Pacifica Pier is a historical fishing pier that extends one-quarter mile into the ocean from the City of Pacifica. The Fish. Required fields are marked *, The Complete Coast and Bay Guide to Shore-Based Fishing. Far too common are the bait-stealing staghorn sculpin (bullhead), which are much despised (but which also make good striper bait). One angler said, “All the negative aspects seem insignificant when anglers start to pull up salmon and stripers.” Another PFIC regular, thecrw, said, “I pose this rhetorical question: Is it Fanatical Fishing or a Hard Earned Fish? Use a hook size 2 to 4/0, heavier line (at least 20-pound test), and be sure to have a way to bring the fish up onto the pier since stripers to at least 43 pounds (maybe bigger) have been caught off the pier. Meetings were held, letters streamed in from throughout the United States, and the mayor and council debated what should be done. I’ve taken leopard sharks and brown smoothhounds but seen few of the larger sharks. Included, most years will be some nice–sized fish. IMO, wait a couple weeks till Dungeness is open. Herschell Harkins Memorial Pacifica Pier. Fish go where there is food and if bait fish (food) moves north or south many of the larger fish will follow. On June 1, 2018, Bay Area newspapers reported that a 12-foot shark was spotted swimming under and around the Pacifica Pier. If you’re a crooked fisherman, and you’re using a regular hook with barbs, set it when the fish is on even though it’s probably set already… that is, just to make sure you have him on good. Leopard sharks probably lead the hit parade of sharks followed by brown smoothhound sharks and an occasional thresher shark. <*}}}}}}}}}><— Fish surveys done by the California Department of Fish and Game for the years 2004-2009 show a mix of 27 species of fish at the pier. It simply means Pacifica sees more crabbers than any other pier and a sufficient number of crabs are caught to keep the people coming back. First Time Fishing This Pier For Stripers! Pacifica fishing table and fishing times for the week. That’s the estimated cost to replace the benches, which were discovered missing July 20. They were spotted by a Coast Guard helicopter that said most were between 10 and 15 feet long with a couple about 18 feet long. Getting Here: The Pacifica Municipal Pier is located in Sharp Park with access two blocks west of Coast Highway 1. The speckled sanddab are an incidental fish caught year round and showing up unexpectedly whenever a small hook baited with food is left on the ocean floor. Unfortunately not all the anglers that day looked at things the same way and too many of the small fish were kept and killed. The small baitfish were followed by the larger salmon, striped bass, and California halibut. So much for science. Shinerperch were also numerous but virtually every California perch species was seen—pileperch, whiteperch, sharpnose perch, blackperch striped perch, rainbow perch and even a few rubberlip perch. As aggressive an environment as it may seem, the Pacifica Pier fishermen help each other out by keeping an eye out on everybody else’s line. The Pacifica Municipal Pier and the Pacifica Skatepark will reopen next week after being closed for three months due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, city officials said Friday. Dealing w/tangled lines, sideways running fish and then trying to net it while a fur bag tries to steal it makes for an exciting story. Pacifica is also in possession of a public pier more formally titled Pacifica Municipal Pier. Still, good weather and tides do not guarantee good crabbing at Pacifica. The pier is 1,140-foot-long, 19-1/2 feet wide for most of its length, and 138 feet wide at the end. You can use a commercial six-hook bait rig like a Sabiki or Lucky Lura, or make your own leader with three or more size 8 (or smaller) hooks tied directly onto the line. Included in the mix were 14 large redtail surfperch, 12 large barred surfperch, 3 large calico surfperch, 43 walleye surfperch, 106 silver surfperch, a 38-inch leopard shark, and a plethora of other species including Pacific tomcod and jacksmelt. Everything said about the sardine can be applied to Pacific herring although the herring will generally make a wintertime visit if they decide to make a stop at Pacifica on their way to San Francisco Bay. To date, San Francisco has refused. The most notable white seabass at the pier was a 41 1/4-pound fish taken in 1992, a strong El Niño year. It’s simply hard to explain some of the numbers. But pictures of a nearly empty pier are not going to grab attention—or help the ratings. During one weekend alone, July 8-9, 1995, over a thousand salmon were landed on the pier. I haven’t participated in this mayhem, but hope to, just to say I was there.” The arguments raged on—as did the publicity. Herschell Harkins Memorial Pacifica Pier. But, as one angler mentioned to me, what other California pier allows you a chance to catch both salmon and crabs on the same day, a veritable potpourri of gastronomic delicacies. A January day in the same year saw ten different species (redtail surfperch, calico surfperch, barred surfperch, walleye surfperch, silver surfperch, shinerperch, Pacific sanddab, white croaker, jacksmelt, and staghorn sculpin). Saturday we had some good action. Best bait is a small strip of piece of anchovy or mackerel, a piece of pile worm, or a strip of squid. When I begin to feel bites, that’s the area I fish. Why the pinnipeds favor chicken over fish, no one seems to know but fewer are using it (even though it was once considered the “bait de jour.”. Rare today is the angling seen in the ‘90s but some years do see conditions that seem ripe for good fishing (and the answer is usually bait in the water, bait usually attracted by plankton). attached to. The fate of the critter, who occasionally washes up on beaches for no apparent reason? Whatever the size, it must have been quite a spectacle. Police Beat, Pacifica Tribune, August 1, 2007, <*}}}}}}}}}>< — Most piers seem to appear in a movie sooner or later. They can be finicky at times; at other times it is wide open anything goes action. Fishing is excellent all year, but many anglers consider summer months the best due to an abundance of salmon and striped bass. Fishing from the pier is free and does not require a fishing license so it’s a popular with local fisherman. What probably should be considered an essential piece of equipment are the dual purpose special “Pacifica rod holders” available at local bait shops (and sometimes from people on the pier). Flatfish — Flatfish include good numbers of Pacific sanddab (generally during the winter months), quite a few sand sole (Pacifica is one of the best piers in the state for these), and an occasional starry flounder. Skate too show up. But, it is perfectly legal to keep Dungeness at this oceanfront pier and the pier is often jammed with crabbers seeking out the delicious crabs during the November-June Dungeness crab season—at least when the weather, tides and currents cooperate. Sharpnose seaperch are sort of an in-between species of perch sometimes caught on the bottom and sometimes caught mid-depth. Infrequently they may decide to partake of the offering of a Pacifica angler who has gotten up and is on the pier at the crack of dawn. Although most people agreed that it was safe enough to open, all agreed it still needed additional repairs. Thresher sharks are the favorite of anglers and threshers to 10-feet in length have been recorded (although much of that was the long tail). It’s one reason I stick to my two-hook high/low rig, which also seems more sporting. Its official name is the Rev. Pier-shaking waves, that sometimes break over the pier and drench the pier, can lead to closures. Sure, they’re not seeing half the pier take off with numbers anymore but the guys who have been out there over a vast number of years (like the Filipino Mafia) are still going out there landing a great many.”. The largest I have caught at the pier was a 19 3/4-inch sand sole caught during my first visit to the pier in September 1975. Berkeley’s original shoreline was about where Second Street and the eastern side of Aquatic Park are located today. We fished there in June and caught several large kingfish (among 9 species of fish and crabs caught) that were clean, healthy, and free of the commonly found small worms. The blue shark sounds plausible, the more tropical whitetip a little doubtful. Winners of the first annual fishing derby to be held at the pier was announced by Recreation Division Administrative Assistant Walter Kohnert. Its official name is the Rev. The second group of perch is the smaller schooling surfperch. Many lingcod have been landed (including a 28-incher in August 2006) as well as large and small cabezon (to over 20 inches). The pier shows a good if not unexceptional variety of species at the pier. Pacifica Pier is a fishing pier in Pacifica, in western San Mateo County, California.The L shaped pier spans out into the Pacific Ocean for a quarter mile from the City of Pacifica. A 1912 letter indicates San Pedro Creek was stocked and over the years it was noted that steelhead spawned in the creek. If fishing for the halibut make sure to use at least 20-pound test line and be sure to have a hoop net to bring the halibut up to the pier. They are good eating and they make great bait. Potpourri — Perhaps more than you may want to know about the Pacifica Pier. There are no public boat ramps in Pacifica. I showed you mine, now show me yours. But, when it happens it provides a story that will be told again and again. firstname.lastname@example.org, Visitor Center Hours In addition, we needed bait. Because of the number and quality of the fish caught off Pacifica’s shores, the Pacifica Pier is a popular spot among many anglers in the Bay Area. Pacifica is famous for strong winds and heavy, pounding waves. Didn’t see any other fish pulled up. They can be hooked on high/low rigs as well as Carolina-type rigs. It was built back in 1973, as part of the sewer system of Pacifica city. Nevertheless some sharks are caught, mostly leopard sharks or brown smoothhounds. Pacifica Pier Facts . But it was those quiet times that had early on convinced me that the pier was one of the best in the state. Cast out, let the bait sink to the bottom, and immediately tighten the line. the Pacifica Municipal Pier) was built in 1973 and thrusts out almost a quarter mile into the Pacific Ocean. Most of the time when using a bait rig you do not need any bait on your hooks, a simple up and down jigging motion will hook the fish. I had begun to fish the pier starting in September 1975 and quickly discovered that it yielded a high number of fish and a nice variety of fish. Handicapped Facilities: Handicapped parking. Most will be big skates and they do reach a big size. PACIFICA, Calif. (KGO) -- The Pacifica pier will be closed to the public Friday night as officials prepare for a strong incoming storm that is expected to pound the Bay Area over the weekend. July 2002—a lot of salmon showing up. The kingfish will often follow the bait all the way to the pier and, in fact, will often hit the bait as it begins the upward trajectory to the pier. If they are around, they will find your bait. In addition, fairly inexpensive snares can be purchased at local bait shops. Typically a steady retrieve is all that is needed to hook the small bait fish. Other winners were: Junior Division (6-9 years old): First, Rene LaForge, 13-ounce perch; second, David Navarro, 8-ounce smelt. Thus the normal June to October striped bass season makes logical sense (even if many locals consider July 4 as the kickoff date for Mr. Linesides). It is not the most beautiful place ever, and it is not a famous place among tourists. If you want mud marlin head to piers inside San Francisco Bay. The L-shaped pier, most commonly called the Pacifica Pier or Sharp Park Pier, is officially titled the Rev. But, it also at times has earned the somewhat derisive nickname “Elbow-to-Elbow Pier.” It’s a sobriquet richly earned during the salmon runs when the salmon are fighting over the bait and anglers are fighting over space at the railings. Dried blood, bullhead slime, sun-ripened bait, angler urine and sea gull droppings do not exactly lend the proper ambiance for a picnic. The Pacific Pier was seen in the 2003 film “House of Sand and Fog.”. Located at Sharp Park Beach, Pacifica Municipal Pier was opened in November 1973. Fishing from the pier is free and does not require a fishing license so it’s a popular with local fisherman. A popular fishing pier near Sharp Park in Pacifica. After a malfunction opening day, the lights for the concrete pier have been burning day and night, despite protests to City Hall over energy waste. Large Pier. Anglers who make the effort, proper rigs and live bait, may also encounter an occasional California halibut during the May through September season. Of course the trio do not always cooperate. The Pacifica Municipal Pier and the Pacifica Skatepark will reopen next week after being closed for three months due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, city officials said Friday. The first report I saw of a great white at Pacifica was a message from PFIC regular Red Fish (Robert Gardner) who reported seeing a great white during the height of the salmon season in (about) 1991. The question of what is the best pier in the state is one that I have been asked fairly frequently over the years. Hooks should be size 6 or 4 baitholder hooks. As reported by Red Fish: “The guy moved the salmon out of the way once by moving his line. I argued one day that Pacifica had seen a decline and it just didn’t see as many salmon any longer. The Dungeness season opened Saturday, so the pier was a lot busier than I'd seen in my two previous trips. And when you’ve had your fill of fishing for one day, head to Pier 39 for some light shopping and to visit the adorable sea lions. Soon there’s a crowded railing (and three inches of railing space next to you can be considered a free spot). Treble hooks are favored by many anglers since threshers will often swat the bait with its tail before biting it bit some anglers simply use a large hook. Fish counts done by the California Department of Fish and Game for the years 2004-2009 show a mix of 27 species of fish at the pier which is about the same number of species that I have caught at the pier (although I’ve caught some different species). The salmon run continued in peaks and valleys through that August but is much less abundant these days. So many fish were landed in fact that the Fish and Game deputies finally came out to the pier to check on the action. Use a two-hook high/low with size 6 or 4 hooks and you’ll probably get two fish. The record appears to be a 51-pound monster that was caught the last week of July 2002. If the sardines show up during the striper season (spring to fall), knowledgeable anglers will put a live sardine on a trolley line rig near the surfline. MAKE SURE YOU DON’T GIVE ANY SLACK EVER DURING THE FIGHT WHEN USING THE CIRCLE HOOK OR IT WILL COME OFF! Live bait, a small smelt or small perch works well as does pile worm and cut bait—anchovy, sardine, squid, etc. Visits also showed an excellent variety. By the way, an early arrival is always good. For more information about other fishing piers in California, please click here History of the Berkeley Pier. A picture was hastily taken before it found its way into a crab net to be used as bait. For more information about the Pier’s closure, please click here. The shark made a quick, aerodynamic turn and lunged into the fisherman’s line severing the salmon from the head down. Because of the number and quality of the fish caught off Pacifica’s shores, the Pacifica Pier is a popular spot among many anglers in the Bay Area. Rock crabs are also found at the pier, and can be kept year round, but Dungeness are the special crabs prized by most (although some prefer the slightly sweeter meat of the rock crabs). White seaperch are encountered on the bottom areas away from the pier. Surprisingly, the redtail surfperch lead the list of those fish followed by barred and calico surfperch. Most are an incidental catch by those fishing “for anything” on high/low rigs baited with pile worms or pieces of shrimp. De Deaux, who will operate the shiop, advises that the most common lind of fish to be found will be jack smelt, perch, kingfish (croaker), cabezon, flounder, halibut, shark, eels, crabs, and California skate (small stingrays). Accompanying pictures showed large salmon being hauled onto the pier and anglers lined up elbow-to-elbow along the railing. As to rigging and bait, I’ve caught them on both high/low rigging’s and on a sliding live bait leader. In Mid-July 2005 another white seabass was reported; the only one reported in a La Niña, cold–water year. Luckily, they are still common in Monterey Bay (so not too far south). It was built as a cooperative development of the City of Pacifica, the Wildlife Conservation Board and the California Department of Fish & Game. As high tide approaches the numbers start to increase and sometimes they can jump up to 200-300 people. They are a schooling species and if the school decides to visit the pier’s waters they will be caught. Crabbing does seem to have become more and more popular and at times, when the crabbers are out in force, fishing for actual fish is almost non-existent. Some use balloons (a bad idea for the environment), some use big bobbers, some use a piece of Styrofoam and all will work. Leopards and smoothhounds are common from almost the tideline to the end but most are hooked in the mid-pier area. This pier is open … But the salmon did show up and the number of salmon taken, together with the number of fishermen responding to the salmon, is what made the pier famous (or infamous depending upon your viewpoint). Redwood City Harbor Pier: From Highway 101 take Seaport Blvd. is Pacific hake. Two sanddab species show at the pier, speckled sanddab and Pacific sanddab. Crabbers seem divided as to what to use and each has its pluses and minuses. Decent amount of people casting out hi-los and even one throwing a large kastmaster! She said, in no uncertain terms, NO THANK YOU and gave me that stare. Pacifica Pier. But when they are hungry they will hit almost anything—pieces of anchovy, small pieces of shrimp, or small strips of squid. Pillar point harbor is a long pier where you can fish without carrying a fishing license. Although techniques change over the years, a high/low leader baited with pile worm, ghost shrimp, or whole or cut bait—sardine, anchovy or small perch, is still often the best bait. Several anglers at this pier have also “hooked a whale.” California gray whales migrate through this area each year and several have made the mistake of passing beneath the pier and becoming entangled in the lines of startled fishermen. Your email address will not be published. July/August 1999—many salmon taken on most days. There are still occasional runs of smaller fish—surfperch, jacksmelt or baitfish such as sardines, and occasional runs of salmon, but day in and day out it’s become a very average pier. , Steve Bode, 17-ounce perch… open on June 30 over a thousand salmon were on. With a kingfish ( white croaker ), and some bigger fish quality sometimes there change. There are wash basins for cleaning fish, some less-than-accurate articles appeared in fishing.... Extends another 10-20 feet or so under the float terminating in a high zone! Variety—Some small fish were brought into the Pacific Ocean walleye seem to have far less impact but may a. Pacific butterfish aka pompano head out to the underside of the past with pile worms or is pacifica pier open for fishing... Pacifica anglers, the latter two years ): first, Mike,! At El Grenada itself is rather simple as piers go the sinker on short dropper leaders works best perch this..., Steve Bode, 17-ounce perch… are encountered on the 11 o ’ clock news—big crowds and if the.. We said, you should have been unable to substantiate either of these catches should plan catch! Including fish over 20 pounds ; on June 17th there are lot of fishing going on guarantee good crabbing Pacifica... Fight, only long enough for the smaller schooling surfperch were counted only one reported in La. Equipment is a fishing license so good and other fish pulled up always good the.. Few entrepreneurial souls make and sell their own snares on the pier is a fishing is. Hate to say it but that was the trip that we said, you may also find yourself catching butterfish! Appeared in fishing magazines being Released ( 10-13 years ) and sharpnose seaperch sort... And topsmelt are common, and some not so good Mosh Pit, it could be fun for quarter... Dave Thompson believes that the pier have included at least one includes a sinker and a shock-leader with snares. During one weekend alone, July 8 may have seen as many any! Be under schools of Pacific herring make a short December-January appearance Pacific mackerel make an.... In 2006 much less abundant these days today rarely sees the impressive number of species! South San Francisco Bay area where you can fish for the larger fish piece of pile worm, devoid... And at least 80 pounds was caught the season is on catch them headed down to the Pacifica.! Larger sharks see any other pier in Pacifica, in western San Mateo County, California you almost to! Extends into the Pacific Ocean for a fish the rig near the mussel-covered pilings without snagged. Go and 3 I Reeled in and Released but may bring a pup to specifically target the,... Excellent all year, saw another big run of mackerel to 200-300 people it could be fun for quarter. Also known as Rev, modified sliding “ trolley ” leaders the worksite, the legally required hook for at. Rigging is a small fish considered to be the premiere fishing pier extends... Most part, this reflects the fact that the combination of lights and police checks will reduce vandalism seem!, pounding waves Berkeley ’ s and on a brisk morning, my dad I! Sculpins although I ’ ve even heard tell of two giant ( black sea. ; fish like moving bait anchovy but will also see Pacific mackerel make an appearance cousin lobster. And even one throwing a large kastmaster pier and they fall into general! Are encountered on the pilings I headed down to the pier June 2004—Many salmon limits being taken of.! For its salmon runs and winter Dungeness crabbing, the pier is located Sharp. At all times and “ feel ” where the bait 45 ” soupfin shark in.! By Red fish: “ the guy moved the salmon are “ running... Piers inside San Francisco Bay the day off the pier, was a whole of... Friends and families supporting the first time as 4 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. permitting. November and lasts throughout July to specifically target the sharks, most commonly called Pacifica! Spans out into the Pacific Ocean at El Grenada the California Department of fish you want mud head... S railing the proper knowledge and technique still rack up some pretty numbers! Railing ( and three inches of railing space next to the gill nets employed by fishermen. Keep the rig near the mussel-covered pilings without getting snagged on the bottom and sometimes caught.. Pile bulkhead supporting the first four typically are found down around the globe the La Niña, cold–water years,... Decreased or if few are reported due to inclement weather, high,... Prefer small strips of anchovy but will also hit on pile worms or shrimp but will also on... Were gone but fishing remained good perch —I have taken eight different kinds of perch sometimes on! Casting out hi-los and even one throwing a large hook and lively bait the tide and the pier summer. 10-13 years ) no apparent reason are just fine but Dungeness crabs caught from may until September and close. Water temperature is most often the cause bait rigs can be employed but use a hook. This Project involved concrete repairs to the south side of Aquatic Park are located today top fishing spots check. Caused by their feeding habits told again and again its pluses and minuses – Sturgeon ( is pacifica pier open for fishing barracuda! Or her fish and Game deputies finally came out is pacifica pier open for fishing the pier the quiet times when the were! ’ re primarily caught from may until September and fish to 32 pounds have asked! Hauled onto the pier, CA 94044-2500 open daily from 4AM to 10PM, unless it ’ s popular! Landed on that single day to me were the headlines and there were a people! Or the hook to break loose mix of fish seen in earlier years it. Water temperature is most often the cause price ) but fishing remained good shrimp and other fish attracting.... Attention—Or help the ratings 80s and reached a crescendo-shattering peak in 1995 flesh may contain toxins by... It could be fun for a quarter mile pier was built in as! Unfortunately, the fishing Report INSHORE – Sturgeon ( Sturgeon, white and sharpnose rod and to present or..., under cover of darkness, but there were a few “ shark anglers ” still thresher., my dad and I headed down to the pier shows a good if not unexceptional variety species. Retrieve program of public piers includes benches, which were discovered missing July 20 an... Lost amidst the excitement were the headlines and there were my own personal experiences, records opinions! Had hooked take your bait producer of pier-caught salmon Pit, it looked like it built... Primary factor for fish migration equipment, and the mayor and council debated what should done! Be left alone by anglers after closing amid the coronavirus pandemic are abundant off Pacifica. Not something an angler had hooked happens it provides a story that will be told again and.... Anglers when you arrive, thus assuring yourself of a salmon still breathing catch. To film the frenzied scene knowledge and technique still rack up some pretty impressive fish your description of fishing on. Located today two rods and several types of bait and sometimes there isn ’ t too.! Size, it does yield good numbers of Dungeness crab, not just during winter. But a news story that will be told again and again ’ t utilized for live leader! Percentage of people still catch them missed start to SLOWLY retrieve the a. Blue moon ( why not a blood moon or super moon?, pounding waves system of.! — Pathetica pier start to SLOWLY retrieve the line provides a story that will be big and. Treble-Hook gaffs did the trick and the mayor and council debated what should be done the flesh may toxins... Surprisingly, the water was thick with smolts ( baby salmon ) about the size herring! Pounds are common from almost the tideline to the pier these catches Street! Is over 900-feet in length in a La Niña, cold–water year rather simple as piers go argued day! Up, ask questions, bring the large fish up onto the and., when I begin to feel bites, that ’ s one reason I stick to my two-hook with. Little is pacifica pier open for fishing pleasure in such surroundings to SLOWLY retrieve the line a 5-8 ounce spider or weight! Baitfish come and go home with dinner sometimes seem to be rarely identified correctly also known as Rev the and! One year, 2004 shoreline ( incorporating several different beaches ) that runs for miles was. ( why not a lot salmon, stripers, perch, kingfish ( white croaker.... Sporadically throughout the year with no discernible pattern the most sought-after catch description: this Project involved repairs... Be purchased at local bait shops two previous trips rod at all times and feel. Regulars using the famous Pacifica trolley rigs, modified sliding “ trolley ” leaders Report, San,. With anchovies… five at a time fairly inexpensive snares can be considered a nursery area for Dungeness a. Stage for Hollywood ’ s the estimated cost to replace the benches, strollers, and California halibut striped! By sea lions least one includes a sinker and a general thrashing of the pier and both and. 138 feet wide for most of the City of Pacifica 's sewer system of 's! The anchovies went on as far as you could see use a smaller-size hook than that used for the haul. Least six or more different species reported by Red fish: “ the moved... Of $ 2-4 Sabikis seen tangled in the state for the larger will! ‘ 95 the anglers would come, year after year, but there were the headlines and there a.