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Ocean Beach Pier, foot of Niagara Avenue, Ocean Beach

Billed as the longest pier on the West Coast, this 34-year-old landmark is narrow and not pretty, but devout fishing takes place along its third-of-a-mile-long expanse. Many of the anglers are regulars; some feed their families with what they catch, which can include yellowtail, barracuda, and leopard sharks, but more often runs to queen fish, perch, and mackerel. From October to March, people also lower nets in an attempt to trap lobsters. Everything has to meet minimum-size limits, of course, but you don't need a fishing license. You don't even need to own gear. The Ocean Beach Pier Bait Shop sells anchovies, squid, and mackerel and rents poles ($10.95 for the day). When the fish aren't biting, you can recharge at the café next to the bait shop. The café seems unintentionally stuck in the '60s, but the views are timeless.

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