California’s mild season allows fishing enthusiasts to enjoy an all year round ideal fishing conditions. Summertime and Fall season are the best times to catch certain species but the surfperch will stay until the winter.
If you are interested in doing some pier fishing in the Southern California area, Huntington Beach Pier is on pierfishing.com list for public piers and is listed under the yellow zone on PVS Fishing website which also lists the types of fish that are safe for eating.
The Huntington Beach Pier is a fun place to fish and it is the home to the longest pier in Southern California, so you can imagine why it is so famous for many fishers because from the mid-pier area to the end is the home of most of the pelagic.
According to Pier Fishing in California when fishing, it is always best to bring two poles. One is for catching small live baits such as the sardines and topsmelt and the other should be heavier and sturdier for larger fishes like the corbina, halibut, croaker, yellow fin, leopard shark, shovelnose shark or barred perch. Also, others suggest to do sand crabbing near the water’s edge because these are superior baits for the corbina and surfperch.
It is always best to use light tackle in the surfline or mid-pier area depending on the type of fish you are trying to catch. The Halibut, shovelnose guitarfish, corbina are all common in the surfline or mid-pier area.
Thresher sharks and bat rays seem to be taken most toward the end of the pier, especially at the northwest corner and mostly at night-time. If you are keen in doing this, it is also advised that you bring strong ropes and gaffs with you. Although, we haven’t tried doing some evening fishing, we’ve heard of stories about anglers catching leopard sharks (4-5 feet), thresher sharks (8 feet) and some bat rays.
Here’s a slide show of the fishing culture in Huntington Beach Pier.
The pier can be crowded over the weekends though and for you to get a good spot, you have to go early and position yourself where there are many fishers.
Fishing in any public pier or breakwaters requires no license but it is always safe to check with the Department of Fish and Game to make sure you are within the restrictions and bag limits and/or minimum fish size. There are also report cards needed for certain species like the spiny lobster or sturgeon.
And at the end of the day, don’t forget to appreciate the California sunset.