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Shelter Island Fishing Pier, located at 1776 Shelter Island Dr, San Diego, California, offers a unique blend of historical charm and abundant fishing opportunities. This T-shaped pier, a hub in the bustling San Diego Bay area, is a popular destination for both locals and tourists alike, seeking both the serenity of the water and the thrill of the catch.Historical OverviewThe original Shelter Island Pier was constructed in 1956, marking the beginning of its role as a key recreational spot in San Diego. However, this initial structure was not meant to last; it was demolished and replaced in 1990 with a new pier designed to mimic the old one’s style and functionality. The current pier stretches 200 feet from the coast and expands into a 500-foot long T at the end, offering expansive space for fishing and leisure activities.Design and StructureThe architectural design of Shelter Island Fishing Pier is notably efficient for accommodating a large number of anglers without feeling crowded. Its T-shaped end spreads out into the bay, providing ample room for casting lines and moving around, which is ideal for both casual and serious anglers. The design also facilitates easy access to deeper waters, where larger fish species can be found, making it an excellent spot for various fishing styles.Fishing at Shelter Island PierThe waters around Shelter Island are rich with marine life, making the pier a favored spot for catching a variety of fish. Here are six popular species you can target and tips on how to catch them:1. **Spotted Bay Bass**: These fish are commonly found around the bay and can be caught using live bait like shrimp or artificial lures that mimic small fish or crustaceans.2. **California Halibut**: Known for lurking near the sandy bottom, halibut can be effectively caught by using live bait such as sardines or anchovies, or with artificial lures like swimbaits. Drifting these baits along the bottom, where halibut feed, can be particularly productive.3. **Yellowfin Croaker**: These croakers are a common catch and are often attracted to baits like worms, small crabs, or squid. They are best fished near the sandy bottom close to the shore.4. **Bonito**: Fast and agile, bonito can be caught using feathered jigs or shiny lures. Early morning or later in the evening when they are most active are the best times to target these energetic fish.5. **Mackerel**: A staple at many piers, mackerel are attracted to shiny lures and jigs. They are schooling fish, so where you find one, you are likely to find many.6. **Leopard Shark**: For those looking for a bigger challenge, the leopard shark can be targeted using mackerel or squid as bait. These sharks require heavier tackle and patience to successfully catch.Community and Recreational ValueShelter Island Fishing Pier is not just about fishing; it’s a community gathering place that offers spectacular views of San Diego Bay and the city skyline. The pier is equipped with amenities such as bait and tackle shops, benches, and lighting for night fishing, enhancing its appeal as a comfortable and accessible fishing location.Conservation and SustainabilitySustainable fishing practices are encouraged at Shelter Island Fishing Pier, with signs educating anglers on catch limits and species protection to ensure the health and longevity of the marine ecosystem in San Diego Bay.ConclusionThe Shelter Island Fishing Pier stands as a testament to the community’s commitment to preserving and enhancing its natural resources while providing a space for recreational activities. Its rich history, coupled with the abundant fishing opportunities and beautiful surroundings, make it a treasured destination for anyone visiting or residing in San Diego. Whether you’re casting a line or simply enjoying the panoramic views, the pier offers a unique and memorable experience by the bay.


1776 Shelter Island Dr, San Diego, CA 92106, USA


Operating Hours

Open Daily 6am-10:30pm

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Contact Shelter Island Pier Bait and Tackle shop: (619) 686-6200


Fish Caught

Barred sand bass, Spotted bay Bass, Calico bass, Halibut, Leopard sharks, Bat rays, Bonito, Barracuda, Croaker, mackerel, shovelnose guitarfish

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1776 Shelter Island Dr, San Diego, CA 92106, USA

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