Halibut Fishing in California

Halibut Fishing in California

California Halibut are different to their northern relatives. Technically belonging to the Flounder family, these flatfish are something of a hybrid - somewhere between the Fluke and Pacific Halibut in size, taste more like Halibut and can have their set of eyes either on the right or the left side of the body. The Pacific Halibut can be found down to about Santa Rosa Island and the California Halibut replace them farther south than that.

These fish are possibly the most popular bottom catch of the California fishery, most likely because they're catchable in the surf, off the beach, around jetties and in estuaries. Every spot has optimal times to target them throughout the tide cycle, but an excellent general rule of thumb is to keep watch over grunion runs, which will signal nearshore California Halibut for up to two weeks afterthese small fish beach themselves.

Hotspots include:

  • San Francisco Bay
  • Monterey Bay
  • Ventura/Oxnard
  • Marina Del Rey/Redondo Beach
  • Long Beach
  • Newport Beach
  • Dana Point
  • San Diego

Our recommended guide in San Diego (the best fishery) is captain Bob Day with En La Mosca Adventures.

Halibut fishing in California varies moderately throughout the year. High season is June to September. Low season is January to February and December. There is no closed season.
Fishing Techniques:

Top Halibut Destinations in California