The Berkeley Chronicles...

Ken Jones

Staff member
1930s —

The blare of the band was missing, the Governor didn’t cut a golden cord, loudspeaker systems didn’t blare out the impressive speeches of the great and near-great, but the opening of the Berkeley Pier to fishing at 5 a.m. yesterday morning was a momentous event, Three and a half miles of available fishing space was the gift of the city to the boys and girls—from six to 90 years old. Permission to fish on the abandoned pier, Saturday and Sunday, was granted as an experiment. If patronage follows and the test proves popular, it may soon be opened every day of the week. City collectors gathered 15 cents a person, a charge necessary, explains Berkeley City Manager Hollis R. Thompson, because there will be operation and upkeep expenses that will have to be met from the revenue earned.

OLD S. P. PIER — The pier was acquired recently by the City of Berkeley when the Southern Pacific Golden Gate Ferries Company discontinued their Berkeley-San Francisco service. Opening of the pier to fishing has been sought for some time by the San Pablo Sportsman’s Club and other civic groups. It supplies a long-felt want, as previously there had been no pier on the Oakland side of the bay where children and grown-ups who do not care for boats and distant shores, could spend a day outdoors. It will mean much to the youth of the entire Metropolitan Oakland area, reviving the days most of us can remember, when we rushed down to one of the piers of the time, or sneaked past the guards to fish on the Southern Pacific ferry pier at the foot of Seventh Street, as soon as we could change clothes after school.

ACTION LAUDED — Lee Anderson, faithful “operative,” bait store operator and one of the most consistent fishermen I have ever known, expresses all that when he writes: “It is a great thing. There will be Berkeley officers on duty and the full three and a half miles can be utilized. The Saturday and Sunday opening rule is temporary. There are quite a few problems to work out for the city, and it will take a little time to settle difficulties. “This pier is something we have needed for a long time. There is not a fishing pier on our side of the bay for miles and miles. During the Winter just past we didn’t have a place to drop our nets when the herring run was on. The people will come for miles around and from other cities to enjoy such a spot. “During the Summer this will be a good place to keep the children off the streets, and at the same time start the young boys (and girls too) enjoying a good, clean, wholesome sport.

GREAT FOR YOUTHS —”I am visualizing now all the good fishing to be had at this place, as in the old days. One may go with trolley outfits and catch smelt by the sack full. Bass fishermen may cast from the pier and for the child or grown-up with a 15-cent drop-line there are pogies, smelt, perch, shiners, and occasional rock cod and even crab fishing. It is a wonderful place to catch and net herring in the first part of the year, and the anchovy runs are good. “At present the boats are having a good run of striped bass up and down the full length of the wharf. Personally I am anxious to walk up and down the wharf with a Calcutta rod to try trolling in that way. “When I was going to school I used to hike down to the old Berkeley wharf (long since burned down for the present pier) and sell worms for 10 cents a dozen. I would then use the money to buy tackle and fish every minute possible. It looks like those old days will be revived again, only on a different scale.” And there is a short, short story of the growth of a merchant. From that humble beginning, selling worms at the pier to get money for fishing tackle, Lee has developed his present large bait and tackle store, and he still sells his bait for money to buy tackle, for more often than not he will be found absent from the store—out fishing for the day. It will be but a short time until the Berkeley Pier will be more extensively used by the children and their parents than by the real striped bass fishermen. When the Municipal Pier was opened in San Francisco many of the officials expected it would be overcrowded with the bass fishermen casting sinkers and sardines, while the children looked on. That actually was the case for a short time, but for some time now bass fishermen have been missing and the children and their parents have owned it. Of course there will be a longer season on striped bass off the Berkeley Pier. It is in better fishing territory. Many fine catches will be made in the coming months. But it will be the children who will benefit the most, for a good lively shiner on the end of a cord is a much bigger catch to a 10-year-old than a 10-pound bass to one of we jaded oldsters.—Bob Dwyer’s Line On The Sportsman,Oakland Tribune, June 12, 1938
Last weekend great throngs invaded the newly opened Berkeley pier, without any advertising being done in advance. There has been plenty of space given this week to the fine catches of striped bass and other fish that were being made this past weekend so the crowds should be double this Saturday and Sunday. The pier opens at 5 a.m. Saturday and is open until Sunday night. There is a 15-cent charge for fishing, and no one need worry about having to fight the crowd. With 2500 on the pier last Sunday there was no evidence of overcrowding on the three and a half miles of fishing space. Using both sides of the pier, this allows more than seven miles of elbowroom… so 5000 will not overcrowd this present pier. —A Line on The Sportsman, Bob Dwyer, Oakland Tribune, June 17, 1938

The tallest story to come out of the newly opened fishing pier was heard last week and it appears that there are witnesses to testify to its truthfulness. While taking the easy course of fishing with the pole resting on the railing, one fisherman, who for purposes of this story we will call fisherman “A,” received such a strike that his entire equipment was carried away before it could be rescued. This alone was subject for a story earlier in the fishing season, but has since occurred rather frequently. Now fisherman “B” enters the picture, and he is to be the hero of our story; for after making a long high cast in the same general area, he felt something real heavy come on the end of his line. Thinking he had at least a fifty pounder, fisherman “B” hurriedly pulled in his line. On the end of it he had, “A’s” line and on the end of “A’s” line there was still the fish that had pulled it overboard. Fisherman “A” then proceeded to try to pull in this fish, which turned out to be a leopard shark about five feet long, but the line broke just before it could be hauled on to the pier. It will probably be many a moon before a taller story is told—a taller one which has the same backing that this story has…It has been often brought out that Berkeley now has the longest fishing pier in the world, three miles of it, and people are still driving out for sight-seeing purposes. The fishing has been improving during the last few days, especially along the outer portion of the pier. The Oakland Striped Bass Club held a private derby on the pier. —Moorings, Elmer C. Rowley, Berkeley Daily Gazette, July 27, 1938

Fishing is very poor the entire length of the coast right at this time… The Berkeley pier is the red hot spot—IF you like to catch a lot of sharks, and maybe those would do while things are so bad. —Bob Dwyer’s Line on Sportsman, Oakland Tribune, February 15, 1939


Large Smelt Run — We learn from Lee Anderson, San Pablo Avenue bait dealer — who watches things along the shore very closely, that a good run of large smelt is in progress off the Berkeley Wharf. Large prawns seem to be the favorite bait. Either caught with a single hook on a very light trout rod, or taken in numbers on a drop line, or trolley line, these smelt really offer a lot of fun, especially for children and the Berkeley pier is a spot where the kids can fish to the heart's content without danger. —Line On The Sportsman, Bob Dwyer, Oakland Tribune, March 15, 1940

Boys and girls around home were having some real fun, as the Berkeley Pier opened to fishing Saturday. This is the old auto ferry pier at the foot of University Avenue and at the opening there were plenty of pogies, perch and the usual small fish, but the smelt have not arrived according to Lee Anderson who parked his defense job long enough to take a whirl at the pier the day before it opened. Strips and small pieces of prawns are proving the best bait and in addition to the many varieties of small fish that were taken, four fine steelhead were hooked. Everyone running all over the north coast hunting steelhead on the closing day and here they were on the Berkeley Pier. —Line on Sportsman, Bob Dwyer, Oakland Tribune, March 1, 1943

Fun and Food Await Anglers — Go fishing tomorrow! Day off from your defense work tomorrow or Monday? Then by all means go fishing… Berkeley Pier (old auto ferry pier at the foot of University Avenue)… this opened for public fishing one week ago today… plenty of pogies and perch with the fighting redtail perch running better than one pound each… lots of smelt for light tackle dippers and cork bobbers. —A Line On The Sportsman, Bob Dwyer, Oakland Tribune, March 6, 1943

Plenty of pogies and perch on Berkeley Pier with the size satisfying. T. DeForrest, Mrs. DeForrest and two friends, came in with 80 perch, mostly ret tail variety, from the end of the pier. They weighed more than 100 pounds showing how large the average. —Line On Sportsman, Bob Dwyer, Oakland Tribune, March 8, 1943

Clear Weather Will Provide Pogie, Perch, Smelt, Small Salt Water Fish at Berkeley — Clear weather for either Saturday or Sunday or both will provide pogies, perch, smelt and other small salt water fish by the thousands to the good fishing spots out toward the end of the Berkeley fishing pier, the old auto ferry pier at the end of University Avenue. Almost anything can be used for bait at this point, but the large Louisiana prawns and small pieces of the shrimps native to the Bay and the California coast produce the best results. To get the utmost pleasure out of fishing for the fishes that abound off Berkeley pier, use very light tackle. There is a long lift from the water to the pier at points so that even a pound pogie is heavy for a light trout rod, but just put a couple of small hooks on the end of the light line, attached to a heavy trout rod and reel and the merry-go-round that will result from hooking into a large horse smelt is something to remember. The same goes for light bass (black bass) equipment. —Bob Dwyer, Oakland Tribune, March 19, 1943

Perch are reported running good now at the Berkeley Pier… Otto Walker and Larry Stewart caught 13 perch Tuesday; W. A. Saunders two red tails that weighed four pounds each; E. G. Anderson, five perch to two pounds; Ted Moore, 12 silver perch that averaged one-half pound; Fred Gapasin and wife caught almost 100 perch from a half-pound to a pound and a half; Saunders out a second time 25 perch of various species. Mentioning the species it might be well to go further into the matter. Anderson says there seems to be red tails, silver perch that run around a half pound; another silver perch with a long tail that runs from one to three pounds; another small perch with large eyes; then a striped perch that runs a half pound or so on the average. There are not many pogies being landed at this time. Small shrimps are proving the best bait and in planning your trip to the pier try to catch a tide that is not too fast. All of this type of fishing is best in water that is not whipped around too much by movement. No license is required for this fishing. Striped bass fishing is also good now. —Line On The Sportsman, Bob Dwyer, Oakland Tribune, January 30, 1944

Off Berkeley Pier — Sunday the anglers who observed rationing and went to the Berkeley Pier (the old automobile ferry pier at the foot of University Avenue) were agreeably surprised when many stripers were taken. Checking one group of cars, 30 to 40 bass were counted and there were many other fish brought in that were not included in the census… One man who hesitated about giving his name brought in a full limit of five fish from the Berkeley Pier before 2 p.m. —Line On The Sportsman, Bob Dwyer, Oakland Tribune, April 5, 1944

Complaint Registered — Rarely do letters without full name and address get more than a casual reading en route to the wastebasket, but a fourth letter arrives protesting conditions on the Berkeley Pier, the old automobile ferry pier where the City of Berkeley now collects a fee from fishermen. I quote one, that from the writing, is penned by a woman who is an ardent angler, but here is her complaint printed because Berkeley officials always receive complaints in the spirit they are written: “I have been fishing for years and this year, due to the lack of gasoline, I have tried the Berkeley Pier many times. It is in bad condition. They charge a fee that is supposed to go towards repairs, but some one seems to be slipping.” “It seems to me that it wouldn’t cost much to lay some old planks over the terrible holes you have to duck and dodge around. Do you suppose the city officials know about this condition? Someone is likely to cut a valuable tire or break a wheel there any time. How about a scorcher for the city fathers in your valuable column?” Not a scorcher but rather just a suggestion to the city and to the new city manager, who as yet has hardly had time to hang up his hat, let alone inspect the fishing facilities. But there it is for what it is worth. —Line On The Sportsman, Bob Dwyer, Oakland Tribune, June 23, 1944

The Berkeley pier is only producing sharks to the patient anglers and the water is infested with crabs that pilfer bait with annoying regularity. —Line On The Sportsman, ‘Mike’ Dwyer, Oakland Tribune, December 13, 1944

For the sportsmen who want to save gasoline and let their “A” coupons accumulate, to say nothing of stretching the red ration points, the Berkeley Pier, which may be reached by streetcar, has something to offer. Here young and old anglers alike are taking the red-tail perch via small hooks with shrimp for bait. —Line On The Sportsman, ‘Mike’ Dwyer, Oakland Tribune, February 28, 1945

The Berkeley Pier still is closed to fishermen. The pier is in need of repairs and it is not known as yet when it will again be open. —Line On The Sportsman, ‘Mike’ Dwyer, Oakland Tribune, March 15, 1946

Berkeley Pier To Open For Anglers — Berkeley, April 4.—Berkeley’s fishing pier at the foot of University Avenue will be opened to anglers on Saturday. Harbormaster Armin Koetitz said the opening hour would be 8 a.m. but if the demand is for an earlier hour the schedule will be changed. Approximately $1000 has been expended to put the pier in safe condition following action taken some months ago closing the wharf because of dangers involved. The usual fee of 25 cents per automobile and driver, with 10 cents for each additional passenger, will be charged, City Manager Gerrit Vander Ende said, to provide for upkeep. Children under 12 years of age will fish free. —Oakland Tribune, April 4, 1946

Kids who could fish for free lined the rails of the Berkeley Pier when it opened to anglers over the week-end, and as might be known, took the honors when the day’s catch was counted. The weather was cold and the smelt hard to hook but young and old enjoyed the sport—and the hope that the line might be given at any minute. The pier has been repaired and now is in safe condition for hopeful fishermen who just “might” get a big one. —Oakland Tribune, April 10, 1946

Berkeley Pier Toll House Destroyed — Berkeley, Jan. 13.— Fire shortly before noon today partly destroyed the old toll booth house on the abandoned Berkeley ferry pier. The blaze, of unknown origin, was discovered by Robert Taber, 26, an employee of the Berkeley Yacht Harbor. He said flames were leaping 30 feet in the air. The toll house is a mile out on the pier. One engine company from the Berkeley Fire Department responded to the blaze. —Oakland Tribune, January 13, 1947


Striper Game — As mentioned yesterday striped bass enthusiasts have dreamed up a trolling game to entice the fish that have put in an appearance around Berkeley pier. They walk up and down the pier giving the effect of trolling. Yesterday, two young anglers—Arnold Monteire and Ed Michelena—brought in four via this method. The stripers weighed 10 ½, nine and three quarters, five and three pounds. —Line On The Sportsman, Mike Dwyer, Oakland Tribune, June 4, 1952

With striped bass fishing on the slow side, the piscatorial spotlight is directed toward the perch, which are scattered over a wide area. They are around Berkeley Pier, Angel Island and the pier at Tiburon. Although the perch go for sardines, they have a preference for fresh shrimp at the moment. These are the regular “bay shrimps.” If they are still alive when used for bait, they have an extra appeal to the perch. If the tide is not too heavy a one-ounce swivel sinker is sufficient. Successful anglers have the sinker at the end of the line with about three feet of leader and one hook trailing. There is a limit of 25 perch, but the fish have been running to fair size. Some of them weigh as much as four pounds each.

George Bordenave fished for perch from the pier at Tiburon and took nine for a total of 12 1/2-pounds. Waters around Sheep Island opposite Point Isabel yielded 35 pounds, mostly silver perch, to William Bush. At Berkeley Pier, Ed Grondona and H. L. Cohen took a Mixture of redtail perch and silver perch for a total of 20 pounds. Lee Anderson, San Pablo Avenue bait dealer; John Cased and Guisto Durando went aboard a boat skippered by Arnold Walz and fished the sector at the end of Berkeley Pier. They checked in with 70 perch. —Line On The Sportsman, Mike Dwyer, Oakland Tribune, January 27, 1953

From time to time reports arrive concerning an occasional catch of a sturgeon. These fish, protected by law, should be returned to the water. The tragedy about the sturgeon, however, is that many anglers do not recognize him as such and in many instances the unknowing angler thinks he is some type of shark. In cases such as this the angler usually kills the finster and tosses him back in the water. Archie Larson, who caught a three-foot green sturgeon off of Berkeley pier last week, would have wondered about his “strange catch,” but a representative of the California Academy of Science happened to be nearby. Larson has since received a letter of appreciation for his contribution to the Academy. —Line on the Sportsman, Mike Dwyer, Oakland Tribune, February 10, 1953
Many anglers wisely chose to stay home instead of fighting the traffic and this too turned out to be an excellent choice—especially for those who decided to do striped bass fishing at the Berkeley Pier and in the Berkeley flats. Berkeley Harbor Bait Shop noted that at least 5,000 anglers used the pier over the holiday. Biggest striper taken was 24 pounds. Most jubilant of all anglers however, was Donald Davis. This 11-year-old angler caught “his very first fish”—a nice eight pounder. —Line on the Sportsman, Mike Dwyer, Oakland Tribune, June 3, 1958

Not so outstanding in poundage but definitely an exceptionally fine catch and proving how good fishing has been off of Berkeley Pier was taken by Ruben McClure. He took a legal allotment of three fish with tops going 16 pounds. When an angler can merely toss bait over the rails of the pier and hook into a string of fish like that it’s reasonable to boast of the current striper fishing in the area. —Line on the Sportsman, Mike Dwyer, Oakland Tribune, March 19, 1959


Back on our side of the Bay the bait flingers are still picking up a few small fish off the Albany shoreline, at the race track and Pt. Isabel. Berkeley Pier is offering a few small bass, silver and walleye perch and a good number of flounder. It’s all on sardine bait. —On The Line, Andy Morgensen, Oakland Tribune, November 24, 1961

Midweek fishing offered some startling surprises. Berkeleyan Jim Williams hooked a 5 ¾-pound steelhead at Berkeley Pier while fishing for perch with pile worms. —Andy Morgensen, Oakland Tribune, March 16, 1962

Bass School Moves In From Sea — It is said that the law of averages , like the law of gravity, is infallible. I assume then, that after a protracted period of bad tides, lots of wind and very poor fishing, we become due for the reverse. Perhaps Tuesday proved least as far as striper striving is concerned. On Tuesday forenoon the waters around the Berkeley Pier were alive with bouncing bass. Bouncing out of the water in a frantic effort to evade the jaws of a hungry horde of sea lions. Apparently the school of bass (good sized stripers in the large medium class—8-10 pounders) has moved in from the ocean. Black backs and red at the base of the tails and by the fins. Several old-timers who witnessed the unusual sight consider the school one of the largest seen in those waters for many years. This should, in the writer’s estimation presage some fast and fancy fishing in the immediate future, or at least until the minus tides slow the action down somewhat. —Ralph Stevens, The Fishin’ Fool,San Rafael Daily Independent Journal, May 17, 1962

First and foremost among the bait dunkers is one very happy hero named Dan Haller, who had the surprise — and the thrill — of his life when he hooked a bass while still fishing on the Berkeley Pier. Said bass weighed in at an even 40 pounds. —The Fishin’ Fool, Ralph Stevens, San Rafael Independent Journal, May 29, 1962

Pier fishermen are scoring on perch at Berkeley, but the big bass have been replaced at the pilings by throwbacks. Even schoolboy fisherman Jum Williams was miffed. “The small bass kept stealing the bait and I had to settle for 43 pounds of perch,” he said.—Andy Morgensen, Oakland Tribune, November 29, 1962

With striped bass fishing on the slow side, the piscatorial spotlight is directed toward the perch, which are scattered over a wide area. They are around Berkeley Pier, Angel Island and the pier at Tiburon. Although the perch go for sardines, they have a preference for fresh shrimp at the moment. These are the regular “bay shrimps.” If they are still alive when used for bait, they have an extra appeal to the perch. If the tide is not too heavy a one-ounce swivel sinker is sufficient. Successful anglers have the sinker at the end of the line with about three feet of leader and one hook trailing. There is a limit of 25 perch, but the fish have been running to fair size. Some of them weigh as much as four pounds each…At Berkeley Pier Ed Grondona and H. L. Cohen took a mixture of redtail perch and silver perch for a total of 20 pounds. Lee Anderson, San Pablo Avenue bait dealer, John Caseri and Guisto Durando went aboard a boat skippered by Arnold Walz and fished the sector at the end of Berkeley Pier. They checked in with 70 perch. —Line on the Sportsman, Mike Dwyer, Oakland Tribune, January 27, 1963

Asked what caused so many fishermen along the shore from Golden Gate Fields to below Ashby Avenue, Berkeley, Doris explained that the stripers were infesting the whole area. “They are even getting quite a few bass from the pier along with some smelt.”—The Fishin’ Fool, Ralph Stevens, San Rafael Independent Journal, July 30, 1963

Parka Pack And Perch — Drop everything and join the parka pack for a go at Berkeley Pier perch. The flatfish are on the bite. This is one of the cheapest forms of fishing. You don’t need a license too fish from a municipal pier, and if you really want to go all the way, you can scrounge your bait and chum right off the bay shore. It’s a sport for everyone from six to sixty—some are even older—and the action has been improving the past few weeks. Veterans say this week’s morning tides should be the best. Just don longjohns and parkas. Chilling winds whip the bay. But don’t think you can just trot out on the pier, drop a baited hook and catch perch. Like all fishing, there are tricks to the trade. It’s obvious when you check the catches. Some sacks bulge, while others are limp. So to the experts we trotted. He’s Shig Akagi, a Berkeley gardener, who crams up on his work so he can spend at least a couple of days a week at the pier. “I love it. Perch are real fighters, and they’re fine eating, too,” he says. He opened his sage sayings with a warning. “Figure to spend at least an hour working before you start fishing. Turn seaweed covered rocks on the beach for baby crabs, or dig for pile worms for bait, then gather mussels for chum. You’ve got to have the ingredients,” says he. He gears for his work with 15 pound test line, a light sliding sinker and a three foot leader with three hooks. He favors baby crabs for big perch, but at times uses pile worms and live bay shrimp purchased at the bait shop. Success in perch fishing is likened to bullhead fishing. “When your rod tip bends with a bite, dip the rod to give the perch a little line, then hit him. You’ve got to give him time to swallow the bait. If he feels a drag, he’ll drop it,” Shig says. His fishing partner, Les Sibrian of Oakland, nodded approval to all tips, then offered a reminder. “Just keep chumming every once in a while with crushed mussels or barnacles. It helps attract the fish,” he says. Lee is another veteran perch fisherman. You can tell at a glance. He’s bundled in woolens and parka for the chill, and a converted shopper’s cart provides his fishing wants. It serves as a seat, holds bait and gear and helps make fishing leisure loafing. Frank Fong and his wife, Gladys, are other regulars. They also use the conventional rig, but stick to live shrimp for bait. “We’ve been down here every day for the past three weeks and always get our share. We were too late and missed the good tide today,” Frank said. Another husband-wife team is Ella Mae and Pete Conidi of Oakland. They average 19 to 20 perch to 3 ½ pounds each day. They had eight beauties on the stringer when we checked them. “Perch fishing is fun and the fish are delicious. I either fillet and fry them, or scale and clean the big ones, rub them in butter and garlic and season and bake them. They’re done in 30 minutes in a hot oven,” Ella Mae says. Emanuel Brantley of Berkeley didn’t have any perch on his stringer, but he was pleased with his catch. “I’ve already caught one bullhead, a spotted leopard shark and one nice flounder. You never k now what’s coming up next when you fish the pier,” Whatever the catch pier fishing is fun. It’s a family game where everyone participates and a friendly atmosphere where the veteran teaches the neophyte. Even the gulls join in. They perch on the rails and eye the angler for a dive on bait scraps. Frank Fong expresses the setting. “Everyone gets along. We always have a ball. If world problems could be hashed out on Berkeley Pier, everything would work out fine,” he says.Andy Morgensen, Oakland Tribune, January 20, 1964

One angler decked a 30 pounder from the end of the Berkeley Pier, according to Onnie Lundgren at Berkeley Marina Landing, and this seems to be the top striper of the week… The probable reason for the big stripers moving into the shallows is the fact that some really good runs of perch are in the area. Pier and rock anglers are sacking tremendous hauls of perch all along the frontage roads and along the pilings and the bass that are being taken are stuffed with the young of the perch families. —Outdoors Dateline, Jim Freeman, Fremont Argus, November 10, 1967

San Francisco Bay fishing has really been on the dull side. About the only thing happening in this section of the salt scene is the perch fishing in rocky and pier areas. The split tail and silver perch are on hand in large numbers and anglers are taking them by the sack full. Best areas are off Ashby Avenue, the Berkeley Pier and on the south point of Brooks Island. The top offering is either grass shrimp or pile worms, with the shrimp fishermen taking the larger fish. Few of the rubberlips or redtails have been taken. —Outdoors Dateline, Jim Freeman, Fremont Argus, February 9, 1968

A new trick has been developed by perch fishermen on the Berkeley Pier. The perch are on hand in force with the bulk of the perch being sacked made up of silver and small split-tails. The sacks have been running heavy when you catch a good tide with high water. But many of the pier regulars have started to bait up for stripers with the small split-tails. They’ve been decking some nice stripers to 20 pounds. —Outdoors Dateline, Jim Freeman, Fremont Argus, December 6, 1968

In San Francisco Bay, just about everyone has given up the striped chase and turned to perch fishing for the early action on the scene. Perch specialists are even few and far between but those who are working the Berkeley Pier and the southeast end of Brooks Island report that the take of redtails and rubberlip perch is nothing less than sensational. The perch are suckers for a well rigged pile worm or clam bait right now and you can hardly lug a sack of them up the steps. —Outdoors Dateline, Jim Freeman, Fremont Argus, January 3, 1969

Perch Fishing ‘Fantastic’ — Flounder and perch crowded into the central section of San Francisco Bay. The flounder can be taken from the shore with pile worms or grass shrimp baits. And the perch fishing is just this side of fantastic.“Even during the worst blows over the weekend the perch fishermen were hanging in there and taking fish off the Berkeley Pier,” says George Kerr at Berkeley Pier Landing. “Everyone is having a ball with the perch and flounder. It’s one of the best seasons on record.”—Outdoors Dateline, Jim Freeman, Fremont Argus, January 17, 1969

Berkeley Pier fishermen are not only limiting up on perch but they can also count on some flounder action when the tides flood. The water looks like coffee with cram but the panfish are hitting like crazy. A few stray stripers to 25 pounds were reported from Berkeley Pier fishermen. George Kerr at Berkeley Pier Marina says that these few fish don’t seem to constitute a run yet but that maybe the stripers have moved back into the bay to have a go at the herring.—Outdoors Dateline, Jim Freeman, Fremont Argus, January 24, 1969

Flounder Hit Berkeley Pier — A big run of flounder hit Berkeley Pier this week. George Kerr of Berkeley Marina Landing says, “You should see the people lined up on the pier over the last weekend. Everybody had sacks of flounder that they could hardly lug down the pier. They aren’t big flatties, but the number that are there must be fantastic!” The flounder are hitting just about anything that is offered to them right now but the top bait is pileworms. Fresh and rigged grass shrimp mare also top baits when fished right on the bottom. —Outdoors Dateline, Jim Freeman, Fremont Argus, February 7, 1969

“The perch fishing can be rated good right now from the Berkeley Pier and for shore fishing in most of the rocky areas between the pier and the Richmond Turning Basin,” says George Kerr at Berkeley Marina. “Flounder have thinned out in the area since they were pushed in here on the big storm crests but pier and bank fishermen are still showing with flounder that go up to about five pounds.” The trick to take these perch and flounder is to use eastern bloodworms, Kerr says. A week or so ago the bad weather caused shipments of bloodworms to stop and the angling success ratio took a nosedive, even though the flounder had moved into the area around the Berkeley Pier. The bloodworms are flown in from the eats coast and are available at most East Bay bait shops. Some anglers use common pile worms and shrimp or crabs but the bloodworm fishermen score far higher than any other anglers.— Outdoors Dateline, Jim Freeman, Fremont Argus, February 28, 1969

Perch and flounder have been on tap in San Francisco and San Pablo Bay and features near record flounder action. The perch fishing should soon taper off because these fish are inshore in all the rocky and pier areas to spawn…George Kerr says that anglers fishing from Berkeley Pier have had to change over to larger hooks than the commonly used No. 4 hooks that they usually use. “The bigger perch are breaking the hooks when they are hauled up to the pier,” George says. —Outdoors Dateline, Jim Freeman, Fremont Argus, April 5, 1969

Perch fishing took up the slack for San Francisco Bay fishermen as striped bass fishing fell off the mark over the weekend. The perch are showing in good numbers and you can take a sack full with relative ease. Flounder to four pounds are being taken by worm and shrimp fishermen along the Berkeley Pier and Richmond shore. —Outdoors Dateline, Jim Freeman, Fremont Argus, December 18, 1969


Perch Good At Berkeley Pier — At Berkeley Pier the striper fishing is dead but perch anglers are showing with good strings with nearly everyone taking mixed strings of several species. Onnie Lundgren of Berkeley Marina reported that even during the heaviest blows this week at least a few anglers were on the pier taking perch. Pile worms are top fodder with grass shrimp a close second.—Outdoors Dateline, Jim Freeman,
Fremont Argus, January 15, 1970

Panfish keeping angling alive — Even though the weatherman has had a hammerlock on the sportsman for the past week, anglers who are playing the local saltwater panfish game are showing with perch, flounder and an occasional sturgeon. During the amazing downpours of this past week at least some waterproof anglers were willing to fish from the Berkeley Pier, according to Onnie Lundgren. They were rewarded with catches of several different kinds of perch, in the bay right now in most areas for spawning purposes. Onnie says that grass shrimp is by far the favored bait for pier and rock fishermen working the perch trade. He says some old timers still go for pile worms or even bloodworms and these are working too. Most are split tails or silvers but a few red and yellow-tails are showing with a smattering of rubberlips. —Outdoors Dateline, Jim Freeman, Fremont Argus, January 22, 1970

Pier fishermen are getting a good mix of king fish, smelt and perch and the odd thing this year is that anglers are picking up sturgeon, some them going 50 inches, but there has been a lot of small ones taken. —Outdoor Dateline, Jim Freeman, Fremont Argus, June 25, 1970

Jack smelters fishing off of the Berkeley Pier are finding good table fodder using bloodworms fished on the bottom. Perch and starry flounder are also coming to the pier and providing top action. —Phil Ford, San Mateo Times, March 25, 1971

Action for stripers off the Berkeley Pier has quieted down, but anglers are catching plenty of flounder and perch to make things interesting. —Outdoors Dateline, Pat Quense, Fremont Argus, January 13, 1972

If you prefer to keep your feet on solid ground and still take stripers, the Berkeley Pier has been getting a good play after dark. The lights around the water attract bait. The bait attracts bigger bass. George Kerr at the Berkeley Marina says there’s been a number of fathers and kids fishing through the night. He said by the tie he opens up in the morning, there’s always people waiting to weigh their fish. — Outdoors Dateline, Pat Quense, Fremont Argus, July 27, 1973

Striped Bass — Striped bass are offering fair sport in selected spots. George Kerr says the Berkeley Pier is hosting good crowds of anglers. The number of stripers caught has been increasing. Live bait is the best method. Many guys put on a small hook to catch some split tail perch. These are used as bait for bass. Anchovies or sardines also serve as proper baits. Top fish recently went 20 pounds. Average size is five pounds. —Outdoor Dateline, Pat Quense, Fremont Argus, September 7, 1973

Pier anglers have been getting into good perch fishing. Most guys are getting nine and 10 fish per effort. Majority are rubber lips. Only an occasional striper has been caught by pier anglers. —Outdoor Dateline, Pat Quense, Fremont Argus, December 7, 1973

Most of the saltwater fishing news has been glum for the past few week. Striper and sturgeon fishing fell off due to slack tides and the only happy news from several marinas was the abundance of perch and flounder. In Berkeley George Kerr says perch fishing from the pier is rewarding. It’s no chore to take home between 10 and 15 perch. This s a favorite type of fishing for kids. The action is usually fast enough to hold their interest. Grass shrimp is the top bait but worms will also do the trick.—Outdoor Dateline, Pat Quense, Fremont Argus, January 4, 1974

From Berkeley Todd Kerr rates fishing from the Berkeley only fair. There haven’t been any stripers seen for at least a couple of weeks. Perch provide the most consistent action. There’s been an occasional flounder brought in but flounder won’t offer much sport until we get some rain.—Outdoor Dateline, Pat Quense, Fremont Argus, January 31, 1975

From the Berkeley Pier, anglers are hooking into an occasional bass. One man managed to net a 20 pounder recently. Majority of catches are made up of kingfish hitting on grass shrimp. —Outdoor Dateline, Pat Quense, Fremont Argus, April 16, 1976

The Berkeley Pier is another spot that’s offering up stripers. The guys working from the pier are doing okay while people fishing off of boats are showing with slightly better scores since they can fish the entire length of the pier. Shiners are the best baits when you can find them. If you can’t find any, split tail perch will work. —Outdoor Dateline, Pat Quense, Fremont Argus, November 26, 1976

Berkeley Pier Fishing Interesting — According to Al Loo at Berkeley Marina pier, fishermen are getting a good share of the runs of perch. There’s also a few nice flounder around to make action from the pier more interesting. Anglers using splittail perch as bait are finding an occasional striper from the pier. —Outdoor Dateline, Pat Quense, Fremont Argus, December 17, 1976

Things have picked up at the Berkeley Pier. There are a few small stripers seen most days along with some nice size perch going two and three pounds and lots of kingfish.—Outdoor Dateline, Pat Quense, Fremont Argus, July 1, 1977

At the Berkeley Pier it’s flounder, pile perch and rubberlips. An average string will hold four to six fish. Bass off the pier and around the flats has been spotty. —Outdoor Dateline, Pat Quense, Fremont Argus, December 23, 1977

There’s some bass taking floating shiners off the pier. Although few limits are checked out from the pier, top fish this week went 28 pounds. —Outdoor Dateline, Pat Quense, Fremont Argus, October 29, 1978