I have lots of favorite places. One is the small public fishing pier in downtown San Diego, located at Embarcadero Marina Park South. I walk there quite frequently. When I stand on this short pier, leaning against the rail above the bay’s gently lapping water, I feel my mind and spirit expand.
I walked past the pier last Saturday morning. I’d seen a sign announcing a Kiwanis fishing tournament, and thought it might be fun to take a few photos. But when I arrived, nobody seemed to be there. Perhaps I was too early.
When I got home and reviewed all the photos on my computer, I figured I’d blog about the pier anyway!
I casually know a few of the regulars. Back when JJ’s Sunset Deli by the Bay was open, we’d eat, sit and talk on JJ’s patio at the foot of the pier. Jim had the best ribeye steak sandwiches. I even blogged about it. But I deleted that post when he shut down and retired at the end of last year. It’s a very big shame a new tenant hasn’t taken over the cafe. It’s a small gem that adds unique charm to San Diego and thousands of fond, priceless memories.
The Embarcadero Marina Park Pier extends less than a hundred feet from the shore, but the T-shaped end is about 300 feet long. At times many fish can be caught here. It’s possible to catch mackerel, bass, croaker, halibut, guitarfish, bat rays, leopard sharks and many more local species. Kids love the place. There’s grass nearby and picnic benches, and curving paths for running and riding, and rocks to climb down that are covered at the waterline with tiny, quick crabs.
There are homeless people scattered about the park. But they’re generally just hanging out, talking, sleeping, trying to enjoy the sea breeze, some shade or warm sunshine.
Know what’s really cool? No fishing license on the pier is required! That’s the case with all public pier fishing in San Diego.