Lots of excited and happy fishermen and women came to the Pacifica Pier on Friday morning, as the span reopened for catching fish and gawking at the mighty Pacific Ocean.
The pier had been closed since mid-January due to damage from storms. Before reopening, Public Works crews cleaned the open section, placed signs to warn of ongoing hazards and fenced off the section with the broken railing.
The section at the west end with the broken railing remains closed. That part requires grant funding, city officials say. Director of Public Works Lisa Peterson said in an email to the Tribune that an engineering report suggests it will cost several hundred thousand dollars to pay for replacement or repairs to the barrier railing.
Those casting out Friday morning had plenty of room to spread out and move. The social distancing protocol to keep fishing lines from getting tangled worked to spread out everyone during the pandemic.
Trying to catching perch and crab, but with no bites yet, Dan Santos of Millbrae said he loves to come to the pier. In normal times, he is on the pier a couple times a week.
“I love it. This is good exercise,” he said.
William Lee said he was very happy to be back out on the pier because it is the best fishing spot he knows, especially for crab.
“I just like being here,” he said.
“I am so happy to be here. I caught a couple of crabs with my wife,” said Frank Palakiko from South San Francisco. “I like to keep it in the family. You don’t really appreciate something until you lose it.”
Some friends who learned about the pier from a Facebook crabbing group were there for the first time and very happy to have their
first pier experience. Others were excited to be back, especially Kerry Yin who usually hits the pier once a week. She didn’t catch any crab that morning.
Another fisherwoman described the surprising but lucky set of circumstances that led her to the pier that opening day on her day off.
“It’s my first year crabbing. This is great exercise and great social interaction. I have one crab caught so far,” said Star Mott of San Francisco.
Jun Dacasin missed fishing at the pier and is very happy to be back.
“It’s wonderful it’s open,” he said. “I used to go to Baker Beach or Ocean Beach, but this is so much better. You don’t have to get wet. We’ve been waiting so long with only two months left to crab season.
“This is a great place to relax,” he said. “You can bring the kids.”