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Top Fishing Charters in San Francisco
Fishing in San Francisco
Fishing in San Francisco is the ultimate way to experience this city and its natural splendor. Famous for its many piers, Fisherman’s Wharf, the Golden Gate Bridge, and Alcatraz Island, the very identity of San Francisco lies in its surrounding waters. As the famous song goes, “I Left My Heart in San Francisco;” you may leave your heart behind, too, but at least you’ll come away with a great catch when you try your hand at some San Francisco fishing!
San Francisco Bay fishing is perfect for those don’t just like to eat seafood, but to catch some of their own. As one of the largest estuaries on the West Coast, the bay is teeming with diverse species from Chinook (King) Salmon, Striped Bass, Halibut, Lingcod, and Dungeness Crab to Sturgeon and more than 11 species of sharks. Many of these guys stick around all year, making it hard to pick a bad time for fishing in San Francisco! If you aren’t sure how or where to get started, book a San Francisco fishing charter and let local captains show you their favorite spots.
Of course, fishing San Francisco Bay is about more than finding dinner. Leopard shark fishing is a popular activity, since these cuddly kitties can be found everywhere in the bay. Your luck is best when fishing in depths greater than 30 feet, and you’re likely to encounter many other sharks while you’re at it. On the other hand, you don’t even have to leave shore for a great catch. Cast a line from one of San Francisco’s many piers for Flounder, a variety of Perch, Skates, Rays, Rockfish, and some smaller sharks. Or try fly fishing for Surfperch along various stretches of beach!
Only a few miles away you will find freshwater fishing in rivers, creeks, reservoirs, and more than 40 different lakes. If you’re on the hunt for Largemouth Bass, you are sure to be pleased by a Clear Lake Bass fishing experience. Lake Chabot fishing will bring you Rainbow Trout, Largemouth Bass, Channel Catfish, and landlocked Steelhead Trout. Meanwhile, San Pablo Reservoir fishing brings you to one of the finest fisheries in the East Bay, where you will also find Channel Catfish, Rainbow Trout, and more. The San Francisco Bay Delta hosts freshwater, saltwater, and brackish water habitats, increasing the abundance of San Francisco fishing even further.
Rules & Regulations
A California fishing license is required for people aged 16 years and older, available for purchase online. Fishing regulations apply to many types of fish in the area and are subject to change annually. Refer to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife before fishing in San Francisco. Choosing a San Francisco fishing charter is recommended so that local captains can show you how to fish safely according to state law.
San Francisco Bay fishing is restricted to daylight hours for anglers fishing from a boat (from one hour before sunset to one hour after sunset). Lingcod and Rockfish may be caught year-round by shore-based anglers, but only from April to December by boat-based anglers. San Francisco Bay is known for exceptional Salmon fishing; ocean Salmon may be fished from April to October.
Anglers 16 and older also require a California fishing license for freshwater fishing. All anglers, regardless of age, must have a report card when taking Abalone or Steelhead in inland waters.
Types of Fishing
San Francisco deep sea fishing remains a classic choice among anglers looking for Salmon, Rockfish, Lingcod, Albacore Tuna, and more beyond the Golden Gate. You can also troll for many tasty treats, or try mooching for Salmon, Halibut, and Striped Bass—a slow, serene form of drift fishing that local fishermen find especially rewarding. For even more variety, try fly fishing San Francisco for Halibut and Striped Bass when the season is right. You can also target several types of Bass on fly in the Delta. Putah Creek fly fishing is an opportunity to catch wild Rainbow Trout, where you can also fish for multiple types of Bass.
San Francisco Fishing Seasons
San Francisco Fishing Calendar
What People Are Saying About San Francisco
"Half day trip with Captain David"
Cold all day, especially in the morning and in the fog.
"Half Day Trip with Don Franklin"
A total new experience for us who are used to living in tropical countries. The weather, the range of fish, the environment, etc... Fantastic experience.
"Fishing with David"
Were layers it started out cool and got pretty warm as the sun came up
Top Fishing Charters
5144 pro captains at your fingertips
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Look for the Instant Book symbol