Pierpoint Landing

Best Charter Fishing Boat, August 2005

The sun, the ocean spray, a sackload of halibut—it doesn’t get much better for anglers than  Pierpoint Landing  in Long Beach. As with so many things in Southern California, location is everything. Next door to the Aquarium of the Pacific, Pierpoint provides a clean, riffraff-free environment—a relative rarity for local landings—and quicker access to prime fishing spots. Other Long Beach–and San Pedro–based boats have to travel an extra hour to reach the waters in Pierpoint’s backyard. Its fleet of 12 boats offers newbies and old salts half-day cruises and overnighters, as well as whale-watching and dive trips, and there are special rates for kids and groups (ask longtime manager James Tani for details). While on board you won’t dine like a king (burritos and burgers are standard fare), but the crews are friendly and eager to help novices, and the catches, dutifully noted in the local papers, are consistently some of the highest in the area. You may never land a 272-pound yellowfin like the one adorning a wall in the Pierpoint office, but you’d be hard-pressed to find a nicer nautical excursion for 35 bucks and a rod rental fee.