BlogJune 2018

San Diego Fishing Trips: Where to Fish By Land or Sea

San Diego Fishing Trips: Where to Fish By Land or Sea

By Alycia Downs

Jun 12, 2018

San Diego fishing trips you won’t want to miss. Find the best fishing spots in San Diego including offshore charters, lakes and fishing piers. 

Known as one of America’s best fishing cities, San Diego fishing trips are popular among anyone looking for world-class fishing year round. The Pacific Ocean offers diverse game fishing inshore and offshore while bountiful lakes provide exceptional freshwater fishing. Here are some ideas to help you plan your San Diego fishing trips.

Fish San Diego By Sea: Book a Charter

Booking a charter is the best way to ensure successful fishing trips in San Diego. Experienced captains, the best equipment, and knowledge of the local waters, are ingredients for a memorable fishing experience. Common offshore game species include yellowfin, bluefin, yellowtail, albacore, mahi mahi, wahoo and marlin. There are five main landings in San Diego that are home to the area’s most reputable fishing charters.

  • H&M Landing
  • Point Loma Sportfishing
  • Fisherman's Landing
  • Helgren's Landing
  • Seaforth Landing

Fish San Diego By Land: Pier Fishing

There are 7 fishing piers in San Diego and over 70 miles of beautiful beaches offering fishing opportunities for all skill levels. Fish from the pier or try your hand at surf fishing. Target popular species such as halibut, bonito, bass, perch, mackerel, yellowtail, sharks, rays and barracuda. If planning fishing trips in San Diego, be sure to try out the piers.

  • Ocean Beach Pier - a 1,971-foot concrete pier with over a mile of railing, this is the longest pier on the west coast.
  • Crystal Pier - known for high-quantity catches, this pier features cottages and hotel lodging onsite.
  • Coronado Ferry Landing Pier - a small, hidden “pier” tucked behind the Old Ferry Landing Shopping Complex on Coronado Island.
  • Shelter Island Pier - a shorter pier on San Diego Bay, yet extends 500-feet across the T-shaped end.
  • Oceanside Pier - a long 1,942-foot pier that offers a chance of catching pelagic species.
  • Imperial Beach Pier - the southernmost pier in San Diego, it extends 1,491 feet over the Pacific Ocean.
  • Embarcadero Marina Park Pier - a less popular pier yet quality fish are attracted from a nearby artificial reef.

Fish San Diego By Land: Freshwater Lakes

San Diego is home to more than 25 freshwater lakes and reservoirs that provide vast fishing options for land-based anglers. Target diverse species including trout, crappie, largemouth and smallmouth bass, sturgeon, catfish and bluegill. Here are just a few well-known lakes for San Diego fishing trips.

  • Lake Cuyamaca - a remote 110-acre mountain lake with scenic state park surroundings.
  • Santee Lakes - seven small, stocked reservoirs with straight shorelines and onsite cabins.
  • Chollas Lake - a tiny urban lake that only allows youth fishing.
  • Lake Jennings - a large lake with an adjacent campground.
  • San Vincente Reservoir - one of the largest lakes in the country at 1,100 acres and 14 miles of fishable shoreline.
  • Lake Miramar and Lake Murray - suburban lakes that are easily accessible.
  • Barrett Lake - one of the world’s best bass fisheries, tickets must be reserved in advance to fish here.

For more ideas on where to fish in California, check out our interactive map and don’t forget to purchase your California fishing license on our states page.

Alycia Downs
Alycia Downs
Alycia Downs is a freelance content creator and avid sportsman who contributes to numerous publications promoting tourism, fishing, and outdoors. Alycia is a member of the Florida Outdoor Writers Association and is actively involved with conservation and fishing non-profit organizations. Visit her personal blog at or on Instagram @tideandtale.