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The Goleta Beach Pier, located in Santa Barbara County, California, is not only one of the best fishing piers on the California coast but also steeped in historical significance. Built between 1942 and 1943 by the military, the pier initially served as a training ground for aviators from a nearby base in water rescues. What started as an 850-foot structure underwent extensive reconstruction, expanding to its current length of 1,450 feet. This rich history complements its vibrant role today as a center for recreation, offering diverse activities including fishing, dining, and wildlife observation.Historical BackgroundOriginally constructed for military training during World War II, Goleta Pier has evolved significantly over the decades. Its initial role was crucial during the war, providing a practical application for air-sea rescue training. After the war, the pier’s purpose shifted towards public recreation and commercial use, reflecting the community’s growing connection with maritime activities and the ocean’s natural resources.Reconstruction and ExpansionThe transformation from a modest military structure to one of the longest piers in California came after the pier suffered damage and required rebuilding. The extension to 1,450 feet was aimed at enhancing its capacity for both recreational fishing and commercial operations, thereby solidifying its position as a staple of coastal Santa Barbara County.Fishing at Goleta Beach PierGoleta Beach Pier is renowned for its abundant waters, attracting both casual anglers and seasoned fishermen. Here are some of the types of fish commonly caught at this pier and tips on how to fish for them:1. **Mackerel**: Known for their school behavior, mackerel can be caught using shiny lures or feather jigs. Early morning or late evening are typically the best times for mackerel fishing.2. **Surfperch**: These fish are often found close to shore. Anglers use small grubs or sandworms on light tackle to catch surfperch right off the pier.3. **Halibut**: Targeting halibut involves using live bait such as anchovies or sardines, positioned near the bottom, often just beyond the surf line.4. **Rockfish**: Found around the submerged rocky areas, rockfish can be caught using bait such as squid or cut fish, fished near the bottom.5. **Bass**: Kelp bass and sand bass are local favorites and can be caught using live bait or plastic worms and jigs near kelp beds and sandy bottoms.6. **White Sea Bass**: These elusive fish are best targeted with live squid during dawn and dusk when they come closer to the shore to feed.Recreational and Leisure ActivitiesBesides fishing, Goleta Beach Pier offers a plethora of other recreational activities. The pier is surrounded by a beautiful natural landscape, making it a perfect spot for picnicking and wildlife watching. Visitors often enjoy the sights of seals, otters, and various seabirds, including pelicans and seagulls, adding to the serene environment.Dining and ShoppingThe pier houses several amenities, including restaurants that offer fresh seafood with a view, bait and tackle shops for fishing enthusiasts, and boat rental services for those looking to explore the waters further. These businesses enhance the pier’s appeal as a recreational destination, providing visitors with both convenience and local flavor.ConclusionToday, the Goleta Beach Pier stands as a multifaceted facility that not only commemorates its historical roots but also embraces its role as a modern recreational hub. Whether for angling, dining, or simply enjoying the panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean, the pier invites visitors to partake in a diverse array of activities that epitomize the coastal lifestyle. It remains a beloved landmark, offering a blend of historical depth and contemporary leisure in the heart of Santa Barbara County.


5986 Sandspit Rd, Goleta, CA 93117-3903


Operating Hours

Open daily 24Hours

Admission & Pricing


Rod Rentals

$10.00 Hours $30.00 Halfday Crab Nets $7.00 Hours $28.00 Halfday

Bait Option

Contact Goleta Pier Angler Center for more information 805 967-1300


Fish Caught

White croaker, Jacksmelt, Small Perch, Pelagics, Mackerel, Bonito, Barracuda, White seabass, Yellowtail, Wayward salmon, Rockfish

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5986 Sandspit Rd, Goleta, CA 93117-3903

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