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The Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf stands as a historical and cultural icon, recognized as the longest wooden pier in the United States. Stretching 2,745 feet into the Monterey Bay since its construction in 1914, the wharf was initially purposed for shipping and trading, a testament to the bustling maritime commerce of the early 20th century.The pier’s impressive length offers a significant advantage for fishing enthusiasts, providing access to deeper waters where diverse marine life thrives, increasing the likelihood of encountering a variety of fish species.Fishing at Santa Cruz WharfThe Santa Cruz Wharf’s waters are teeming with marine life, attracting both novice and experienced anglers. Here’s a look at some of the common fish species that can be found around the wharf and tips on how to catch them:1. **Surfperch**: These can be caught close to the pilings using sand crabs, mussels, or synthetic grubs.2. **Mackerel**: Shiny lures or pieces of bait can attract these fish, especially when using a sabiki rig.3. **Halibut**: Targeting halibut is best done with live bait, such as anchovies, or lures that can be bounced off the ocean floor.4. **Sea Bass**: Fishing for sea bass often requires patience, with live bait or heavy lures cast into deeper waters.5. **Rockfish**: These can be found around rocky areas, caught using bait such as squid or anchovies on a dropper loop rig.6. **Dungeness Crab**: Though not a fish, crabbing is popular on the pier, with traps baited with fish carcasses or chicken parts.Cultural and Recreational HubBeyond fishing, the Santa Cruz Wharf is a bustling center of activity, home to a variety of restaurants, gift shops, and the famous sea lions that can often be seen resting on its docks. It serves as a popular spot for tourists and locals alike, offering scenic views of the bay and a window into the aquatic life of the region.Community and Environmental ConsiderationsAs a historical structure, the wharf is a celebrated part of Santa Cruz’s heritage. Preservation efforts and mindful fishing practices are encouraged to maintain the pier’s integrity and the health of the bay’s ecosystem for future generations.The Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf remains a beloved landmark, encapsulating the rich history of Santa Cruz while continuing to serve as a dynamic venue for fishing, tourism, and community events. It is a bridge between the past and present, offering countless visitors the chance to enjoy the natural beauty and cultural vibrancy of Monterey Bay.


21 Municipal Wharf, Santa Cruz, CA 95060, USA


Operating Hours

OPEN DAILY: 5:00 AM – 2:00 AM

Admission & Pricing

FREE ADMISSION, PARKING – $1 (no charge from 10:00 PM – 9:00 AM)

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Available at shop

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Available at shop


Fish Caught

Salmon, Lingcod, California Halibut, Kelp Greenling, Bocaccio, Sardines, Starry Flounder, Rainbow Seaperch, Speckled Sanddab, Cabezon

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21 Municipal Wharf, Santa Cruz, CA 95060, USA

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