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 had in 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 one day, 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.
In addition to the salmon, striped bass often frequent 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 offers the only pier in the Bay Area where you can crab of 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, catch perch at Linda Mar Beach; in the fall, go rock fishing off Pedro Point; in the summer on low foggy days catch stripped bass from the shoreline off any beach in Pacifica. Unfortunately, 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, take extreme caution if you decide to launch there..
Pacifica has bait and tackle shops located on Francisco Blvd.and Palmetto Ave. No license is required at the pier. The Pacifica Municipal Pier is located in Sharp Park with access two blocks west of the Coast Highway 1. The Pier is open daily from 4 a.m. to 10 p.m.and managed by the City's Public Works Department. (Please note, the pier closes during rough weather.). All other fishing along the coast will require a fishing license. The Department of Fish & Wildlife offer 2 free fishing days a year for those wanting to try their hand at fishing. Check their website for the 2 free days.
Photos courtesy of Carol Camacho, Glen Hogerton & Scott Leslie