Northern California

65 Fishing Charters

Northern California Fishing Charters

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Top Fishing Charters in Northern California


For any and every angler out there looking for the perfect mix of saltwater and freshwater action, fishing in Northern California is just what the doctor ordered. With the Pacific Ocean, numerous bays, teeming rivers, and pristine lakes at your disposal, all you have to do is pick where you want to go first.

Anglers of all levels love coming to NorCal because the fishery is so rich. On the freshwater front, Chinook Salmon is the superstar that everyone wants. But Sturgeon, Striped Bass, and Trout species follow close behind. Salmon rivers are especially busy during the fall runs.

Ocean fishermen will have plenty to do, too. In one day, you can chase Rockfish and Lingcod, play a tug-of-war with Halibut, and hook a giant White Seabass. In the summer, head to deeper waters for a memorable battle with Albacore Tuna. Want to mix things up a bit? Go crabbing with your family and feast on your daily Dungeness Crab catch.

NorCal newcomers are often overwhelmed by the sheer amount of fishing possibilities, and this is where professional guides come in. Local charters have a varied offer of trips for just about every appetite. Anglers with families often choose half day excursions on a party boat. There are also specialized full day trips for Salmon, Sturgeon, and Rockfish. The ultimate adventure is a 12-hour offshore Albacore hunt.

Top spots for fishing in Northern California include the San Francisco Bay Area, Bodega Bay, Sacramento River, and Yuba County.

Rules & Regulations

When you book a trip with a charter, the only thing you need to think about is your fishing license. In California, every person age 16 and older needs a license. If you’re fishing for Trout or Sturgeon, remember to buy a report card for the targeted species.

Northern California
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 4.55
Based on 23268 reviews by FishingBooker anglers

January

The start of the year is a great time for either crabbing or Trout fishing in the Sacramento River. You’ll especially love it if you’re a dedicated fly fisherman. The Sturgeon bite is very good as well.

February
February is a great time for fishing in Northern California. We highly recommend Lake Tahoe Trout for an angling experience to remember. For a change of pace, target giant White Sturgeon and put your fishing skills to the test.
March
Warmer waters mean very good Striper fishing all along the Sacramento River, especially at the end of the month. Trout fishing will not disappoint, and neither will the incredible Sturgeon bite.
April
Things are getting hot in April! You can expect the Striper craze to reach the Bay Area this month. On Lake Tahoe, Kokanee are becoming more active, as well as Bass species.
May
As we get closer to summer, there’s the Halibut season to keep us enjoying NorCal’s waters. Offshore trips for Lingcod and Rockfish are all the craze, and freshwater action isn’t half-bad either.
June
June marks the beginning of another fantastic deep sea fishing season. From Chinook Salmon to Halibut, Rockfish, White Seabass, and Lingcod – both nearshore and offshore waters are brimming with amazing fish.
July
July is possibly the most productive month for Kokanee fishing on Lake Tahoe. This is also the prime time to hit the ocean in search of just about anything you want, from Rockfish to Leopard Sharks.
August
With August comes the long-expected Albacore Tuna! The offshore waters will be busy with anglers looking to hook their next record. The tail-end of the summer is a great time for some exciting spearfishing action.
September
This month usually brings around the peak of excellent Tuna fishing in the northern reaches of California. That’s not to say that other fish are sleeping – Salmon are slowly entering rivers, and bottom dwellers are hungry and ready for a show-down.
October
If you’re looking for an impressive Tuna catch, October is your last chance to hook something good. Salmon are leaving the bay only to show up in the Sacramento and other rivers, bringing joy to freshwater anglers as they go.
November
Even though the saltwater action has slowed down a bit, there’s still plenty of Lingcod, Halibut, and Rockfish to catch. In freshwater news, giant Salmon are making these chilly days super exciting for passionate river fishermen.
December
With winter firmly set in, we’ll see crabbing starting to pick up in December. Good-sized Lingcod and Rockfish are still biting in the ocean, as well as Chinook, Trout, and Bass in the rivers. Fun fishing in California never stops!

Northern California Fishing Calendar

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Best Birthday Ever
Itza S. fished with Durban Princess Sport Fishing on July 9, 2021
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Give time to get there as there was some construction at Marina that can be confusing.
Full day trip
Syed M. fished with Argo Sportfishing on June 30, 2021
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
It's windy and cold out there in the pacific, so wear good windbreaker and warm clothes.
Capt. RON KOYASYKO
Michael W. fished with Nautilus Excursions on May 16, 2021
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Try a half day, wear layers, waterproof shoes, take drinks and snacks.
Captain Brad rocks
Ben M. fished with Lake Tahoe Fishing Trips on April 1, 2021
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Your arms will get tired reeling in all the fish lol. JK it’s a blast definitely a must do when in Tahoe.
Half day trip with captain Aaron
David C. fished with Sva Marine Charters on December 16, 2020
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Dress appropriately. Listen to the captain.
An amazing day with Captain Brad
Chuck N. fished with Lake Tahoe Fishing Trips on October 30, 2020
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Leave it to the captain. Can’t hear you want to read my review OK OK
Lake Tahoe Fishing with Captain Brad
Adrienne M. fished with Lake Tahoe Fishing Trips on October 10, 2020
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Little chilly, but nice October day in Tahoe. Can't beat the sunrise and mountain views and the clean gorgeous water.
Great 6 hour bottom fishing trip
Jay S. fished with Steve Huber – Crescent City on July 27, 2020
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Take your Dramamine and wear layers of clothes because the weather can change from cool to sunny in the same day! Look up Steve Huber for a fun, professional and productive fishing trip!

FAQs about Fishing Charters in Northern California

According to customer reviews, Durban Princess Sport Fishing, Nautilus Excursions, and PF Guide Service Hunt Fish Nor Cal are some of the most popular fishing charters in Northern California. Full list of top fishing charters in Northern California.

Durban Princess Sport Fishing, Nautilus Excursions, and PF Guide Service Hunt Fish Nor Cal all received great reviews from families who booked fishing trips in Northern California.

The best way to experience fishing in Northern California is to book a private charter with a licensed fishing guide. See the full list of charters available for online booking here: List of fishing charters in Northern California.

The top 8 fish species targeted on guided fishing trips in Northern California are:

This month usually brings around the peak of excellent Tuna fishing in the northern reaches of California. That’s not to say that other fish are sleeping – Salmon are slowly entering rivers, and bottom dwellers are hungry and ready for a show-down. Check availability for local fishing charters in Northern California.