In Los Angeles there’s a sport enjoyed by thousands but hidden in plain sight. Take a guess at what that sport might be. Need a hint? Well go on up to Malibu Pier. Ignore all the tourists taking selfies, ignore the hipster couples wandering back and forth, and try to avoid the families with bunches of hungry kids buzzing around the restaurants. Instead, do you notice all the rumps bent over the protective rail of the pier? Yep. That’s right, they’re fishing. And believe it or not old timers have assured me that Malibu Pier is the best for pier fishing. I mention this because recently my daughter suggested that we (meaning just the two of us) do something we haven’t done in a long, long time. Fishing- Yowza!
“We, um, haven’t been fishing in ages”, I said, trying to be cool. “So, okay, yeah, I’m in.” She immediately thrust a brand new (the marked down tag still on it) rod and reel in my hands. “I knew you’d say that,” she quipped punching her straw hat on her head which meant she was ready to go. Minutes later we sallied out the door and hopped in the old CR-V.
On the pier some old-timers gave us the once over us. You could tell they pegged us as wannabes. True enough. But like I said, my daughter and I weren’t total novices- just a bit out of practice.
The locals gave us some space and went back to their rods. We busied ourselves and settled down. After a while we got a break in the routine when a plump pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis, I guessed.) plopped down onto the pier behind us. He just sat there and preened while tourists crowded around and took lots of selfies. He ignored everyone. (We just assumed it was a he- in fact we named him Charlie.) Charlie acted totally unimpressed with our specie. He clapped his bill and wagged his head. That caused more selfies and then more bill clapping. Eventually one of the old-timers stepped up and lobbed a fish into his throat pouch. After tossing his head up and down for a minute, he gulped it down. Apparently satisfied, Charlie took off.
Anyway, let me get back to information about fishing. I’m willing to bet most folks in L.A. don’t know that fishing on public ocean piers in California is free. So keep this in mind if you’re interested in giving the sport a try. It’s a cheap way to start. Before you start pier fishing click on this site: California Beach Fishing. Here you’ll get answers to your questions as well as a guide titled: Southern California Beach Fishing. You can download a PDF of this brochure. It’s loaded with all kinds of information such as the best time to fish, tips about rod and reels, what kind of fish are common along the shores, and a lot of other resources.
Below is a map showing the location of the Malibu Pier. By the way, if Malibu isn’t convenient there are many public ocean piers up and down our coast. The web site I mentioned above also has a map showing about fifteen public ocean piers from Malibu Pier in the north all the way down to Newport Beach to the south. Take your pick. Oh, yes. If, while you’re fishing, a slightly overweight pelican settles down on the pier near you, say hi to Charlie. And toss him a fish.
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Looking for more interesting places to take the kids and family? There are many activities and public venues made available by local counties and cities. Municipalities in and around Los Angeles offer fun and educational experiences for everyone. Click on my posts listed below for great family outing ideas:
Metropolitan Features including information regarding these popular places:
– Los Angeles Zoo
– Griffith Observatory
– The Arboretum
– Exposition Park
– Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History
– Santa Monica Pier