Southern California

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Top Fishing Charters in Southern California

Fishing in Southern California

If you’re lucky enough to be fishing in Southern California, you’ll have a cast of inshore, offshore, and freshwater fish on your hands. This region encompasses some of California’s most prolific fisheries including San Diego, Los Angeles, Dana Point, and Catalina Island. Between a variety of lakes, rivers, flats, reefs, islands, and endless deep sea, you might be wondering where to start!

Horseshoe Kelp and the Huntington Flats are prime areas to hook into Calico Bass, White Seabass, Rockfish, and Yellowtail Amberjack. For offshore action and big pelagic fish including Bluefin and Yellowfin Tuna, Mahi Mahi, and Marlin, don’t pass up the opportunity to head towards Catalina and San Clemente Islands.

There’s more than just saltwater fishing on offer, though. Some of the state’s most productive lakes and reservoirs are found here, featuring record-breaking Bass, Carp, Catfish, Panfish, Crappie, and Rainbow Trout. Catch these creatures in lakes within Los Angeles itself, San Diego’s Miramar Reservoir, and the legendary Lake Castaic.

The amount of time you’ll want to spend on the water is up to you, but know that an offshore adventure will require at least a full or extended full day trip to account for travel time. The kelp beds, flats, and freshwater honey holes are much more forgiving and can be accomplished on a half day trip.

You’ll find Southern California fishing charters all along the coast, from Santa Barbara down to the border. San Diego, Dana Point, and the greater LA area are home to some of the largest charter fleets in the state and share many of the same fishing grounds.

Rules & Regulations

Your Southern California fishing charter will include everything you need for a successful trip – except for your fishing license. All anglers over the age of 16 will need to purchase one beforehand. 

Southern California
Based on 19438 reviews by FishingBooker anglers

Southern California Fishing Seasons


Fishing in nearshore hot spots like the Huntington Flats and Santa Monica Bay is great from the get go. Start the year off right with a cooler full of Calico Bass, White Seabass, Halibut, and Lobster! 


With average temperatures well above 55°F, you may just have a chance to head farther from shore! Main catches still include Halibut, Calico Bass, and White Seabass. Rockfish must be released.


SoCal’s deep sea season is a ways away, but some anglers are already heading to Catalina Island for White Seabass, Halibut, and more! Rockfish season is just around the corner. 


In some years, Rockfish season may be open – giving anglers all the more reason to get on the water and catch Sheepshead, Cabezon, and Lingcod. Barracuda and early Yellowtail are starting to appear.


Things are really starting to heat up around the Channel Islands, and we don’t just mean the weather! Bluefin Tuna and monster Sharks are now joining Barracuda and Yellowtail offshore.


Inshore fishing is promising as always, and the scene offshore has never been better. Add Yellowfin Tuna and Marlin to your list and see what Catalina Island has in store.


Mahi Mahi appear for the blink of an eye in July. In some years, you may be able to find Albacore Tuna when you travel out far enough. Of course, there’s still plenty to keep you busy close to shore. 


You could practically cast a line with your eyes closed and you’re bound to hook into something around here! It’s Tuna, Marlin, Yellowtail, Shark, Seabass, Halibut, and Rockfish galore.


September brings a few big game species closer to shore than average, which makes this a great time to fish Horseshoe Kelp and the Catalina Channel for Yellowtail and Tuna.


Deep sea fishing is starting to wind down offshore, but you can still enjoy excellent fishing in any of the hot spots close to the coast. Rockfish, Halibut, and Bass are biting vigorously.


Your chance at a trophy may have passed, but November is a great time to bring home fresh seafood! Lobster season is open again, and Rockfish are still legal to keep along with Halibut.


Bottom fishing will produce a variety of delicacies for your holiday spread, including Halibut and Lingcod. Set some Lobster traps for an extra treat!

Southern California Fishing Calendar

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Reviews of Fishing in Southern California

A good day to Chase Tuna.
Daniel A. fished with Fish Taxi Sportfishing on September 12, 2020
Bring your good attitude and a good smile, God will take care of the rest.
The best of times!
Lauren S. fished with RockenReel Sportfishing on July 12, 2020
Fish are fickle. Enjoy the day no matter what!
Sunset Fishishing
Erick L. fished with RockenReel Sportfishing on July 3, 2020
Weather was great but no luck with the fish.
Stop looking and book now!
John C. fished with RockenReel Sportfishing on June 30, 2020
Book now and stop looking! Yeah his is the trip. Took my two boys on their first trip and we caught 30+ fish!
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!
Fish on
Wayne B. fished with RockenReel Sportfishing on December 10, 2019
Call Steven at rockin reel if you really want to catch fish. Steven worked hard for us and put us on fish all day. Great guy that knows what he's doing.
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.
Half day with Captain Chuck
Justin J. fished with Dana Wharf Sportfishing—Boardroom 2 on October 25, 2019
We were bass fishing, in some locations tha action didn’t stop.

Top Fishing Techniques in Southern California

Top Targeted Species in Southern California