The Ocean Park Pier & Fishing — “The Way It Used To Be”

Ocean Park Pier — 1911

Reading the old reports of the fish caught from California’s piers can be both amazing and disheartening. Amazing because of the numbers of fish once encountered on a fairly regular basis. Disheartening because so few of those results are duplicated today. The reasons are multiple but the main reason is simply the number of people in California and the affects that the population has had on the marine environment over the past century. The number of many, if not most, species have decreased and basically we have no one to blame but ourselves.

Still it  interesting to read these old reports, to see the way that “it used to be.” In this case the reports are from the Ocean Park Pier, the famous pier located just north of Abbot Kinney’s equally famous Venice Pier.

Pier Fishing at Beach Improves

Southern California’s latest sport, night fishing from the Ocean Park pier, is proving rapidly popular, states Prank Wilson, manager of a pier bait and tackle stand. Wilson reports that a. catch of 23 sea trout by Pat Nolan, sportsman, headed the week’s catches

—Van Nuys News, July 6, 1931

Anglers Aid Bass Reproduction Here

Reproduction of striped bass, the fighting game fish found in San Francisco waters, is being aided greatly by the state fish and game commission, claims  Al Camp, Ocean Park fishing authority, who reported that four of the specimens were hooked off the Ocean Park pier yesterday. Camp claims that the four small bass caught yesterday are from the fry planted by the state commission at Newport and in years to come Southland anglers can look for large quantities of this type of fish locally. The bass were immediately thrown back in the water by the sportsmen securing the catch as the reproduction of these fish is greatly desired by Southern California anglers.

—Van Nuys News, November 16, 1931

Pier fishing at the end of the Ocean Park Pier is reported to be at its best with increasing catches of halibut being brought in by local anglers. Bonito, perch, and small jewfish are also numerous with plenty of action being assured the angler.

—Van Nuys News, August 7, 1933

 Fish for Trout Under Spotlight

Can fish see at night is definitely answered by anglers frequenting the pier at Ocean Park Pier each night to fish for sea trout under the bright spotlights. Ed Marshall, in charge of the tackle store and end of the pier fishing, reports increasing numbers of sportsmen taking up this fascinating method of deep sea fishing. Good catches of sea trout are reported, which should reach maximum in a week or so, reports Marshall.

—Van Nuys News, May 3, 1934

 Biggest Run of Sea Trout, Bass at Piers in Years

One hundred fifty white sea bass in a single   evening’s fishing from the Ocean Park Pier during the past week is positive proof of the biggest run of sea trout in years, reports Commodore Bob Oefmger… A few examples of individual catches are given here: Ten sea trout by Geo. Carlson, Pasadena, end of Ocean Park Pier. Fifteen halibut by L. Weiner, Los Angeles, end of Ocean Park Pier. Thirty sea trout by Bob McKay, Venice, end of Ocean Park Pier.

—Van Nuys News, June 14, 1934


A one night’s catch of 600 white sea bass, known as the trout of the sea, was reported from the Ocean Park pier here today. It was the biggest run of the season for those who do their angling under the powerful spotlights.

—Bakersfield Californian, July 17, 1934

 Charles Ely of Ocean Park is in the limelight with his 300th halibut successfully landed while fishing on Ocean Beach Pier.  It is said that the white sea bass run is still on with good catches being made at night.

—Van Nuys News, August 30, 1934

Fishing out at Ocean Park pier continues good with at least a dozen varieties of deep sea game fish being taken on the pier, on the barge Billings and on the live bait boat Ramona on its run up to Point Dume kelp beds, reports Commodore Bob Oefinger. White sea bass are running now with good catches being made daily both on the Ramona and on the pier.

—Van Nuys News, September 27, 1934

 Rod and Reel

Catches on both sardine and big cornfed mackerel are being made from the Ocean Park Pier in large numbers now. Big perch are also being taken in fair to good numbers.

—Jack Adams, Van Nuys News, October 14, 1954

Rod and Reel

Results on the pier showed a strong run of horse sardines and perch.

—Jack Adams, Van Nuys News, March 29, 1955

 Rod and Reel

The hefty run of mackerel on the Ocean Park Pier showed no sign of slackening as huge number were taken.

—Jack Adams, Van Nuys News, October 20, 1955

 Rod and Reel

Southern California’s multi–million dollar deep sea sportfishing fleet came to an almost complete halt Thursday as the headman of the sport  passed the word to all hands to enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday season around the family table for a change.  Fishing was on tap at the Ocean Park Pier as Versal Schuler took over the helm personally and handled the job on his own—while the rest of the organization relaxed with their families. A strong run of perch put in an appearance the past several days at Ocean Park Pier to bolster the record show of mackerel they have enjoyed for the past several months and Schuler had numerous requests to allow anglers to use the closed portion of the pier yesterday. This called for him to hold  “open house” which he did until time for the “chow-down” signal to be sounded. 

—Jack Adams, Van Nuys News, November 27, 1955

 Rod and Reel

Ocean Park Pier drew a by on the deep water stuff — but pier fisherman hit a lick with piling perch up to three pounds landed in nice numbers.

—Jack Adams, Van Nuys News, January 12, 1956

 Rod and Reel

Topping this was the run of mackerel at the Ocean Park Pier as anglers enjoyed a quickie run of these popular fish. A good catch was listed on the greenbacks.

—Jack Adams, Van Nuys News, November 20, 1956

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