Pierhead's Travel Notes
Date: August 14, 2006
Location: Arroyo Hondo Viewpoint
GPS: 34.47381N - 120.1367W
Compass heading: 82 degrees
I just realized that the only posts mentioning fishing from seawalls
originate in Santa Barbara county ... perhaps that's because we have the
most extensive and accessible seawalls in the state :)
In the southern portion there are Seawalls #1 and 2 on the Rincon Parkway
favored by late afternoon/evening anglers for shovelnose and leopard shark
(No parking after 9PM). Midcounty there is the Summerland Seawall with
assorted rockfish, perch and the occasional halibut. Evans Avenue exit
to the (?) park and a quarter mile westward down the beach.
But perhaps the most extensive system of seawalls can be found along
the Gaviota Coast ... built around the turn of the century to protect the
bluffs along which the railroad tracks run, they provide an excellent fishing
platform paralleling the nearshore kelp beds ... in some places no more
than 20 yards out out. Large Calicos and Grass RF are the target here.
Not quite accessible as the others, my favorite, Arroyo Hondo, is reached
by a steep downhill trail which includes a section of 21 cement steps with
a deadly secret ... the first 7 steps down have 8.5 inch risers but step
#8 and the remainder are 11.5 inches ... if you are not alert you suddenly
pitch forward as your foot didn't touch down when you expected it to.
If you survive the fall ... the rest of the descent is fairly gentle
and terminates at the western extremity of the .5 mile long seawall. Generally
you can fish here at any tide less than 4' ... although portions of the
wall are in poor repair further along.
One thing I have noticed during my semi-annual cleanup is that most
of the trash is generated by drinkers of Corona Extra and Pacifico Clara
and is usually confined to the first quarter mile ... I guess the thought
of stopping for a cold one was too tempting to walk any further. :)
Good thing too since this morning's haul included approximately 45 beer
bottles, 60 beer cans, 25 plastic sports/water bottles in addition to loose
and spooled fish line, squid bait trays, foam ice chests and other trash.
Surprisingly NO cigarette butts!
I was encouraged that drinkers of my favorite beer, Dos Equis (XX),
didn't leave any of their empties behind :)
Overall I would rate this as a fairly secluded seawall if you fish weekdays
or mornings. Occasionally on the weekends and some evenings local subsistence
anglers and their families are present but not in great numbers. There
is abundant parking at the Viewpoint and you can even stay overnight as
it serves as an overflow for the Gaviota Rest Areas.
Proud Supporter of UPSAC