The Model Pier — Any more?

Ken Jones

Staff member
Date: January 3, 2007
To: Pier Fishing In California Message Board
From: Posted by dompfa ben
Subject: What is a "model pier?"

There was a scene in "The Karate Kid" where Mr. Miyagi gives Daniel-san an introductory course in the art of Bansai. "Clear head. Think only of tree..." encourages Miyagi. There is actually no instruction in how to cut the branches and form a perfect vision of a tiny tree. There is only the teacher's attempt to uncover what already exists in the student: perfection.

While I am no master--martial arts, Jedi, or otherwise--I would like to encourage each of you, for the briefest of moments, to clear your head, and think only of pier.

In your heart of hearts, in the bright, shiny recesses of perfection that dwell in your mind's eye, what is a model pier? What would it look like? What would it feature? Who would fish there? Where would it be located?

Share your ideas on this thread. Challenge yourself, perhaps challenge others.

Of course, this is just an exercise--eventually, we must return to reality, and deal with what IS. Yet by considering what could be, don't we approach what should be?

Posted by SturgeonSlayer23

I like the deep thought, kind of puts you in an epiphany of some kind of Zen Master way:) Anyway, THE perfect pier would be made from American hard wood, stained dark brown maple color, and extend all the way to the deep channel where the wild things are. Plenty of cut rod holders in the wood. Nice cleaning stations with fresh running water and garbage cans situated every 30 feet on the pier. It should have xenon lamps on the pier for night fishing. A nice little mom & pop bait shop at the beginning of the pier which sold live shrimp to whole live bonito for bait. They would sell only trans-fat free muffins and cookies and the best dam coffee you would want for $0.50 a cup. The pier, never crowded, but only helpful anglers who wouldn't mind lending a hand if need be. All would share bait and prosper. The perfect pier.

Posted by Crust

The coffee should be free ;) jk

I wouldn't mind a pier like Balboa Pier with a second "floating" level that is closer to the water and maybe slightly longer. -Crust

Posted by Danthefisherman

The perfect pier IS...SF Muni pier. In the day time the pier is full of people: Tourists, fisherman from around the globe, joggers, and of course, the perfectly balanced Pod scooters. It is also full of many memories for many who grew up fishing in SF. Though, all piers have people and are full of memories, right? And SF Muni is often trashed, the concrete walls crumbling, and the floors full of potholes. It is just an ordinary pier, nothing special, by day that is!

Once the sun goes down and the crowds disappear, the place comes to life! All the imperfections fade away in the darkness, and you are left in silence, surrounded by the lights of all the tourist attractions. With the entire bay lit up for a backdrop, and the occasional bus or street cleaner passing in the background, you remain, only to put yourself in paradise, however you see it. Watching the tip of your pole, linking yourself to whatever life is below the glassy surface of a world of water, you are in a place of imagination yet reality. You are in the ultimate state of relaxation!

The ultimate state of relaxation, so far from today's busy and booming planet, it seems to put you in a new world. The perfect pier is just a world away. It is easily accessible for all who slow down to enjoy life. It is even a place for people to start new lives. Does the pier itself matter? If any pier is perfect, it is not because of the strong pilings and nice railing, but rather the life shared by the group of people who find themselves in a new world. The pier is just a portal to get to that special place.

BUT: if there was a perfect pier...physically that is. There would be COMFORTABLE chairs. BBQ pits, buffet tables, and a retractable sunroof for shelter of those not so perfect days. The pier would be able to follow the fish (nm..that would be a boat not a pier!). OF course, we can’t forget escalators and moving floors. Last but not least, also the best...girls on roller skates to take your order!

Posted by pinfish

It would have lots of fish and nobody on it except me.

Posted by kaleo

Take a wooden pier like Seacliff, extend it about a half mile or so, and locate it a little north of Moss Landing so that it runs up to and along the edge of the Monterey Canyon. Like Seacliff, this pier is part of a state park. The pier, of course, is free, but parking is still $6.

A shop at the base of the pier sells bait, basic tackle, sandwiches and chowder and musubi, and serves as a base for the on-duty ranger. The ranger cruises the pier on his/her bitchin classic Schwinn. S/he talks story with the regulars. And s/he has the full authority of law on her/his side. This is a coveted position within the state park system; knowledgeable and capable candidates tend to be the ones to get the job. There is a ranger on duty from 6am to 10pm.

This pier has a gate. It is locked from 10pm to 6am, but night fishing is available with a permit. Permits are available from the ranger. No more than 3 permits can be issued per night, but each permit is good for a group of up to 12(?) individuals. Permit holders have their picture taken by the ranger at the time of permit issuance. Permit holders are responsible for any damage, defacing, or littering that occurs during their permitted time; offenders have their pictures posted at the shop and are denied entry to the pier until they have made right their wrongs. Serious offenders are arrested.

The light posts have placards with fish identification guides and a list of regulations pertaining to the commonly caught species. The multilingual regulations are regularly updated by the ranger. Snappy slogans promote catch and release. There's an 8' long bench every 20 feet, and there's a trash can and recycle bins by every other bench. There's a fish cleaning station every 100 feet or so.

This pier has been adopted by a docent group. The group regularly holds on-pier workshops on proper fish release methods, bay ecology, the natural histories of individual species, stuff like that. The group also facilitates children's derbies. Many of the pier regulars are members of the docent group.

And the girls on roller skates, this pier has those too...