Kayak Fishing in California

By Tom Keer

Mar 08, 2017

Kayaking is fun, fishing is a blast, and when you combine the two you're in for an awesome day on the water.  California offers some of the best places to catch many different species of fish, and should be added to every angler's bucket list.

Kayak fishing in California is a wonderful mixed bag.  There are excellent opportunities for coldwater fish like trout, and there are good spots for warmwater species, too.  Keep in mind that California is a coastal state, so old salts can hit the beach.  Here are a few spots where anglers can kayak fish in California, with many more in between.
In Northern California, check out Lewiston Lake.  The trout fishing is excellent year-'round with a hot spot being below Trinity Dam where the flows enter Lewiston Lake.  There are four campgrounds around the lake, and they accommodate tents and RV's.

In Central California, try South Lake in the Eastern Sierras, about four hours from Los Angeles.  While rainbows are heavily stocked there are also brown and brook trout, too.  It's been a while since the browns have been stocked, so they're as wild as can be.  South Lake also has a trophy trout stocking program, with fish over 10 pounds being stocked on an annual basis.

If the sweetwater isn't your thing, head down to Ventura and hit the Channel Islands State Park.  There are a number of inshore island where yellowtail, white sea bass, bonito, sheephead, and calico bass are caught. Camping is allowed in the park, so pack your tent and get your fish on.

You'll find lots of folks kayak fishing in California.  Kayak fishing safety is important, so watch your weather, wear a PFD, pack plenty of water and sunscreen and catch 'em up.  If you don't know how to kayak fish go with a friend and give it a try.  You'll be glad you did.
Tom Keer
Tom Keer
Tom Keer is an award-winning writer who lives on Cape Cod, Massachusetts.  He is a columnist for the Upland Almanac, a Contributing Writer for Covey Rise magazine, a Contributing Editor for both Fly Rod and Reel and Fly Fish America, and a blogger for the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation’s Take Me Fishing program.  Keer writes regularly for over a dozen outdoor magazines on topics related to fishing, hunting, boating, and other outdoor pursuits.  When they are not fishing, Keer and his family hunt upland birds over their three English setters.  His first book, a Fly Fishers Guide to the New England Coast was released in January 2011.  Visit him at www.tomkeer.com or at www.thekeergroup.com.