Welcome to the latest installment of our series, Great Destination Fishing Piers.
What makes a fishing pier a great destination? We don’t apply a strict formula here. Generally we highlight those places that not only have the prospect of some angling excitement. These piers are also located in extraordinary locations, offering sport, shopping and dining options for those friends and family members who don’t care to fish.
Monterey Municipal Wharf II
Fisherman’s Wharf (see our list) has the higher profile. It’s an iconic slice of Monterey where tourists converge, visiting its wide variety of restaurants and souvenir shops. It’s also a popular afternoon stopping-off point for Mexico-bound cruiseships, For anglers bent on catching a party boat out of Monterey Bay, this is their go-to spot for linking up with a number of charter providers (including whale-watching boats) that offer half and whole-day sports-fishing trips.
But anglers-in-the-know ‘know’ that they don’t have to leave the wharf to catch fish. You will find them hanging out at the pier which is located to the east of Fisherman’s Wharf, the Monterey Municipal Wharf II (also called the ‘commercial wharf.’)
Monterey Municipal Wharf II
On any given day, the Monterey Municipal Wharf II provides enough action to satisfy the most avid of anglers. Surf-perch is the most common catch. Some fishing forums mention that anglers were also catching mackerel on the Wharf in late summer.
When the fishing action slows, great views of DelMonte Beach and the surrounding harbor give anglers plenty of entertainment. There have been plenty of humpback whale sightings earlier in the year and the constant stream of boaters in the Bay (kayaks, sail and motor boats) guarantee a very pleasant way to spend the day.
Two seafood markets (including abalone sales) and a handful of restaurants (fine and casual dining) offer opportunities to grab a quick bit to eat or sit down for a more leisurely meal.
Getting there: From Highway 1 take the central Monterey exit and follow Del Monte Avenue to Figueroa Street, where a right turn leads you to the wharf.
Old Fisherman’s Wharf, Monterey
This Wharf is close enough to Wharf II so that the part of your entourage who don’t want to fish can ‘do their thing’ and be just a shout away.
Yes, some will say it has all the trappings that tourists are used to seeing –But it’s still all wrapped up in an ambiance that is not hermetically-sealed. There’s plenty of fresh salty air to breathe, wonderful panoramic views of the Monterey Harbor and plenty of ‘working’ folks who make their living from the opportunities that this unique marine environment offers.
Monterey peninsula: Kayaking heaven
Not satisfied with just kicking back and relishing the awesome sunsets? The Monterey Bay region is a mecca for kayakers. There are no lack of kayak providers in the area, offering instruction, guided tours and rentals for experienced kayakers.
Pacific Grove: 17-Mile Drive
Wharf II is so close to a number of compelling travel options that it’s possible to fish and take in at least some of them – all on the same day.
Taking the 17-Mile Drive is a very doable alternative. Skirting the shoreline that hugs the Pacific coast, drivers pass through Pacific Grove and onto to Pebble Beach. Along the way there are plenty of pullouts where drivers can park and access the beach areas.
Once inside Pebble Beach, the Drive turns into a toll road where nonresidents must pay a toll to continue the route.
Hyatt_Regency Monterey Hotel and Spa: Fireplace Lounge
There may be no better spot to swap those fish stories (true or not) than inside the Fireplace Lounge. Located in the Hyatt_Regency Monterey Hotel and Spa, this area is smartly designed so that whether you are seated alone or with a group, you feel part of the relaxed ambiance.
Cocktails and small plate entrees are available in the Lounge and live jazz (no cover) is served up every weekend (Friday and Saturday nights).
Adjacent to the Lounge are two restaurants,TusCA Ristorante (fine dining) and Knuckles Sports Bar.
Hyatt_Regency Monterey Hotel and Spa is about a 10 minute drive from Wharf II, making it a very convenient place to unwind after a day on the Wharf. Surrounded by the DelMonte Golf Course and the Marilyn Monroe Spa located inside the hotel property, this hotel offers many compelling reasons for making it the spot for starting and ending a great stay in Monterey.