Sycamore Cove Pier — Gone But Not Forgotten

This picture is from an old California Fish and Game publication, circa 1952/53.

Sycamore Cove Beach (9000 Pacific Coast Highway) is located three miles east of Point Mugu and four miles up the coast northwest from the south corner of Ventura County. It sits at the mouth of the Big Sycamore Canyon and today is the site of the headquarters for Point Mugu State Park.

Once a small pleasure (fishing) pier attracted sport fishermen to the spot but today most visitors simply see a sandy beach and the ocean beyond (along with some BBQ grills and restrooms). Occasionally a gnarly old piling may be seen sticking its head up through the sand as though pleading for remembrance but most pilings are gone, removed by the ceaseless waves and pounding surf over the years.

In addition to the recreational anglers who fished from the pier a few commercial skiff fishermen used to use the site to bring in their catch—mostly halibut, rockfish and lobsters. Some of the fish were sold to local restaurants and fish markets although records indicate some was sold to passing cars and trucks.

The site is apparently also a good one for movies. The movie After The Sunset was partially filmed at Sycamore Cove Beach in 2004. The lifeguard headquarters played the part of the beach house while the pier seen in the film was constructed just for the film. The film included Pierce Brosnan (Max) and Salma Hayek (Lola) among others. In one scene Max and Stan go fishing for sharks and are successful. Afterwards they drunkenly sing the same song sung by a drunken Quint, Hooper, and Brody in Jaws (1975). So, the question for the day is if you have to be drunk to sing that song or does it somehow sound better if you are in a drunken stupor?

 “A twisted rock formation on the far side of the cove marks the location for the climax of Charlie’s Angels in which Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, and Lucy Liu hang from a helicopter… Sycamore Cove is also a good spot for a family outing, as seen in Junior, in which Arnold Schwarzenegger, Danny Devito, Emma Thompson, and Paula Reed celebrate their offspring’s birthdays.” —Harry Medved with Bruce Akiyama, Hollywood Escapes, 2006

Posted in Daily musings... and tagged with , . RSS 2.0 feed.

15 Responses to Sycamore Cove Pier — Gone But Not Forgotten

  1. jay hudson says:

    visited here in late forties. was a campground and small store of sorts enjoyed fishing off pier and rocks at east end of beach. good times with family.

  2. Dave Schenk says:

    Lived here in a trailer park as a child in the late 50′s and early 60′s. It was our private paradise.

    • Peggy says:

      I lived at the Big Sycamore Maintenance Station, now called CalTrans, it was located across the road from the trailer park. I lived from 1964-1974. It was a incredible place to grow up.

      • Peggy says:

        There was a novelty store that sold all kinds of nick knacks and the store had a fresh caught fish and lobster tanks. They had huge pots of boiling water to cook the fresh sea food. On the northern side of these tanks was a small fast food cafe. My sister would cook hamburgers for the people that didn’t want lobster or crab.

        • Matthew Lucas says:

          I used to go to that store as a kid in the 60′s. We called it the bait store. Loved looking at the sharks in the concrete sea tanks! My grandpa bought us ice creams. Great memories!

  3. Brian says:

    Very thankful for this article as I saw the pilings on a negative low tide and had no idea there used to be a pier!

  4. Matthew Lucas says:

    My grandparents lived in a mobile home park on this property in the 1960′s. We would go fishing off the pier and collect sea glass stones and shells. We would all walk down to the sand dune and slide down on card board. Wonderful childhood memories there.

  5. Roger Woody says:

    As a child, I fished often from this pier. My father, Ray Woody and his partner Joe built the mobile home park they named “Big Sycamore Beach Resort”. We moved here from Santa Monica in 1953. My father also built the Cove House in 1955 where our family lived until I graduated high school in 1961.

    • kenjones says:

      Would you be willing to be interviewed on the phone? Ken

    • Dave (Butch) Schenk says:

      My grandparents also lived there in the 60′s. I spent summers there and all the breaks. We were very close to the Klaassen family at the time, Joe and Ethel ran the park and I hung out with 2 of their sons, Joey and Randy. I spent 8 or 9 summers living there. It sounds like some others who responded may have been there when I was. I’m curious!

  6. Neil says:

    Our grandparents had a place here when we were kids in the sixties. Sheriff John Rovick, a local television personality, was a neighbor . We once used one of the old pier pilings in a large bonfire and Joe the manager rode up in his Jeep and put out the fire. Good times and memories.

  7. Steve says:

    I have a few aerial photos of the trailer park
    taken by my dad in 1969.
    Go to and click on Sycamore
    Canyon Beach.

Leave a Reply to kenjones Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>