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Top Fishing Charters in San Diego

Fishing in San Diego

San Diego fishing charters have been making anglers’ dreams a reality for decades. Renowned as a year-round fishery, America’s Finest City is home to one of the largest sportfishing fleets in the nation. That makes sense, considering that the city offers pretty much every form of fishing under the sun.
Just getting into the line and reel? San Diego Bay is the perfect place to start. These waters hold a variety of fish, from California Halibut and Spotted Bay Bass, to Bonefish. If you’re fishing with kids, the plentiful waters of Mission Bay are just a few miles away.
If you’re up for something a little more challenging, hit the open water for a chance at a delicious Yellowtail. Local charter guides are experts in catching these feisty fish. Yellowtail are so abundant in these parts that you can catch your limit on just a half day outing!
For anglers hungry for big fish, San Diego’s offshore fishing charters are just what the doctor ordered. These trips last between 8 and 12 hours, taking you to some of the area’s most productive fishing spots. During summer and early autumn, Catalina and San Clemente Islands attract insane numbers of Yellowtails, Dorado, and Yellowfin and Bluefin Tuna. 
And if you’re looking for the catch of a lifetime, look no further than San Diego long range fishing charters. These deep sea adventures last anywhere from 3 days to 3 weeks, putting you on the most exciting big game the Pacific has to offer.
Most of the town’s charter fleet is moored in one of the local boat landings. The largest ones include Fisherman’s Landing, Point Loma Sportfishing, H&M Landing, and Helgren’s Sportfishing.


Rules & Regulations

Anglers age 16 or older must buy a California fishing license to fish in San Diego. That excludes any ocean fishing piers, but not inland cays and docks.

San Diego
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San Diego Fishing Seasons

The coldest month in San Diego, January is all about fishing for Sculpin, Ling, Bass, and Halibut. Seasonal closures for Rockfish slow down the fishing (regulations vary). Meanwhile, Trout season starts in the lakes.

Weather conditions can be unruly, with winds and high waves a possibility. In good conditions, you can get out to fish for Sculpin, Sand Bass, and Halibut, while Yellowtail can be caught around the Coronado Islands.

Fishing is still affected by wintery weather, with Groundfish being the main target. Head to the kelp beds to catch a Calico Bass or go to the flats for a Sand Bass, with Halibut still very good. This also prime time for Bass fishing.

Spring fishing continues, with Sand Bass fishing in the Bay being the top choice for shorter trips and longer trips taking you out to the Coronado Islands to target Calico Bass, White Seabass, and Yellowtail.

The fishing gradually starts to heat up, with some deep sea fishing trips beginning to leave San Diego. These will see you targeting Pacific Albacore, Bigeye Tuna, and Bluefin Tuna. Inshore, the Halibut season comes to a close.

More and more charters start running long range options, fishing waters 30-100 miles offshore for Bigeye and Bluefin Tuna, Albacore, Yellowtail, and Dorado. Conditions can be bumpy as the north winds stir the seas.

Finally, summertime fishing arrives in San Diego. Make the most of it while it is here! The June winds start to settle and overnight trips and longer will see you fishing anywhere from Catalina to the Coronado Islands and beyond.

The water is the warmest it will be all year, and with the warmth comes exotic species. Dorado and Yellowtail can be caught on a day trip if you are lucky. Albacore can still be caught to the north, to return south later in the month.

Warm water species are still available, with Halibut and Rockfish also starting to reappear on the cards. Marlin, Tuna, and Albacore can be caught close to shore in years when the waters are warm.

Fall sees amazing Yellowtail fishing, with some people considering it the best time of year to catch the species in San Diego. Large numbers are caught on local half day and overnight trips.

The warm water species have definitely left the area, with some overnight trips still taking you south to Mexican waters to follow them. Closer to home, your main targets will be Yellowtail, Rockfish, and Halibut.

Most charter boats run fewer long range trips at this time of year, although if you can take a long trip south to fish the Mexican waters, you will be in for a treat. Local day trips will target Rockfish, Halibut, and Calico Bass.

San Diego Fishing Calendar

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What People Are Saying About San Diego

"ErinAnne II"

Phil L. fished with San Diego Fishing Company – 38' on February 15, 2020

Chris will put you on the fish. Wow what a Great trip. The ErinAnne II is tip-top, the gear is all first rate. The crew was awesome, doing everything they could to make sure we had everything we needed for a fantastic day. We’re already planning our next trip!

"Thanksgiving "

Lance S. fished with The Long Run Sportfishing on November 26, 2019

The fishing boats depart promptly at their scheduled hour. Be EARLY or ON TIME for the trip.

"6 hours with captain Ross and deck hand Sam."

Michael A. fished with The Long Run Sportfishing on September 27, 2019

The Long Run woth Captain Ross and Deck Hand Sam.

"Half day AM trip "

Jayme D. fished with Pelican Sportfishing on September 27, 2019

Don’t hesitate to book with Pelican Sport fishing, you will not regret it. Captain Shaun will make sure you have a great time.

What would you recommend to anglers fishing in San Diego, California for the first time?

Top Types of Fishing in San Diego

  1. Offshore Fishing
  2. Inshore Fishing

Top Fishing Techniques in San Diego

  1. Deep Sea Fishing
  2. Spearfishing
  3. Fly Fishing

Top Targeted Species in San Diego

Dolphin (Mahi Mahi)

Dolphin (Mahi Mahi)

Yellowtail Amberjack

Yellowtail Amberjack

Tuna (Bluefin)

Tuna (Bluefin)

Tuna (Yellowfin)

Tuna (Yellowfin)





Seabass (White)

Seabass (White)