Los Angeles

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Fishing in Los Angeles

Try fishing in Los Angeles and experience this world renowned destination like never before. Home of Hollywood, Beverly Hills, and Disneyland, the LA metropolitan area is well known for its landmarks. With 75 miles of coastline at hand, there’s plenty of reason to look past the shore, as well. Swimming beyond the beach is a cast full of famous characters, featuring some of the most sought-after names in sportfishing.

Known For

Fishing near Los Angeles presents many opportunities, whether you are scouring the depths for a tasty meal or simply casting lines for the thrill of it. Exploring the coast of southern California gives you a chance to fish for iconic species such as Halibut, Yellowtail Amberjack, and California Sheephead. On the other hand, crossing the Catalina Channel and venturing offshore is your ticket to phenomenal deep sea fishing.

With no shortage of Los Angeles fishing charters to choose from, you can experience the best of both worlds. Many trips in the greater LA area run out of Santa Monica Bay, Long Beach, Huntington Beach, and Newport Beach. All of these locations boast excellent nearshore fishing and direct access to Catalina Island, where modern big game fishing was born.

Santa Monica Bay and the Palos Verde Peninsula

While fishing in Santa Monica Bay, you can target more than 30 types of gamefish.  Many fishing structures and reefs in these waters make the bay an ideal location for deep sea fishing. Depending on the season, you can catch Calico Bass, various kinds of Rockfish, Barracuda, Halibut, and Yellowtail Amberjack. Halibut moves inshore during winter, whereas larger game like Barracuda and Yellowtail are more numerous in summer.

The Palos Verde Peninsula is situated at the south end of Santa Monica Bay, separating the waters of the bay from the waters surrounding Long Beach. With over 11 miles of coastline, this is a great spot to enjoy fishing for White Seabass and Yellowtail, among other species.

Long Beach

Long Beach fishing trips give you a chance to venture beyond the city limits, into the greater LA area. Nearby you will find some of the most productive fishing spots in Los Angeles. Heading north gives you access to the Palos Verde Peninsula. On the other hand, you can work your way south and enjoy fishing Horseshoe Kelp and the Huntington Flats.

You can target a variety of species in Horseshoe Kelp, including Rockfish, White Seabass, Calico Bass, Barracuda, and Yellowtail. The fishing in this area is good year-round, but casting lines in summer gives you the opportunity to catch many species during their peak season.

Huntington Flats

Anglers like to spend their time in Huntington Beach fishing the flats, a popular stopping point for many Los Angeles fishing charters. Some of the largest species here are Halibut, White Seabass, and Yellowtail Amberjack. You are also likely to catch Rockfish, Calico Bass, and Bonito when casting lines in these waters. During summer, you can target large Sand Bass and Barracuda.

Newport Beach

Located about five miles south of Huntington Beach, Newport Beach presents yet another opportunity for excellent fishing in Los Angeles. Here you will find no shortage of fishing charters, whether you plan to stick close to shore or head out in search of big game fish.

Anglers pass their time in Newport Beach fishing for all the usual suspects in LA’s waters, from Yellowtail and Barracuda to Rockfish and Halibut. A half day trip will take you up the coastline, whereas a ¾ day trip might take you out to Catalina Island. On these charters, it’s not uncommon to reel in hundreds of fish.

Santa Catalina Island and Beyond

For the best deep sea fishing in LA, anglers flock to Santa Catalina Island. Surrounded by deep water, this 22-mile stretch of land is the place to be for some killer big game fishing. In summer, you will find Mahi Mahi, Marlin, and a variety of Tuna swimming nearby. Some say the Yellowfin Tuna in these waters made big game fishing into the sport it is today. The highly sought-after Bluefin Tuna also makes an appearance here.

If you pass your time on Catalina Island fishing nearshore, you can target Rockfish, White Seabass, Halibut, Yellowtail, and many other familiar species. The Island is full of great fishing spots, including East End, West End, Farnsworth Bank, Bird Rock, and Orange Rock.

Located roughly 25 miles from the coast of southern California, you can access Catalina Island from all of the locations above. You will find no shortage of Catalina Island fishing charters in the greater LA area, with the option to book a full day trip or an overnight stay.

Booking a multi-day trip gives you a chance to fish even farther from shore (up to 60 miles), where you can chase after the biggest fish of them all. Albacore Tuna, trophy sized Sharks, and other pelagic species roam these waters.

Offshore fishing trips in Los Angeles could last around 14 hours or as long as two weeks. These excursions cater to the serious angler in search of the best deep sea fishing Los Angeles has to offer.

What to Expect: Fishing Charters in Los Angeles

No matter where your journey begins, you can look forward to exploring all of the above while fishing near Los Angeles.

Local trips are all about getting the most out of California’s coastline, anywhere from Newport Beach up to Santa Monica Bay. Charters based out of many cities in the greater LA area give you the opportunity to fish the Huntington Flats, Horseshoe Kelp, and various artificial reefs.

Half day charters typically last five to six hours, with a price tag between $300-$1,000. Most half day charters cost $800 and above. A full day local trip could cost between $1,400 and $1,700, and usually lasts around 12 hours.

Catalina Island fishing charters range from $700 to more than $2,000. Most full day trips to the island are round $1,000. Offshore fishing excursions fall into a similar price range, with some full day trips reaching toward $3,000. You can expect multi-days trips to any of the Channel Islands and offshore waters to cost more than $1,000 per day.

You will also find a selection of open boat fishing trips in Los Angeles. Half day trips are around $40 per person, while ¾ day trips cost $60-$70. For a full day trip, you can expect to pay $85-$90 per person. Some charter operators also run open boat overnight trips, for roughly $150-$250 per person.

Rules and Regulations

All anglers age 16 and older must obtain a sportfishing license for recreational fishing in California.

Resident and non-resident licenses are available for purchase online, through the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. A 1-day license is $15.12, and a 2-day license is $23.50 (prices subject to change).

Anglers fishing from a public pier are not required to have a fishing license, but must follow all local fishing regulations including size and bag limits.

Types of Fishing

Flats Fishing

You can enjoy fishing the flats of Huntington Beach and other areas in southern California year round. Halibut and Sculpin reach their peak seasons in November, and you are highly likely to catch these species through spring. Other species, such as Sand Bass, White Croaker, and Barracuda reach their peak in summer.

Anglers target these species on the flats by drift fishing and bottom fishing. Anchoring near submerged structure and bottom fishing is sure to bring you Sand Bass and Sculpin. Drift fishing and allowing the bait to bounce along the seafloor is ideal for catching Halibut.

Live bait and cut squid both work well as bait. When these aren’t producing, you can try using a hard metal jig to entice Barracuda and Sand Bass, or rubber swim baits (bare or baited with cut squid) for Sand Bass and Halibut.

Reef Fishing

While fishing near rocks, artificial reefs, and other structures, you can reel in a variety of species by bottom fishing and fly lining live bait. Bottom fishing will help you reel in Lingcod, Sheephead, Vermillion Rockfish, Halibut, and other species near the seafloor.

Fly lining uses a baited hook without a weight, allowing the bait (squid, anchovies, sardines) to swim freely. Species which feed closer to the surface such as Barracuda, Calico Bass, Bonito, White Seabass, and Yellowtail are all privy to this technique.

Deep Sea Fishing

You can enjoy deep sea fishing Los Angeles using the same methods that anglers rely on throughout many parts of the world. Bottom fishing allows you to reach all the fish hiding in the depths, from Rockfish to some species of Sharks.

You can target pelagics such as Tuna, Mahi Mahi, and Marlin by trolling. Live bait, cut bait, and lures all produce results. Local anglers recommend anchovies and sardines for Tuna. You can lure Tuna and Sharks to the boat by chumming with live or fresh bait.

Los Angeles
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Los Angeles Fishing Seasons

In winter you can enjoy great fishing on the Huntington Flats and other nearshore fishing spots. Halibut, White Seabass, and Calico Bass are all biting. Rockfish season is closed but you can still fish for Lobster.

You can fish for a variety of species near the coast or head out to Catalina Island and fish for Blue Perch, Calico Bass, and early Yellowtail. With the average temperature at 55°F, it's a great time to be on the water!

Rockfish season is open, bringing Sheephead, Lingcod, and Vermillion Rockfish into the mix. Inshore you can continue fishing for Halibut, White Seabass, and much more.  

As the water grows warmer, fishing near Catalina Island is heating up! Calico Bass and Barracuda will appear more often, along with larger Yellowtails. Lobster season is closed.

Bluefin Tuna may be on the horizon, along with a variety of large Sharks. For a rewarding experience that won’t put your fighting skills to the test, you can enjoy great bottom fishing instead. 

Summer is the season for big game fishing. Yellowfin Tuna, Bluefin Tuna, and Marlin all make an appearance. Meanwhile fishing for Yellowtail, Barracuda, and other species nearshore is a blast. 

Mahi Mahi makes a cameo appearance in late summer, as the big game fishing offshore continues to thrive. Near the reefs you will find great fishing for Bass, Rockfish, Halibut, and more.

It’s hard to pick a bad fishing spot in LA at this time of year. Nearshore you can continue fishing for Yellowtail, Calico Bass, and Barracuda. Offshore you will hook into Tuna, Mahi Mahi, and Sharks.

In autumn you may have luck fishing for Yellowtail and Tuna within less than 20 miles of shore. Rockfish, Bass, and Barracuda are all biting near the reefs.

The summer hype is dying down offshore, but you can still enjoy spectacular fishing near Catalina Island and the coast. Calico Bass, Halibut, and Rockfish are all possible catches.

Lobster season opens just in time to fill the gap left by all the big game fish. You can try fishing for this delicacy when you’re not busy reeling in Halibut, Rockfish, and more.

While bottom fishing at this time of year you can reel in some of the tastiest fish in LA, including Halibut and Lobster. Rockfish season closes at the end of the month.

Los Angeles Fishing Calendar

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Top Fishing Techniques in Los Angeles

  1. Deep Sea Fishing
  2. Fly Fishing

Top Targeted Species in Los Angeles

Yellowtail Amberjack

Yellowtail Amberjack

Tuna (Bluefin)

Tuna (Bluefin)

Tuna (Yellowfin)

Tuna (Yellowfin)



Seabass (White)

Seabass (White)

Dolphin (Mahi Mahi)

Dolphin (Mahi Mahi)

California Sheephead

California Sheephead