Public Pier — No Fishing License Required
Although designed as a fishing pier when built in 1963, this is one of those small bay piers that often sees more non-fishermen than fisherman. It’s a good place to relax, a place to bring your girl (as reflected in the names carved in the pier: Gypsy J, Shanna and M. Ruby, Ken and Lucy, T.D. and Karen and many, many more), and a place to bring your kids when they want to fish. The fishing itself tends to be slow and the lethargic pace encourages the other activities. Located near the channel into the marina, it is a great place to watch windsurfers and boats of every description. It is also one of the best spots to watch what seems at times to be a non-stop stream of aircraft descending into the nearby Oakland International Airport. If the kids get too restless, there is always the park-like setting at the foot of the pier, an area with pine trees, grassy areas, benches and tables. Nearby sits the Spinnaker Yacht Club and a golf course
Fishing Tips. In the winter and spring fish for perch and starry flounder using either pile worms, ghost shrimp, grass shrimp, small pieces of market shrimp, or small pieces of clams. For the perch, use a high/low leader and hooks size 6 or 8. For the flounder, use a flounder rig and size 4 hooks. For both, the best spot is on the bottom, although the perch will be found around the pier or by the inshore rocks (during a high tide), while the flounder are typically found away from the pier. Almost any month may produce a few jacksmelt when the schools decide to enter the harbor area. When present, they’ll provide quick action for anglers fishing mid-depth while using small hooks.
In the summer and fall your best bet may be sharks (brown smoothhound and leopard), bat rays and possibly a skate (California and big). Use a fairly heavy line, size 2 or larger hooks, and squid, cut anchovy, mackerel, sardines or ghost shrimp for bait. One of the nice things about the pier is its small size; if you hook a large shark or mud marlin it’s easy to maneuver them into the shoreline area where they can be released.
If you want to try for striped bass catch a small shiner and use it for live bait. Or, try an artificial lure for the stripers. Plugs, Hair Raiser-type lures, and spoons like Kastmasters will sometimes attract a stray bass. For the kids, summer and fall months may provide a steady diet of small shinerperch and bullheads (staghorn sculpin). All they need to use is small hooks baited with small pieces of pile worm; the perch will be around the pier while the sculpin will carpet the bottom away from the pier.
The Pier Rats Speak
Date: August 26, 1999; To: Pier Fishing In California Message Board; From: turin; Subject: San Leandro Pier
Every high tide this week, during the day, saw a school of decent-sized smelt come in and the catch were good. Use cut bait on the surface. turin
History Note. A land grant of 1839 was named after Arroyo de San Leandro (Creek of Saint Leander). The town was named in 1855.
The 1850s also saw a wharf and landing develop just south of this area, along the Hayward shoreline. This was Johnson’s Landing, an important landing used by local farmers to ship their crops. The landing also had a popular hotel that was used by passengers and sportsmen who came to hunt on John Johnson’s marshes (and undoubtedly fish in the bay).
A few years later, two additional landing were developed between Hayward and San Leandro. Both the Hayward Landing (near today’s Winton Avenue) and Robert’s Landing (near San Lorenzo Creek), became important shipping sites for the two-masted scow schooners then common in the bay.
<*}}}}}}}}}>< — Special Bay Area Regulations:
- A perch closure exits in San Francisco and San Pablo Bay from April 1 to July 31. No perch may be kept other than shinerperch (20).
- In San Francisco and San Pablo Bay a fishing line may not contain more than three hooks.
- A sturgeon report card and tags are required for anyone fishing for or taking sturgeon. (a) The card must be in the angler’s possession; (b) a tag must be used for any sturgeon retained by the angler; (c) the angler must record information on the Sturgeon Report Card immediately after catching and keeping or releasing the sturgeon.
- White sturgeon can only be kept from 40-60 inches; larger and smaller sturgeon must be released.
- Green sturgeon may not be taken or possessed.
San Leandro Pier Facts
Hours: Open 24 hours a day but there is generally only one light on at night and it is located on the stem leading out to the pier. As a result you may need to set up your bait and tackle by the light and then try to keep an eye on your rod in the darkness.
Facilities: There is limited free parking on the street adjacent to the pier. There are no restrooms, fish cleaning stations, benches, bait and tackle shops, or snack shops although there is a pay phone across the street. There are restrooms and several restaurants in the marina area.
Handicapped Facilities: None; the railing is approximately 40 inches high.
How To Get There: From I-880 go west on Marina Blvd. which will turn into Monarch Bay Drive; curve to the left and follow to Pescador Point Drive; turn right and proceed to the end where the pier is located.
Management: San Leandro Recreation Department.