Recommendations for pier fishing?

Discussion in 'Northern California Fishing Reports' started by jplee3, Aug 18, 2017.

  1. jplee3

    jplee3 Member

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    Hey all,

    Was interested in pier fishing around the Bay Area. Was considering Pacifica Pier but was curious if there are other/better piers to try at. I'll be in Alameda and have fished the Berkeley Pier before but with no luck.

    Any recommendations on where to head, setups/rigs, and bait? I'll be up there next week and will be in the SF area on Friday.
     
  2. jgy

    jgy Member

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    What kind of fish do you want to target? What rod/reel setups are you planning on bringing?
     
  3. jplee3

    jplee3 Member

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    Anything that could be caught off the pier - perch, mackerel, halibut, stripers etc... not sure what exactly what is in the Bay vs what's outside and in the context of fishing off piers. I tried fishing grass shrimp off Berkeley Pier a few years ago with absolutely zero luck. A couple years before that, when I bought a license, I fished the rocks off Treasure Island and caught 1 or 2 rubberlip perch near one of the old docks. so that was fun. I brought 3 setups: 1 mid-sized spinning reel with around 10lb test, 1 low profile baitcasting reel with 12 or 15lb test and 1 casting reel with 20lb test on it. Rods are no longer than 7ft or so.
     
  4. esgeo

    esgeo Well-Known "Member"

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    I've only fished two piers up here, one time each- Capitola where I only caught bait and Oyster Point, where I hooked but did not land a short leopard shark (leader broke as I was hoisting it up). If I was going to go again with light gear, I'd go back to oyster point. I was fishing a high-low rig with shrimp pieces. People were also catching short halibut off the end of the pier using dead anchovies.

    Pacifica is supposedly a great pier, but I think the wind probably can make casting out difficult. At oyster point the wind is at your back on a normal day.

    I personally really like poke poling off the north jetty at Pillar Point (Half Moon Bay). I've caught monkeyface prickleback, cabezon, and grassy rockfish there on the harbor side of the jetty. It's a little walk out, but a nice way to spend part of a day.
     
  5. jplee3

    jplee3 Member

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    Thanks for the tip on Oyster Point! I might give it a shot there... it's closer than Pacifica so that's a plus haha
     
  6. jgy

    jgy Member

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    You can catch salmon, kingfish and anchovies at pacifica. Salmon require a special bobber rig which you can buy at a local shop there. The anchovies will hit sabikis and the kingfish will hit high low rig with pieces of anchovy. Its better to go on a weekday at pacifica as the locals get really testy with noobs if you tangle their line.
     
  7. jplee3

    jplee3 Member

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    Thanks for the tip. We probably would only head there on Friday if anything, since we need to be in SF later that day. Would Friday be OK? Otherwise, Oyster Point might be best Friday at least.

    I would be tempted to head there on Tuesday or Wednesday... are they catching salmon right now or is it not quite the season? What's the recommended gear and setup for salmon off that pier (for this special bobber rig)?
     
  8. jgy

    jgy Member

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    They've been catching salmon for the last two weeks. You want to cast out as far as you can so a surf setup with 20-30lb line would be your best bet. You'll need a sputnik type weight (heavier the better) to hold bottom. The trolley rig is similar to the pics below (I don't use a CD though) with a whole anchovy. A fresh dead chovy works great. You want it 10'-15' down. Kinda like mooching.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    You can buy a rig at the tackle stores at pacifica. Also, if you have a crab net, best to bring one in case you hook a salmon, in order to hoist it up. I'm sure others will have one to help you out though.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2017
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  9. jplee3

    jplee3 Member

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    Awesome! Yea I started looking it up and saw the "pacifica trolley" - I noticed there's no overhead casting or "inboard" casting on that pier though. Do guys usually under-hand? I'm not sure how far out I can get with an underhand cast and especially a conventional reel... maybe I'll try to go early Tues or Wed if I'm feeling it. Not sure though...
     
  10. jplee3

    jplee3 Member

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    BTW: if I decide I want to try somewhere but can't make it out to Pacifica midweek, what would be another good option to try out? I'm tempted to check out Berkeley pier again but have no idea what the latest reports are or if I'd just wasting my time....
     
  11. Tunamen

    Tunamen Newbie

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    Berkeley pier is no longer open.
     
  12. jgy

    jgy Member

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    As mentioned above, Berkeley pier is currently closed. You can try Oyster point pier but it's fairly small. Gets crowded on weekends. There are halibut caught there though. Best bet is live bait that you can jig up using a sabiki (3 hook max in the bay) using a carolina rig.

    If Oyster Point gets too crowded, try Sierra Point pier which is a few miles south. Less crowded and you can also catch halibut and stripers. You can either carolina rig it or use a float to let the current take your bait far out. You should have your bait about 1' or less from the bottom though for a good chance at hali.

    You can also try the Coyote Point jetty which is a little north of SF airport. Have to pay to park though but they've been catching striper the last week there using cut anchovies on a high/low. You can also catch perch using the limpets, mussels or other shellfish you can get on the rocks. Also halibut there.
     
  13. jplee3

    jplee3 Member

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    Good to know, thanks. I'll consider checking Sierra Point or Coyote Point. What size rod/reel/line for stripers and halibut? Is anything between 10-20lb a safe bet? Also, are licenses required for fishing any of these places?
     
  14. jgy

    jgy Member

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    No license required when fishing off a man made structure (pier, jetty, etc). For stripers and hali, I use a similar setup for bass fishing. 12lb line and a medium bass rod.
     
  15. Bigeasy

    Bigeasy yeah, yeah!

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    Alameda Rock Wall!
     
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  16. canderson88

    canderson88 Newbie

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    I live in Pacifica. As mentioned go midweek as weekends are shoulder to shoulder especially if the salmon bite it one. The inside guys usually fish for perch in the surf zone, outer guys for salmon. Oyster Point for leopards is always fun.
     
  17. jplee3

    jplee3 Member

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    What kind of setup for the Rockwall? I've tried without luck but was halfway out and with a hi lo rig I think... Probably using grass shrimp too which may not have been the best option. No license for the Rockwall right? When I went I think I had mine just on case so didn't know...
     
  18. jplee3

    jplee3 Member

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    Are certain times of day better to go than others?
     
  19. jplee3

    jplee3 Member

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    Nice! Do you ever fish for (and have luck with) halis or stripers on artificials as well? Like grubs and or swimbaits?
     
  20. jgy

    jgy Member

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    Yes. Caught many Halis and stripers with swim baits and grubs. Something similar to Big Hammers and Berkeley saltwater grubs.
     

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