A Visit To An Old Friend

The Gaviota Pier, closed for now, maybe forever.

While I have been out a few times to see if the Pacific has warmed enough to start the fishing season, I have not had much luck or much to report about. So, while on the way back from a day trip to Jalama Beach, east of Lompoc, CA, I decided to drop in on an old friend to see how it was doing.

When I first moved to California, 42 years ago, I used to drive from my home in Santa Barbara, CA to Gaviota (population 94 people) and fish off the state beach pier located there. Though it is about 30 miles north of SB and the water was usually colder, for some reason, the fishing was always good–at least for bottom fishing. I caught several keeper Halibuts off the pier and lots of Sand Sharks and Sand Dabs while rarely seeing Mackerels, bass, or perch around.

Once I moved to Ventura, and the commute became 67 miles, I didn’t go up there as often as I used to. So I lost track of the location. Now I understand that it has been closed for a decade or so and may never be reopened and I can understand this.

The pier was always shaky and during significant wave events, you wanted a lifejacket nearby. Even during relative calm seas you could feel the pier swaying. Something must have happened that eventually dictated closing it. Most likely, it has never been repaired due its remote location. Next to the “booming” town of Gaviota, Buellton, CA is the closest city, 12 miles north and it is a small town as well.

I still hope that someday it will reopen because I can imagine the fishing would be fantastic after all this time.

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