The Ocean Beach Municipal Pier
The Ocean Beach Municipal Pier, one of the most visited landmarks in San Diego County, was officially christened and introduced to eager San Diegans on July 2, 1966. Over 7,000 of San Diego's then 600,000 residents showed up to celebrate the opening, including local politicians Mayor Frank Curran and California Governor Edmund G. "Pat" Brown who had the honor of cutting the ribbon.
Although the pier quickly became a popular destination for locals and tourists, its original purpose was for fishing. Local Ocean Beach fishermen needed a way to prevent their fishing lines and lures from getting tangled in the vast kelp and rock beds that lie near the surface of the water near the shores. With the construction of the OB Pier, anglers are able to fish in 25-30 feet of water, avoiding most of the shoreline kelp and enabling them to catch species of fish that live in deeper waters. The pier extends 1971 feet into the ocean and is the second longest pier on the west coast and purported to be the longest concrete pier in the world. Its unique T-shape at the end of the pier adds 360 feet to the south and 193 feet to the north.
The OB Pier was not the first attempt at providing OB residents a place to fish. Prior to the completion of the pier, a bridge had been constructed in 1915 across the mouth of Mission Bay, which extended from the north end of Bacon Street to what is now the dunes of Mission Bay. This bridge, which was 1,500 feet long, was mainly built so residents could travel from Voltaire to Mission Beach. Soon after its construction, local fishermen thought they had finally found a place to fish. Though the bridge served its primary purpose as a means of transportation for local residents, it proved to be a poor solution for the town's fishermen. When the bridge was taken down in 1951, San Diegans were promised a replacement for the tourists and fishermen who enjoyed it. After 15 years, the city finally came through on its promise and opened what is now the OB Pier at the foot of Niagara, a location proven better suited for tourists and anglers alike.
- Ocean Beach Pier was originally named the San Diego Fishing Pier. The original plaque is still there.
- The pier has over 500,000 visitors per year.
- Many people believe the Ocean Beach Pier is the longest pier in CA. It isn't. At 1971 feet it is the longest concrete pier on the west coast. The pier at Santa Cruz is 2745 feet.
- The 1st fish caught on the pier was an 8-inch perch, first thought to be a type of sunfish. The 2nd and 3rd fish caught were a gray shark and a crab.
- The most common fish you will witness being caught on the pier are herring (often called queenfish). There is no limit on them.
- Then CA governor Edmund G. Brown made the first cast off the OB Pier and reportedly fished for 5 minutes. As he fished, a large cabin cruiser with a banner reading "Reagan for Governor" circled the corner of the pier. Brown caught nothing and was defeated in November. (Coincidence?)
- Currently no fishing license is required on the pier.
- In 1991 over $2 million was spent on the pier to repair damages caused by winter storms.