Mission Bay

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Fishing in Mission Bay

When you think Mission Bay, you probably think Seaworld, found right on its shore. But Mission Bay fishing charters should be the very next thing that comes to mind! You can book a charter to Mission Bay year round for a variety of species and some excellent fishing.

Depending on the season, you’ll be able to catch big Spotted Bay Bass in these shallow waters, as well as Croaker, Corvina, Halibut, Flounder, Calico Bass, Bonito, Leopard Shark, Barracuda, Bonefish, and plenty more. The quality of fish is generally better here than in San Diego Bay, although you’re likely to catch less. Be patient, the fish will bite, and be worth the wait.

Fishing Spots

The shoreline of Mission Bay is 27 miles long, and of that over 19 miles are beaches. Along the shoreline, there are plenty of launch points and marinas to begin your fishing trip from. Choosing where to head out can be tough, as the fishing is great throughout the bay. Top spots to head to include Sail Bay, Quivira Basin, Mariners Basin, and Bahia Point. This is quite shallow fishing with average depths of 12 feet. Spend time along the edges of the eelgrass beds and you’ll be reeling in the fish in no time at all.

Dana Landing

Dana Landing is the most popular launch spot in Mission Bay. From here, you can access Mission Bay Channel, Quivira Basin, Ventura Cove, and more, all just half-a-mile from Dana Landing. When fishing close to Dana Landing, keep an eye on the buoys that mark the Seaworld waters, where access is restricted. Top catches include Spotted Bay Bass and Calico Bass.


Some of the deeper spots in Mission Bay include South Cove and Perez Cove. These can both reach depths of 20 feet. You can catch Calico Bass, Leopard Shark, Spotted Bay Bass, Bonefish, and more in these coves.

Crown Point

Along the Fishermans Channel, on Vacation Isle, is Crown Point. Here you’ll be able to target Sand Bass, Spotted Bass, Perch, and more. A light line of 8–10 lb test will be good in this area.

Fishing Tips

  • Some of the best bait to use are ghost shrimp, worms, and mussels. Squid can be used but will not be as successful as the other baits.

  • Shallow water presentations should be used in Mission Bay. One-half to 1 oz heavy spinnerbaits are good to use.

  • In the channels, you’ll be able to hook Halibut. Use live bait such as small mackerel and sardines for great results.

Need to Know

Fishing in Mission Bay can get super busy. Be smart about when you head out, and check the incoming and outgoing tides.

The majority of the bay has a 5 mph speed limit for boats. Be aware of your surroundings and careful of surfers.


You’ll need to buy a California Sport Fishing License. You can fish in all the nooks and crannies on offer, unless a “No Fishing” sign is present.


Bay fishing is usually for four people. An eight-hour trip is $775 and a four-hour trip is $450. Some charters will meet you at the bay but head out for offshore fishing – these charters will be double the price of a bay fishing charter.

Getting There

Fly directly into San Diego International Airport. From there, it’s just a 15-minute drive along Nimitz Boulevard to Mission Bay.

It’s time to book a Mission Bay fishing charter. With so many spots to fish, your trip is bound to be highly successful and lots of fun for the whole family.

Mission Bay
Based on 19391 reviews by FishingBooker anglers

Mission Bay Fishing Seasons


Winter fishing is good for Corvina, Halibut, and Spotted Bay Bass. Temperatures drop to 49°F in January.


The Halibut continues to be good in February. On land, a good day out will include the San Diego Zoo or Fleet Science Center.


There are plenty of activities going on for the St. Patrick’s day celebrations – join in the marathons, have a drink or two, or even go paddleboarding.


The beaches of Mission Bay are the perfect place for an Easter egg hunt. Bonefish are very active in the water.


It’s non-stop action in the water. Yellowtail, Barracuda, and Bass are top fish to target this month.


The fishing continues to be steady this month. Spend your trip targeting Calico and Leopard Shark.


To celebrate The Fourth of July, watch the “Big Bay Boom,” the largest firework display in San Diego. Corbina is hot this month.


August is another great month for Corbina, as well as Yellowtail and Barracuda.


The fishing in September is good all round. Bonefish and Bass can be caught in good numbers now.


On land, head to the San Diego film festival. On the water, target Corbina and Barracuda.


From November 1 to March 31 you can pay to join in the Halibut Derby. Will you catch the biggest one?


Winter fishing in the bay is excellent. Catch your fill of Corbina, Spotted Bay Bass, and Halibut.

Mission Bay Fishing Calendar

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Reviews of Fishing in Mission Bay

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!
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 Targeted Species in Mission Bay