Fishing

Saltwater Fishing | Fishing Piers | Boat Launch Ramps | Sport Fishing Charters

Saltwater Fishing

  • San Diego Bay | Throughout San Diego Bay, contours and underwater architecture provide great hidden spots to reel in a rewarding catch.  Many varieties of fish populate our waters, including Spotted Bass, Sand Bass, Bonefish, Corvina, Halibut, and sharks, to name just a few.  Marinas and docks are plentiful along the shores of the bay, providing some shady spots and favorite haunts for prize catch.
    Trolling along the Boat Channel running along the eastern shore of the San Diego Bay can prove fruitful, as well as the vicinity of moorings, docks and sand flats near the multiple ‘islands’ situated around the bay.  The Coronado Bridge also seems to have abundant catch in its vicinity.  Anglers must be aware of their location at all times, however, as San Diego Bay has numerous restricted areas that fall under military jurisdiction.  Be aware of your location at all times, and the regulations of the waters you are fishing in.
  • Mission Bay | Since Mission Bay was dredged in the 1940′s, it has been a playground for water sports.  There are about 27 miles of shoreline, and 19 miles of those are sand.  After what can be a drastic grade change near the beaches, most areas of the bay are only about 12 feet deep, while some areas (including the Mission Bay Channel, Mariner’s Basin and Quivera Basin) can be as deep as 20 feet.  Primarily sandy-bottom, high traffic areas such as the Mission Bay Channel are lined with rocks.  Outside of some select areas designated for swimming and sailing, fishing is generally permitted in most areas of the bay.  Shore fishing is also permitted, with parking areas close at hand throughout the parks.
    Anglers in Mission Bay may be lucky to find Spotted Bay Bass, Sand Bass, Calico Bass, Sculpin, Halibut, Leopard Sharks, Bat Rays, or Croaker (among others).  While Mission Bay waters are open 24 hours a day, many parking areas close overnight and may be locked.  Fees are generally not collected in Mission Bay or at its boat ramps.  A valid fishing license is required, with a saltwater stamp.
    Boat speeds on the bay are generally limited to 5 m.p.h., outside of designated water-ski areas and those where boats are not permitted; buoys indicate regulations throughout the bay.  Fuel docks are located at Dana Landing and Islandia Marina.

New to fishing?  Check out the Marine Information on the California Department of Fish & Game website.

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Fishing Piers

Want to cast a line?  In San Diego, you can do just that, without even getting your feet (too) wet!  Many piers offer gear rentals and bait on site, so it’s easy to pick up a fishing pole and get to work.

* Unless otherwise noted, fishing license is required for pier fishing in San Diego county.

  • Imperial Beach Municipal Pier | In this classic southern California beach town, the IB Pier is a perfect place for a stroll & views of the Coronado Islands of Mexico’s shore. And fishing, of course, which needs no license at this location. A lucky line may pull in anything from herring, mackerel or perch to halibut or corbina.
  • Coronado Ferry Landing Pier | Often overlooked, the Coronado Ferry Landing Marketplace also offers a small fishing pier, where a good variety of fish can be found on a lucky day. Plenty of shops and other amenities make it a good location for a family outing.
  • Bayside Park Pier | Chula Vista | Located at the entrance to the marinas between Bayside and Bayfront Parks is a rather long fishing pier, a great spot for fishing the southern area of the San Diego Bay.
  • Pepper Park Fishing Pier | National City | Located at the mouth of the Sweetwater River, a small fishing pier is located in Pepper Park, adjacent to the Sweetwater Marsh National Wildlife Refuge.
  • Embarcadero Marina Park Pier | Downtown | Adjacent to the San Diego Convention Center, South Embarcadero Park offers a fishing pier in the heart of San Diego. The ‘T’ shape offers elbow room even on busy days. Plenty of amenities are close at hand, with Seaport Village and other attractions located within just a few blocks.
  • Shelter Island Pier | Point Loma | This small pier is located in the heart of San Diego’s fishing center on Shelter Island, where anglers may pull in mackerel, bass, herring, guitarfish, or bat ray.
  • Ocean Beach Municipal Pier | This exceptionally long concrete pier has plenty of room for everyone, so you won’t feel crowded even on busier days. Anglers might catch mackerel, bass, or even lobster from the pier in OB, where you can fish without a license.
  • Crystal Pier | Pacific Beach | The Crystal Pier Hotel holds the rights to this beautiful historic location, but you don’t have to be a guest to stroll it’s length or cast a line. Open to the public daily from 8 am until sunset, there is even a bait & tackle shop on site! Unlike municipal piers in San Diego, you’ll need a fishing license to fish here.
  • Scripps Pier | La Jolla | Private property of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, the curious are allowed a unique opportunity to stroll the pier during occasional Full Moon Pier Walks, hosted by the Institute.
  • Oceanside Pier | License-free fishing is allowed on this long pier, where one might catch smelt, perch, or guitarfish on a lucky day. Watch surfers from above as they catch waves rolling in to Oceanside’s City Beach.

Find a treasure trove of information on the website Pier Fishing in California!

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Boat Launch Ramps

Have a boat, but looking for a fresh fishing hole?  Here is a list of boat ramp & launch facilities along San Diego County’s coast.  Don’t have a boat to call your own?  Check out our Boat Rental page to get started.

Shelter Island | Point Loma, San Diego Bay
Pepper Park | National City, San Diego Bay
Chula Vista Marina | San Diego Bay
Glorietta Bay | 1715 Strand Way Coronado, San Diego Bay
Santa Clara Point | Mission Bay, off Bayside Lane at Santa Clara Place
Dana Landing | Mission Bay, off Ingraham Street at Dana Landing Road
Ski Beach | Mission Bay
South Shores | Mission Bay
Campland Marina at Campland  on the Bay | Mission Bay
De Anza Cove | Mission Bay
Oceanside Harbor Marina | Oceanside Harbor

    Find more information on all things fishy in San Diego at SDFish.com!

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    Sport Fishing Charters

    You can always let the professionals guide you to the best feeding spots for game fish.  Half, three-quarter, full-day & multi-day excursions are available.

    Fisherman’s Landing | Point Loma
    H&M Landing | Point Loma
    Seaforth Landing | Mission Bay
    Helgren’s Sportfishing | Oceanside

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      The information here is provided as a convenience only, and believed to be correct at time of publication. Final verification is solely the responsibility of the reader.