Ken Jones

Staff member
Been working on my autobiography, a book I hope my kids and grandchildren will find interesting enough to read some day. Was writing up the section on UPSAC and was reminded that we actually did quite a few things during the years we were in existence. Too bad we couldn't keep it going.

A great deal of time, effort and money was spent by many, many people over the years but the summary was for my autobiography so it reflects that angle (hope it doesn't sound like I did it all because I was simply one among many).

United Pier and Shore Anglers of California (UPSAC) — In 2003, after considerable discussion, I together with several PFIC members, decided to form an organization to represent pier and shore anglers. The name would be a natural, United Pier and Shore Anglers of California. (UPSAC). After filling out and filing all the papers we were officially incorporated as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization on May 28, 2003. I would serve as president from its founding in 2003 until 2019 when we decided to close up shop. A lack of funding and the death of several board members led to the death of the organization itself. During the years, UPSAC became a very well respected organization and accomplished quite a bit but the one glaring weakness throughout its history was the lack of funds, a lack stemming in large part to our decision to not charge members a fee (as does virtually every organization) The list of accomplishments is fairly long:

Get Togethers — Perhaps the favorite activity for many was our various “Get Togethers.” Two were very special and long lasting.

Our “Catalina Get Togethers” became for many the signature event of the year. They were held in conjunction with PFIC that had sponsored the first two Get Togethers in 2002 and 2003. The joint PFIC/UPSAC Get Togethers would be held from 2004 until 2015 when dwindling numbers and increased prices in Catalina made it hard for many to attend. Some people would come over only for the Saturday derby while many would come over for two or three days. Most would stay at the inexpensive Hermosa Hotel, we would have meals together, and usually had a “big” meal on Saturday night following the derby. It was truly the year’s highlight for many people.

The second big event was the “Mud Marlin Derby” at the Berkeley Pier, an event that was under the sposorship of PFIC in 2002 and 2003. Following the incorporation of UPSAC in 2003, the PFIC/UPSAC Mud Marlin Derbies were annually held at the pier from 2004 to 2015 when the pier was closed by the city. Numbers ranged from 30 or 40 to over a hundred and again it was a favorite event with people fishing, visiting, cooking for the group, and of course trying to win the derby and a prize.

Although these were long standing, annual events, a number of other Get Togethers were also held and all were special. These included the Goleta Pier Get Togethers 2004-2005; the Seacliff State Beach & Pier Get Together in 2004; and the Avila Beach Get Together in 2009.

Fishing Seminars and Classes — Given that a main purpose behind UPSAC was the education of fellow anglers, a number of classes and seminars were held, some of which were UPSAC events, some of which were done with other people or groups. (1) Included was involvement in the Bolsa Chica State Beach “Surf Fishing” Seminars held by Bill Varney 2005-2010; (2) UPSAC classes conducted by James Liu (GDude) at the Santa Cruz Wharf in 2008-2009; (3) UPSAC classes held at the Hermosa Beach Pier in 2009; (3) UPSAC classes held at the Manhattan Beach Pier in 2009; (4) Regular UPSAC classes held at the Goleta Pier from 2009-2010; (5) A seminar held by myself at the Marina Del Rey Anglers in 2011; (6) UPSAC/Bay Area Boy Scout Seminars held by James Liu (GDude) from 2010-2013.

Kids Fishing Derbies — A favorite activity was the kids fishing derbies. Some were derbies primarily sponsored by the International Game Fishing Association (IGFA) in which UPSAC loaned a helping hand, while most were UPSAC derbies in which IGFA helped out (equipment and certificates).

IGFA Derbies — Participation in (various) San Diego Kid’s Fishing Derbies including the Shelter Island Kids Derby, 2005-2015.

UPSAC Kids Derbies — Goleta Pier, 2010; Oceanside Pier, 2010-2012; Berkeley Pier, 2011-2014; Avila Pier, 2011-2015; Marin Rod and Gun Club Pier, 2012-2019; Stearns Wharf (Santa Barbara), 2013; and Trinidad Pier, 2014-2019. All derbies were stopped in 2020 due to Covid19.

A number of smaller UPSAC derbies were also held over the years, usually sponsored by local members. Included were derbies in 2009-2010 at the Cabrillo Pier, Redondo Sportfishing Pier, Huntington Beach Pier, Oceanside Pier, Malibu Pier, Hermosa Beach Pier, Seal Beach Pier and Berkeley Pier.

UPSAC Adult Fishing Derbies — Derbies for PFIC/UPSAC members were also a favorite Included were ones held in 2009 at the Cabrillo Pier, Venice Pier, Redondo Sportfishing Pier, and Seal Beach Pier. 2010 saw derbies at the Oceanside Pier, Malibu Pier and Huntington Beach Pier.

Grants and Projects — A number of grants were also obtained for a variety of projects. (1) UPSAC-NOAA Fishing Line Recycling Project, 2006-2008, (Grant # MPD06-5); (2) Goleta Pier, A Platform For Education and Conservation, 2006-2007 (w/ Channel Islands Marine Sanctuary Foundation); (3) Goleta Pier Angler Center, 2008-2011 (w/Santa Barbara County Parks Department) and our UPSAC Superman Boyd Grant; (4) NOAA—UPSAC Ethical Angler Fishing Program, 2011 (Grant #JF133F-10-SE-3840).

Miscellaneous Projects — Given that UPSAC was a statewide organization it was natural that we would be involved in a variety of other projects. Included were (1) Participation in the Day At The Docks in San Diego, 2004-2008; (2) Assistance with the UCSB Lobster Survey, 2005; (3) A booth at the Fred Hall Fishing Show, 2006-2007; (4) Participation in Coastal Clean-Up Day, 2010.

Government Related Advocacy for Inshore Anglers — In addition, as president of UPSAC I would be involved with a number of projects over the years. The work at times was very time consuming but also enjoyable. (1) Participation in the Werder Pier (San Mateo Bridge) Pier Study 2003-2004; (2) Membership on the Bay Delta Sport Fishing Enhancement Stamp (BDSFES) Advisory Committee (selected by California Fish & Game Dept.), 2004—2009; (3) Membership on the California Recreational Fish Implementation Team (NOAA) and California Saltwater Sportfishing Action Team (NOAA), 2005-2012; (4) Assistance and participation with the Montrose Settlements Restoration Program, 2006-2007; (5) Membership on the Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA) Advisory Board from 2007-2012; (6) Membership on the Statewide Interest Group (SIG) for the Central, North Central, Southern California and Northern California Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Committees, 2007-2011; (7) Membership on the North Central Coast Stakeholders Group of Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA), (selected by California Fish & Game Dept.), 2008-2009; (8) Membership on the California Ocean Uses Atlas Project (NOAA)—Northern, Central and Southern California, 2008-2009; (9) Participation in Santa Monica Bay Pier Stakeholders Summit, 2015; (10) Participation in the Recreational Fishing Regional Roundtable Meeting (NOAA), 2017; (11) Participation in the Department of Fish and Wildlife's "Ocean Fishing Workshop" held at Dana Point and the San Clemente Pier in 2017; (12) Participation in the Marine Resources Education Program (MREP) Fishery Science Workshop at Santa Cruz, 2018.

It was a lot of fun and UPSAC was the only fishing organization dedicated (and giving attention) to the shore and pier fishermen. But we needed new blood and money and it didn't appear to be forthcoming.
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Ken Jones

Staff member
Although I no longer would wish to be the leader (it's time for new blood) there remains a need for something like UPSAC. I still have all of the papers (in fact hundreds of documents) If anyone would be interested in starting up the organization once again. Send me a note if interested:
Thank you for doing this for all of the community. I found out about this site about 10 years ago and it has given me a lot of info and insight about pier and shore fishing. As a casual fisherman, it allowed me to be out there through the other member's posts and pics since I was not always available to go out and fish. It sounds like UPSAC had a great run throughout the years and helped many people.

Today, there is a huge community of fisherman on Youtube and social media where people continue to get together and hold events and still help each other out. I think it's very similar to what this community was about (the lack of posts today), but the age of Youtube and Instagram has changed everything as we all know.

Ken Jones

Staff member
I received a note from a long-time friend and PFIC member who questioned some of the information I left out of this post. Rest assured that I in no way meant to overlook the contributions of so many others, some who in some instances did more than I did. However, the post was simply from my autobiography which is intended for my children and grandchildren, no one else, and is thus simply an overview of UPSAC accomplishments.

Here are some of those people—

"I read your post on the imminent autobiography as well as the accomplishment list from UPSAC. I was a little surprised you did not cite 2003 and the Goleta Get Together among the important/significant events. After all, that event is the true beginning of UPSAC, a time of hope and a nonpartisan optimism." (The Get Togethers at Goleta were tremendous events and many of the people who made up PFIC and UPSAC attended the event in 2003 (originally not mentioned because I thought it was strictly still a PFIC event. But, I checked my dates and I was wrong. Many of the connections made, and the ideas that emerged, resonated from that gathering. However, my correspondence regarding UPSAC dates back to 2002, corporation papers were filed with the state in March 2003, and the organization gained its 501(c)(3) status in May 2003. Thus though the Get Together at Goleta in July was very, very important, I never considered it the beginning of UPSAC.

"Also, there would be no Mud Marlin Derby without Michael Profumo, Dave Mas, Scott Geerds, Martin Sliwak, Lisa Kersey, and yours truly. Our ad hoc meetings at night on the pier created the event, which snowballed and, in my opinion, grew beyond the capability of UPSAC to manage it." (It's agreed that several people not mentioned were original organizers of the PFIC events in 2002 and 2003. In 2004, after the organization of UPSAC, both PFIC and UPSAC would be seen as co-sponsors of the event. People can agree or disagree as to its changes over the years.)

"I must say I was also a little surprised at the chutzpah in mentioning Coastal Cleanup as an accomplishment. For many years Boyd, promoted or at least posted about this annual occasion. The response, on three separate boards, was less than enthusiastic, and in fact, most times entirely ignored." ( I agree that usually little notice or attention was given to the Coastal Cleanup Day. The one reference was to 2010 when Boyd was posting (under the UPSAC Banner I think) and people helped him at Goleta. Of course many like the writer of the note jumped in year after year, but not under the UPSAC banner.)

As said, the list (from my autobiography) was simply that, a list for my personal family. To do justice to all the people, projects, goals and accomplishments would probably take a book in itself. A lot of lessons, some good and some bad, were learned in the process.


Well-Known Member
You can add to costal cleaning at Redondo jetty, for at least a couple of years. UPSAC received donated bait from Paul's at San Pedro.

Anybody who came to the jetty to fish that day, was given valuable bait like ghost shrimp, mussel, etc. in exchange for a bag full of trash.

The UPSAC members were at the Fred Hall Show many yeas after 2007.

UPSAC was in several city hall meetings on behalf of pier fisherman, when the Manhattan pier was closed to fishing by city officials due to a shark incident. We also protested the new rules put on by the city (illegally) regarding fishing at the pier.

UPSAC member was also helping white seabass growing and release project at Redondo beach.

Red Fish

Well-Known Member
Yes, UPSAC members were involved in many additional activities.
Yes, and Adam Cassidy and Eugene Kim did quite a bit too, lol. Lol, I will take credit as "boots on the ground, " the unwritten soldiers of UPSAC... Don't forget Ben Ackerman and James Liu added a few paragraphs.
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