San Diego

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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.

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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Based on 19163 reviews by FishingBooker anglers

San Diego Fishing Seasons

January

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.

February

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.

March

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.

April

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.

May

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.

June

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.

July

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.

August

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.

September

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.

October

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.

November

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.

December

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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Reviews of Fishing in 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.
Full Day Offshore Fishing Trip on the Pelican
Paul B. fished with Pelican Sportfishing on September 12, 2019
Tuna fishing down here can always be a hit or miss, avoid those days after a full moon and you should be able to get on them.
Great Day on the Water
Gisele R. fished with Cobalt Sport Fishing on September 10, 2019
I was glad I went out with professionals made the day a total success.
Great Birthday Trip
Shawn H. fished with Pacific Bounty Sportfishing on July 29, 2019
Have patience and enjoy being out in the ocean.
Great time
Kim S. fished with San Diego Fishing Company – 24' on July 6, 2019
If you think you may get sea sick take the dramamine the night before and the morning of.

Top Types of Fishing in San Diego

Top Fishing Techniques in San Diego

Top Targeted Species in San Diego