But back in the early sixties, I never made the effort to traverse the few miles that separated the two piers, even when nothing was being caught at Newport. It did however suffer occasional damage. The topsmelt are almost always at or near the top of the water, the jacksmelt will sometimes go down a few feet in the water. Snookie. There are occasional good runs of the barred sand bass while  the calicos are usually more solitary (at least the larger ones) and sometimes there are good runs of these fish at the pier. The Fish and Fishing Tips. All of these will fall for mussels (especially fresh mussels), ghost shrimp, bloodworms, lugworms, and pieces of market shrimp or razor clams fished on the bottom. Lots of sand sharks or what the DFG website called a spiny dogfish. License: Free. With that info the DFG can get their home address and make a follow-up contact. However, also don’t be afraid to complain to the lifeguards on the pier since they are supposed to keep the surfers away from the pier. Rodmans need be aware that species-specific gear restrictions also apply when fishing from both the pier and the shore, which are listed in detail on the CDFW site (https://www.wildlife.ca.gov/Fishing/Ocean#317421154-how-many-fishing-rods-and-hooks-can-i-use-when-sport-fishing-in-the-ocean). They are joined by several varieties of the family Sciaenidae (croakers) which seem to actually lead the hit parade due perhaps to their size. Pacific City now became Huntington Beach. But, that is an impractical solution for most anglers. Hopefully,  people would  put the paper in the trash can when they left. Daytime too sees anglers fishing for sharks, especially thresher sharks (to 9 feet in length) since they seem to be more commonly caught during the day. The pier surface is cement with a 30-inch rail height. 11/24/99. “Caught 20 yesterday and lost 20. “The next thing I know, the fisherman was cursing at me and throwing things,” he said. Barred Sand Bass (photo courtesy of Let’s Go Fishing), A nice Kelp Bass (Calico Bass) (photo courtesy of Let’s Go Fishing). “Worked here in and out since I was 11 or 12,” said Vaughan. All were huge, from 7-15-lbs at least (we had no measuring scale). The CDFW also lists regulations for species that are fair game—and those that are not—here (https://www.wildlife.ca.gov/Fishing/Ocean/Regulations/Fishing-Map/Southern). “I turned and saw the fisherman running after me, and he came in for a punch,” Stemmer said. Of course two pelagic species cannot be ignored—Pacific mackerel and Pacific sardine. Although preferring the deeper waters at the end, they can sometimes seem to saturate the water all the way from mid-pier (or even shallower) to the end. Ken mentioned the Zebra Perch on the Huntington Beach pier report. The pier is noted for sharks and rays and most nights will see anglers trying for the sharays, especially the larger leopard sharks (to 4-5 feet in length), soupfin sharks (to six feet in length), and bat rays. Surfperch predominate in the winter months. Then I tried to set the hook and snap, I heard 20-lb test snap in 2 sec. Looking back, I wonder what I missed by making that decision. Go at sunset, the view is fantastic. In Huntington Beach, a new wave of resentment revives ‘909er’ stereotype, On a sunny September day, Christina Ayres lay on the sand near the Huntington Beach Pier, tanning in a pink bikini, and ticked off the things that identify a 909er. Say hello if you see her. During the warm-water El Nino years, several hammerhead sharks have been spotted swimming near the pier and in June of 2004 a small hammerhead was caught, a fish estimated to weigh 50-60 pounds. We named the baby Moe because we tried a lot of names and he seemed to respond to Moe. But one side will have to budge, said pier fisherman Jose Llamas, 30, of Huntington Beach. The pier is noted for both the number and size of its bat rays (including the state record fish) and these rays, aka “mud marlin” for their fighting ability, have made some pretty interesting runs at the pier. It's the best spot to watch the surfers without getting on the sand. I also got spooled by a Bat Ray, I’d have to guess, on my 20# Newell rig. As mentioned, there are two distinct fisheries at the pier. Stretching 1,850 feet long, Huntington Beach Pier is one of the longest piers on the West Coast and is an iconic focal point of the city. People of substance and character such as Ella only come around but once in a lifetime. Then in 1997, Maxwells was torn down to make way for a new $12-million Pier Plaza and promenade. Most of the ones I caught at Berkeley Pier in the S.F. She had, for whatever reason, adopted every member of this police department and made them a part of her family. Once the cutting of the structure began, it was determined by the Fish & Game that the concrete was simply too old to be used for a reef — it simply turned into powder as it was cut. Thresher Shark caught by Joe (photo courtesy of Let’s Go Fishing). But in Huntington Beach, there is no escaping the 909 — or the 951, the 760, or any other area codes from which the city’s 15 million tourists arrive every year. “I’ve been coming here for 4 ½ years,” said J.J. “I’m a dry wall hanger. But who knows? ... other sports like beach volleyball and fishing are also popular. I think it chewed through the line… then my roommate also lost his line too. Rod and Reel Tips. They cited a litany of horrors brought by visitors to what locals say is an increasingly raucous Main Street night scene: fights in the early morning hours, vomiting in the streets, urinating in the bushes. For this leader, buy an egg sinker that has a hole through the middle. He’s got really big scars. They came in here a couple of times and she was really riding him. A 5-foot-long blue shark estimated to weigh 75 pounds was take in July of 2005. With this handy checklist you'll have everything you need to hit the pier. When the week long event ended in a chaotic night of broken windows, street fights and a mess of tossed food, word that 909ers were to blame spread quickly among locals, despite the fact that only three of the 12 adults arrested were from the Inland Empire. I’ve always been coming to the pier. Located smack dab at the intersection of Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) and Main Street, there always seem to be a mix of tanned SoCal yuppie crews—complete with expensive cars, or hot rodders displaying their ‘50s and ‘60s vehicles (especially when the sun sets in the west). From just past the surf area out to about the lifeguard tower are found large spotfin croaker, probably the favorite croaker after corbina. Keep up the fun fishing. Remember that it’s illegal to target and/or to keep great white sharks. For fly-fishing, try a 9- to 11-ft rod, rated for a 6- to 8 … By August of 1940, the pier had been restored to a length of 1821.8 feet. —. Huntington Beach, CA. PERIOD. “I hate the term ‘909ers,’” said Connie Boardman, the beach city’s mayor. The most common pelagic species include Pacific mackerel, jack mackerel, Pacific sardine, and jacksmelt (to some degree), and the more infrequent species such as Pacific bonito, California barracuda and yellowtail. 30 seconds after my hit, my roommate hooked on to a 3 ft smoothhound. They are less discriminating then halibut when it comes to bait  (although they also like live bait), but cut bait—anchovies, sardine, mackerel or pieces of squid are their normal preference. We use cookies to improve our site and your experience. What it is also known for is its good fishing, and Huntington Beach State Park is a less crowded alternative to Newport Beach that is known for its productive surf fishing … A third favorite, although less common, are bass, both barred sand bass and kelp bass (calico bass). A number of bonito caught by the “Al Castillo Crew”. At other times salema will be found under schools of topsmelt and jacksmelt). Some anglers also like to use a Carolina-type sliding bait leader. Listed numerically — Pacific sardine (although only caught during one of the six years), barred surfperch, yellowfin croaker, Pacific mackerel, Pacific bonito (although only caught during one of the six years), walleye surfperch, jacksmelt, white croaker, spotfin croaker, topsmelt, queenfish, California corbina, shovelnose guitarfish, sargo, white seaperch, barred sandbass, striped seaperch, leopard shark, black perch, shiner perch, California grunion. But not everyone had to work this weekday, a typical one at the pier. The warm-water year of 2015 saw quite a few of the small yellowtail caught. Over the years one of the most common and dependable mid-pier fish has been tomcod (white croaker), a fish much despised by some and a fish given a plethora of names — tomcod (southern California), roncador (Ventura and Santa Barbara area), kingfish (central and northern California), sewer trout, tommy and brownie. If the mackerel are in a light-biting mode, switch from the bait rig to a single hook on your line with a split-shot or twist-on sinker a few feet up the line. When the “Red Cars” finally arrived in Huntington Beach, on July 4, 1904, there was a huge celebration with more than 50,000 people and land sales began to boom. Another, even more frustrating mistake was a lack of bait cutting boards. A $70,000 bond was approved in 1911 to build a new pier constructed of concrete. The other incident happened two days later, and involved a couple, who while bait jigging for mackerel, had hooked a Silver Salmon. “The previous owner only opened this place during the profitable times but I keep it open even when it’s not so profitable.” Under glass on his counter, Gustafson has placed old photographs of Huntington Beach: a sugar beet field in 1911, the Union High School in 1927, oil wells, bathing beauties, swampland. The way it looked when I first fished it in the ’60s. By the time the pictures were taken and all the pomp and circumstances were over, including lowering the fish back down into the water where it floated before being snagged and dragged back up onto the pier, it was dead. Included in the new pier was a diamond-shaped end designed to (hopefully) better deflect incoming waves. One series shows wounds caused by round stingrays and the ways to treat the injuries. Also caught a kingfish, and one bullhead. Great savings on Huntington Beach, California fishing charters. One run occurred at the pier in April of ’99 when a number of large batties were caught. Got it all on camera though. I generally will tell people at least once not to take verboten species but as many will tell you now some of the riff raff that comes down to fish at the piers now are armed, and or fresh out of prison, etc. It’s hard to get them to bite so unfortunately most are taken on snag lines much like those used for mullet. The threshers would come up and slap baits with their tails, some were snagged, and four of the 30-80 pound fish were eventually landed. Huntington Beach Central Park, located less than five miles from the pier, is home to two freshwater lakes: Huntington Lake and Talbert Lake. Run your line through the hole and through a small bead (usually red) and then attach a swivel to the end of the line (which prevents the sinker from sliding down onto your leader). If fishing at night, night lites will almost always help the bite. Most rods simply slide down the railing and wind up falling to the deck. As mentioned, the barred surfperch can be taken on the same baits and rigs used for the croaker. Best to be safe and let the DFG follow-up. Use a high/low rigging or a fish finder rig with size 4-1/0 hooks and 20+ pound test line. Cruising PCH in your car is a tradition. Typical-sized Thornback Ray aka Throw-Em-Back. “This upsets the fishermen,” he said. The pier and the city came into existence together in 1904, and thanks to historic surfing demonstrations by legendary Hawaiian watermen G… Dear Quik, Glad to hear it was a Mako. Most important for our story, 1903 saw the construction of a wooden pier, approximately 1,000 feet long, at the end of Main Street. “That’s why I’m so heated about this.”. “There have been incidents when fishermen are being the aggressors, casting their lines at surfers, which is totally illegal and dangerous.” Llamas said he has witnessed at least five large fights between the surfers and the fishermen over broken lines. Homemade rod holder — one solution to the problem with the railings. Unfortunately the pilings, once heavily encrusted with fish attracting mussels and barnacles, are now often bare due to city efforts to keep the pilings clean, lean and mean (for storms). An uncommon guitarfish, but one occasionally seen at SoCal piers, is the banded guitarfish and one was caught here in September 2018. “They need to make a rule; either tell the fishermen to fish only on the south side or tell the surfers to surf farther out.” Lamas added the declining economy has drawn more fishermen to the area, heightening the possibility of a serious incident. Remember — ignorance of the law is no excuse. Most seem to be taken out toward the end of the pier and (in my visits) most often at the northwest corner. We actually saw the baby born… a beautiful thing to see. The pier is large and impressive as are the areas at the foot of the pier. We caught one that was 3.5′ and over 15-lbs — didn’t have a scale. The following argument from several anglers telling them to release it — got to the point of the authorities being called. What an amazing site, a bait ball 30+ feet in diameter, solid with foot long Zebra Perch. Still, many western Riverside County residents could barely contain their joy in 2004 when their area code was changed to 951. I’ve noticed that some regulars have designed their own rod holders, and they work, but that still leaves most anglers wondering what to do. The standard set-up was 50+pound mono line, a 6-12 ounce sinker, and a  6-foot sliding wire leader with 8/0-9/0 hooks. Another amazing site were anglers (so called) snagging fish one after another, running up and down the rail, with total disregard for others (like me). Water temperatures and survival of the juvenile sardine appear to explain the cycles. I left my job at Johnston’s Yogurt where I was general production manager. Usually the white seabass will show up in the spring although a large run of white seabass took place at the pier in October 2006. This is the home of shallow-water corbina, large spotfin croaker, smaller yellowfin croaker, and barred surfperch. Anglers no longer need to display their license, but it must be in their immediate possession while fishing. I’m very content here. “There are now a lot more people out here catching their food,” he said. You see the teeth marks.”, To Two-Wheel John, The Happy Dragon and the other fishermen who cast their lines from the end of the pier, Ruth Waller is Mom. Pretty good night! Pier pilings caked with mussels and other sea creatures attract fish to areas all around the pier. The new pier would last more than seventy years. It was a 5-lb 8-oz mackerel jack taken on September 1, 1988. This leader works well for the larger croaker—spotfins up to around 6-pounds in size and yellowfins to about 2 pounds in size (although larger fish can be found here. He used 40/50 pound test line, a 5/0 hook, and the same bait for all—squid. With 10 miles of uninterrupted shoreline and two freshwater lakes, Huntington Beach makes it easy to get hooked on fishing. Others say it’s just used in jest. Huntington Beach is probably best known for its surfing and sunbathing opportunities. Barred surfperch are numerically the number one caught fish in the inshore, intertidal or littoral zone,area. “It got heated.”, Stemmer headed home nearly an hour later – a five-block walk from the pier – when he heard rapid footsteps behind him. All are coveted species both for pier anglers and surf anglers. Public parks along the water’s edge, like Seabridge Park, offer easy launching and, if you’re staying on land, shore fishing spots. “I respect them… I think we could get along together.”, On a recent Thursday, dozens of residents in Hawaiian shirts and shorts packed a Main Street library room to talk about the city’s downtown. A Sargo (picture courtesy of Let’s Go Fishing). “They think the whole beach belongs to them,” he said. With it is a history: the pier’s initial wood construction, the destructive storms of 1906, 1919 and 1939, and the Army’s occupation from 1941 to 1945. To: Pier Fishing in California Message Board A 36,” a 35,” and some others that we didn’t measure. “Someone is going to get hurt,” he said. “There have been incidents when fishermen are being the aggressors, casting their lines at surfers, which is totally illegal and dangerous.” Llamas said he has witnessed at least five large fights between the surfers and the fishermen over broken lines. Camping. When the young angler posted the picture on YouTube of the landing and subsequent parade around the pier with the small, 5-foot-long, bloodied fish, it was sure to attract the attention of the Fish and Game who tracked him down. “Surf City, U.S.A,” that’s what the town and locals like to call Huntington Beach (and the city went to court battling Santa Cruz for the use of the name). Huntington Beach Travel Tips. A post shared by Jeff Ellsworth (@jaellsworth) on Nov 3, 2018 at 2:55pm PDT. Fishing also feeds Jerry Vaughan, 33, who works at The Tackle Box which sells and rents fishing equipment. If yours was a mako, it was a newborn baby, and even at that makos usually don’t wander that close to shore here, even to have their young. However, the city grew and the Pacific Electric continued to run its railway line until 1961. An unusual catch in February of ’02 was a two-foot-long silver salmon, a now illegal to keep species that was mistakenly kept and taken home by the angler (could have been a big fine.) Fishing is permitted, and anyone 16 years and older must have a license. (3) The end is where most pelagic species will be caught, everything from sardine, jacksmelt and mackerel to, at times, bonito and barracuda. The guys to the left and right of us received some really nasty comments from people walking around the pier. A post shared by Amanda Rincon (@amandar413) on Nov 13, 2018 at 4:47pm PST, Per the CDFW, the general bag and possession limit “states that no more than 20 finfish in combination of all species with not more than 10 of any one species, may be taken or possessed by any one person. The Pier is the most obvious stop in Huntington Beach. It wasn’t that the pier wasn’t nice; it simply offered the wrong kind of fish. Nice day of fishing, I went home after watching the poachers. A dope dealer was not there — “Want to get high, little girl?” No, this stroll on the pier had been idyllic and she could face the clack of her typewriter refreshed. The sliding rig aka fish finder rig also has the advantage of being a good halibut rig. I didn’t even flip my switch to on yet on my Sealine reel. This is a huge pier, 1,856 feet long, and the area offers an eclectic southern California mix of fishing and non-fishing sights. The town and pier were occupied by the army and pier attractions now included machine guns, radar and a radio station. The next time the surfers headed in toward the pilings our noble but impetuous and emotional fisherman aimed and let the sinker fly. Just like a proud mother taking care of her children, this special individual went that extra mile every minute, every hour and every day. Interestingly it was the same day as an earthquake in Baja. Inshore. CDFW offers two free fishing days each year, which are listed here (wildlife.ca.gov/licensing/fishing/free-fishing-days). Catch something but don’t know what? In fact, the pier yielded a lot of bonito and large sharks and in many ways fishing was as good or better than that at Newport. September 2016 saw the report of an estimated 250-pound great white grabbing a piece of bonito but that shark broke off after reaching the top of the water. To make it worse, their numbers seem to be going down. I wonder if they also felt sorry for the chicken and that cow they ate for dinner or maybe that Thanksgiving turkey. The Huntington Beach City Beach is a 3.5-mile stretch of pristine shoreline. My fishing buddy Mike Granat and a new found friend waiting for some action. “Some of the other nicknames?” Truant, Fat John, The Kid, Perch Bill, Corbina Bill, and Fish. Records indicate it was 23 pounds over the prior record and, according to the Dept. “The fishermen will tell you that is where the best fishing is … and the surfers will tell you that’s where the best waves are.” Ching said the pier and the water surrounding are designated as a multiuse area, and the two groups have to cope. I love coming here. Many rays exceeding 100 pounds in size have been caught here  (including a 123-pounder by Robert Gerber in March of ’99). A long cast from the pier was followed by sliding the bait down to the water that hopefully produced lively looking bait that would  attract the long-tailed sharks. Some speculated that the assemblage of sea creatures was due to the earthquake to the south; I’m guessing there was probably simply a good number of baitfish in the area. Last year we were burglarized at least four times.”, Way out at the end of the pier, and appropriately named, is The End Café where proprietor John Gustafson has created a lifestyle centered on the sun and surf. Up to 4′ and over 20lbs. I've heard that sabiki rigs work for mackerel, but that's about all I know. It’s appropriate given the steady stream of surfers to the local waters and sunbathers to the local beaches. At times they are a little more fussy, even persnickety, they want some bait, and the best bait is typically small pieces of mackerel. I can’t give the increase in odds of catching a halibut of live bait versus dead bait but it’s much, much, much higher. When the fish are thick, the rig can simply be retrieved through the water without any bait and the fish will hit them. We fished 9-12 p.m. He says it takes a lot out of him, even with the wheelchair. A Huntington Beach local since 2013, Lauren specializes in writing and editing, holds an affinity for journals, and has a heart for philanthropy, handmade, and a good story. The current moonphase is a First Quarter Moon and 40 percent of the moon is visible. Fast and easy online booking. At 1,850-feet long, it is one of the longest piers on the West Coast and an ideal place to watch surfers catching waves or local fishermen reeling in the big guys. One thing the city has done right is sponsor a yearly “Huck Finn Fishing Derby.” The kid’s fishing contest normally has three divisions, age 7 and under, 8-11, and 12-15, with many prizes awarded for the biggest fish and best dressed young anglers. Handicapped Facilities: Handicapped restrooms. Crustaceans and Other Beasts. This area is also the best for the larger sharks and rays. Question. In the morning, his legs were gone, gnawed off by sharks. Huntington Beach. “I haven’t fished for at least seven years,” Cherei confessed. <*}}}}}}}}}>< —  Two record fish are recorded from Huntington Beach. But Stemmer said requiring fishermen to move down the pier would deter any future conflicts. A huge bat ray, estimated by locals to be over 200-pounds was taken the first week of December of 2009. A favorite fish that likes to feed on the queenfish is white seabass and a lively small queenfish used as a bait will sometimes result in the white seabass (usually the smaller fish called sea trout). I missed by making that decision dance hall was built of untreated lumber and suffered attack from various Marine which. Markets to the local area was originally part of the zebraperch by the way it looked I... As the live bait anglers to haul it up onto the pier each,! Or Maybe that Thanksgiving turkey of any one species, special sublimits apply to seaside! 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