CaliforniaFishingHow to Fish in California

California Deep Sea Fishing

California Deep Sea Fishing

From beginners to seasoned anglers, deep sea fishing is one of the best ways to land big game fish and experience the best the state’s waters have to offer. Before you set sail in California, read these tips.

Best Places for California Deep Sea Fishing

California’s beautiful coastline is a great launching point for offshore fishing enthusiasts. That’s because there are many popular places to head to and land some big game. If you’re looking to plan a trip in the state, some of the tried and true spots for sportfishing at its best include:

  • Northern California Deep Sea Fishing
    • San Francisco Bay: Deep sea fishing in San Francisco is one of the best places to fish for prized salmon, especially between April and October. Boats frequently depart from Fisherman’s Wharf and pass by famous landmarks like Alcatraz Island on the way out to sea.
    • Pacifica: Located in San Mateo County, this popular departure point may be famous for its municipal pier but it’s also a great place to catch salmon and striped bass.
    • Half Moon Bay: About 20 miles south of San Francisco, sportfishing off the waters here is perfect for beginners or experienced pros looking for a challenge. Salmon, tuna and rockfish are among the most commonly caught species.
  • Southern California Deep Sea Fishing
    • Long Beach: What makes deep sea fishing in Long Beach so appealing is the steep drop-off not far from the coast. There you’ll find varied gamefish species like calico bass, marlin, halibut and tuna.
    • Morro Bay: Premier ocean fishing is what you find when deep sea fishing in Morro Bay. Known especially for rockfish between April and December, you’ll also be able to try your hand at salmon, halibut and white sea bass.
    • Ventura: Deep sea fishing in Ventura generally means one thing: white sea bass! With the backdrop of Channel Islands National Park, sportfishing off Ventura offers a unique scenery while boasting some of the best fishing for species like bass and yellowtail.
    • Los Angeles: You may not think of an urban spot like LA as a go-to fishing spot, but the area is a great place to head offshore to places like Santa Monica Bay or Catalina Island for lots of varieties of gamefish. When deep sea fishing in Los Angeles, you’ll likely see white sea bass, red snapper, tuna and more.

Best Time of Year to Go Deep Sea Fishing

While you can fish various places off the shores of California year round, typically summers are the best times to head to the deep waters. Not only are the fish more active because of the higher water temperature, but the migration patterns of common ocean fishing species bring them closer to the boat. You’ll likely see more variety in the summer months.

Fishing Charters

One of the best California deep sea fishing tips is to consider a charter. Booking a tour is one of the easiest ways to get out to sea quickly and easily. The captains can customize a world-class tour to meet your specific needs, using the latest fishing reports to help you target your catch. Plus, with a charter, you don’t have to worry about bringing your gear – unless you want to bring your own equipment.

You’ll also get personalized help. Whether you’re a beginner who is learning how to cast or an experienced angler who needs some help reeling in a fighting fish, the crew will help.

Just remember that you’ll need your license, which you can buy online ahead of time or often on board.