San Clemente Pier 11-28 Bass, Wrasse, Macks and Jacks

evanluck

Well-known member
#1
Got to San Clemente Pier around 5:30AM. My girlfriend and I split up. She stayed inshore, and I went to the end.

Morning bite was good. Most productive rig was a high low rig. I rigged the top hook with 1/3 of a live blood worm and the bottom hook with a piece of cut shrimp. I fairly quickly caught a decent size Calico bass on the blood worm. Once I saw the first calico bass, I switched the bottom hook to a pieces of cut squid. I caught a smaller calico bass next on the squid. Then I caught a rock wrasse on blood worm. I hooked another decent size fish that broke me off. As we got close to low tide, the interesting fish stopped biting and we were left with mackerel and smelt.

Things we tried that did not catch fish or produce any bites:

a full head-on shrimp on a 3/0 circle hook on a fish finder rig. This setup kept getting covered with red kelp. I was trying to get a larger sheephead with this but didn't get any bites.

fishing a live smelt on a Carolina rig with a 1/4 oz. egg sinker. The last time I was here someone caught a White Sea bass using this type of rig and bait. No bites for me on this and it was too hard to cast and fish this type of rig on the crowded end with lots of shark poles in the water.

We caught some decent sized mackerel and a couple larger jack smelt. The larger one was the biggest jack smelt I ever caught. We left at 2:30PM.

I am very interested to fish the end of this pier during high tide. I'll head back tomorrow evening and fish at night with a 98% moon at high tide as see how that combination produces.

Didn't see any other interesting fish caught around the pier. In shore action was very slow. My girlfriend got no bites other than smelt nibbles fishing inshore and we didn't see anyone else fishing inshore catch any fish. The shark crew hooked up on a smaller thresher but it popped off right as it got to the pier.

There was consistent action at the end of the pier on larger mackerel.
 

Attachments

evanluck

Well-known member
#3
Center. You know that pier well! Sides of the end definitely matter! Fished the right today and caught a keeper sheephead. I’ll post a complete report later. What’s your experience with the different sides of the end?
 

Makairaa

Active member
#4
I always did best on the bass straight out of the end towards the reef. I have always done best in the mornings and late afternoons there no matter what the tides. Sunrise to 9 am can be non stop bites on mostly short bass sometimes. Most of my legal bass have been when fishing after dark.
 

evanluck

Well-known member
#5
I always did best on the bass straight out of the end towards the reef. I have always done best in the mornings and late afternoons there no matter what the tides. Sunrise to 9 am can be non stop bites on mostly short bass sometimes. Most of my legal bass have been when fishing after dark.
How do you target the bass? I fished a keitech with a cool baits spinning jig head and did not catch anything in the morning today. To be fair I only threw it a handful of times. Lots of bait boils this morning, not sure if they were mackerel or bass.
 

Makairaa

Active member
#6
How do you target the bass? I fished a keitech with a cool baits spinning jig head and did not catch anything in the morning today. To be fair I only threw it a handful of times. Lots of bait boils this morning, not sure if they were mackerel or bass.
I am not usually targeting them, but the smaller ones have mostly been on dropper loop rigs with strips of squid or pieces of mackerel. Most of my legals have been with either dropper loops or carolina rigs and a big strip of mackerel fishing for rays and sharks. Are they actually enforcing the pier closing times these days? I have been out there at 2 am when the police drove out asked how the fishing was and continued on. I have never heard of them kicking anyone out unless they were drinking or causing a problem. I have not been there since covid though so I am curious if they have started to enforce it.
 
#7
Center. You know that pier well! Sides of the end definitely matter! Fished the right today and caught a keeper sheephead. I’ll post a complete report later. What’s your experience with the different sides of the end?
I prefer center as well (typically it ends up that way since the shark crew takes north and south corners). The south side is my second choice as I caught croakers. I've never caught anything substantial on the north side so surprised that you caught sheephead there (congrats).

Thanks.
 
Last edited:
#8
I am not usually targeting them, but the smaller ones have mostly been on dropper loop rigs with strips of squid or pieces of mackerel. Most of my legals have been with either dropper loops or carolina rigs and a big strip of mackerel fishing for rays and sharks. Are they actually enforcing the pier closing times these days? I have been out there at 2 am when the police drove out asked how the fishing was and continued on. I have never heard of them kicking anyone out unless they were drinking or causing a problem. I have not been there since covid though so I am curious if they have started to enforce it.
I was out recently on consecutive weekends before OC went red and heard some of the shark crew staying overnight so I assume there is no strict enforcement.

Thanks.