Free Fishing Days California: Best Species to Catch

By Debbie Hanson

Jun 15, 2017

Find out when the upcoming free fishing days are in California, which species are good targets for beginning anglers on free fishing day California 2017. 

Do you want to take advantage of a free fishing day California style, but don't know which species make good targets for beginning anglers? No worries, there are plenty of freshwater and saltwater California fish species that are ideal for new anglers to pursue. Besides, learning how to catch fish isn't hard, you just have to get out and try it!

What should your next steps be? First, mark your calendar "free fishing day California 2017" on the dates of July 1st and September 2nd (two separate free fishing days, instead of free fishing weekends). Second, decide which species from the list below you want to catch. Third, make sure you have the right gear and bait. Finally, decide where to fish (you may want to choose a California spot from the 2017 best places list). 

When you search online for more information about "free fishing day California" or "free fishing day California 2017," you'll see that these events include both freshwater and saltwater species.

Freshwater Fish 
There are certain freshwater fish species that are popular targets for new anglers because they can be found in many of California's lakes and ponds. These species are accessible, but also relatively simple to catch using worms or other natural baits. 

•    Bluegill
•    Largemouth Bass
•    Rainbow Trout

Saltwater Fish 
Which California saltwater fish species are easy to catch from the beach or from a fishing pier using live baits? Try these three, but remember to check a local tide chart before you go. Plan to fish on an incoming tide for your best chance at success. Good fishing days are often dictated by the tides when fishing for saltwater species.

•    Corbina
•    Surfperch
•    Croaker

Now that you know about six California fish species that are great for beginners, make plans to spend July 1st and September 2nd on the water. Just remember that all other fishing regulations remain in effect on free fishing days. 
Debbie Hanson
Debbie Hanson
Debbie Hanson is an award-winning outdoor writer, women’s sport fishing advocate, IGFA world record holder, and freshwater guide living in Southwest Florida. Hanson’s written work has appeared in publications such as Florida Game & Fish Magazine, BoatUS Magazine, and USA Today Hunt & Fish. To learn more about her work, visit or follow her on Instagram @shefishes2.