Fishing Season Brings Anglers Of All Ages To The Pier

Article written by Sean Caey for the Coronado Eagle, August 5, 1998.

Shari Rose calls out “any minute now!” when the mackerel swoop by the Coronado pier.

And sure enough, the poles start bending and the silver, big-eyed mackerel are hoisted one after another out of the water, delighting the 25 or so anglers every evening. The fishing flurry is soon over. But wait about an hour, and “any minute now,” they’ll hit once again.

It’s fishing season on Coronado and anyone with a fishing pole, some squid, and a little time can catch a few. While mackerel are caught all year, they run best in the summer and have been thrilling anglers with big catches for the last two weeks…

Rose has been fishing off the Coronado pier almost every afternoon for nearly three years. In five days, Rose figures she caught 56 fish and has seen hundreds more reeled in by thrilled children, tourists, and pier regulars.

Part coach, part cheerleader, part game warden, Rose helps and encourages anyone who wants to catch a fish. She offers tips, cuts bait, unhooks fish, and measures any bass or halibut caught to make sure they’re legal keepers (22 inches for halibut, 12 inches for bass).

“It’s wonderful to watch the kids. When they pull one in, it’s more fun for me than anything else,” says Rose.

Fishing on roller blades, teenager Luis Cruz caught 10 mackerel in two hours the day before. He comes on the weekends with his family to picnic at Tidelands Park and roller blades to the pier…

Ken Jones, author of Pier Fishing in California, rates the San Diego Bay as one of the best fishing spots in Southern California. The bay generally yields larger mackerel than the ocean piers in Imperial Beach and Ocean Beach. “Though it’s not big, Coronado is an excellent fishing pier,” according to Jones…

To Eat or Not Eat?

While many of the fishermen on the pier say they don’t eat what they catch, most of the fish caught in the bay pose no serious health risks, according to the San Diego County Environmental Health department.

Only people who eat the fish daily over a long period of time could have problems with toxins. Pregnant women, breast-feeding women, and small children especially should eat any fish in moderation.

Jones offers some pointers:

  • The bay is reasonably clean, although there are some polluted spots on the bottom. For this reason, don’t eat croaker and other bottom feeders since they may eat in contaminated areas.
  • Mackerel, bass, and halibut are generally safe because they regularly swim in and out of the bay.
  • Clean fish thoroughly, making sure to completely remove the gut and thoroughly wash the fish.
  • Bake fish on a rack so that the fat breaks down and drips into the pan. Toxins are stored in the fat.
  • Eat fish from any waters in moderation.
  • Jones adds that “its always best to catch and release fish, since fish populations are low. Enjoy the fresh air, and get closer to nature. That’s how I like to fish,” says Jones.

    2 Responses to Fishing Season Brings Anglers Of All Ages To The Pier

    1. lWhat time of the year is it best to fish for mackerel in San Diego Bay?

      • kenjones says:

        I’ve caught most of my mackerel in the bay during the summer months but it really varies year to year and they can show up almost any month.

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