Santa Monica Pier Fishing Info
The Santa Monica Pier is one of California’s most famous piers. The pier is 2,000 feet long and sits in the water of Santa Monica Bay. Fishing on the pier is a favorite recreational activity, and to many people, it is a source of food.
When fishing from the Santa Monica Pier, you can either fish from the upper level or the separate, lower fishing deck that is located at the far end of the pier, closer to the water. Fishing from the separate fishing deck is easier than from the top level, and you can access the lower level from a stairway located at the end of the pier.
If you are a beginner and don’t own any fishing equipment, you can rent poles, reels, tackle, and other fishing necessities from a bait and tackle shop located at the far end of the pier. The shop is not always open; however, and you may have to plan accordingly.
There are several species of fish in the waters around the Santa Monica Pier. The most common fish species include perch, mackerel, white sea bass, leopard shark, stingrays, and tiger shark. If you catch endangered black sea bass, you have to return it or donate it to an aquarium that works toward preserving marine life, for example, the Heal the Bay Aquarium.
If you want to catch fish species like barracuda, white seabass, or yellowtail, fish from the end of the pier at the fishing dock where the water is deeper (bringing a fish finder might be overkill though, but researching the best spinning reels and top fishing line to use is definitely not overkill).
You can eat some of the fish that you catch at the Santa Monica Pier. The California Office of Environmental Health Hazards has a list of fish that are safe to eat that you can use to determine whether you can eat your catch.
If there is a contamination in the water, there will be warning signs on the pier, so keep an eye out for these signs if you are catching fish to use for food. Species you should never eat include barracuda, white croaker, and barred sand bass.
As a general rule, the State of California requires that anglers over the age of sixteen have a fishing license that is issued by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
There is an exception to this rule; however, which states that if you fish from a public pier that is connected to the land, you don’t need a fishing license. If you fish from a boat or the beach, however, you need to purchase a license.
Each fish species has its peak period throughout the year in the waters around Los Angeles. From October to June, surfperch is in abundance. Between April and September, striped bass is more common. If you want to catch California halibut, you have to fish actively from May to August.
The weather in this part of the country is relatively pleasant throughout the year, and you will always be able to catch sizable fish at any time of the year.