Saltwater FishingWhen to Saltwater Fish

Saltwater Fishing in the US West Coast

Saltwater Fishing in the US West Coast

Wondering when the best times to saltwater fish in west coast states will be? In addition to the tides, weather patterns and time of day, the season or time of year will also affect your ability to catch certain species of saltwater fish. When to fish often depends on what you want to catch.

As an example, if you go saltwater offshore fishing in Southern California during the summer months, you can expect to catch a variety of species such as yellowfin tuna, albacore tuna, big eye tuna, and wahoo. If you wait until the winter season, you will have better luck catching rockfish and yellowtail.

Always remember to check the fishing regulations for your state so that know the length limits, bag limits, and which species are in season.

When To Saltwater Fish On The West Coast

Summer is one of the best times to saltwater fish in west coast states due to the warming water temperatures, the migration patterns of several offshore sport fish species, and the availability of prey such as squid, anchovies, sardines, or crabs. From Southern California up through Washington State, summer fishing trips give you the opportunity to catch a wide variety of saltwater fish species.

Where To Fish This SUmmer

Hoping to catch a silver, king or pink salmon this summer? If the answer is yes, then you will want to plan a trip to Washington because that is where and when to saltwater fish for these three species. However, if an albacore tuna is what you are after, then you might choose to take a summer fishing trip to Oregon or California. Read more about the different species you might catch during the summer in each of the west coast states.

Southern California

Throughout the early summer months, albacore tuna, bluefin tuna, and dolphinfish begin making an appearance in offshore southern California waters. If you prefer to fish the inshore or nearshore waters, you can target surfperch or corbina using soft-shelled sand crabs on a medium-light rod and reel setup.

Northern California

Northern California destinations, such as San Francisco Bay or the Pacifica Pier, see an increase in fishing activity during the summer season because of the number of species you can catch -- including salmon, striped bass, and croaker. Keep in mind that the best times to saltwater fish in west coast states can also vary if the area experiences warmer or cooler temperatures than the typical seasonal average.


Summer saltwater fishing trips in Oregon can range from bottom fishing for halibut, trolling for albacore tuna in the deep offshore waters, or fly fishing for salmon. Newport, Coos Bay, and Gold Beach are all popular summer fishing hot spots in the state.


Want to catch salmon, rockfish, or albacore tuna off the coast of Washington? One of the best times to saltwater fish in west coast states like Washington is during the summer months of June, July, and August. Now that you know when to saltwater fish, check out fishing spots near Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands which are especially popular with anglers.

Learn more about saltwater tides, lunar phases, weather patterns, seasons and migration patterns in our Best Times to Saltwater Fish section. Learn  when to go fishing in Southern states.