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Ventura Fishing Pier

The iconic Ventura Pier, a cherished local landmark in Ventura, California, has faced unprecedented challenges in the last year. Due to significant storm damage that raised serious safety concerns, the pier was closed to the public in January 20231. The closure was necessitated by the need to address the damage and secure the pier’s long-term integrity.Despite setbacks, the City of Ventura has been unwavering in its commitment to restore the pier. In response to the severity of damage caused by winter storms and high surf, the City declared a local state of emergency to expedite disaster response and seek emergency funding from the state for recovery efforts. The City Council officially ratified the local state of emergency on January 9, 20241.Status of Repairs:

  • The reopening of the Ventura Pier, initially scheduled for March, has been postponed to the summer of 2024 due to additional damage caused by heavy surf in December 2023.
  • Last year’s damage involved a total of 34 damaged and 20 dislodged piles. The recent inspection revealed 19 missing or damaged timber piles, 20 dislodged piles, and 62 damaged or missing braces.
  • The City of Ventura has approved a $1.75 million agreement with Jilk Heavy Construction Inc. to address the December damages, adding to the $1.45 million allocated for last year’s repairs. The comprehensive repair cost amounts to $3.2 million, with the city expecting approximately $1.58 million in reimbursements from various sources, including support from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the California Disaster Assistance Act, and the Ventura County Community Foundation.
  • Recently, the City of Ventura received a $40,000 donation from Pier Into the Future to help support restoration efforts1.

About the Historic Ventura Pier:

 Ventura Pier, located in Ventura, California, is a historic wooden structure extending into the Pacific Ocean, offering excellent fishing opportunities and picturesque views of the coastline and Channel Islands. Originally built in 1872, the pier has undergone various reconstructions due to storm damage, maintaining its charm and function as a public fishing and recreational spot.

Fishing Opportunities at Ventura Pier

Ventura Pier is known for its diverse marine life, making it a popular destination for anglers. Here’s what you can expect throughout the year:

  • Spring and Summer: Ideal for targeting California Halibut with live bait or jigs. This season also sees a good run of pelagic species like bonito and mackerel, which can be caught using lures or baitfish imitations.
  • Fall: This season is excellent for various species including yellowfin croaker, spotfin croaker, and surfperch, which are typically caught using baits such as mussels, bloodworms, or clams.
  • Winter: Barred surfperch are more prevalent, best caught with sand crabs, mussels, or artificial baits.

How to Catch the Main Types of Fish

  • California Halibut: Use live bait or artificial lures to target them near the bottom, particularly just past the surf area to the mid-pier region.
  • Pelagic Species (Mackerel, Bonito): Employ fast-moving lures or baitfish imitations near the surface to attract these schooling fish.
  • Surfperch and Croakers: Effective baits include mussels, bloodworms, and clams, fished on the bottom with light to medium tackle.
  • Sharks and Rays: For larger species like leopard sharks and bat rays, use heavier tackle with cut baits such as anchovies or mackerel.


Ventura Pier, East Harbor Boulevard, Ventura, CA, USA


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Halibut, Mackerel, Bonito, Surfperch, Croakers, Sharks, Rays

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Ventura Pier, East Harbor Boulevard, Ventura, CA, USA

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