Last modified: August 5, 2018

Fishing Piers Southern California

Redondo Sportfishing Pier — King Harbor — Redondo Beach — Gone But Not Forgotten

Posted by frozendog on August 27, 2004—When I was just a young pinhead my mother found out she could unload my best friend and me for a whole Saturday by driving us to Redondo and shipping us out on the barge for the whole day. She told the boat taxi skipper not to bring us back until 5 or 6 P.M. and she drove us home and we loved it. Today’s kids [and moms] should have the same opportunity

<*}}}}}}}}}>< Although not primarily about the pier, the following note gives a feel for harbor back in the ‘60s and ‘70s, the bonito, and “The Good Old Days.”

Date: September 21, 2000; To: PFIC Message Board; From: Mola Joe; Subject: Reply to barbless & Redondo Harbor

I see that you fish Redondo Harbor a lot and I’m kind of curious if you fished it back in the late ‘60s or ‘70s when the big bonito were thick and eating just about anything that moved. I have a soft spot for this harbor as I learned more about fishing and probable caught more fish from it than any other place I have ever fished, including Mexico. It really was a unbelievable site to see the harbor packed with boats and the rocks lined with people, and just about everyone getting torn up by 4 to 8-pound bonito. When the Sunbeam unloaded anchovies into the receiver, the harbor turned into one big boil. Yellowtail showed up every summer and it’s the place where I caught my very first one when I was 12 years old. The bubble hole would fill up with yellows every summer, and fly-lining a sardine or small mack on 12-pound line would get you at least 2 or 3 hits every morning.

Most people don’t know of the huge resident population of spotted bay bass that live back in the basins where the docks are The harbor patrol knew me on a first name basis, as they kicked me out of docks at least once a week. I’m sure the fish are still there, but things are different now and you will get a ticket if they catch you back in there. The wall has always held big calicos, and I fished it at night just a few years ago and did really well. I was in a boat, but you can get them from the rocks as well.

If you’re serious about targeting bigger fish, don’t fish anything less than 25-pound line, and fish at night on an incoming tide. The secret bait that few talk about is a 5 to 8-inch baby octopus fished on a ¼-ounce head bounced along the rocks. I fish 50-lb Spider Wire on a heavy 9-foot Loomis rod and still break fish off in the rocks. You can buy the octopus at most Asian markets like the 99 Ranch Market. I know it sounds like overkill to use such heavy line, but until you hooked these big guys, you won’t believe how hard they pull. There are more 5 to 10 pound calicos here than you would think, being so close to shore, but putting your hands on one is another story. Good luck and remember to put them back so you can catch them again next year!!!

Posted by barbless

It was a wonderful time… Hi Mola Joe! Well my story is that I was fortunate to grow up in Manhattan Beach in the 70’s and 80’s. As a kid I would go with my older brother to the Manhattan pier and watch as he and his friends would catch big bonito, thresher sharks, huge bat rays, etc. And then there was King Harbor. I remember being in awe as bonito just seemed to always be eating. You could always go there and catch fish all year. Ah, yes the good old days. My brothers and I still talk about those days and still shake our heads at how wonderful it was. And my brother and I also use to get kicked out of the docks all the time too. I’ve only recently been going again, as fishing took a back seat in my life… but no longer! I’m just starting to realize the fishery that is still left. It’s really sad that almost every time out I see people poaching tiny bass and anything else they can get. The good news is that most don’t know how to fish so at least some survive. That’s why I release 99.9% of what I catch no matter what it is. Catch and release when done properly is a great thing. I’ll have to try more of the night fishing. I’ve been pondering that of late so with your advice I guess it’ll happen for sure. Thanks for sharing your memories with me and talk with ya later. Tight lines! <“))){



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