Our beautiful county of Santa Barbara has a good number of parks and special places where we can go to enjoy natural beauty and recreate to our hearts’ content.
There are a few of these which have a truly amazing amount of recreational potential and can serve high numbers of people with room to spread out. Goleta Beach County Park ranks very high and perhaps tops that short list.
As a result of winter storm damage the popular park needed repairs and protective work which is now complete. The park is open for visitors and the fishing pier is in good shape. Timing is perfect with spring-like weather visiting us regularly and fish beginning to bite aggressively.
The entire length of the beach is now protected from wave damage by a much-needed and quickly-installed rock revetment. Beach sand, which was removed by winter storms, already is beginning to rebuild. County staff is working on fine-tuning plans to facilitate beach access across the rocks.
The base of Goleta Pier was undermined by storm surf and it, too, is now solidly repaired. New deck planks have been installed where the wooden pier meets the cement base. Water and power facilities are repaired and replaced where needed.
I noticed that a fish-filleting and bait-cutting board was refreshed, right near the Hook, Line & Sinker bait and tackle shack half-way out on the pier. That bait and tackle shack is also reopened and is in operation seven days per week through the season to serve the needs of anglers.
The pier is specifically designated as a fishing pier and ranks as one of the most productive shoreline fishing hotspots on the California coast. Reasons include its location in fish-rich Goleta Bay and due to a rock-covered pipeline within casting distance from the pier along its western side.
Thresher sharks (which are delicious) are caught near the outer end of the pier. Halibut and surf perch are caught among the waves. Leopard sharks, sand sharks and rays are caught a little farther out.
The rock-covered pipeline holds great populations of rockfish, calico bass, sand bass, sheephead, cabezon and other tasty gamefish.
The stunning visuals around the park draw painters and photographers. The picturesque Goleta Slough behind the park is a serene place to look out and contemplate life. The beach side restaurant serves up great food with an awesome ocean view.
Goleta Beach is truly special, and I’m glad it is protected from storm ravage and is open for the recreational season ahead.
— Capt. David Bacon operates WaveWalker Charters and is president of SOFTIN Inc., a nonprofit organization providing seafaring opportunities for those in need. Visit softininc.blogspot.com to learn more about the organization and how you can help. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.