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Top Fishing Charters in Long Beach

Fishing in Long Beach

Long Beach fishing charters have absolute bragging rights when it comes to the depth of the seafloor being within an easy reach. Just miles from the downtown port where the sight of RMS Queen Mary excites scores of visitors, anglers can be fishing for supreme game fish and nutrient-rich table fare alike.

Known for

Long Beach is one of the busiest ports worldwide. The city’s life revolves around the water and here you will find many stark supporters of environmental and marine life protection.

The city has a stunning waterfront with scores or beachgoers sunbathing downtown and rich inshore fisheries that keep anglers satisfied year-round. If that’s not good enough to get you packing for a fishing trip, how about the fact that Santa Catalina Island lies just 20 miles from the coast. These waterways are often regarded as the birthplace of modern day sport fishing and if you think yourself an angler, you should pay homage to this lucrative fishery.

Long Beach fishing spots

From rocky areas just minutes from the port with a good selection of bottom dwellers, all the way across numerous Bass species that inhabit the kelp, and then to offshore reefs and wrecks with game fish on the menu, Long Beach fishing spots keep anglers hooked on year after year.

Palos Verde fishing

The obvious choice for numerous LB fishing charters, this cape offers really good fishing within a short boat ride from downtown Long Beach. Anglers fish for White Seabass and Calico Bass around here. These cliff and kelp make fishing interesting and hide schools of fish. There’s a massive drop-off just a stone’s throw away from the mainland. Get ready for monster Calico Bass.

Horseshoe Kelp

Just north of Huntington Flats, the kelp bed offers a good mix of Calico Bass and Yellowtail. There’s also California Sheepshead, a promising stock of White Seabass and some Barracuda.

Huntington Flats

Once you’re done fishing the kelp, head south and explore the famed flats. Here you will find numerous Barracuda come summer. Sand Bass are on bite in summer months too, with Halibut showing up in winter.

Catalina Island and beyond

The absolute jewel in the stellar array of fishing spots which Long Beach has, here you will find fish of all sizes and colors. Game fishing here is incredible. Travel 20 miles from the coast and be blessed with Yellowfin Tuna, Mahi Mahi, and Blue Marlin. Summer marks the peak season of these waters. Get here fast and go full force on the apex predators.

The surrounding reefs and rocks are home to California Sheepshead, Calico Bass, Barracuda, Yellowtail, White Seabass and Sand Bass. If you venture some 30 miles further you will find remarkable bottom fishing around San Clemente Island.

Lastly, if you want to fish around open waters, numerous honey holes lie all the way up to 60 miles from the mainland, offering trophy size Yellowfin and Bluefin Tuna, Mahi Mahi, and Amberjacks.

How much does it cost?

If you want to book a private charter to take you and your friends out on a full day trip, you will need to pay about $750. On most charters, these rates cover up to six anglers. If you’re planning on fishing further out, eg near Catalina Island, then your full day trip might cost around $1400. Charters that take you up to 60 miles will probably cost somewhere around $1800.

Inshore charters usually stay within 10 miles from the shoreline and cost about $800 for six hour trips. Most of the time you will be doing bottom or fly fishing for a variety of Bass and Snapper.

Private charters are more expensive than party boats, but you will have the entire boat to yourself, an experienced captain, and pretty much all the gear you can possibly need.

On party boats, you will be fishing with dozens of other anglers. These trips will mostly focus on bottom fish, and it can be a lot of fun if you like fishing with plenty of other people onboard. You can fish the local fisheries for as little as $50.

Fishing techniques

When fishing out of Long Beach, you will experience the best of sport fishing. Whether you look for awesome table fare from the bay bottoms, or visit offshore reefs and wrecks for fabled game fish such as Tuna and Marlin, you will have a look at it all. These fisheries are considered by some to be the cradle of sport fishing as we know it. Let’s have a look at what skills you can test and master around here.

Inshore waters

The iconic Calico Bass work well on lures and bait. It’s generally an interesting choice for novice anglers as these fish are strong for their size but can be reeled in without major difficulties. As they can quickly disappear back into the kelp, you may want to use braided line. Any 7’ or 8’ rods should do the trick, and you should pair them with fast-retrieving tackle. Use Anchovies to entice them and then it’s show time.

White Bass are easily the most fabled and sought-after inshore fish of these waterways. They also hang around the kelp, near the shoreline, or frequent the nearby islands. White Bass are moody creatures and it takes years to figure them out. It’s safest to fish for them with someone experienced and luckily many local charter captains have the know-how they will gladly share. Use medium tackle and combine it with squid as bait.

And if you want a local delicacy, why not target the ever-so-beautiful California Sheephead? They flaunt red and black hues around shallow waters and live around the kelp. Bait fishing works the best for hem, with shrimp at the top of their feeding list.

Offshore pelagics

If you want to test your tackle against bigger fish that frequent the offshore islands and reefs where the ocean floor plummets way below 1,000 ft, you’ll get what you asked for.

Want to come back with Yellowfin Tuna? Then choose some of topwater techniques. You can go shallow trolling with bait or lures, ether should work. The best bait are Pacific Mackerel for bigger ones, and Anchovies for smaller specimens. These apex predators feed near the surface and are often revealed by birds hovering above the water.

Anglers looking to make their offshore fishing trip out of Long Beach memorable will arm themselves to land some of the Billfish family. Whether it’s Black Marlin or Pacific Sailfish, trolling with bait or large lures should get you going. Be patient as sometimes it can take hours to exhaust these fish before you can get them onboard.

If you want some more trolling and fast chase, target Mahi and Wahoo. They are super fast and bite like brutes, so it should be a fun day out.

Bottom fish

Care for some bottom fishing? Sure thing. Long Beach has some of the finest bottom critters to offer. Target Yellowtail Snapper - these pesky creatures are a perfect target on family trips, and taste good too.

California Halibut may seem small but fight like a giant fish. Sometimes even a 40 lb Halibut can put up an incredible fight. They will hide in sand bottoms and often strike when a squid passes nearby. Drifting is a good way to get them. Get your bait down to the bottom and drag it across the floor.

The complex regulations on Rockfish and various species that fall into this category haven’t dissuaded anglers who eagerly await the opening of season each year. These fish are colorful, fun to catch, and joyous to savor. Whether it’s Vermillion Rockfish, Copper or Starry Rockfish, and many more, the general idea is to look for structure, mostly rocks. The key is to sink your bait or lures deep enough fast enough. From there on, Rockfish are pretty cooperative.

Need to know

Recreational anglers need to purchase a fishing license either online or at authorized California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) counters. If you’re buying the license over the counter, please note that you won’t be able to pay with cash.

California fisheries, including the honey holes around Long Beach, are heavily regulated, with possession limits, minimum size, and seasons changing from year to year. It’s best to check out the CDFW website before you book your next fishing trip.

As you pack your bag for the trip, double check if you’ve packed sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses. It’s best to have clothes in layers by your side in case the weather changes. On most of the private charters, you will get all the gear you need, while in some cases you may need to either purchase or bring your own fishing set.

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Long Beach Fishing Seasons

If nothing else, you can count on the iconic Calico Bass to save the trip. Fishing is slow for some species, but you can sample some nice Halibut and Sculpin.
 

The offer starts expanding as you can know catch highly praised White Seabass. Halibut are also out there in the water. Board a charter and go get some feisty Calico Bass.

As the temperature goes up, many more fish start showing up. You can target Sheepshead, Scuplin, Rock Cod, Halibut. If you want more Bass action, White Bass are ready as ever, and Calico will follow.

The spring is here in full swing, and anglers can get bags full of nice pelagics and bottom dwellers. Calico and White Seabass are on fire, with more Sculpin, Rock Cod, Sheepshead, and Halibut ready to take the bait.

Barracuda are showing up, so you may want to get to the Huntington Flats and explore the local fisheries. You can also get insane Sand Bass. Expect non-stop action with Halibut, Lingcod, Yellowtail, and White Seabass.

It’s getting hot. The summer days are here, which means things are about to get nasty both inshore and offshore. Barracuda, Bluefin, Yellowfin Tuna, more Calico Bass, and Bonito and Albacore in full swing.

Offshore you can get super game fish. Head to the Catalina Island, and get Mahi, impressive Black Seabass, Tuna, and Marlin. Around the flats there are Barracuda and Bass.

Giant fish are still here and your fishing trip can easily get you a trophy size catch. Black Seabass, Yellowfin Tuna, Mahi, Marlin, Wahoo, all available on a full day trip.

Summer break might be over, but these fish are not done with your bait. Yellowfin Tuna are hungry as ever and you can also sample Mahi, Marlin, impressive Bass.

The offshore game is still solid, with schools of Yellowfin Tuna hanging around deep waters. You can get also Calico Bass, Halibut, and Bonito.

As offshore waters see the last of pelagics, remember that Halibut are there, along with Calico Bass, Lingcod, and Rock Cod.

The fishing season slowly comes to a close as anglers reminisce their great spring and summer catches. A trip out of Long Beach can still get you Halibut and Rock Cod.

Long Beach Fishing Calendar

What People Are Saying About Long Beach

"June fishing trip"

Henry Moore fished with All Harbors Charter - Long Beach on June 26, 2018

Go with Captain Gerry this was our first time, it was great.

"Full Day with Captain Gerry Mahieu to Catalina Island"

Daniel Alexander Ii fished with All Harbors Charter - Long Beach on December 3, 2017

Be ready to have a great time. Bring Snacks and water.

"Full Day Trip with Gerry"

Sara Mae Heady fished with All Harbors Charter - Long Beach on July 11, 2017

Be ready for some local bass, halibut, and rockfish. Great target fish not too far out!

"Full Day Trip to San Clemente Island Targeting Calico Bass"

Francis Wong fished with All Harbors Charter - Long Beach on August 15, 2016

There are many options this time of the year. The bass fishing in the local waters and at the islands are very active this time of the year. There is also a possibility of catching pelagic fish such as yellowfin and bluefin tuna. There is always yellowtail fishing either at the islands or just outside at the Horseshoe Kelp area.

Top Fishing Techniques in Long Beach

  1. Deep Sea Fishing

Top Targeted Species in Long Beach

Yellowtail Amberjack

Dolphin (Mahi Mahi)

Tuna (Bluefin)

Tuna (Yellowfin)

Nearby Fishing Destinations