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Top Southern California Deep Sea Fishing Destinations

Top Deep Sea Fishing Charters in Southern California

Deep Sea Fishing in Southern California

Deep sea fishing in Southern California is a perfect representation of this state’s nickname –  “Golden”! SoCal’s coast provides direct access to a whole host of offshore islands that are surrounded by seriously deep waters. Want to battle mighty Marlin, feisty Mahi Mahi, and gigantic Tuna? You’ll find plenty of charters dotted all over this region, ready and waiting to take you out to hook the catch of your dreams. All you need to do is pick your location, and get ready for the fight of your life!

What to Expect

It’s hard to know where to begin when it comes to fishing in Southern California, but we’ve got good news: deep sea fishing here is bound to take you straight to the action around the Channel Islands. That narrows it down a bit! Local charter captains throughout SoCal are happy to cater to guests of all ages and skill levels, so even newbies can experience the thrill of deep sea fishing!

For Newer Anglers

The perfect deep sea location has to be Santa Catalina Island. This island is easily accessible from a variety of places, including Long Beach, Huntington Beach, and Newport Beach. You’ll start coming face-to-gills with impressive deep sea beasts around 15 miles from shore, where the waters drop dramatically. Striped Marlin, Mahi Mahi, and various Tuna species all lurk here, and your charter captain will be on-hand to show you the ropes. Although full day trips to the island are the most common, newer anglers can opt for ¾ day trips and still experience some great deep sea fishing. 

More Experienced?

If you’re not quite prepared for an overnight adventure but want to spend more time on the water, you’ll find plenty of charter captains ready to take you out to San Clemente Island, located around 40 miles from the shore of San Diego. You can find the same species here as around Santa Catalina Island, but they grow seriously huge! If you’ve always wanted to battle gigantic Tuna, this is your chance. As you’ll spend more time traveling, an extended full day trip lasting around 12 hours is the “go-to” standard here.

Thrill Seekers Only!

Finally, for hardened anglers who want to test their wits as well as their skills, an overnight or multi-day trip to the Coronado Islands can’t be missed. Located in Mexican federal waters, around  100 miles from San Diego and Dana Point, these islands are home to some of the mightiest big game fish around: huge Shark species, Blue and Striped Marlin, and Bluefin and Yellowfin Tuna. It’s not for the faint of heart, but it’s something that every deep sea fishing fanatic should definitely tick off their bucket list!

How to Prepare

All guests age 16 or over will need to purchase a valid Californian fishing license. Your charter captain can help you out with this before your trip, and will also fill you in on local regulations for the species you’ll be targeting. Heading to the Coronado Islands? You’ll need to bring along your passport, as well as a valid Mexican fishing license. Rods, reels, bait, lures, and tackle will be provided for you, so all that’s left is to head to the “Golden State” for an incredible deep sea fishing adventure!

Southern California

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Top Targeted Deep Sea Fishing Species in Southern California

Dolphin (Mahi Mahi)

Yellowtail Amberjack


Tuna (Yellowfin)

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