Fishing has always been a big coastal activity in California, long before surfing became popular in the 1960’s. During the second half of the 1800’s and in the early 1900’s many long fishing piers were installed at beaches up and down the California coastline and on San Francisco Bay. Some were installed for access to ships while others were installed with restaurants and entertainment venues to attract tourists to these coastal towns. Almost all of them are still open to fishing and many don’t require a fishing license to cast a line. A few are closed to public access unfortunately, but they can still be photographed from the shore.
These historic piers are famous icons of the California Coast. If you are visiting any of these beaches, plan to walk out on the piers to take in the smell of the ocean and the views up and down the shoreline. In Southern California the piers are often the best place to be for watching and photographing surfers. When photographing the piers consider different vantage points on the beach beside them, under them, above them if possible, and consider staying for a sunset shot!
Over the years most of these piers have either burned down or suffered significant damage from storms and have been rebuilt. Below is a long list of all the beaches that have a fishing pier.