Some early PFIC Posts on Monterey Wharf #2

Ken Jones

Staff member
Date: March 2, 1999
To: Pier Fishing In California Message Board
From: Calder Deyerle
Subject: Monterey Wharf#2

The things that we are catching at the wharf are a few steelhead and a few jacksmelt. I have also seen a couple of perch.

Date: February 15, 2001
To: PFIC Message Board
From: avidangler
Subject: Monterey Wharf #2

Right now the wharf in Monterey is dead… Actually some big steelhead have been around. Three hogs were spotted today around high tide. Look for the action to improve by April (stripers?). The perch arrive in May. I have some surefire spots and techniques. I caught hundreds last year.

Date: February 18, 2001
To: PFIC Message Board
From: avidangler
Subject: Monterey Wharf #2

Spider crabs are the most common of the crabs caught off this pier. I don't crab much... The best time to be on the wharf is late spring and summer when mackerel and smelt are present in numbers, the perch are loaded, and you have a genuine opportunity to hook a larger fish like a striper of halibut. More on this in the coming months-AA

Date: April 5, 2001
To: PFIC Message Board
From: avidangler
Subject: Monterey Wharf #2

Perch are around but not in any great numbers yet. I saw a guy the other day catch a few on pile worms right on the bottom, at the midsection of the pier. Several small Spanish mackerel caught today along with a few sardines. Yesterday while drifting the beach for hallies we ran into a school of about 150 bat rays in real shallow water. They were everywhere! Between three of us we hooked probably 15 of them before it got too dark. Used squid for bait, but our tackle was way too light for the size. We broke all of them off. My friend Shmedley hooked into one that must have weighed well over 100 pounds. No hallies, incidentally. -See ya, avidangler

Date: April 14, 2001
To: PFIC Message Board
From: avidangler
Subject: Monterey Pier Report

The Wharf #2 has been quiet of late, however when the wind calms down I have seen some silver and pile perch at the pier's midsection. The coast guard pier is producing striped perch to 1 1/2 pounds and my buddy caught a small sheephead. There are always rockfish and lingcod around and as soon as the season reopens it should be fantastic for those in the know. Live anything for the lings. I have my preferential baits. Try shiner perch. Incidentally the striped perch are LOADED. Use shrimp.-AA

Date: April 16, 2001
To: PFIC Message Board
From: avidangler
Subject: Monterey Wharf #2

The perch have arrived. Today I saw the first large school of perch under the wharf near the fuel dock (midsection). There were lots of silvers and pileperch, so out came the rod and away I went! The tide was coming up (it was 3:00) and I tied on a 1/32-ounce jighead with a motor oil perch grub. I caught a large rainbow, three rubberlips (one was around 2 lbs), several pileperch, and a few silvers. I had never seen pile perch so aggressively hit artificial grubs like they did today. They swarmed it. My pal James was getting them on a bubble gum pink grub, although not as many. Motor oil was the ticket. Should be many, many perch in the next few months. Those rubberlips are tricky to land on four-pound line near the pilings!

Date: April 22, 2001
To: PFIC Message Board
From: avidangler
Subject: Monterey Wharf #2 Report

Today at about 2:00 James, Shmedley, and myself hit Wharf #2 for perch. My first cast I caught a nice rubberlip on a motor oil perch grub. James had some mussels and was getting better action so I switched. I got another rubberlip, James lost three in a row, and Shmedley got a small silver and a pileperch. Together we landed 10 perch or so between us in an hour’s time.

Date: April 24, 2001
To: PFIC Message Board
From: avidangler
Subject: Monterey Wharf #2 Report

The Monterey Wharf#2 has been fairly quiet of late, although a fair amount of rubberlip and pile perch have started to show up. Mussels and 1 1/2 inch motor oil grubs have been the ticket. The fish range from a half to 2 pounds. Next month should see an influx of silver perch and more pile. The stripers are still a possibility. Also look for rays and halibut to make stronger showing. The best halibut fishing is at the beach adjacent to the pier.

Date: May 8. 2001
To: PFIC Message Board
From: avidangler
Subject: Wharf #2 Monterey

The last several days has seen loads of sardines, jacksmelt, and a few Spanish mackerel. Bucketfuls has been the rule, especially towards evening time, although the action can be good at any time during the day. This morning a friend of mine saw a 15 pound or so striper cruising the shallows. He threw a fish trap at him with no results. Several salmon were spotted, and a commercial fisherman I know said they looked like silvers to him. Perch continue to be caught further down the pier. My buddy was smacking them on mussels.

Date: June 14, 2001
To: PFC Message Board
From: avidangler
Subject: Mack attack! Wharf #2

The mackerel have been loaded these past two nights, small Spanish mackerel and large Pacifics. I caught twenty in about a half hour and came home. Time was 11:00 p.m. or so.

Date: June 27, 2001
To: Ken Jones
From: avidangler
Subject: Monterey pier report

Ken, The Wharf #2 in Monterey has been kicking out a few legal halibut in the shallows off either live sardines or dead anchovies. Hair Raisers have also taken a few fish. Mackerel have been erratic this month, although early in the month the wharf saw some good schools of Spanish and Pacific’s. Lots of perch on the pier, both pile and silvers. Fish with mussels for the silvers; pile worms for the pile perch. The midsection is best. Lots of thornback rays for anyone who is interested. Robert.

Date: August 2, 2001
To: PFIC Message Board
From: slimdog
Subject: Monterey Wharf #2

My son Ryan and I fished Monterey Wharf #2 Wed. afternoon from about noon till 4:00pm. We saw Avidangler there. Ryan caught a spineback [thornback] ray on my pole while I took a bathroom break. I hooked and reeled in a keeper halibut only to make a bad call and try to handline it up to the deck. Got it about 3' out of the water and it shook the hook. I should have walked it to shore!!! There was a group fishing at the deep side of the drop off with jigs caching many mackerel. Still can't believe I lost that fish. Hooked the halibut on a high low rig with #2 hooks and a half anchovy on each hook. Great day nonetheless.

Date: September 8, 2001
To: PFIC Message Board
From: nufo
Subject: Monterey Pier Salmon

I was down there on Monday and saw one nice (about 10-lb salmon) Snagged in the back. This was on Wharf #2. Action was sporadic but I heard it was good earlier before I got there. Nufo

Date: September 30, 2001
To: PFIC Message Board
From: steelhead
Subject: Monterey salmon “on fire”

Hello everyone, This message might be a little late...but I have to post it anyway. The salmon have arrived in large numbers off the Monterey pier. And I mean LARGE NUMBERS. Schools of 30-40 salmon cruising back and forth in front of the pier. Some of the regulars were catching 20-25 salmon a day in just 5 feet of water. Myself, I caught 6 in just two hours. The salmon came in right after the big thunderstorm we had last week. Since then it has been non-stop action. The bad part is that salmon season ends get down there today if you can. Steelhead

Posted by jason chin

Treble hooks with a feather does not count. Jason “bayrunner”

Date: April 13, 2002
To: PFIC Message Board
From: avidangler
Subject: Wharf #2

The shallow area that had no fish is loaded with halibut right now. The side with the boats and oil spills (typical of marinas anywhere) is illegal to fish anyhow. This pier has more than just mackerel and perch. I have caught some BIG fish from this pier. Anytime you are in the area it is worth checking.

Date: May 4, 2002
To: PFIC Message Board
From: avidangler
Subject: Monterey Wharf #2

James and I fished the pier at around nine this morning for perch. We fished under the pier around midway with pile worms on a 1/32-ounce leadhead and caught and released around 35 or so rainbow seaperch and pile perch on ultra light tackle. There are many silvers also but I only landed one of those, as they were being finicky. Not much else happening pier wise save for a few small smelt here and there. -avidangler

Date: May 25, 2002
To: PFIC Message Board
From: avidangler
Subject: Wharf#2 /Monterey

Got six silver perch this evening on pile worms and a 1/16 oz leadhead. My friend James got a couple of pile perch, and my greenhorn friend Erik got two senoritas. There have been schools of Pacific mackerel at night by the lights at the midsection of the pier. -avidangler

Date: June 12, 2002
To: PFIC Message Board
From: avidangler
Subject: Grunion tonight, Wharf #2 Monterey

They were loaded last night. Tonight should start going around midnight. The beach right at the base of Wharf #2 is producing and some friends hooked a few hallies today off the pier. I am going rockcodding, then grunioning. Bye-AA

Date: June 12, 2002
To: PFIC Message Board
From: avidangler
Subject: Re: The grunion were there

The fish were on the beach tonight. I watched as my boss and his two daughters scurried around trying to pick up fish. Those things really can book. Quite a few people around tonight. It seems that when people wade around in the surf, less fish wash up. Duh!! We would just wait till a big bunch did their thing and swoop. Tomorrow I will try for hallies. It ought to be good with all the bait around. AA

Date: June 15, 2002
To: PFIC Message Board
From: avidangler
Subject: Subject: Wharf#2 /Monterey

Fished the wharf for halibut today for three hours casting a sardine colored fish trap with no results. A friend of mine caught a salmon on a Krocodile this morning however. I thought that was interesting. My next trip down there will see me casting the old standby, silver/blue prism 5/8 or 3/4 oz Kroc. -AA

Date: June 16, 2002
To: PFIC Message Board
From: quondog
Subject: Wharf#2 /Monterey

Do they still catch perch around the pilings when the squid are running? I use to live in Monterey (20 years ago) and wharf#2 and Moss Landing were my two favorite perch spots.

Posted by avidangler

There are perch there now. Try between the two squid buildings on the left hand side and use shrimp or mussels for sharpnose and silver perch, or pile worms for the pile and rubberlips. BIG rubberlips this year.-AA

Date: July 25, 2002
To: PFIC Message Board
From: avidangler
Subject: Re: Leapin, what's “lining?”

You all know I'm from Monterey and fish the Wharf #2 regularly. I was not present on this particular day in question because I have bills to pay, so I saw no such incident of snagging with a bare hook. In notsosmart's post, the fish was foul hooked with a bare hook. That is snagging. You must use a lure to catch a gamefish, or bait. Period.
Lining is a method in which one uses a long leader and a bead or yarn to hook salmon or other fish in the mouth. Whether it is voluntary or not depends on the fish. Salmon will hit yarn, and they will also hit a bead. The majority of fish hooked on the rivers I have fished while people were using this method were involuntarily hooked, many in the mouth, some in the head, others in the back or tail. The wardens I have talked to say that if the fish swims off with your line and it is mouth hooked it is legal. Period.
Now for avidangler's stance on “lining” and “snagging” at Wharf #2. I will NOT snag fish period! The fine is like a thousand dollars, it is hectic fishing, and frankly I will legally hook many more fish than the average snagging moron. Salmon come to Wharf #2. Why? They are planted in the harbor as fingerlings and allowed to mature to smolt size. They return to the “river” of their origin, which is the harbor. These fish turn dark in saltwater and die. They do not reproduce. We have asked the DFG to extend the season so that less of these fish will be wasted, due to the fact that the return usually peaks after ocean salmon season is closed. Our requests have fallen upon deaf ears.
The DFG is fully aware of last year's snagging problems and many anglers were issued citations as a result. This year we shall see what happens with the snaggers. So far I have seen anglers throwing spoons and lining fish so as far as notsosmart's report of snagging I cannot confirm this.
The DFG is allowing lining of these salmon. You know what I say? Why not. These fish are going to either get eaten by harborbags and sea lions (go there at night and watch the gauntlet!) or die and get picked at by seagulls and crabs. The sole purpose of these fish is to boost sport catch. I would like to see them not go to waste myself. If that means people line rub them, by all means why not. After the sea lions get them all fidgety they will not readily strike bait or artificials, although I know a few tricks (heh heh). Better that people get some sport and some dinner. If the law allows it, that's the bottom line. The practice will continue. There will be some bad apples in every crowd. Avoid them.
And if you decide to take digital pictures and call caltip, good for you. Avidangler will be the guy with the Krocodile spoon hanging out of that 20 pounder's jaw. And if they refuse to bite... -AA P.S. I'll be throwing a spoon Saturday Morning.

Date: August 21, 2002
To: PFIC Message Board
From: avidangler
Subject: Santa Cruz/Monterey night fishing

In September some years we get good runs of bat rays off Wharf #2 and occasionally leopard sharks. Other than that, pretty slim. Sometimes mackerel will move in thick and at night we'll load up on them. I love it when the big Pacific’s come in and I can get them on my noodle rod. Right now it's dead for night fishing. That's all I have for ya kemo sabe! -AA

Date: September 14, 2002
To: PFIC Message Board
From: avidangler
Subject: Monterey Wharf

The salmon action has been good. My pal Frank hooked a beauty off the beach adjacent to the pier on a #6 Blue Fox spinner this morning. I just finished eating some of that fish a little while ago. Last week the same Frank got a twenty-four ponder on same said spinner, and yesterday my pal Orby nailed a 34 pound, 1 oz fish on pink yarn. No joke. He did well to land that pig!! As for little ol' me?? Whatever. Some of us have to work. Take care-AA

Date: January 25, 2003
To: PFIC Message Board
From: avidangler
Subject: Monterey Wharf #2

There are actually a few steelhead coming by from time to time (albeit few of them). One guy who I know and is a good steelhead fisherman had one and lost it on a little Cleo so it is worth a shot. Of course, so are some of the local rivers and creeks :)-AA

Date: March 12, 2003
To: PFIC Message Board
From: phishinpat
Subject: Monterey Wharf #2

Got to Monterey Wharf #2 right before we got out fishnchips notices a really big bat ray swimming we decide to fish there...bait used was anchovies, squid and one huge bat ray on half an anchovy...well, I was using the 12-ft. ugly stick that I caught the sturgeon on, yes, with the broken handle… well the bat ray last night finished the job… the handle came off last night while fighting the bat ray... thanks to fishnchips, it was safely landed… and released... now I have to go get me another reel. When the reel came off I handed the pole over to fishnchips who was already down on the beach, I told to keep it tight and keep walking backwards while I tried to find it in the surf. By then we had an audience of 7 folks or so... all wondering what it could be. I almost got spooled, would have been a first. Did talk to some folks who mentioned that this pier is quite productive during the summer and fall months... great night out, even though only one fish... thanks again avid!

Date: May 21, 2003
To: PFIC Message Board
From: avidangler
Subject: Monterey Wharf #2

There are a lot of halibut on the Monterey beaches right now. It would be worthwhile to toss a live bait or fresh dead squid off the pier or adjacent beach in case anyone is interested.

Date: June 3, 2003
To: PFIC Message Board
From: fishnchips
Subject: Monterey Wharf #2

Wharf #2 can offer some monster rays too! Pat and I landed a ray together that must have gone 80#. I don't have a lot of experience, but I love the wharf. It has no pilings on the outer side, so fish can't run under you! The water is clear over there too. Go during the day, you should be able to get a good idea of what is lurking around just by watching the water. Huge spider crabs there too! I also heard a halli was caught there too! The place looks perfect for fishing. Also, when on the wharf, almost at the end on your left is a shrimp company. There is a little white building... past the restaurant. You can see perch all around the pilings there. Don't know how easy they are to target… they hang close to the pier, and on that side, there is pilings for you to snag on too! Hope this helps!

Date: June 25, 2003
To: PFIC Message Board
From: dli332
Subject: Monterey Wharf 2

Well I guess I've changed my mind about Wharf #2. I went down there today after work and the bite was on. I saw a lot of perch caught and I got a total of 27 sardines and 7 mackerel. All of my fish were caught on a size 12 bare Sabiki. Guess now I'll have some bait for the next time I go to Capitola.

Date: August 2, 2003
To: PFIC Message Board
From: gyozadude
Subject: Monterey Municipal Wharf - Poacher's Tale

I found myself groggy, but awake at 5am this morning trying to finish some work, only I was in Monterey, staying not far from the Wharf. So I got off some email and headed out for a short walk at 6am this morning. I thought I'd try to catch the slack low tide in the early morning.
Well, I tossed a chromed Buzz Bomb with a single shank barbless hook for about an hour off the east side of the pier and hiked up and down. A few regulars there cussin’ to themselves or using it to pick up some down-n-out ladies hanging out in their beater cars on the wharf.
Passed by a bunch of Vietnamese fishermen with 9 ft Ugly Stiks fishing Sabikis without much luck near mid-pier. More hung back in their minivan, smoking and watching for any signs of fish. I asked of the guys standing outside if they were seeing any runs. No, one guy responded with a smile. But they were watching for anyone, smiling at me. One guy commented that it had been dead for the last few days. No bait, no big fish. The guy cussin' profanity every sentence said he'd, “What da f---sh--yu tellin' 'im? I seen 3 already right here... F---!”
They gave my gear the once over and took notice of the chromed Buzz Bomb, but didn't say anything.
I walked on toward the end of the pier and fished close to the zone that had a sign that read, “No Fishing Beyond This Line.”
I passed by a middle-aged Filipino man fishing pile worms on a hi-lo, and saw two Vietnamese guys fishing, one of them on the other side of the line in a “No Fish” zone. A younger guy, a mixed Caucasian/Asian guy, around 20-something and maybe just short of 6 ft tall was fishing the west side of the wharf.
Nothing but seals and sea lions, and weeds for the hour I tossed.
Finally, the Filipino man hauls up a 5” rockfish. The young guy and I walk over and see what it is. From a distance I already suspected it was a small bocaccio. It was throat hooked. The old Filipino man complains that it's throat hooked. The younger guy offers his multi-tool (Leatherman style tool) for the hook extraction.
I commented to the Filipino, “Sir, that's a bocaccio, and currently restricted. No bocaccio can be kept. Since it's throat hooked, the standard procedure is to cut the leader as close to the hook as possible and release the fish.”
The young guy looks at me and asks, “how do you know it's a bo-ka- what?”
“BO-ka-CHEE-O,” I emphasized. “See, the brownish tint, large mouth lip plate that extends back behind the eye, and the prominent lateral line that is curved up and back. Bocaccio are 1 of 4 rockfish closed to all take by Fish and Game regulations section 26.85.”
I walked away from the two and went back to tossing my lure around. A Young kid walked to the end of the pier and was asking anyone if they caught anything. He stopped for a while to observe the two guys doing the hook extraction. They hadn't listened to me. They still took the hook out. And at that point, the older Filipino man bagged the bocaccio.
So back I went toward the man, and I pulled out my dig-cam and snapped a shot of the guy. He had that puzzled look on him.
In clearly stated terms, I spoke to him, “Sir, Fish and Game regulations prohibit the take of Bocaccio. I told you that before, and you knowingly broke the law.”
“What law?!?” he demanded vehemently. “I, I throw it back, okay?”
I said to him, “Section 27.82 of the regulations define rockfish closures and, Sir, section 1.87 prohibits the waste of fish. You may throw the fish back, but it was gut-hooked and now, its chance of survival is quite low since you ripped its guts out extracting your hook.”
The young kid started to pay some interest, as we were getting a little loud.
“What are you going to do with the picture?” he demands in a threatening tone.
“Oh, the picture? I'm going to send it to DFG.” I tell him.
“You violated my privacy... you can't do that. I didn't know the law! ... Hey, where you live? I find your address... and you watch out! This is Bullsh--!!! You are full of bullsh--. I know no laws. You violate my privacy... I'll get your license plate...” he threatens.
So I stepped up to him and clearly asked him. “Sir, is that a threat? Are YOU THREATENING ME?”
He was fuming at this point and I had my hands in my pockets on my cell phone. But he didn't know that. “Uh... no... but you have no right to take my picture.”
“Sir, you're standing on public property in the open. Anyone can take your picture...” I explained.
“You bullsh--… and stop calling me sir... go ahead call the cops. I take your picture TOO! You're in violation. You bullshit too. You in violation. I don't know the law...,” he yelled at me... (and I've paraphrased some statement which would be inappropriate for this forum.”
“Well, sir, ignorance of the law is no excuse,” I told him.
After a minute of his nagging, I walked away and back toward the foot of the pier to head back to the hotel. He shouted at me as I walked away, “You think you smart? You da one ignorance. You bullsh--!!! You da ignorance... I find your address.”
Anyway, I walked back down with the young boy who was asking me about more details. His dad had a boat and he was waiting to head out with him fishing, but they weren't ready yet. We stopped about mid way and I called 1-888-DFG-CALTIP. Wow! A human answered, and I filled out a report. Didn't think they would scramble any units, but I did my duty.
The young man asked why bocaccio were closed and I explained that they're closed so stocks can rebuild for fishing, so folks like my kids, and him can grow up and still have bocaccio to catch. Then it was his turn to look puzzled. Well, why did that guy have to steal fish? I just love it when kids can figure out that poaching is wrong!
Epilogue: The poacher took off in a hurry. Paul Gaske from DFG enforcement called me and we talked for quite sometime, and he might show up on this website. I told him about some UPSAC activities and we're hoping to have another person involved in our education efforts! Not all skunked this morning.
P.S. Picture of poacher to be posted later when I get the USB cable for my camera or the adapter/reader (both of which I left at home)
Addendum: (In reply to: Re: Monterey Municipal Wharf — Poacher's Tale posted by urge2fish on Aug-2-03 11:04am)
I wasn't quite alone. I had a young boy who was a witness. Also the young mixed Asian/Caucasian angler in his early 20's who initially offered his Leatherman-style tool to do the hook extraction. He distanced himself pretty quick from the poacher when he realized that he may have helped some poacher keep and illegal fish and I was going to call it in.
At night somewhere in East Palo Alto? Heck no. No bein' a hero for me. But in Monterey? With lots of tourists, hikers, and folks already on the beach and pier at 7am? Yeah, I think it's viable. Every situation is different. And it was a judgment call. But look at the pic. Was it worth it? Heck yeah.
Reminds me of a credit card commercial. A cheap department store combo: $60. Terminal tackle: $2. Pile worms: $4. Getting ratted out by a big Chinaman who knows the regs: $790. Getting caught on dig-cam as a poacher and having it posted to the net: $Priceless.

Date: June 6, 2006
To: PFIC Message Board
From: dli332
Subject: Good fishing to all

I got up late this morning and heard how the weather was and decided not to try for halibut from my bright orange floaty thing that I can't mention, so I just drove down to Wharf #2. The sardines and jacksmelt were in just high enough numbers to keep me occupied. While I was fishing for them I decided to toss a sardine about 6" long out on a slider and see if I could get any takers. About 10 mins after I cast it out I got a good hit. I let it take the sardine for about 10 or 15 seconds and set the hook. I fought it for maybe 5 or 10 seconds and felt a couple headshakes, but it went slack. When I reeled it in I only had half of a sardine. It looked like someone had cut it with a knife. I don't know what it was, but I'm fairly sure it wasn't a furbag. It didn't feel strong enough and like I said I felt some headshakes. Also there were some people saying that a dude hooked into a steelhead near the beginning of the pier, but it shook off. I didn't see it, but I talked to the guy and asked him that he was sure it wasn't a salmon and he said it wasn't. A few other people also said that it wasn't a salmon. I forgot to ask him how big it was though.

Date: May 4, 2006
To: PFIC Message Board
From: grammar police
Subject: Monterey Wharf #2

FYI: Live squid being caught from the pier on Sabiki rigs. 5-8” range. RF candy for sure! Very reliable second hand report, and no I did not fish there after work.

Date: July 15, 2006
To: PFIC Message Board
From: geckomd
Subject: Macks in Monterey...

Visited Monterey Wharf this afternoon, 7/15, and just missed a school that came through. Every bucket I saw had anywhere from about 5-10+ macks.

Date: October 26, 2006
To: PFIC Message Board
From: pinoy
Subject: Plenty of bat rays in Monterey!

Sin_coast mentioned it below so might as well post my report about bat rays. Quite a few people with heavy rigs fishing for rays nightly. Hey Sin_Coast look me up. I'm the one fishing next to a pregnant lady!
They have been catching bat rays at the wharf for a few nights now. Finally, I had a chance to try it last night. I was using an Eagle Claw “Surf Beast” 10ft rod, Okuma AV80, 80-lb Spiderline (25-lb diameter), steel leaders topped with 2/0 hooks, and squid bait. I started fishing at 7pm and first 20 minutes was slow for me although everyone else seems to be catching bat rays left and right. Boredom was followed by some teasing from my pregnant wife. She said that if she's not pregnant and have strength to fight the rays, she would have been catching after a few minutes of casting out. She said I have until this time next year to hold the family record on bat ray catch even if I catch the tiniest one in the bay. She already beat me in the MF eel department. Hehehe!
Anyway, at around 7:30 I felt a tiny tug so I set the hook. Yup! I felt a strong pull trying to peel off out to open water. After reeling a few yards back the ray came straight back and to the side, aiming to go under the wharf. Oh man, I thought I was gonna lose it. I was able to recover line fast enough to keep pressure on the ray and to coax it to follow me towards the end of the railing. With a friend's help lifting the line hand over hand I finally landed it. It was around 30-33” wingspan. I don't know the weight. My friend took it home for soup and I kept the tail. I caught four more (3 released) afterwards ranging from 20-35” with two of them falling into the water just a few feet from the top of the wharf when we tried to lift them up. I based the size of the two that dropped on the comparison of how they were spread between the post of the wharf while we were pulling them up. I also caught a 2' long skate that did not fight at all.
My co-worker and PFIC member MBRat finally showed up at 9pm. We stayed with him until 11pm. He caught total of 5 bat rays, but was only able to land 1 which was about 30-34” wingspan. The others were lost while trying to lift them up onto the wharf.
All in all it was a fun night. Mrs. Pinoy was happily watching and encouraging me. She already said I will be the one watching baby next year while she catches bat rays. Hahaha!

Posted by scooterfish

“Good Fishing!” and oh yeah, don't forget to get a “Crab Net.” Might help you land those big rays a bit easier! Scooterfish

Posted by 1014

Hey pinoy, with all the media hoopla about “stingray attacks,” how were they treated? ... and to clarify, I meant how were the rays treated by the everyone on the wharf catching um, not singling out you. If you keep to eat that’s fine, if they were abused like they have been before, I’d worry.

Posted by TheEmptyBucket

I have seen nothing but exemplary treatment of the rays. 90% are released and I have not seen one tail or stinger chopped off. No tails laying on the wharf, either.

Posted by pinoy

No mutilation or other bad behavior... Most fishermen set them free. There’s a few who just keep some for food.

Posted by TheEmptyBucket

Plenty of mackerel, too. I just stopped by the wharf to try out the afternoon bat ray bite which I have heard has been better than the evening bite. The entire wharf, though, is under a massive mack attack. People are pulling them out 2 and 3 at a time. There's still room if you want to fish for mackerel but if you hook up a big, sideways running ray you are going to be Joe Unpopular on the wharf right now. I decided to maybe check back later tonight.

The bat ray fishing has, indeed been epic. I've caught well over 20 rays up to 70lbs since Sunday night. I've witnessed hundreds of them being caught. It's one of the darndest things I've ever seen.

Posted by Ray Sharking

When the rays are biting like that... I’d try catching them on lighter gear. A 7-ft bass rod with 20 pound braid, and no steel leader (I get more bites on mono leaders). A lotta fun guaranteed...

Posted by TheEmptyBucket

The thing is there are plenty of rays in there well over 70lbs. The average hook-up to landing rate for most folks has been like one in 10! On my best night there I landed 5 and lost 7 using a 7-ft Ugly Stick, 25-lb mono on a Shimano Tid Star reel. Some of those lost rays were just of unimaginable size. They took off like a friggin’ sea lion with a blue rockfish in it's mouth.

Posted by Pinoy

How do you check the weight safely? I want to know how heavy but I'm afraid of holding it up too long. Do you have an estimate of how heavy a bat ray is when it has about 30" wingspan?

Posted by TheEmptyBucket

I don't know. We were hoisting them up with a crab net and just guessing at how heavy they were. One was so heavy that we did not dare lift it over the railing. We just cut the line close to the hook and lowered the net back down. That one we thought was about 70-lbs and it overflowed the crab net.

Posted by Mel

Wow, there's must be a lot of rays with piercings. Guys, don't take this wrong but is it a good idea to try and catch a ray with too light of a line? I used to try to do what some of you guys are doing but stopped because I was thinking of all the rays that I had on my line but snapped me off. Now there's a bunch off rays swimming around with lip jewelry with line attached. If you're using lighter line, try to use smaller hooks so they rust out faster.

Date: October 27, 2006
To: PFIC Message Board
From: Ken Jones
Subject: Monterey Wharf #2 — macs/jacks in force

Shot down to Monterey this morning at 4 AM to check out the mac action and mackerel are definitely there. But what's really there is a huge mixed school of Pacific mackerel and jack mackerel (called Spanish mackerel by many people) and they are on both the inside side of the wharf and the outside side.
The jack mackerel are small size to medium size and seem to be hanging above the Pacific mackerel. If you want the jacks use a small size hook Sabiki with a one-ounce torpedo and keep it closer to the top.
The Pacific mackerel are almost all medium sized fish and, as said, seem to hang under the jacks. Use a two-ounce sinker for them and let it sink deeper in the water.
For both, a slow steady retrieve seems all that is needed. Main problem is that you will get 2-5 at a time so I recommend medium tackle if you're going to use a Sabiki for them. If you use a light outfit, and the larger mackerel hit, you're likely to have a tangled mess. But it's only money.
Instead of the Sabiki put a couple of size 6 hooks on your line with a one-ounce torpedo sinker and small pieces of mackerel. You'll have a blast catching the macs. Size 6-8 hook for the jacks. You will not get as many fish as the Sabiki's but I think it's more fun.
Finally, the fish are really thick and it would not be hard to catch 75-100 fish an hour if you know what you're doing. Better is to plan out what you want. I wanted a certain number of macs to save for bait and I wanted a certain number of jacks for dinner. I kept only the fish I needed and released the rest (and if they were injured they went into the keep pile). Don't be greedy but have fun if you head down there. It wasn't crowded this morning but I imagine it will be by this weekend if the macks/jacks hang around. PS., Saw leopard shark fins on wharf so someone was catching them the night before.

Posted by pinoy

I might have a suspect on that leopard shark. I was there Thursday night and this guy holding a leopard shark is walking up and down the wharf asking if people want to buy it. Lots of people are disgusted, and even my friend said that it is illegal for him to sell it. He just walked away. Another guy told him while he was walking away that what he did is a waste. He should have just released it instead of killing it. Again no reply and he just kept walking.

Date: January 9, 2007
To: PFIC Message Board
From: Sin_Coast
Subject: (In reply to: The response rejection posted by Ken Jones)

Ever been to the Wharf 2 in Monterey when those “lost” coho salmon come in? Snag city. Losers standing on top of the rail, sight-casting+snagging salmon with baitless trebles. Not to mention coho are C+R only! Makes me want to accidentally push them off the rail. PK

Date: July 15, 2007
To: PFIC Message Board
From: La mosca
Subject: Monterey Wharf #2 - 7.14.07

Went out last night (7/14/07) to the Monterey Wharf #2 and saw many people out by the “sitting” area at the end of the fishing zone using glow sticks. (At first I had never heard of using glow sticks so this morning, I did a search on PFIC and found out that it's good for the macks). I caught some small macs less than 5” on a glow-in-the-dark Sabiki but I didn't see anyone else catch anything much bigger. This was around 9pm until 11:30pm. I think I may go out again at this time for some mac-action, since that was my first time out that late. Any other tips on catching bigger Mac would be appreciated.

Date: July 28, 2007
To: PFIC Message Board
From: Sin_Coast
Subject: Angel Shark

Saw one caught from Wharf #2 in Monterey about 8 years ago. Very weird fish.

Date: November 27, 2007
To: PFIC Message Board
From: Sin_Coast
Subject: Does it have a railing?

The Wharf does have a railing, approx 3.5ft high. The CG Jetty has a cement wall that is approx 3ft high.
Here are the Good Things about the Wharf:
-It is a very safe environment.
-You are able to park right on the wharf in metered parking spots and literally fish from your car. (This is a very good thing when the cold fog rolls in!)
-Amenities are convenient; there's a bait shop at the foot of the Wharf and the Casa Bodega deli across the street sells bait+tackle too. Same goes for the Charter fishing fleets that are located on the main Wharf. You also have your choice of eateries...there are really nice restaurants on the main Wharf but the Wharf 2 has a great little snack stand (the chowda is perfect on cold days) and the infamous Sandbar+Grille (not really infamous...I just really like eating there!).
-The scenery is great and it’s a cool little setting on the Monterey Harbor.
-The Monterey Fish Co is on the end of Wharf #2 and you can buy fresh fish (and sometimes abalone!) if you happen to get skunked but promised the wife a fish dinner.
And here are the Bad Things:
-The fishing is not so hot. Unless you want to catch bait on Sabikis.... which CAN be fun for kids.
-Lots of tourists will want to chat with you about fishing...most of them have no clue.
Good luck, PK

Date: April 23, 2008
To: PFIC Message Board
From: Sin_Coast
Subject: In reply to: Surf smelt

Lots of smelt at Wharf #2 in Monterey right now. I was there on my lunch break and saw guys jigging up buckets of fish on Sabikis. I could look down into the clear water and see schools of 100+ fish moving across the flats. Good luck! PK

Date: May 7, 2008
To: PFIC Message Board
From: Sin_Coast
Subject: Squid in the bay?

We get ‘em off Monterey Wharf #2 consistently throughout summer. 2 years ago, me and EmptyBucket caught a bunch w/glow Sabikis and took em to the Lovers Pt area for rockfish. Can't wait to do it again this year.

Date: September 24, 2008
To: PFIC Message Board
From: Otter Express
Subject: Monterey Wharf # 2

Went to Monterey Warf # 2 tonight (9/24) from 6-7:45 pm. Started out using the shad I had from last week. Fished the bottom with that for about 45 min then switched to Gulp Sandworms for the rest of the time. No luck except for 1 Bullhead. HOWEVER, although the fishing wasn't great for me, many people out there we're having some great luck with Bat Rays. Within the hour 45 min I was at the wharf I counted 10 hook ups with bat rays. There was some mackerel in the water as well. Bait that I saw being used with the rays were mackerel and squid. I didn't have a heavy enough set up to go after the rays, but if they're still around this weekend I'm going Bat Ray fishing!

Date: October 21, 2009
To: Ken Jones
From: surfsamurai
Subject: Ref: Monterey Wharf #2 report

Believe it or not, there had been a couple of massive WSB run in that area about 3 weeks ago. You would never guess that. When the stripers were pushing the bait to the shores, a big school of WSB were right behind him. One guy hooked up a 40-lb WSB with a Fish Trap from the wharf out of 50 fishing boats and tons of anglers on the wharf according to... There are guys snagging the stripers with 3-oz torpedo weights on trouble hooks. The WSB school is still in and out of the bay there, but... does not want to talk about it on the public forum since he's chasing 'em on his kayak. I personally spotted a big school of WSB between Seacliff pier and New Brighton beach in Capitola about a week ago. Hope it helps!

Date: July 22, 2013
To: PFIC Message Board
From Ken Jones
Subject: A short visit to Monterey and some fish —

107 degrees in Fresno and 60 degrees in Monterey; enough said. Actually no, there is quite a bit more to add. Wanting to get away from the Valley heat, and intrigued by mention in a recent post that some sharpnose perch were showing up at the wharf, I decided to make a quick weekend trip over to Monterey. The trip would prove very, very enjoyable, both for the cool marine layer of weather that required a light jacket and for the variety of fish. Nothing learned but a few observations confirmed.
I arrived at the Monterey Wharf #2 shortly after 9 AM and soon after an angler came over and said, “Are you Ken Jones?” It was Madsteelhead and he was at the pier seeking out some pileperch. He gave me a quick rundown on what was happening and asked if I could identify a fish in another angler’s ice chest. It was a small sablefish, the first one I had seen in years, and it gave even more hope that it might be an interesting visit. I was soon rigged up with my normal high/low rigging, a one ounce torpedo sinker, and pile worms strung over size 6 hooks; I was ready for some perch.
The only problem was the small fish, specifically juvenile blue rockfish and lizardfish. Those fish just didn’t seem to understand that the worms were reserved for the larger perch. Over the years pile worms have become my favorite bait (along with ghost shrimp) but the trouble with worms and small hooks is that smaller fish can also grab them, i.e. the blacksmith and senorita that can make fishing hard at Catalina when you’re trying for larger species like opaleye, the shinerperch at Gaviota when you’re seeking out the larger rubberlips and buttermouth, and on and on. Worms are great bait but can be too easily sucked in by the smaller fish when you are seeking out something a little larger. When the small fish are around it’s good to have a backup bait. Unfortunately I had brought a couple of dozen worms with me as well as some anchovies and squid but had not brought the mussels that were in a bag in my freezer—dumb!
Nevertheless, I continued to fish for my sharpnose perch and about 20 minutes after starting I caught a sharpnose, the only one I would catch during the trip. It justified the trip in my mind but there were several other interesting things that I saw.
The first were the number of lizardfish. In my monthly reports I have been reporting lizardfish from more and more piers, all the way south to San Diego. A few weeks ago during a trip to Santa Barbara they were the main fish caught by the kids in the tournament on Stearns Wharf. On the way back that weekend I had stopped at Port San Luis where they absolutely seemed to cover the bottom of the bay (as in 4-6 every time if you threw out a Sabiki). Here there was a repeat performance. People mid-pier were casting Sabikis and pulling in 4-6 fish at a time and keeping them. Hope they tasted good.
The second concerned a recent post I made on the number of baby cabezon and onespot fringehead showing up at piers. I had recently caught small cabezon at Stearns Wharf, Goleta, Gaviota, Avila, and Port San Luis and once again they were numerous here. As for the onespot fringehead it was similar, I had caught them at Stearns Wharf, Goleta, Gaviota, and Port San Luis. Soon after starting I caught one and took it over to show Madsteelhead who said he had never seen one before. What gives with this year’s explosion of lizardfish, cabezon and onespot fringehead?
As for the pileperch, there was a nice run going on and the locals who knew what they were doing (like Madsteelhead) were loading up on fish that weighed 1+ pounds. It reminded me of when I used to fish the Red Rock Pier in Richmond back in the ‘70s. The pier would be thick mid-winter with pileperch in the 1-2 pound range and you could fairly easily catch a limit using grass shrimp for bait. The Red Rock Pier is now history and it seems harder to find the larger concentrations of pileperch (although some areas still see good numbers). BTW, Madsteelhead also caught a nice blackperch.
There was also the issue of the sablefish. The only sablefish I have caught from a pier was at the Newport Pier and it was a long, long time ago. One day I caught 47 and one day I caught six; all were caught during very early hours when it was still dark and all were caught on squid (as discussed in my book). The thinking is that these deep-water fish will come to the surface at night to feed (and young sablefish will sometimes enter shallower water). I wanted a chance at the sablefish so was back at the Wharf Sunday morning at 4 AM using squid for bait. The water was really low, the sablefish did not cooperate, and I did not catch a single one, but at least I tried.
I did have a very interesting discussion with a retired commercial fishermen the next morning, one who lives on his boat in the marina. He said a state record pileperch was caught from the wharf a few days ago, a fish which after being weighed on a couple of different certified scales weighed in at an even 2 pounds. I hadn’t checked the records lately but was a little surprised that the fish would be the record since I have seen much larger fish over the years. But, most anglers never bother to have their large fish checked or submitted as a record. He also said the lizardfish only showed up about a week ago and that there was a good bocaccio hatch showing in the water.
As for the cabezon and onespot fringehead, he had no idea, in fact he didn’t know what a onespot fringehead looked like until I showed him a picture. He also mentioned that three sturgeon had been taken from the wharf this year along with several halibut. We had a nice long talk concerning California fishing and changes over the years and it proved a nice diversion since the fishing was a little slow (at least as far as large fish).
What would prove most interesting was the number of different species that I was able to catch Saturday between two different piers—Wharf #2 and the Coast Guard Pier. Eighteen different species showed up at the two piers that day and when I checked my records when I got home it was the highest total of one day, multi-pier species. Wharf #2 (morning and late afternoon/early evening) saw California Lizardfish, Blue Rockfish, Speckled Sanddab, Pacific Sanddab, Cabezon, Senorita, Pileperch, Sharpnose Seaperch, Onespot Fringehead, Kelp Greenling, Bocaccio and Shinerperch. The Coast Guard Pier (afternoon) saw Gopher Rockfish, Black & Yellow Rockfish, Painted Greenling, Striped Seaperch, Striped Kelpfish, and what I think was a Corraline Sculpin. The 18 different species in one day from the piers was a record for me. Of course the two quite different environments would see different species but still it was a good number of different species.
I headed back Sunday at noon after a quick bowl of chowder at Fisherman’s Wharf. Three hours later I was back at Fresno and unloading the car in the middle of a 107-degree day. I think I need to find a job on the coast.

Posted by calaznfisher

Lovely read, thanks for the report from one of my favorite places to fish. Good to see you escaping the heat, and getting some productive fishing time in. I've actually been keeping an eye out for sablefish ever since I read about your mirabile dictu day at Newport. According to my records, I ran into an angler carrying 3-4 medium sized sablefish walking off of Newport pier in September of 2012. He said he caught them off of anchovies from the back right corner. No one else had caught any that I saw. Very interesting catch, too bad you didn't see more of them.