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Thunder on Ocean Beach Pier

August 14, 2011

The sky was gray and the wind swept with a light bite from the northwest.

Ocean Beach Pier is a fantastic concrete structure shaped like a “T” (see the photo.)  This was my first time to this pier and I wasn’t sure quite what to expect. Thunder is what I got.

Instead of my usual rubber lures and frozen anchovies, I decided to try a new trick I learned from an old angler: Salted anchovies! Yeah, it sounds like a big “so-what” but the salted anchovies add two benefits. First, they stick to the hook a LOT better. Usually frozen anchovies falls right off the hook. The other benefit is that the salt hides a lot of the “human scent” you leave when handling other bait. Some fish are sensitive enough to release the bait before the hook catches if they sense it’s foreign.

The results speak for themselves. After 20 minutes I landed a 15″ sand bass that put up such a big fight he decimated my reel. Good thing I brought two poles.

Brought in a couple mackerel using some fresh mackerel bait a nearby fisherman named Marlin (great fishing name!) donated to me. He called Ocean Beach a “mackerel highway.”

The current was fair and came straight from the west. Ocean Beach has a nice little cove the pier sits in and the species of fish was amazing. I saw a five or six foot shark chase a mackerel someone caught up to the surface before it retreated below. Another angler said he saw two yellow fin swimming about. Marlin showed me a picture of a black sea bass he caught the night before. The thing was at least two feet long! He had to throw it back since the black sea bass is not a permitted fish to keep in California.

I’m looking forward to coming back to this pier. Let’s see if lightning strikes twice. Maybe I’ll give salted fish bait another chance on some other piers.

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