A Short Trip To Pismo Beach, Avila, Morro Bay, Cayucos and Montana del Oro S.P.

My daughter gave my wife and I a birthday gift of two nights at the Spyglass Inn in Pismo Beach. We had a great time BUT it’s always a little tricky when I go on a trip with my wife because I want to visit the piers. However, I also know the trip is more about the wife and I spending some quality time together than fishing. Luckily we seemed to find a nice mix.

Day One — Pismo Beach — When we arrived at our hotel it was too early to check in so we decided to have some lunch. Friends in Fresno had said to be sure to visit the “Splash” restaurant since they had great clam chowder. Since I love clam chowder, that’s where we headed. Luckily, we just beat the crowd (and there’s almost always a line at the door).

The chowder was very good and I enjoyed the pictures on the wall, especially that of the pier.

By the time we left there was a crowd waiting to get in.

After lunch we decided to head down the street to the beach and pier. The pier was closed (which I knew) and under repair.

As usual during the summer months, the beach was crowded with people.

The Pismo Pier will be closed for an extended period of time (although some signs indicated it may be opened in sections as they finish one part and move on to the next).

The birds (mainly sea gulls and pelicans) had the pier to themselves.

We then headed back to our hotel, checked in, and walked around the grounds.

The Spyglass Inn

The bluff next to the hotel was covered with flowers

Off in the distance I could see the Avila Pier

What to do next? How about a short 15-minute drive over to Avila and its piers?

Day One — Port San Luis Pier — The Avila Beach Pier is closed but the second pier, the Port San Luis Pier, is just a mile down the road from Avila Beach. It would be a short visit but give me chance to fish.

One of my favorite spots is behind the fresh fish market just past the Sportfishing office.

The pier had quite a few people on it that day.

The pier for Cal State San Luis Obispo sits just a short distance down the shore from the Port San Luis Pier.

As for the fishing, an hour and a half fishing using my typical hi/lo rig produced 5 large jacksmelt, 4 Pacific mackerel, 2 nice-sized walleye surfperch, one small cabezon and way too many shinerperch. I also made a couple of new friends. A man and his wife had been fishing since 6:30 in the morning. They were using bobbers and had only caught a couple of fish. I gave most of the fish I caught to them and they were VERY pleased and grateful. I showed them a couple of techniques and by the time I left they too were catching some fish.

I didn’t take any pictures of the fish excepting this colorful cabezon.

Day One — Pismo Beach — After our short fishing trip, where I made sure to let Pat catch two of the mackerel that I hooked, we headed back to Pismo where we relaxed by our hotel before going out to dinner. Once again friends in Fresno had recommended a restaurant, Mo’s, if we liked BBQ. Of course I do and that’s where we headed. Mo’s isn’t fancy but it had great ribs (I tried the three variety platter) and was stuffed when we left.

We arrived right after a group of firefighters, so we had a wait.

We headed back to the hotel for a pretty sunset.

Day Two — Morro Bay — The next morning we decided to head over to Morro Bay for breakfast. My choice was the Blue Sky Bistro where I had dined previously. Again, more food than I needed.

You can either eat inside or eat outside overloooking the bay and Morro Rock

Morro Rock is always impressive. After breakfast we strolled the Embarcadero where i had the chance to check out small viewing platforms/fishing piers while Pat did some shopping.

We wound up down at Anchor Park and its small pier where two people were fishing.

This lady and her husband were visiting from Las Vegas (and enjoying the cool 72 degree weather) but had only managed one mackerel in their time at the pier.

Looking down the Embarcadero you could see the South T-Pier where I planned to fish later in the day.

Since the tide was low, I decided to head over to Cayucos and its pier first before returning to the South T-Pier.

Day Two — Cayucos — It was the middle of the day and I didn’t expect too much from the pier. However, the pier was crowded so I figured something must be biting.

I decided to head out to the end first to see what was going on. There were quite a few anglers but unfortunately most were catching only one thing — anchovies.

The anchovies explained why there were so many birds in the water.

Given the anchovies, I too put on a Sabiki and began catching them 1-4 at a time. I figured why not get some fresh bait? I also put on a halibut rig and threw out a live anchovy for bait. Unfortunately, I never had a bite.

Zane and JB

I did spot a couple of young anglers out at the end who looked like they knew what they were doing. They were fishing for sharks but hadn’t had any luck. Only problem they had was the number of tourists crowding the end looking at the birds, seals, sea lions, dolphins and whales. I asked them if they knew about PFIC and it turned out they both did. The taller was Zane and he’s a member of PFIC. The shorter was JB who, as it turned out, I had met before. He had attended one of the Kids Fishing Derbies at the Avila Beach Pier at few years ago and I had met him there when he was a little younger. As said, it looked like they knew what they were doing. Good job guys. After catching a couple of dozen anchovies and nothing else, I decided to move inshore and try for some perch.

The beach was busy as usual. As at the end of the pier, there were plenty of birds on the water. I was joined by a couple of harbor seals who would dive for anchovies when they weren’t paying me company.

Day Two — Morro Bay —After a short hour of fishing at Cayucos, and a couple of dozen anchovies, I decided to head back to Morro Bay and the T-Pier..

A beautiful day but I only fished the T-Pier for an hour due to my wife wanting to head back to Pismo. One hour using the hi/lo baited with pieces of shrimp produced two grass rockfish, one copper rockfish, and one small perch. I did toss out a Sabiki to see if there were any jacksmelt or mackerel but didn’t have a hit.

Day Two — Pismo Beach — Headed back to Pismo to spend some time with my wife and then decided to try the hotel restaurant for dinner since it was one of the highest ranking restaurants in Pismo Beach (to my surprise).

We decided to eat outside given the very pleasant weather. After a delicious dinner we walked the grounds.

Day Two — Port San Luis — Pat was tired but I still had some time left for some fishing so I headed back over to the Port San Luis Pier.

This time I headed out to the end since it was starting to get dark and there are some lights at the end. I decided to first try a Sabiki for some mackerel but it turned out the waters at the end were saturated with small bocaccio. After quickly getting a couple of dozen of those restricted fish, I switched over to a hi/low baited with shrimp and/or small pieces of mackerel. 1 3/4 hours produced 6 white croaker, 2 perch, 1 grass rockfish and way too many of the small bocaccio.

Day Three — Pismo Beach — I woke up early and since my wife was still sleeping decided to head down to the beach I had spotted from the bluffs.

Given the time in the morning, the fog still hadn’t burned off.

I took many, many pictures; here are a few.

Heading back up the bluff I encountered the first of what would be many small rabbits along the bluff area.

It turned out there were many, many rabbits in the bluff in front of the hotel. Here are a few.

We had an excellent breakfast at the hotel and then decided to visit Montana del Oro S.P. It is located between Pismo Beach and Morro Bay.

Day Three — Montana del Oro State Park

The first beach you come to has some interesting formations.

At the top of the hill just inside the park there is a hike that is about two miles long (back and forth) out to the cliff areas and some beautiful views. Much of the area reminded me of the Sea Lion Cove area near Point Arena. There are also a LOT of areas that  look VERY FISHY!

The walk back is through dry vegitation.

A birdie greeted us at our car.

Our next stop would be back in Fresno. We left Montana del Oro and Morro Bay where it was a cool 72 degrees. About 40 minutes later we were in Atascadero where it was 90 degrees. Another hour and 15 minutes and we were at the I-5 junction n Kettleman City where it was 104 degrees. Thus the Central Valley in the summertime and a reason why so many like to head over to the coast.







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2 Responses to A Short Trip To Pismo Beach, Avila, Morro Bay, Cayucos and Montana del Oro S.P.

  1. bill wisniewski says:

    that coast guard t pier can be capricious….sounds like the san luis commercial pier is doing better….you can always buy them there if skunked. pismo is the best pier for a limit of walleyed perch……….we drove up to san simeon because cayucos was recently closed for repairs….one sand dab at san simeon….the beach just north of morro rock is lousy with sand crabs and big fat perch….we bought chest waders for our next trip…. creek goes in there….we’ve heard stories of big fish in that morro rock surf eating sand crabs….

    • kenjones says:

      It’s nice to have a variety of places to visit in that area. Both the Pismo Beach Pier and the Avila Beach Pier are currently closed. Pismo Beach is looking at another year to finish reconstruction while the Avila pier me be down even longer.

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