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The Fort Point Pier, also known as the Torpedo Wharf, is steeped in rich history and maritime tradition. Located near the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, this pier has evolved from a military installation to a beloved public space where fishing, crabbing, and sightseeing converge.Historical SignificanceOriginally built in the late 19th century, the pier’s initial purpose was significantly different from today. It was constructed as part of the U.S. Army’s strategic efforts, serving as a submarine mine depot named Torpedo Wharf. During this period, the pier was essential for military operations, including the loading and deployment of underwater mines, which were colloquially known as “torpedoes.”Over the years, the pier was rebuilt several times to maintain its structural integrity and adapt to new roles. Post-military use, it transformed into a public fishing and recreational area, shedding its martial purposes for more peaceful activities.Fishing and Crabbing HubToday, Fort Point Pier is renowned for its excellent fishing and crabbing opportunities, with its location providing a unique angle into the rich marine ecosystems of the San Francisco Bay. The pier does not require a fishing license for anglers, making it an accessible spot for both locals and tourists. Here are some of the species commonly targeted at the pier:1. **Dungeness Crab**: The cool waters around the pier are ideal for crabbing, especially during the season that typically runs from November through June. Crabbers often use crab pots or rings baited with fish carcasses to lure these prized crustaceans.2. **Striped Bass**: These fish are a popular catch and can be targeted with lures or bait such as anchovies, sardines, or artificial swimbaits. The best times are during the moving tides.3. **Halibut**: Fishing for halibut is productive using live bait or artificial lures that mimic the small fish they prey upon. These flatfish are often found near the sandy bottom.4. **Salmon**: During their seasonal runs, salmon can be caught from the pier, particularly using spoons, spinners, or live bait.5. **Sharks and Rays**: The deeper waters around the pier are good spots for catching various species of sharks and rays, using squid, mackerel, or anchovies as bait.6. **Rockfish**: These bottom dwellers can be caught using bait such as shrimp or using jigs that sink near the rocky structures where they hide.Recreational Activities and Scenic ViewsApart from fishing and crabbing, the Fort Point Pier offers unmatched scenic views of the Golden Gate Bridge—referred to as the “International Orange Icon”—and the San Francisco skyline. This makes it a favorite spot not just for anglers but also for photographers and tourists seeking to capture the beauty of the bay.The pier is surrounded by other attractions and amenities, including pathways for walking and biking, areas for picnicking, and historical exhibits that provide insight into the area’s past. Its proximity to the Golden Gate National Recreation Area adds to its appeal, offering visitors a range of outdoor activities.ConclusionFort Point Pier, with its rich historical background and transition from a military installation to a public recreational pier, epitomizes the blend of history and modern utility. It serves as a testament to San Francisco’s dynamic evolution and its enduring relationship with the maritime world. Whether you’re casting a line, dropping a crab pot, or simply soaking in the panoramic views, Fort Point Pier offers a unique and enriching experience at one of the most iconic settings in California.


Long Ave, San Francisco, CA 94129, USA


Operating Hours

Opens from Sunrise to Sunset

Admission & Pricing

Parking Fee $3 per hour Daily maximum of $24, and a monthly maximum of $144.

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Fish Caught

Perch, Jacksmelt and Topsmelt, Flatfish such as Sand Sole, Sanddab and Starry flounder, Rockfish, Kingfish (white croaker), and the sharays—sharks, rays and skates.

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Long Ave, San Francisco, CA 94129, USA

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