Something sits in our hearts and memories about the first time we went fishing, whether it was with mom and dad, grandpa, or a couple of buddies. Sitting on the pier fishing is a great way to reminisce back on those times that you spent with friends and family. If you haven’t done this before, here are some great ideas to get you started.
You’ll need a basic fishing set up from a department store or Eric’s Tackle in Ventura, anywhere from 6 to 20+ lbs test fishing string, along with a size 2-4 and 1o hook, sinker size 3/4, and perhaps a few packs of Ahi Sabiki jigs. Recommended bait includes squid, mackerel, anchovies and sardines. For the best advantage, you’d be smart to get a half scoop of live anchovies from Ventura Sportfishing, strip the bait into 1-2 inch pieces and only use one piece per hook. Fresh bait always does better than frozen.
Hoop netting on the pier is also fun for the family. A Promar Ambush Hoop net is ideal paired with 50 feet of rope, enough to get you to the bottom of the sea floor from anywhere on the pier. Remember to lower the net between the pillars that hold up the pier as this will help keep the net from getting caught or tangled around them. I recommend cutting frozen or fresh mackerel or chicken for bait and letting the hoop net sit for 20 to 30 minutes between pulls.
Get out on the pier and you’ll find the ecosystem around it has a lot to offer. The sea grass protects the small fish and lures the big fish in to find them all taking their part in the circle of life. It’s part of the wonder of ocean fishing -you never know which creature in the circle might come along and eat your bait. Anything is possible to catch. I’ve seen trophy fish being caught on small rigs and the smallest catches caught on big rigs.
Based on experience, count on catching Jacksmelt, mackerel, sand sharks, perch, a few types of croaker, stingrays, and a variety of crustaceans like crab and lobster in the hoop nets. But remember to always refer to your state fish and wildlife hand book for fish size, regulations and seasons. Then grab your family, get yourself some gear, make a picnic and hit the pier to build new fun memories.