The Ocean Beach Pier is a destination spot for pier-fishing anglers who want to try their hand at catching Pacific sporting fish. Large, deep-water ocean fish have been caught at the pier’s far end. Here you can find ocean-going species that prefer vegetation and deep grassy bottoms, including bonito, yellowtail, barracuda, bass (sand, kelp), sheepshead, and sculpin (also known as scorpionfish).
Ocean Beach Pier offers an amazing variety of fishing opportunities. The far end of the pier is where the biggest fish (sharks and rays) are caught, beginning at sunset and through the night, by fishing on the bottom using strong test line (30+) and tackle, with bloody mackerel or squid as bait. The pier’s end is also the prime location for sand and calico bass, sculpin, and halibut, when fishing at mid-depth. However, please note that in 2021, the end section of Ocean Beach Pier was closed for much-needed repairs. As of the time of this writing, it is still unopened and there is no posting as to when reopening will occur.
Luckily, the pier’s end is by no means the only prime spot for great angling. Barracuda can be fished all the way down the pier in the Fall, and while they’re most common at night, daytimes can yield catches when the bait fish are lingering. Gold- or silver-colored spoons are recommended bait. Mid-pier provides an excellent ground for catching queenfish, which have no catch limits. Mackerel (Pacific, Spanish and even the occasional Bullet) can be fished all along the pier using bait rig leaders.
Bonitos come in all sizes. For catching medium-to-large bonitos, we recommend a feather trailed behind a Cast-a-Bubble, or a jig (MegaBait, Crippled Herring, Buzz Bomb). Small (or micro-sized) bonitos can be easily caught with bait rigs, but since smalls have a five-fish limit this may be overkill.
Yellowtail are a difficult catch, but they show up generally from July and October. The best method for catching this rare trophy fish is live bait on a sliding leader/leader with a float; leadhead jig with a strip of mackerel on the hook; and artificial lures (Crippled Anchovies, Buzz Bombs, etc.)
Lobsters are also a frequent catch, though often by accident. Lobsters must be returned to the water if they are brought up on a fishing line. Lobster catches are legal only during lobster season (check local regulations) and must be taken by hoop net.
The pier is long, so having a cart for your gear is helpful. Live bait (especially anchovies) is a favorite for most species on the pier.
Ocean Beach Pier Fish:
Ocean Beach Pier boat ramps:
The following boat ramps provide access to Ocean Beach Pier.