FISH AND FOOD -- Free fishing derbies include hot dogs, chips,
sodas, and raffle prizes. Young anglers ages six through 15 are
invited to compete in three free International Game Fish
Association-sponsored Young Angler Tournaments this summer, the
first on Saturday, July 15 at the Shelter Island Pier in San Diego
Photo and Story by Jack Innis
Summer in San Diego promises to be cool and
enjoyable for anglers of all ages.
Young anglers ages six through 15 are invited to compete in three
free International Game Fish Association-sponsored Young Angler
Tournaments this summer.
The first tournament is scheduled for Saturday, July 15 at the
Shelter Island Pier in San Diego Bay.
Tournament organizers promise great prizes for event participants
and will treat all young anglers to hot dogs and drinks. Last year,
dozens of young anglers targeted bass, perch, mackerel, and other
species to see who could amass the most overall points.
Prizes were awarded for high points in each age category and to
the three top overall scorers. Each tournament features a points
system to allow for catch and release.
Winners — one category for each year between six and 15 — will be
determined by adding up points for various fish. Anglers may only
fish one rod apiece.
Fish must meet California Department of Fish and Game regulations
to qualify in tournament. Licenses are not required to fish from
Shelter Island Pier.
Experience Not Needed
IGFA representatives and volunteers will be on hand to assist
young anglers and to tally points. Young anglers are encouraged to
bring their own gear, although a limited number of fishing outfits
will be available to loan on a first-come, first-served basis.
Grand prize winners’ names will be placed alongside the previous
four annual winners on the David Wirth Perpetual Trophy, which is
kept at the Shelter Island Pier.
Advanced registration is recommended by calling the San Diego
Sportfishing Council at (619) 234-8793 or visiting
more information on the California IGFA, visit www.bajafly.com/igfa.
Volunteer support is provided by the IGFA, San Diego Sportfishing
Council, Shelter Island Pier, and United Pier and Shore Anglers of
Two similar events will be held throughout the summer. Dates and
venues will be posted on the California IGFA Web site as soon as
they become available.
Pier Always Open
Pier fishing has long been a stepping stone for youngsters to
begin angling from boats. Shelter Island Fishing Pier, located at
1776 Shelter Island Drive, has helped indoctrinate many children,
grandchildren, nieces, and nephews since it was first established in
The pier is stable and safe environment for young anglers.
Situated on a natural fish byway, the pier keeps anglers busy
reeling in sand bass, calico bass, spotted bay bass, spotfin
croaker, yellowfin croaker, sargo, opal eye, tom cod, jack smelt,
sculpin, and shark. Although the pier only extends approximately 200
feet from shore, it has a T-shaped end which branches out to nearly
500 feet across.
The bay bottom comprises a mixture of mud and sand with patches
of eelgrass and a few rocks. Incoming tide usually seems the best,
but any time can be productive.
Bait is generally available at the pier’s baithouse. Live
anchovies usually produce the most action, followed by ghost shrimp,
clams, salt-water worms, mussels, mackerel strips, and salted
Experienced gained in handling these baits and rigs translates
when youngsters step aboard boats.
Although a wide variety of gear will work — including freshwater
tackle — a good all-around pier fishing outfit consists of a 7-foot
or longer rod, six to 15-pound test line, number 2 to number 2/0
hooks, and enough weight to cast at least 50 feet toward the middle
of the bay.
Rental outfits are available at the bait house for $10.78 plus
tax for the day. You’ll need a $20 deposit for each rod.
The bait house also sells food and beverages. Summer hours are 8
a.m. to 8 p.m. (possibly later when the bite is hot!). For more
information, contact the Shelter Island Fishing Pier at (619)