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 for free. 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 Bay; in the fall, go rock fishing off Pedro Point. 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 Bay; however, take extreme caution if you decide to launch that way.
Pacifica has four bait and tackle shops located on Francisco Blvd., Palmetto Ave. and at the Pacifica Pier. No license is required at the pier. Pacifica Pier is located in Sharp Park with access two blocks west of the Pacific Coast Highway. The Pier is open daily from 4 a.m. to 10 p.m. (Please note, the pier closes during rough weather.)