Tips for Pier Fishing in Pismo Beach

pier fishingThe Pismo Beach Pier – a renowned fishing destination complete with mild weather and views of one of the finest beaches in California. It is perhaps the perfect year round fishing retreat and it would be an understatement to say it provides “just good fishing.” With several cantilevered fishing decks lining 1,370 feet, it is the second most productive Central Coast pier.

The top fish found in Pismo Beach is the barred surfperch, a species of surfperch native to the inshore waters of California and Baja California, Mexico. They give birth to live young, most do not exceed 30 cm, and their diet is primarily sand crabs. While fishing at the Pismo Beach Pier you are also likely to find: calico surfperch, skates, blackperch, rubberlip seaperch, silver surfperch, walleye surfperch, kingfish, starry flounders, sanddabs, sand soles, halibut, jacksmelt, Pacific mackerel and jack mackerel.

If you are enticed to head to the Pismo Beach Pier, here are 10 tips to help enhance your pier fishing experience:

  • Always observe the tide so you can head out during prime catching time.
  • Two hours before and two hours after high tide is when you should fish the surf area for barred and calico surfperch. Your bait can include: sand crabs (best option), seaworms, fresh mussels or clams.
  • If you wish to catch the largest perch, ask the locals what they use for bait and where they are most productive.
  • Not in the mood for perch? Fish towards the end of the pier for a chance at a jacksmelt, Pacific mackerel, jack mackerel, or Pacific sardine.
  • Spring until fall has proven a good time to fish the bottom for sole and an occasional halibut.
  • Winter and spring are the best seasons to fish on the bottom for starry blounder.
  • Larger flatfish seem to enjoy a live bait leader rigged with a whole anchovy, small live white croaker, or small live smelt.
  • Perch caught at the middle and end of the pier are commonly silver surfperch and walleye surfperch.
  • School of small bocaccio tend to like small pieces of squid. Fishing the mid-pier area for these guys will get you to your fish limit quite quickly.
  • If you want to take your hand at another type of fish, try shark fishing. The most common species in Pismo Beach include sand sharks and leopard sharks. However, many anglers seek the larger thresher shark.

For more fishing tips and Pismo Beach Pier facts visit

As summer approaches you can expect to see the schooling species move in and steady action can be enjoyed by everyone wishing to fish the Pismo Beach Pier. But as with any game sport, fishing can be unpredictable and regretfully we cannot guarantee you a catch. What we can guarantee is your prime pier fishing headquarters at the SeaCrest OceanFront Hotel in Pismo Beach. With convenient private beach access directly from the hotel premises, you can take a short walk to the Pismo Beach Pier. When your hard work is complete return to SeaCrest and grill up the fish you caught on our BBQ’s! Then reside to your headquarters for luxurious relaxation where you can rest up for your next day of Pismo Beach fun.

book now

Comments are closed.

Best Rate Guarantee