Deep Sea Fishing in Long Beach, CA
The deep sea fishing Long Beach has on its doorstep is some of the most impressive-- not only on this part of the continent, but worldwide. A steep drop-off just miles off coast, a rich selection of bottom fish and pelagics that inhabit deep waters, and pleasant climate year round are one of the key reasons why so many fishing charters are docked here. From legendary Calico Bass and California Sheephead to Marlin and Tuna offshore, these fisheries regularly make it to the list of places you should fish before you hang up your fishing set.
Where to go fishing
Once you resist the rich flats, kelp, and reefs and make your way to Catalina Island, you’ll be at the gate to some serious deep sea fishing. Catalina Island lies just 20 miles from the coast, but the trick is the steep drop-off that surrounds it. The ocean floor goes from 100+ ft all the way down to 2,000 ft and further below. Here you will find numerous Yellowfin Tuna, Mahi Mahi, Blue Marlin, Wahoo, and big Mako Sharks.
If you want to explore the depths look out for Rockfish season opening. It usually takes place in spring and attracts many fishing charters that come out and chase Sheepshead, Vermillion Rockfish, and Lingcod. These depths are also home to Halibut and Calico Bass.
Equally impressive fishing takes place near San Clemente Island. The water’s deep and once summer sets in, you can catch Yellowfin, Bluefin, Bigeye, and Albacore Tuna with every cast.
Open waters beyond, at the 60+ mile mark, hide many more honey holes with all these apex predators cruising for prey.
When and how to get them
As a rule of thumb, good fishing starts in spring and gets better as the waters heat up. Summer and fall are great for Tuna, while Marlin are dominant in summer months. Spring is good for bottom fishing which often extends well into the fall.
Two main types of fishing you’ll employ here are trolling and bottom fishing. Depending on which species of pelagics you target, you’ll either do shallow trolling, using outriggers to spread the line and bait. Most Marlin as well as Mahi feed near the surface, while for Tuna you’ll need to drop the bait just a bit further below.
When you go bottom fishing around Long Beach, it really gets interesting as there are nearly hundreds of bottom critters you can target, with Rockfish species being the most prominent. Most of the time you will use bait, but lures are also successful. The trick is to get the bait at the right depth -- and if you haven’t fished before, you’ll need a local captain to help you get tasty fish back home.