The Goleta Beach Pier has been in existence, in one form or another, since the early 1930s.
When I first moved to Santa Barbara, CA 40 years ago it quickly became my fishing hub. Though, today it is 1450 feet in length, when I first started fishing off of it, it was only about a third of that length. The extension that came years later made this the best fishing spot I have ever visited. To date, it is where I caught the biggest fish of my lifetime; a giant Bat Ray which measured 48” from wing tip to wing tip and me and the three other men who finally hauled it out of the Pacific estimated it’s weight to be in excess of 150 pounds.
So, when I finally decided to travel the 42 miles up the coast last month to visit my old haunt, I was very excited. On the day I went, though, the weather was cloudy, damp, and cold. After getting soaked and chilled to the bone for two hours with only one Croaker to show for it, I called it a day and vowed to go back. Today was that day and the weather could not have been any different. Today, it was sunny with high clouds, a slight wind, and the temperature was a balmy 72 degrees. Sadly, that is all the improved.
After three hours of basking in the sun, my catch totaled two fish and one of them was a handicapped Starfish that was missing one of its legs.
Something else that was missing were all the fishermen who used to hang out on the pier. On any given day, you’d find dozens of men, women, or groups out there looking to catch their next meal. The Goleta Beach Pier is much thinner than the Ventura Pier, only measuring 15’ wide, so it could get crowded very fast. Today, I had all the room in world. At the most, there were seven people or groups fishing and three of those came and went while I was there!
I hate to think that my old favorite fishing place has been fished out, but if I go one more time (as I plan to do) and the results are the same, then that is the only conclusion that I can come to.