The shore end of the pier sees a typical sandy beach area. Farther out on the pier sees a bottom that is a mixture of sand and mud. Pilings have a fair buildup of mussels and there is often a fairly thick buildup of kelp around the pier from the midsummer months to the fall.
An angler can choose to fish the surf area for the larger barred and calico surfperch, or fish deeper water for white croaker, several smaller species of perch, jacksmelt, flounder, sole, sand dabs and halibut. The far end will also yield a few striped bass and sharks, and several varieties have been landed here including smoothhounds, leopard sharks, blue sharks and thresher sharks.
Open from sunrise to 10:30 p.m.
Fish cleaning stations, restrooms, benches, lights, the Wharf House Restaurant and the Capitola Boat and Bait Shop are located on the pier. Free parking can be found just up the hill on East Cliff Drive, on Prospect Drive (above the railroad tracks and stairs) and on side streets north of Capitola Road (near the Shadowbrook Restaurant). Limited metered parking is available on the streets in Capitola Village, at a cost of 50 cents an hour but with a two hour maximum visit. There are two motels near the entrance of the pier and several additional establishments nearby in Capitola Village.