Some updated fishing stats...

Ken Jones

Staff member
With a plethora of free time available at home, I decided it was time to finish updating my various fish statistics. Some of you know that I've been keeping these stats since 1962 when I began fishing the Newport Pier. To some it's a waste of time but I feel it gives me a better idea of what's available at the different piers at different times of the year (while recognizing the various variable that can mess up the expected catch). I record each trip on a 4x6 card with the date, the times, the species and the number caught. I also add a value to the trip in which points are given to each fish, every fish getting one point but as the fish get bigger they can be assigned 2, 4, 10 and 25 or more points. Thus I have fish caught per hour and points per hour which is a better gauge of what is being caught. The data is then entered into the computer where I break it down by category, i.e., SoCal piers data, CenCal pier data, CenCal Surf Fishing, NorCal Sportfishing boats etc., as well as the overall numbers. Through 2019, I show the following:

Fished 115 California saltwater piers with 130 different species being caught.
If I include the Carquinez Strait, Suisun Bay and West Delta piers (Eckley Pier-Antioch Bridge Pier) it adds an additional 8 piers and an additional 11 (freshwater) species.

The top saltwater piers as far as points per hour are the following (and the stats can be skewered by schooling species that drive up the numbers):

Morro Bay North T-Pier 28.7 (skewered by high catches of bocaccio in '70s and '80s and high sardine catches in '90s and early 2000s.)
Green Pleasure Pier — Avalon 26.7 (skewered somewhat by the number of small kelp bass)
Gaviota Pier 23.0
Manhattan Beach Pier 21.3
Commercial St. Dock — Eureka 19.1
Capitola Wharf 18.0

Monterey Wharf #2 16.2
Cayucos Pier 16.2

Citizen’s Dock — Crescent City 15.8
Port San Luis Pier 15.6
Hermosa Beach Pier 15.5
Eureka Boardwalk 15.5

Cabrillo Mole — Avalon 14.9
San Clemente Pier 14.6
Huntington Beach Pier 14.0

Adorni Pier — Eureka 13.9
Avila Pier 13.6
Fort Point Pier — San Francisco 13.6
Ferry Landing Pier — Coronado 13.6
Oceanside Pier 13.5
Angel Island Pier 13.4

San Simeon Pier 12.2

Embarcadero Marina Pier — SD 11.6
Elephant Rock Pier — Tiburon 11.5
Port Hueneme Pier 11.2
Seal Beach Pier 11.0
Santa Cruz Wharf 11.0

Paradise Cove Pier — Malibu 10.9
Tides Wharf — Bodega Bay 10.9
Goleta Pier 10.8
Redondo Sportfishing Pier 10.8
Imperial Beach Pier 10.8
Venice Pier 10.3
Seacliff Pier 10.2
Pacifica Pier 10.1 (skewered by high fish counts (several species) in '70s and '80s)

Stearns Wharf — Santa Barbara 9.91
Redondo Beach Pier 9.79
Malibu Pier 9.58
Crystal Pier — San Diego 9.57
Ventura Pier 9.46
Morro Bay South T-Pier 9.31
Cabrillo Pier — San Pedro 9.23
Lucas Wharf — Bodega Bay 9.14
Pismo Beach Pier 9.01

Santa Monica Pier 8.94
Point Arena Pier 8.94
Port View Park Pier — Oakland 8.61
Balboa Pier 8.60
Sausalito Pier 8.44
Ocean Beach Pier 8.35
Isthmus Pier — Catalina 8.32

Spud Point Marina Pier—Bodega Bay 7.89
San Francisco Municipal Pier 7.87
Oceanside Harbor Pier 7.54
Fort Baker Pier — Sausalito 7.53

Ken Jones

Staff member
The Newport stats are somewhat unique (and skewered downward) because it is where I first began to fish and to learn a little bit about fishing. My first two years I was a newbie, I had one rod/reel (a rig that in retrospect was way too heavy), and I mainly spent hour after hour soaking live anchovies for halibut. It took me many trips and many hours to figure out what I was doing right and wrong and even then my tackle tended to interfere with some types of fishing.

I didn't catch 10 fish on a trip until my 9th trip, I didn't catch as many as 30 fish until my 23rd trip, and I didn't have a really big day until my 25th trip when I caught 77 fish—sablefish, Pacific mackerel, jack mackerel and jacksmel. I did catch fish, and a nice variety of fish, but I spent MANY hours learning the lessons.

Then I moved to San Diego and began fishing its piers, mainly Shelter Island and Crystal. When I returned to Newport in a few years I had better equipment, knew better what I was doing, and the stats improved. I could probably use the 11.88 figure but it's not an accurate reflection of all the trips.

1962-1963 2.43 points per hour
1966-2019 11.88 points per hour
Combined 1962-2019 5.16 points per hour

Ken Jones

Staff member
Some additional piers —

Monterey Coast Guard Pier 6.88
Pier 7 — San Francisco 6.85
Del Norte St. Pier — Eureka 6.72
Ferry Point Pier — Richmond 6.43

Dana Harbor Pier 5.82
Shelter Island Pier 5.77
Oyster Point Pier 5.68
Belmont Pier — Long Beach 5.54
Agua Vista Pier 5.40
Paradise Beach Park Pier — Tiburon 5.38
Newport Pier 5.16
I've been doing the same kinda record keeping since 2010. It's very painstaking but rewarding. Especially the "Remarks" column, where can I relive forgotten random happenings.

Some samples:
"First crazy Sean ocean bottom fishing trip. Drive to Capitola from 2 – 6 AM, only to miss the salmon boat. We rented a skiff. Got so seasick I was seeing purple spots."
"The seaweed was so thick that the Chart House Get-Together was a bust. Met mahigeer, kelpangler, redfish."
"Bro said Jalama = slab-sized perch. Nearly froze to death. Guy said 1st bluff is the perch spot."
"Water temps shot up this week. Pac macs running in legions. A drunken Irishman wanted to fight."

Good times LOL...