa Cruz Sentinel, July 23, 1942

40 Lbs. — Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf, Leavitt McQuesten, July 20, 1942
Source: Santa Cruz Sentinel, July 22, 1942

40 Lbs. — Santa Cruz Pleasure Pier, E. J. Owens, August 5, 1932
Source: Santa Cruz Evening News, August 5, 1932

40 Lbs. — Monstad Pier (Redondo Beach), Dick Weddington, May 2, 1930
Source: Los Angeles Times, May 2, 1930

40 Lbs. — Newport Pier, F. Leslie Meeker, August, 1925
Source: Santa Ana Register, August 20, 1925

39 Lbs. — Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf, July 1949
Source: Santa Cruz Sentinel, July 31, 1949

38 Lbs. — Newport Pier, May 2001
Source: PFIC

38 Lbs. — Ocean Beach Pier, August 1998
Source: Ocean Beach Pier Bait Shop

38 Lbs. — Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf, May 1953
Source: Santa Cruz Sentinel, May 6, 1953

38 Lbs. —Belmont Pier (Long Beach), William Dehnel, August 3, 1949
Source: Long Beach Independent, August 4, 1949

37 Lbs. — Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf — Clarence Hegewood, July 22, 1942
Source: Santa Cruz Sentinel, July 23, 1942

37 Lbs. — Venice Pier, L. McIntyre, July 1927
Source: Los Angeles Times, July 31, 1927

37 Lbs. — Redondo Wharf, W. T. Maddex, August 26, 1908
Source: Los Angeles Herald, August 26, 1908

36 Lbs. — Monstad Pier (Redondo Beach), Billy House, May 10, 1949
Source: Los Angeles Times, May 11, 1949

35 Lbs. — Santa Cruz Wharf, Dave Lawson, July 19, 1971
Source: Santa Cruz Sentinel, July 22, 1971

35 Lbs. — Paradise Cove Pier (Malibu), William Cambier, January 1967
Source: Van Nuys Valley News, January 26, 1967

35 Lbs. — Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf, July 19, 1942
Source: Santa Cruz Sentinel, July 22, 1942

35 Lbs. — Newport Pier, July 28, 1940
Source: Santa Ana Register, August 2, 1940

35 Lbs. — Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf, Arthur Brown, August 9, 1929
Source: Santa Cruz Evening News, August 10, 1929

35 Lbs. — Ocean Park Pier, F. A. Buchanan, May 1908
Source: Los Angeles Herald, May 31, 1908

33 1/2 Lbs. — Wharf No. 3 (Redondo Beach), August 24, 1910
Source: Santa Ana Register, August 25, 1910

33 Lbs. — Point Mugu Fish Camp Pier, W. J. Stuart, August 1935
Source: Oxnard Daily Courier, August 3, 1935

32 Lbs. — Seacliff Pier, J. Gilbert, May 19, 1953
Source: Santa Cruz Sentinel, May 20, 1953

32 Lbs. — Hermosa Beach Pier, Leonard Wibberley, August 1949
Source: San Rafael Daily Independent, August 19, 1949

32 Lbs. — Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf, June 23, 1948
Source: Santa Cruz Sentinel, June 24, 1948

30 Lbs. — Port Hueneme Pier, January 2000
Source: PFIC

30 Lbs. — Malibu Pier, Bill Segal, February 25, 1963
Source: Van Nuys Valley News, February 26, 1963

30 Lbs. — Malibu Pier, John Carle, April 11, 1951
Source: Los Angeles Times, April 12, 9151

30 Lbs. — Balboa Pier, Maybelle Davis, May 1934
Source: Santa Ana Register, May 21, 1934

30 Lbs. — Wharf No. 3 (Redondo Beach), J. K. Richardson, February 17, 1916
Source: Los Angeles Times, February 17, 1916

30 Lbs. — Huntington Beach Pier, Earl Nelson, October 2, 1908
Source: Santa Ana Register, October 3, 1908

Yellowtail— This is the one species that has seen most of its large fish caught in the modern era. While thousands of yellowtail were caught in the early years of the piers (especially at Redondo Beach and Newport Beach) most were small fish under 10-12 pounds in size. The last few years has seen the records smashed and mostly at one pier—Crystal Pier in San Diego.

55 Lbs. — Crystal Pier (San Diego), Montre Somsukcharean, September 21, 2006
Source: Source: James Barrick, Crystal Pier Bait Shop & Peggi Straker

53.46 Lbs. — Crystal Pier (San Diego), Angel, August 16, 2019
Source: Pam, Crystal Pier Bait Shop

52 ½ Lbs. — Pine Ave. Pier (Long Beach), D. W. Fletcher, September 19, 1896
Source: Los Angeles Herald, September 19, 1896

50 Lbs. — Pine Ave. Pier (Long Beach), Al Decker, July 1894
Source: Los Angeles Herald, July 3, 1894

≈ 50 Lbs. — Avalon Long Wharf, December 1896
Source: Los Angeles Times, January 20, 1897

48.5 Lbs. — Crystal Pier (San Diego), Tony Troncale, August 6, 2012
Source: James Barrick, Crystal Pier Bait Shop & Tony Troncale

46 Lbs. — Crystal Pier (San Diego), Thomas Shinsato, August 2015
Source: Source: Crystal Pier Bait Shop & Thomas Shinsato

42 Lb. 1 oz. — Oceanside Pier, Elmo Nealoff, July 1955
Source: Oceanside Pier Bait Shop

42 Lbs. — Crystal Pier (San Diego), October 2004
Source: James Barrick, Crystal Pier Bait Shop

42 Lbs. — Avalon wharf, Lee Wilson, June 9, 1897
Source: Los Angeles Herald, June 10, 1897

40 Lb. — Crystal Pier (San Diego), Angel Hernandez, June 14, 2017
Source: Personal communication

≈ 40 Lbs. — Redondo Beach Pier, October 2008
Source: bloodydecks.com

40 Lbs. — Avalon wharf, W. M. LeFavor, May 21, 1908
Source: Los Angeles Herald, May 22, 1908

40 Lbs. — Wharf No. 3 (Redondo Beach), Japanese fisherman, August 1907
Source: Los Angeles Times, August 18, 1907

40 Lbs. — Wharf No. 1 (Redondo Beach), Seth Owens, August 22, 1897
Source: Los Angeles Herald, August 22, 1897

40 Lbs. — Avalon wharf, Mrs. Boyce, June 9, 1897
Source: Los Angeles Herald, June 10, 1897

≈ 40 Lbs. — Hotel del Coronado Pier, September 21, 1899
Source: Los Angeles Times, September 22, 1899

≈ 40 Lbs. — Avalon Long Wharf, December 1896
Source: Los Angeles Times, January 20, 1897

36 Lbs. — Crystal Pier (San Diego), August 2016
Source: Crystal Pier Bait Shop

35 Lbs. — Crystal Pier (San Diego), August 2012
Source: James Barrick, Crystal Pier Bait Shop

35 Lbs. — Balboa Pier, Aaron, November 1, 2003
Source: PFIC

35 Lbs. — Avalon Wharf, November 1899
Source: Los Angeles Times, November 8, 1899

34 Lbs. — Crystal Pier (San Diego), Angel Hernandez, August 2016
Source: Angel Hernandez

34 Lbs. — Crystal Pier (San Diego), Hallman, August 2012
Source: James Barrick, Crystal Pier Bait Shop

34 Lbs. — Wharf No. 3 (Redondo Beach), William Codie, September 26, 1910
Source: The Redondo Reflex, September 29, 1910

34 Lbs. — Avalon Wharf, Al Delaney, August 17, 1908
Source: Los Angeles Times, August 16, 1908

33 ½ Lbs. — Wharf No. 3 (Redondo Beach), August 24, 1910
Source: Santa Ana Register, August 25, 1910

33 Lbs. — Newport Wharf, E. P. Deffley, May 1909
Source: Los Angeles Herald, May 22, 1909

32 ½ Lbs. — Redondo Wharf (Wharf No. 1), August 23, 1891
Source: Los Angeles Herald, August 24, 1891

32 ½ Lbs. — Avalon Wharf, W. M. LeFavor, May 20, 1908
Source: Los Angeles Herald, May 22, 1908

31 Lbs. — Ocean Park Pier, Mrs. J. O. Jaquess, September 25, 1902
Source: Los Angeles Times, September 25, 1902

30 Lbs. — Huntington Beach Pier, Earl Nelson, May 7, 1934
Source: Santa Ana Register, May 8, 1934

30 Lbs.— Hotel del Coronado Pier, Joe Larnel, August 31, 1898
Source: Los Angeles Times, September 1, 1898

28 Lbs. — Hotel del Coronado Pier, September 12, 1898
Source: Los Angeles Times, September 13, 1898

27 ½ Lbs. — Avalon Wharf, Frederick Davies, September14, 1908
Source: Los Angeles Times, August 16, 1908

26 Lbs. — Balboa Pier, August 1907
Source: Santa Ana Register, August 2, 1907

White Sea Bass—Most, but not all, large white sea bass are taken from boats although a tremendous number were caught from the Ocean Park Pier in the ‘20s and ‘30s.

83 Lbs. — Newport Pier, 1920s
Source: Personal communication, Patrick Kennedy, Baldy’s Tackle (1990)

65 Lbs.* — Hotel del Coronado Pier, July 25, 1898
Source: Los Angeles Times, July 26, 1898
*Reported as a “silver salmon” — probable white seabass

61 Lbs. — Newport Pier, Roger Jackson, December 1, 1927
Source: Santa Ana Register, December 1, 1927

60 Lbs.* — Hotel del Coronado Pier, Gen. W. E. Webb, September 2, 1898
Source: Los Angeles Times, September 3, 1898
* Reported as sea trout — a common name for white seabass

50 Lbs. — Imperial Beach Pier, “Oyuki”, October 2014
Source: sdfish.com (October 28, 2014) and Oceanic Angler (oceanicangler.com), November 11, 2014

48 Lbs. — Newport Pier, June 1, 1934
Source: Santa Ana Register, June 2, 1934

47 1/2 Lbs. — Belmont Pier (Long Beach), October 28, 1959
Source: Long Beach Independent, October 30, 1959

47 Lbs. — Redondo Wharf, Charles McGehee, May 19, 1914
Source: Los Angeles Times, May 19, 1914

45 Lbs. — Capitola Wharf, September 2000
Source: Capitola Wharf Bait Shop

45 Lbs. — Seacliff State Beach Pier, August 2000
Source: Capitola Wharf Bait Shop

45 Lbs. — Avalon Pleasure Pier, Pat Casey, May 5, 1936
Source: Catalina Islander, May 14, 1936

45 Lbs. — Redondo Wharf No. 3, August 5, 1919
Source: Los Angeles Times, August 8, 1919

42 Lbs. — Santa Monica Pier, 1957
Source: Santa Monica Pier Bait Shop, Newspaper & CA DF&G

42 Lbs. — Wharf No. 1 (Redondo Beach), J. V. Henry, May 18, 1914
Source: Los Angeles Times, May 18, 1914

42 Lbs. — Wharf No. 1 (Redondo Beach), N. Row, August 31, 1890
Source: Los Angeles Times, August 31, 1890

41 ¼ Lb. — Pacifica Pier, July 1992
Source: Pacific Bait Shop

41 Lbs. — Balboa Pier, Snagger, June 15, 2017
Source: PFIC and Verona Fath

41 Lbs. — Point Mugu Pier, Charles S. Leonard, August, 1959
Source: Oxnard Press-Courier, August 5, 1959

≈ 40 Lbs. — Monterey Wharf No.2, October 2009
Source: PFIC

40 Lbs. — Balboa Pier, Frank Lopez, July 19, 1959
Source: Los Angeles Times, July 23, 1959

40 Lbs. — Avalon Pleasure Pier, A. E. Eaton, July 3, 1916
Source: Catalina Islander, July 4, 1916

40 Lbs. — Hueneme Wharf, Charlie Chambers, October 1895
Source: Los Angeles Herald, October 27, 1895

36 ½ Lbs. — Balboa Pier, Ed Steif, May 30, 1928
Source: Santa Ana Register, May 31, 1928

35 Lbs. —Wharf No. 1 (Redondo Beach), Harold Rempe, June 3, 1909
Source: Los Angeles Herald, June 6, 1909

32 Lbs. — Hueneme Wharf, Charlie Chambers, October 1895
Source: Los Angeles Herald, October 27, 1895

30 Lbs. — Wharf No. 3 (Redondo Beach), A. J. Bell, May 25, 1909
Source: Los Angeles Times, May 26, 1909

Pacific Bonito —

11 ¾ Lbs. — Oceanside Pier
Source: Oceannside Pier Bait & Tackle

10 Lb. 7 oz. — Balboa Pier, Joe Imbriano, May 5, 1996
Source: Joe Imbriano/PFIC

10 Lbs. — Ocean Park Pier, I. L. Noyes, May 31, 1908
Source: Los Angeles Herald, May 31, 1908

9 Lbs. 14 oz. — Belmont Pier, Jerry Summerfelt, September, 1966
Source: Long Beach Independent, September 22, 1966

9 Lbs. 13 oz. — Seal Beach Pier, Howard F. Laston, September, 1966
Source: Long Beach Independent, September 22, 1966

9 Lbs. 8 oz. — Seal Beach Pier, September 1966
Source: Long Beach Independent, September 22, 1966

Skipjack —

6 Lbs. 2 oz. — Manhattan Beach Pier, Bill Lapes, May 14, 1959
Source: Los Angeles Times, May 15, 1959

Bluefin Tuna — Recorded at the Hermosa Beach Pier and the Malibu Pier

Striped Bass — Common at Bay Area piers.

52 Lbs. — San Mateo Pier, mid-80s
Source: PFIC

41 ½ Lbs. — San Francisco Municipal Pier, June 8, 1954
Source: San Rafael Daily Independent, June 9, 1954

40 Lbs. — Dowrelio Pier (Crockett), Amel Ligienghal, March 4, 1962
Source: The Fishin’ Fool, Ralph Stevens, San Rafael Daily Independent, March 6, 1962

34 Lbs. — Marin Rod and Gun Club Pier, Louis Moffdo, September 1975
Source: Fish and Game, Al Giddings, San Rafael Independent Journal, September 12, 1975

34 Lbs. — Marin Rod and Gun Club Pier, May 27, 1959
Source: San Rafael Independent Journal, May 27, 1959

34 Lbs. — Carquinez Bridge Bass Club Pier (Crockett), Jerome L. Thompson, July 1, 1937
Source: Oakland Tribune, July 3, 1937

33 Lbs.— Santa Cruz Wharf, 1996
Source: Santa Cruz Wharf Bait Shop

32 Lbs. 12 oz. — Berkeley Pier, Manuel Gutievrez, April 13, 1959
Source: Line On The Sportsman, Mike Dwyer, Oakland Tribune, April 14, 1959

31 Lbs. — Capitola Wharf, September 1995
Source: Capitola Wharf Bait Shop

30 Lbs. 1 oz. — Berkeley Pier, Shig Akagi, February 25, 1958
Source: Line On The Sportsman, Mike Dwyer, Oakland Tribune, February 26, 1958

30 Lbs. — San Mateo Bridge Pier, Kevin Fiske, June 18, 1973
Source: San Mateo Times, June 20, 1973

Kelp Bass —

11 Lbs. — Gaviota Pier, July 24, 2004
Source: Pier Fishing In California Message Board (Seabass_Seeker)

9 Lbs. — Oceanside Pier, September 2002
Source: Oceanside Pier Bait Shop

7 Lbs. — Redondo Sportfishing Pier, June 2009
Source: Redondo Sportfishing

Sand Bass —


12 Lbs. — Shelter Island Pier, Dan Hoar, February 1997
Source: Buddy Hanks, Shelter Island Bait & Tackle

8 Lb. — Redondo Sportfishing Pier, May 2009
Source: Redondo Sportfishing

Corbina—The first reported fish is far, far above the listed state record, which adds a little mystery to the catch.

11 Lbs. 2 oz. — Redondo Beach Wharf, Harry Slotterbeck, August 30, 1904
Source: Los Angeles Times, August 30, 1904

7 ¼ Lbs. — Manhattan Beach Pier, Dionisio Botilier, August 1907
Source: Los Angeles Times, August 18, 1907

Spotfin Croaker

13 Lbs. — Seal Beach Pier, July 18, 1940
Source: Timely Tips on Outdoor Life, Paddy Driskel, Santa Ana Register, July 19, 1940

9 Lbs. 1 ½ oz. — Belmont Pier, W. S. Perrin, January 20, 1941
Source: Long Beach Independent, January 21, 1941

Yellowfin Croaker


4 Lbs. — Peck's Pier (Manhattan Beach), Prof. R. B. Emery, July 30, 1909
Source: Los Angeles Herald, July 31, 1909

3 ¾ Lbs. — Pecks Pier (Manhattan Beach), Max Loewenthal, November 20, 1910
Source: Los Angeles Times, May 7, 1911

3 ¾ Lbs. — Pecks Pier (Manhattan Beach), T. F. Phillips, June 1, 1907
Source: Los Angeles Times, June 2, 1907

3 Lb. 6 Oz. — Pecks Pier (Manhattan Beach), O. E. Forsyth, April 21, 1911, Source: Los Angeles Times, May 7, 1911

Marlin — Hooked, Manhattan Beach Pier, Wicker Veen, October 28, 1965
Source: Los Angeles Times, October 29, 1965

Dorado (aka mahi mahi and dolphinfish) —

≈ 5 Lbs. and ≈ 30 inches, Oceanside Small Craft Harbor Pier, unknown angler, August 28, 2018
Source: Personal communication Peter Phu, Angler’s Tackle, Oceanside; catch witnessed by employee Ben Howard.

Sheephead—Although sheephead are not one of the most common pier fish, quite a few are caught from piers located close to rocky areas, reefs or kelp.

30+ Lbs. — San Clemente Pier, July 2010
Source: PFIC

29.7 Lb. — Redondo Sportfishing Pier, February 2008
Source: Redondo Sportfishing

27 Lbs. — Oceanside Pier, April 1998
Source: Oceanside Pier Bait Shop

25 Lbs. — San Clemente Pier, June 2015
Source: PFIC

22.5 Lbs. — Ocean Beach Pier, Jose, April 30, 2017
Source: Ocean Beach Pier Bait Shop

21 Lbs. — San Clemente Pier, August 2009
Source: PFIC

21 Lbs. — Shelter Island Pier, February 2007
Source: Shelter Island Pier Bait Shop

21 Lb. — Redondo Sportfishing Pier, February 2001
Source: Redondo Sportfishing

20+ Lbs. — Oceanside Pier, January 2003
Source: Oceanside Pier Bait Shop

20 Lbs. — Oceanside Pier, November 2002
Source: Oceanside Pier Bait Shop

15 Lbs. — Ocean Beach Pier, October 2009
Source: Ocean Beach Pier Bait Shop

14 Lbs. — Shelter Island Pier, December 2000
Source: Shelter Island Pier Bait Shop

14 Lbs. — Shelter Island Pier, December 2000 (second nearly identical fish)
Source: Shelter Island Pier Bait Shop

12 Lbs. — Shelter Island Pier, March 2001
Source: Shelter Island Pier Bait Shop

11 Lbs. — Shelter Island Pier, January 2001
Source: Shelter Island Pier Bait Shop

King Salmon —

51 Lbs. — Pacifica Pier, July 2002
Source: Pacifica Bait Shop/PFIC

38 Lbs. — Paradise Park Pier (Tiburon), Steve Hay, July 28, 1975
Source: Fish and Game, Al Giddings, San Rafael Daily Independent, July 29, 1975

≈ 30 Lbs. — Redondo Wharf #3, Sam Porter, October 24, 1925
Source: Los Angeles Times, October 25, 1925

Silver Salmon —

24 Lbs. — Belmont Pier, Fred Burkett, September 7, 1965
Source: Long Beach Independent, September 10, 1965 [the fish looks much smaller in the picture]

18 Lb. — Redondo Pier, Bill Whitely, May 4, 1940
Source: Los Angeles Times, May 7, 1940

16.5 Lbs. — Capitola Wharf, June 2003
Source: Capitola Wharf Bait Shop

11 Lb. — Stearns Wharf, Santa Barbara, “Sitting Bill” Schenk, October, 1994
Source: KJ. — I was there that day.

Steelhead

16 Lbs. — Santa Cruz Pleasure Pier, November 17, 1936
Source: Santa Cruz Evening News, November 18, 1936

13 Lbs. — Capitola Wharf, Malio Gale, November 14, 1940
Source: Santa Cruz Sentinel, November 15, 1940

13 Lbs. — Capitola Wharf, Karl Sneath, November 1, 1932
Source: Santa Cruz Evening News, November 3, 1932

13 Lbs. — Santa Cruz Pleasure Pier, Scorp Evans, December 16, 1931
Source: Santa Cruz Evening News, December 16, 1931

12 Lbs. — Santa Cruz Pleasure Pier, Herb Leibbrandt, November 17, 1936
Source: Santa Cruz Evening News, November 18, 1936

11 Lbs. — Santa Cruz Pleasure Pier, Herbert Mee, November 18, 1939
Source: Santa Cruz Evening News, November 20, 1939

10 Lbs. — Santa Cruz Pleasure Pier, Louis Tara, November 18, 1939
Source: Santa Cruz Evening News, November 20, 1939

Steelhead Salmon?

35 Lbs. — Oakland Long Wharf, “Porky” Thomas, December 29, 1911
Source: Oakland Tribune, December 30, 1911

White Sturgeon —

≈ 250+ Lbs. — Antioch Wharf, Bud Leonard, October 26, 1939
Source: Oakland Tribune, October 27, 1939

194 Lbs. — Vallejo Public Pier, George Gano, 1980
Source: Many

130 Lbs. — Dowrelio Pier (Crockett), John Gamba, March 16, 1964
Source: The Fishin’ Fool, Ralph Stevens, San Rafael Daily Independent, March 17, 1964

Opaleye —

6 Lbs., 4 oz. — Santa Monica Pier, David Douglas
Source: Pasadena Independent, January 16, 1964

Lingcod —

40 Lbs. — Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf, Ray Springer, November 19, 1922
Source: Santa Cruz Evening News, November 20, 1922

25 Lbs. — Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf, Emile Benett, August 8, 1930
Source: Santa Cruz Evening News, August 9, 1930

24 Lbs. — Moss Landing Pier, E. P. Briggs, April 15, 1940
Source: Santa Cruz Evening News, April 16, 1940

23 Lbs. — Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf, June 27, 1930
Source: Santa Cruz Evening News, June 28, 1930

22 Lbs. — Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf, “Monk” Avila, September 22, 1932
Source: Oakland Tribune, September 23, 1932

18 Lbs. — Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf, Tony Vierra, August 5, 1940
Source: Santa Cruz Sentinel, August 6, 1940

Cabezon —


25 Lbs. —Seacliff Pier, February 1933
Source: Santa Cruz Sentinel, March 1, 1933

12 Lbs. — Santa Cruz Wharf, Joe Perry, January 31, 1926
Source: Santa Cruz Sentinel, February 1, 1926

10 Lbs. — Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf, John W. Brown, January 9, 1946
Source: Santa Cruz Sentinel, January 10, 1946

Sharks —

Thresher Shark —

125 Lbs. — Huntington Beach Pier, May 2009
Source: Let’s Go Fishing, Huntington Breach Pier

100+ Lbs. — Ocean Beach Pier, Inez Chavarin, September 2006
Source: PFIC

100+ Lb. — Santa Monica Pier, October 2007
Source: Santa Monica Bait Shop

Leopard Shark —

36 Lbs. — Ocean Beach Pier, September 1997
Source: PFIC

Great White Shark—Although now illegal to take, that wasn’t always the case.

≈ 1800 Lbs., Newport Pier, Frank Claudenia, October 23, 1923
Source: Santa Ana Register, October 30, 1923

≈ 250 Lbs. — Manhattan Beach Pier, David Bird, October 1987
Source: Los Angeles Times, October 29, 1987

≈ 200 Lbs. — Hermosa Beach Pier, 2003
Source: PFIC

≈ 150 Lbs. — Manhattan Beach Pier, Mike Walker, October 1987
Source: Los Angeles Times, October 29, 1987

Hammerhead Shark—Although generally only seen in warm-water years, several large ones have been caught.

200+ Lbs. —Oceanside Pier, Max Gray, September 8, 1949
Source: Oceanside Pier Bait Shop

10 feet, nine inches — Hollister Ave. Pier (Santa Monica), October 5, 1906
Source: Los Angeles Herald, October 5, 1906

10 feet, six inches — Hollister Ave. Pier (Santa Monica), October 5, 1906
Source: Los Angeles Herald, October 5, 1906

Oil Shark (Soupfin Shark) — Typically Soupfin Sharks were called “Oil Sharks” back in the day. However, soupfins are only supposed to reach a length of about 6.5 feet so I am not sure what this was.

9 Feet 6 inches (estimated 350-400 pounds), T. J. Spencer, Ocean Park Pier, October 10, 1909
Source: Los Angeles Herald, October 10, 1909

Grouper Shark (??) — I have no idea what this was; 7-gill shark, basking shark, white shark, mako — no idea.

285 Lbs., Avalon Pleasure Pier, John Kassar, December 1918
Source: The Catalina Islander, December 8, 1938

Angel Sharks—An uncommon shark that when caught are often good size.

65 Lbs. — Cayucos Pier, August2004
Source: Source: Glenda, The Tidepool B&T, Cayucos

50+ Lbs. — Rainbow Pier (Long Beach), James Borchers, May 19, 1948
Source: Long Beach Independent, May 20, 1948

50 Lbs. — Capitola Wharf, July 1999
Source: Capitola Wharf Bait Shop

36 Lbs. — San Clemente Pier, April 2008
Source: PFIC

30-pound, 43-inch — Cayucos Pier, April 1997
Source: Glenda, The Tidepool B&T, Cayucos

7-Gill Shark—Although most common in the Bay Area, several have been caught from SoCal piers.

≈ 185 Lbs. Santa Monica Pier, 1996
Source: Santa Monica Pier Bait Shop

≈ 180 Lbs. Cayucos Pier, November 1998
Source: Glenda, The Tide Pool B&T, Cayucos

≈ 150+ Lbs. — Crystal Pier (San Diego), March 2012
Source: PFIC

112 Lbs. — Ocean Beach Pier, May 2006
Source: PFIC

≈ 100 Lbs. — Venice Pier, Paul Vasques, February 4, 1979
Source: Los Angeles Times, February 6, 1979

Bat Ray—Many large bat rays are caught every year.

≈ 220 Lbs. — Ventura Pier, early ‘80s
Source: PFIC

203 Lbs. — Stearns Wharf (Santa Barbara), James Elledge, April 24, 2004
Source: Personal comm. Boyd Grant; PFIC

≈ 200 Lbs. — Huntington Beach Pier, May 2014
Source: Let’s Go Fishing, Huntington Beach Pier

≈ 200 Lbs. — Huntington Beach Pier, December 2009
Source: Let’s Go Fishing, Huntington Beach Pier

≈ 200 Lbs. — Oceanside Pier, April 2006
Source: Oceanside Pier Bait Shop

≈ 200 Lbs. — Seal Beach Pier, March 2001
Source: Big Fish Bait & Tackle, Seal Beach

≈ 200 Lbs. — Ocean Beach Pier, August 1998
Source: PFIC

≈ 200 Lbs. — Hermosa Beach Pier, “Mola Joe”, 1980s
Source: PFIC

≈ 200 Lbs. — Carpinteria Pier, Bill Hinckley, September 18, 1955
Source: Los Angeles Times, September 19, 1955

≈ 200 Lbs. — Redondo Wharf No. 1, June 25, 1888
Source: Los Angeles Herald, June 27, 1888

181 Lbs.* — Huntington Beach Pier, Bradley. A. Dew, July 24, 1978
Source: Los Angeles Times, July 28, 1978 & California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife * = Official state record fish

175 Lbs. — Aliso Beach Pier, August 1984
Source: Aliso Beach Pier Snack Shack

≈ 170 Lbs. — Seal Beach Pier, May 2001
Source: Big Fish Bait & Tackle, Seal Beach

169 Lbs. — Hermosa Beach (pier?), July 30, 1912
Source: Oakland Tribune, July 30, 1912

160 Lbs. — Ocean Beach Pier, May 2009
Source: PFIC

≈ 160 Lbs. — Seal Beach Pier, March 2001
Source: Big Fish Bait & Tackle, Seal Beach

≈ 150 Lbs. — Oceanside Harbor Pier, August 2009
Source: PFIC

150+ Lbs. — Santa Monica Pier, May 2008
Source: Santa Monica Pier Bait Shop

150 Lbs. — Santa Monica Pier, May 2002
Source: Santa Monica Pier Bait Shop

≈ 150 Lbs. — Oceanside Pier, April 2001
Source: Oceanside Pier Bait Shop

≈ 140 Lbs. — Seal Beach Pier, March 2001
Source: Big Fish Bait & Tackle, Seal Beach

135 Lbs. — San Clemente Pier, June, November 1999
Source: PFIC

125 Lbs. — Huntington Beach Pier, Greg Taite, April 1999
Source: Let’s Go Fishing, Huntington Beach Pier

123 Lbs. — Huntington Beach Pier, Robert Gerber, March 1999
Source: Let’s Go Fishing, Huntington Beach Pier

120 Lbs. — Ocean Park Pier, Stuts Baida, July 1927
Source: Los Angeles Times, July 31, 1927

110 Lbs. — Pine Avenue Pier (Long Beach), William Crowder, June 2, 1907
Source: Los Angeles Herald, June 2, 1907

106 ½ Lbs. — Belmont Pier (Long Beach), Bill Kerny, October 13, 1960
Source: Long Beach Independent, October 14, 1960

104 Lbs. — Rainbow Pier (Long Beach), Dave Feske, October 13, 1960
Source: Long Beach Independent, October 14, 1960

100+ Lbs. — Stearns Wharf (Santa Barbara), June 1997
Source: Mike’s Bait & Tackle, Stearns Wharf, June 1997

≈ 100 Lbs. — Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf, Walter Cartwright, April 11, 1934
Source: Santa Cruz Sentinel, April 12, 1934

100 Lbs. — Seal Beach Pier, April 1958
Source: Long Beach Independent-Press Telegram, April 13, 1958


Big Skate—Although fairly uncommon, the ones that are caught are often large in size.

≈ 200 Lbs. — Redondo Pier No. 2, Il Sherard, January 12, 1918
Source: Los Angeles Times, January 13, 1918

≈ 150 Lbs. — Hotel Del Coronado Pier, Harry de Carli, December 18, 1898
Source: Los Angeles Times, December 19, 1898

130 Lbs. — Capitola Wharf, Early 2000’s
Source: Capitola Wharf Bait Shop

109 Lbs. — Hermosa Beach Pier, Osborne Schmidt, August 8, 1936
Source: Los Angeles Times, August 9, 1936

≈ 100+ Lbs. — Cayucos Pier, July 2004 (100+ pounds, 5” wide and 5’ long)
Source: Glenda, The Tidepool B&T, Cayucos

≈ 100+ Lbs. — Trinidad Pier, Rosie, March 1997 (100+ pounds, 4 ½’ wide and 5 ½’ long)
Source: Salty’s Bait and Tackle, Trinidad

≈ 100+ Lbs. — Princeton Pier, Ray Blair & Albert Frush, October 23, 1932
Source: San Mateo Times, October 25, 1932

≈ 100+ Lbs. — Santa Cruz Wharf, Nick Bosano, June 30, 1932
Source: Santa Cruz Sentinel, July 1, 1932

≈ 100+ Lbs. — Santa Cruz Wharf, March 26, 1931
Source: Santa Cruz Evening News, March 27, 1931

≈ 100 Lbs. — Railroad Wharf (Santa Cruz), W. R. Manning, November 19, 1900
Source: Santa Cruz Evening Sentinel, November 20, 1900
 

Ken Jones

Administrator
Staff member
#3
The only problem is that many of these are unverified reports. Nevertheless, it gives an idea of some of the "big" fish from different piers. The ones I find most interesting are the large yellowtail, most of whom have been taken in the past two decades.
 
#4
May 5, 1996 Balboa pier, 74 degree water, 3pm se corner 10 lb 7 ounce bonita taken on a splasher rig and chartreuse feather with my 15 foot Kencor and penn 950. Rope gaffed it up and took it home and smoked it the same day. Ted Post right beside me and Lou Fishaux gaffed and weighed it. The boil on the fly was a sight to be seen. I thought it was a yellowfin the way it hit.
 
#6
The only problem is that many of these are unverified reports. Nevertheless, it gives an idea of some of the "big" fish from different piers. The ones I find most interesting are the large yellowtail, most of whom have been taken in the past two decades.
I think those large ones are local yellowtail. They come in from the close kelp beds or reefs to feed by the pier.

Personally, the only large fish I’ve ever seen caught on a pier where I’ve only seen one of was a large +4’ California barracuda. Most of them are usually short 3” the legal size limit.

I was there when that #12 sheephead was caught at shelter island. I was by the barge fishing for halibut.

The sheephead caught at Ocean Beach during the late 90s were probably caught by my brothers group of friends.
 
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