50th Anniversary of the OB Pier
Happy 50th anniversary to the iconic Ocean Beach Pier! Our pier opened on July 2, 1966. Learn more about its history, see extensive photos of construction and memorabilia from the opening, and check out the memories, photos, and stories shared by community members on our OB Pier 50th Anniversary section. If you have a memory to share, please do so via the "Pierbook" form -- we'll continue to add to the 50th Anniversary section throughout the year.
About the OB Pier
The Ocean Beach Municipal Pier, one of the most visited landmarks in San Diego County, was officially christened and introduced to eager San Diegans on July 2, 1966. Over 7,000 of San Diego's then 600,000 residents showed up to celebrate the opening, including local politicians Mayor Frank Curran and California Governor Edmund G. "Pat" Brown who had the honor of cutting the ribbon.
Although the pier quickly became a popular destination for locals and tourists, its original purpose was for fishing. Local Ocean Beach fishermen needed a way to prevent their fishing lines and lures from getting tangled in the vast kelp and rock beds that lie near the surface of the water near the shores. With the construction of the OB Pier, anglers are able to fish in 25-30 feet of water, avoiding most of the shoreline kelp and enabling them to catch species of fish that live in deeper waters. The pier extends 1971 feet into the ocean and is purported to be the longest concrete fishing pier on the west coast. Its unique T-shape at the end of the pier adds 360 feet to the south and 193 feet to the north.
The OB Pier was not the first attempt at providing OB residents a place to fish. Prior to the completion of the pier, a bridge had been constructed in 1915 across the mouth of Mission Bay, which extended from the north end of Bacon Street to what is now the dunes of Mission Bay. This bridge, which was 1,500 feet long, was mainly built so residents could travel from Voltaire to Mission Beach. Soon after its construction, local fishermen thought they had finally found a place to fish. Though the bridge served its primary purpose as a means of transportation for local residents, it proved to be a poor solution for the town's fishermen. When safety concerns and issues with flood control eventually resulted in the bridge becoming derelict and ultimately demolished., San Diegans were promised a replacement for the tourists and fishermen who enjoyed it. Construction began on another fishing option – a steel pier at the foot of Del Monte Avenue – in the early 1940s. Due to World War II steel shortages, construction was halted, and the pier was never completed. In 1966, the city finally came through on its promise and opened what is now the OB Pier at the foot of Niagara, a location proven better suited for tourists and anglers alike.
- Originally Named the San Diego Fishing Pier. The original plaque is still there.
- Over 500,000 Visitors Per Year.
- At 1971 Feet It Is the Longest Concrete Pier on the West Coast. The Pier at Santa Cruz is 2745 Feet, Making it the Longest in the State.
- The 1st Fish Caught on the Pier was an 8-inch Perch. The 2nd and 3rd Fish Caught were a Gray Shark and a Crab.
- Often Called the "Queen Fish", Herring is the Most Common Fish Caught on the Pier. There is NO LIMIT!
- Then CA Governor Edmund G. Brown Made the First Cast Off the OB Pier and Reportedly Fished for 5 minutes. Brown caught nothing and was defeated in November. (Coincidence?)
- Currently No Fishing License is Required on the Pier.
- In 1991 over $2 Million was Spent on the Pier to Repair Damages Caused by Winter Storms.
Photos Courtesy of:
For the Best Experience We Recommend You Visit the Tidepools During Low Tide.
The Ocean Beach Tidepools are Located at the foot of Newport Ave. Beneath the Pier.
To view the Ocean Beach Tide Table Click Here
To view the full photo album click on one of the above images or Click Here