Cayucos Pier Reopens

When I heard that the Cayucos Pier would have a reopening celebration on Halloween, October 31, 2015, my reaction was simpleā€”I have to be there. After all, in 1977 when I was living in San Francisco’s East Bay, I attended the opening of the Point Pinole Pier. Later, in 1987, when I was living in the redwoods of Mendocino County, I had attended the reopening of the Point Arena Pier. Now, living in Fresno, a trip to the Central Coast’s Cayucos Pier almost demanded attendance.

The view from the bluffs just north of the pier

I would not be alone! A large number of residents and visitors combined with the normal number of movers and shakers insured the opening would be an event. Hundreds flocked to the pier, to the ceremonies, and to the songs and attractions that lined the beach-side street. Given that it was Halloween, it was a festive group with many dressed in costumes, more than a few drinks were imbibed, and a good time was enjoyed by all. Some, like myself, even fished.

A few anglers were already fishing from the pier before the opening as well as few strollers checking out the pier and the fishing action.

As it turned out the fishing was slow (which I found a little unusual). But the pier is beautiful and the crowd was filled with good will. Families roamed the pier checking out the new pilings, new lights, new railings (basically new everything), and the plaques lining the pier memorializing those who gave support for the pier. The plaques honored many who had spent their lives visiting the pier, those who saw Cayucos and its beaches as a favored seaside destination, and some who saw the pier as their favored destination for wetting a fishing line. One plaque even honored a family dog. It was a happy time for all.

The “Grand Opening” and ribbon cutting ceremony was scheduled for 12 Noon but I arrived early wanting to take a few pictures of the pier before the opening.

Even though it was almost November, it was a short-sleeve shirt and shorts kind of day with a bright sun (where’s my suntan lotion?) and a mostly light breeze. You couldn’t have hoped for better weather and it provided the perfect conditions for what I think most would say was a great day.

It’s a little different perspective under the pier

What a beautiful day!

Time for the ceremonies!

Greg Bettencourt was the main man who led the local efforts to rebuild the pier

County Supervisor Bruce Gibson spearheaded efforts by San Luis Obispo County to obtain funding for the project

Vicki Jansen, an aide to California Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian, spoke a few words for the assemblyman

Nick Franco, the Director of San Luis Obispo County Parks Department had a long list of people who had contributed to the funding and rebuilding of the pier

Makana, a singer from Hawaii who was scheduled to provide music for the festivities sang a new song he had written about the Cayucos Pier

It was finally time for the official ribbon cutting signifying the opening of the pier

Once the festivities were over it was time to load up my pier cart and head out to the pier to catch some fish. The pier was crowded but there was still ample railing space to give it a try.

The end section already had a few anglers so I set up about three quarters down the pier.

I have never seen so many people dressed up on a pier nor so many dogs on a pier.

A couple of guys came loaded with equipment for sharks although I didn’t see them catch anything. The pier has traditionally been a great pier for sharks although most are caught at night.

I enjoyed watching this man introduce his son to surfing!


The fishing was slow. I managed ten fish while fishing from 1 P.M. to 3:30 P.M. but all were smallish-sized fish with the exception of two fairly large jacksmelt. I tried cut mackerel, strips of squid, cut market shrimp and finally some night crawlers (which I had bought since I couldn’t find any pile worms or bloodworms). All of the fish were caught on either the night crawlers or the pieces of mackerel.

The results for two and a half hours of fishing: two jacksmelt, two white croaker, two walleye surfperch, two topsmelt, one barred surfperch and one staghorn sculpin. Pretty dismal results which represented pretty much what was normal before the pier was closed.

Even though the fishing was slow, it was a great day and I hope to return soon.



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