September 2018 Fishing Report, Southern California (#240)

Ken Jones

Administrator
Staff member
#1
September 2018 Fishing Report, SoCal (#240)

San Diego County Piers

Imperial Beach Pier – PFIC member Mav reported that things have slowed down at the pier. Most of the catch is small to medium sized mackerel. Hopefully things will pick up. How To Get There: From I-5 take the Palm Ave. (Hwy. 75) exit and follow it to where Palm Ave. and Hwy. 75 divide. Follow Palm Ave. to Seacoast Dr., turn left and it will take you right to the pier.

Ocean Beach Pier — Isaih at the pier’s bait shop said most of the action has been on mackerel and they are hitting much of the day. He also said some sharks and rays are being taken at night. How To Get There: From the north, take I-5 to the Sea World Dr. exit and follow it until it turns off to Sunset Cliffs Blvd. From the south, take I- 5 to the Nimitz Blvd. exit, then follow that road to Sunset Cliffs Blvd. Follow Sunset Cliffs Blvd. to Newport Ave., turn right and follow the road to the pier parking lot.

Crystal Pier – Action at the pier has been fair to good. Corbina in the surf area along with some croakers and leopard sharks inshore to mid-pier, mackerel mid-pier to the end. How To get There: Take I-5 to Garnet Ave. then take Garnet west to the foot of the pier.

Pepper Park Pier — No report although there should be a few mackerel and bass. We need a reporter! How To Get There: From I-5 take the 24th Street off-ramp west to Tidelands Avenue and go left (south) on Tidelands to the end.

Bayside Park Pier — PFIC member Mav reported on a visit and said,"little spotted bay bass far and in between. Lots of mullet jumping out of the water. I did see a couple of violent predator boils. My suspicions are Corvina. They can be startling like when they are feeding during the grunion runs in the bay. I only had bass gear. I left the top water jigs at home." How To Get There: From I-5 take the J Street off ramp and go west. Take J Street to Tidelands Ave., turn right. Take Tidelands to Sandpiper Way, turn right. Take Sandpiper to Bayside Parkway, turn left and follow the road to the park.

Embarcadero Marina Pier — No report although some mackerel and bass (kelp, sand and spotted) should be hitting along with some sharays. We need a reporter! How To Get There: From the I-5 south, take the Front Street exit south to Market (just stay on Front Street, it runs into Market), take Market west to Harbor Dr. Turn left on Harbor Dr. and take it to 8th Ave., turn right onto Convention Way (formerly Harbor St.). Follow it a short block to 5th Ave. and the pier. It seems that with the new Convention Center the city is constantly working on these streets near the pier and renaming them; if you get confused remember that the park and pier are immediately to the southwest of the Convention Center. From I-5 North, approaching from the south, take the J Street exit, then go straight, three blocks up to Market, turn left and take it from there.

Ferry Landing Pier (Coronado) — Need a reporter although bass (a variety) always seem to be around as well as a mix of sharays (mostly round stingrays and bat rays). How To Get There: From San Diego, take the Coronado Bay Bridge (Highway 75) to Coronado. Once over the bridge you are on Third Street. Simply follow it to B Avenue, turn right, and follow it to the front of The Old Ferry Landing — the intersection of First Street and B Avenue. The pier sits behind the shops in the complex.

Shelter Island Pier — Dennis Borlek from the Crystal Pier bait shop says mackerel and small bass are being caught. How To Get There: Take I-5 or I-8 to Rosecrans (Hwy. 209) and go west, turn left at Shelter Island Dr. and follow the road until you see the pier and the entrance to the parking lot.

Oceanside Pier — Ed at the Oceanside Pier Bait and Tackle shop on the pier, reported fishing has been real slow. The water temperature is 76 degrees and the fish just don’t seem to be there. I told him that inshore fish will sometimes move to deeper, cooler offshore waters if the water is too warm and that may explain it. Some mackerel are being taken along with some small herring (queenfish) under the pier but the croaker (which are the mainstay for the pier) are largely missing. And, no sharks and rays at night. He said the beach was closed for one day when an 8-9 foot hammerhead shark was casually swimming up and down the waters of the pier and nearby surf area. He said it was a beautiful fish with a really large head. To date no bonito have shown and he still has hundreds of bonito balls and bonito feathers just sitting there on the shelf. Such is the risk of being a businessman. How To Get There: From I-5 take the Harbor Dr. exit off the freeway, follow it and it will wind down to the harbor; where the road splits stay to the right on North Harbor Dr., and follow it to the pier.

Oceanside Harbor Pier — Peter, at Angler’s Tackle, 1413 North Coast Hwy, said he hadn’t gotten any reports from the harbor pier except for one — an angler mid-month caught a 3-foot-long dorado at the pier in the harbor. First dorado I’ve heard caught at a California pier and amazing that it was in the harbor. He’s going to try to get me a copy of the picture of the fish. How To Get There: From I-5 take the Harbor Dr. exit off the freeway, follow it and it will wind down to the harbor; where the road splits stay to the right on North Harbor Dr., and follow it to the pier.

Orange County Piers

San Clemente Pier —Josh at Hogan's Bait And Tackle, 34320 Pacific Coast Hwy, Dana Point said the fishing has been EXCELLENT. Inshore to mid-pier anglers are getting “tons” of yellowfin and spotfin croaker and surprisingly a lot of sand bass are being caught. He said he went down to the pier one night and was amazed at the number of sand bass being caught and a good number were in the 15-17-inch range (which is good-sized). Mackerel action remains steady on the top and the sharkers too are getting into some action at the end. Most of the sharks have been leopards and smoothhounds but some threshers are also showing up and that’s what the regular “sharkers” want. Bat ray too make an appearance but lately there haven’t been any of the BIG bat rays. Unfortunately no bonito have shown to date. How to Get There: From I-5 take any of several exit streets west to El Camino Real, follow it to the center of town, and from there take Del Mar down to the pier.

Dana Harbor Pier — Josh at Hogan's Bait And Tackle, 34320 Pacific Coast Hwy, Dana Point said it sounds a little slow down at the pier. The reports are mainly of small perch, a few bass and a few croaker. It’s hard to say why it’s slow since the nearby San Clemente Pier has been so good. How To Get There: The pier is located in the Dana Cove Park area of Dana Point Harbor. From the Pacific Coast Highway take Green Lantern Road south to the harbor, turn left on Cove Road, and follow it to the pier.

Balboa Pier — Our reporter Snookie reports “Well, I thought things would get better with the warm water, but no. It has been terrible the past two weeks. I have seen a few little halibut caught, and some bass such as kelp, spotted sand bass and sand bass, but even they weren't very big. The mackerel are small and not too many. The snaggers have been getting some nice spotfin croakers and corbina. The bait has been plentiful but not biting so we are short of them too. Saw two humpbacks entertaining the whale watching boats a few days ago. They were slapping their pectorals and slapping the water over and over again. Tuesday we had a turtle in the surf area, it was about 50 pounds and probably a green turtle. If it wasn't for the wind lately we would have melted. It has been hot. Oh! the lizardfish showed up today even into the surf. That is disgusting!! Don't know what is happening.” How To Get There: From the Pacific Coast Highway take Newport Blvd. which will turn into Balboa Blvd., follow it west to Palm Street. Turn right and follow it to the pier and the adjacent parking lot.

Newport Pier — Generally about the same report as at the Balboa Pier. How To Get There: From the Pacific Coast Highway take the Newport Blvd. turnoff and proceed west watching for signs directing traffic to the pier. The pier sits at the foot of McFadden Place.

Huntington Beach Pier — Will at Let’s Go Fishing on the pier, says the fishing’s been pretty good. Inshore, in the surf area and just past it, there’s a nice mix of perch, corbina, yellowfin croaker, spotfin croaker and sargo. Surprisingly they’ve been joined in the shallow waters by halibut that are usually further out on the pier. Ditto a lot of small leopard sharks. Mid-pier to the end is seeing some sand bass while the deeper waters at the end are seeing mackerel, sardine, and jacksmelt. Sharkers too are happy since some thresher sharks have been showing up at the end. It sounds like it’s a good time to visit the pier! How To Get There: Highway 1 (Pacific Coast Highway) to Huntington Beach and the pier.

Seal Beach Pier — Jimmy, at Big Fish Tackle, 1780 Pacific Coast Hwy., says the fishing’s been fair. Inshore it’s corbina, yellowfin croaker and spotfin croaker as well as some bass along the rockwall on the side of the pier. In the top water, mid-pier to the end, anglers are getting a combination of mackerel and sardines. However, it’s been real slow on sharks and rays. How To Get There: From the Pacific Coast Highway simply take Main St. west and follow it to the pier.

Los Angeles County Piers

Belmont Pier — Jimmy, at Big Fish Tackle, 1780 Pacific Coast Hwy., says action is fair. A few halibut have been taken but the action on them has actually slowed. Yellowfin croaker and sargo are being taken but surprisingly at the end of the pier instead of the usual inshore, surf area. On the top, mid-pier to the end, mackerel and jacksmelt are showing while the same area sees some shark action, mainly on smoothhounds and shovelnose (guitarfish). How To Get There: From the north take I-405 to the Lakewood Boulevard turnoff, and then go south to 7th Street, turn west (right) until you come to Ximeno Ave. and then turn left. Follow it to Livingston Dr. and go west. You will see signs by Ocean Ave. and Termino Ave. indicating the pier. From the south take the Pacific Coast Highway to 2nd. Street (Westminister becomes 2nd. Street when it crosses PCH), go west, follow to Livingston Dr. Follow it to signs by Ocean Ave. and Termino Ave. indicating the pier and parking lot.

Shoreline Aquatic Park Piers — No report this month but some mackerel and the usual white croakers should be available with a cast out from the pier. Expect a few bass and perch/sargo/croaker along the inshore area. How to Get There: From downtown Long Beach, take Pine Avenue south to Shoreline Drive. For the northernmost pier #1 follow Shoreline Avenue west and follow it around the lagoon to where the street ends. For the southernmost piers #2-#5 follow Shoreline Drive east to the markings for Shoreline Village, continue past the shopping complex, and follow the road out to near the end of the peninsula. You will see the piers.

Cabrillo Pier (San Pedro) — Alex at Rusty Hook B&T, 245 N Gaffey St., San Pedro says most of the regulars are targeting, and getting some, halibut. Most use live bait while some are using “pearl white-colored” Zoom Flukes or Berkeley Gulp Jerks. Mackerel are also making a showing but they are in and out. Bass seem to have slowed somewhat but if seeking them out look for kelp along the breakwater rocks. How To Get There: Take the Harbor Freeway (I-110) south; it will turn into Gaffey St. Follow it to 22nd Street and turn left. Follow 22nd St. to Pacific Ave. and turn right. Follow Pacific Ave. to 36th Street and the entrance to Cabrillo Park.

Green Pleasure Pier (Avalon, Catalina Island) – It’s the normal mix of fish — rock wrasse, senorita, opaleye, sheephead, jacksmelt, and kelp bass. Use sea-worms, frozen peas and small pieces of market shrimp. How To Get There: The trick here is to get to Catalina. Ships and helicopters make the journey several times a day from the Port of Los Angeles, Long Beach and Newport Beach. Information is available on all of these by calling the Avalon Chamber of Commerce on the Pleasure Pier (213) 510-1520 or the Visitor's Information & Service Center (213) 510-2500. Once in Avalon there should be no problem in finding the pier, which is located at the foot of Catalina Avenue.

Cabrillo Mole (Avalon, Catalina Island) — Although bonito make a showing each day the action is limited and it’s slow for most of the day. However, the resident population of fish should be present—kelp bass, opaleye, sheephead, halfmoon, blacksmith, kelpfish, and scorpionfish (sculpin). How To Get There: The trick is to get to Catalina. Ships and helicopters make the journey several times a day from the Port of Los Angeles, Long Beach and Newport Beach. Information is available on all of these by calling the Avalon Chamber of Commerce on the Pleasure Pier (213) 510-1520 or the Visitor's Information & Service Center (213) 510-2500. Once in Avalon there should be no problem in finding the mole that sits right where most boats disembark.

Redondo Beach Pier — No answer to phone calls but the answer I am pretty sure would be one thing — mackerel. How To Get There: From the Pacific Coast Highway, take Torrance Blvd. west to the foot of the pier and the parking lot.

Hermosa Beach Pier — No report this month although a few mackerel should be around as well as some croakers inshore. How To Get There: Take the Pacific Coast Highway (Hwy 1) to Pier Avenue and follow Pier Avenue west to the pier.

Venice Pier — No report this month although a few mackerel should be around as well as some croakers inshore. How To Get There: Highway 1 to Washington St., turn west and follow Washington St. to the pier.

Santa Monica Pier — John, at the piers bait and tackle shop, said action was finally starting to pick up and then just died. He attributes it to the water temperature that has hit 76 degrees. He said the fish, including the baitfish, have moved offshore into cooler water (which makes sense). He says a few halibut have been caught and a few mackerel but overall it is slow. How to Get There: From I-405 take Santa Monica Blvd. west to Ocean Ave. Turn left, go to Colorado Ave., and turn right onto the pier.

Malibu Pier — Ginny at Wylie’s Bait and Tackle says it’s been a real good summer as far as fishing. The pier is getting quite a few yellowfin croaker, corbina and perch in the surf area as well as quite a few leopard sharks. Mid-pier some halibut are showing along with some sargo. Mid-pier to the end sees some small kelp bass and mackerel that are in and out. As for then sharkers, a few threshers are showing at the end along with] quite a few big bat rays. As said, pretty good fishing. How To Get There: The pier fronts on the Pacific Coast Highway (Hwy 1) so just drive until you see it.

Ventura & Santa Barbara County Piers

Port Hueneme Pier — No report this month although there should be a few mackerel and/or jacksmelt along with surfperch showing up. How To Get There: From Highway 1 take Hueneme Rd. west until it turns into Port. At Ventura Rd turn left and follow it to Surfside Dr. Turn left again and follow it to the park.

Ventura Pier — No report this month although fishing for surfperch should be decent and the sharks should be biting. How To Get There: From Highway 101 take the Seaward Drive exit west to Harbor Drive, turn right and follow it to the pier.

Stearns Wharf — Mike, at the Bait Shop on the pier, says fishing has been up and down. The water is warm and the crabs seem to have disappeared but there’s been good numbers of halibut (one to three legal-size fish per day) along with HUGE number of big jacksmelt. Most days also see schools of mackerel hanging under the jacksmelt so anglers can let their Sabikis drop down deep for the mackerel or keep them mid-level to the top for the jacksmelt. Mike says they are also getting good numbers of leopard sharks (4-4 ½ feet long) and a lot of shovelnose sharks; bat rays on the other hand have slowed. The water temperature was up to 74 degrees but it’s dropped back down to the high 60s which is probably better for the fishing. How To Get There: From Highway 101 take Castillo St. or State St. west to the beach and follow signs to the pier.

Goleta Pier — Tiffany, at Hook, Line and Sinker, reports that fishing is still pretty good. Inshore some halibut continue to show up while mid-pier sees the normal activity on the pipe-reef—small rockfish and some calico (kelp) bass. Out at the end anglers are getting some mackerel on top while good numbers of sharks—mainly leopard sharks and smoothhounds have been hitting on the bottom. How To Get There: From Highway 101 take the Hwy. 217/Airport exit. Follow it to Sandspit Rd. and the Goleta Beach Park turnoff. Follow this to the park and the pier.

Gaviota Pier — The pier continues to be closed while the state moves in glacial speed and bureaucratic response in efforts to actually get it open. How To Get There: From Highway 101 simply take the Gaviota State Park turnoff down to the beach and pier.
 
#2
Imperial Beach: Medium and small macks. Lots of bait fish. A few large 21" size bonito show once in a while. Corvina fishing has slowed. Very very very very rare occasions the mullet will attack a chrome krocodile spoon, for some reason, in the mouth.

Chula Vista Marina: Slow Spotted Bay Bass. My younger bro got the fish. Well, I got the first bite but then I got distracted. I was too interested and busy, messing with and casting my brothers 80s Daiwa Millionaire reel.

Shelter Island: Lots of Macs.