" ln the end we will conserve only what we love. 
We love only what we understand.  We will understand 
only what we are taught."-- Baba Dioum

These pages are dedicated to all those who took the time to share the gentle art and pleasures of PIER FISHING with the next generation.

 Many of us enjoyed our initial fishing experiences in the company of our parents
or other relatives at a local pier.  It was there that we first became aware of the natural environment and our place in it. We also gained an appreciation for the diversity of the angling community while passing time waiting for the next 'big one'. 

Pier fishing is one of the few remaining free public resources in a pastime increasingly dominated by big-money interests and environmental concerns. Those of us who remember and appreciate the 'good old days' should consider what we can do to ensure that the tradition remains alive and well and is passed on.

Recently I have been involved in helping to
establish UPSAC (United Pier and Shore Anglers of California). UPSAC is a non-profit organization committed to preserving and supporting pier and shore angling in California. Our unofficial motto is: 'You don't need a boat to fish!' Check out our list of projects to see where you can help out. 


My father first began fishing as a young boy with his father at the old Stearns Wharf in Santa Barbara in the 1920's ... a time when it was still possible to catch enormous Black Sea Bass from the end of the pier.

In the 50's my brothers and I received our first introduction to the wonders and delights of pier fishing under his stern tutelage.

He would take us down to the Wharf in Santa Barbara after spending the previous evening sitting around the kitchen table inspecting  and cleaning tackle and poles, relining reels and preparing terminal rigs - all in preparation for the morning's trip. 

Stearns, in the 50's, had an abalone processing plant right at the end of the pier with an enormous pile of discarded shells and big barrels of trimmings free for the taking. There was also an anchovy offloading siphon pipe with a large fish-spilling tear in the side that chummed live bait into the water below as well - a 'fishy' environment indeed.

On our first trip we were filled with excitement. So much so that Dad had to take us aside and give us a short course in pier etiquette. After we settled down we  baited our hooks  with the abalone 'guts' and caught a full gunny sack of what my father  called horse mackerel - enormous fish at least 24" in length. I was hooked! 

My hope is that I can convey some of that excitement here on these pages. Enjoy and Tight Lines to all!

 ~ Pierhead  ~

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Copyright © 2002 - 2004 by Boyd Grant. All Rights Reserved.