During a five-week period from the last week of June into the first week of August, some of the best fishing in the United States can be enjoyed at the inshore waters off Pacifica. The rocky coast is made up of a series of small bays where salmon are the most sought-after catch. A dramatic example of the abundance of salmon occurred in July 1995 when 300 salmon were caught within a few hours, 600 the next day and more than 1,000 the following day. This amazing phenomenon continued for five days, attracting hordes of anglers, who crowded the 1,140-foot Pacifica Pier. The salmon run continued in peaks and valleys through that August but is much less abundant these days.
In addition to salmon, striped bass often frequents the surf with kingfish, sharks and perch also common. Although rare, sturgeon, barracuda and bonito have also been caught here…even a 60-pound white sea bass was landed.
Pacifica Pier is the only pier in the Bay Area where you can crab or fish for free. The crabbing season begins in November and lasts throughout July. During the winter, Dungeness Crab, not available elsewhere in the Bay Area, are abundant off the pier.
In the spring, you can catch perch at Linda Mar Beach; in the fall, go rock fishing off Pedro Point; in the summer, on low foggy days, you can catch striped bass from the shoreline off any beach in Pacifica.
There are no public boat ramps in Pacifica. Some hardy souls hand-launch small boats through the surf at the southern end of Linda Mar Beach, however, it takes extreme caution if you decide to launch there.
Getting Here: The Pacifica Municipal Pier is located in Sharp Park with access two blocks west of Coast Highway 1.
Hours: The pier is open daily from 4 am to 10 pm unless closed due to inclement weather, high surf, repairs, etc.
Fee: No license is required at the pier. All other fishing along the coast requires a fishing license.
Parking: Street Parking
Fishing & Crabbing Gear:
Coastside Bait & Tackle
1604 Francisco Blvd
Pacifica, CA 94044
CATCH, COOK & EAT Crabs | DUNGENESS CRABBING at the Pier