Everything You Need to Know About San Diego, California Fishing

San Diego Fishing Charters

Fishing in San Diego give anglers an opportunity to catch an impressive array of species just miles away from a bustling metropolis. Whether you're a San Diego local, or are visiting on vacation, there are plenty of charters to choose from. The temperate California climate combined with the cold water in the California current makes for a unique fishing experience. This environment supports species like the the Rockfish which aren't present in the waters of any other state in the continental United States.

With legendary offshore fishing grounds, 2 large bays, and multiple freshwater reservoirs nearby, it's not hard to see why Field & Stream named San Diego the 2nd best fishing city in America. While fishing in San Diego, anglers can relentlessly pursue a bucket list fish, or just enjoy a relaxing day on the water.

San Diego Deep Sea and Offshore Fishing

The fleet of offshore and deep sea fishing boats in San Diego is unmatched by any of its kind. Arguably the largest and most modern private charter fleet in the country, there are fishing charter options for groups of all sizes and experience levels.

The seafloor off of San Diego is characterized by banks and deepwater canyons. The seafloor topography and current create a sport fish's paradise. Dozens of bluewater species can be caught offshore, but tuna fishing in San Diego is the most popular by far. Yellowfin and Bluefin Tuna of frightening proportions can be caught in the late spring through early fall when the water temperature rises. Other popular pelagic (oceanic) species including Mahi-Mahi, Wahoo, and Yellowtail Amberjack have been known to grace these waters frequently as well.

Trolling is generally the method of choice for targeting these offshore beasts, but kite fishing for tuna is also really popular in San Diego. Kite fishing gives a perfect flying fish imitation as the bait bounces off the surface of the water, suspended from a kite behind the boat. This technique is sure to excite, as most of the bigger tuna are caught using this method and watching "the eat" on the surface is the memory of a lifetime.

Reaching the prime offshore fishing waters generally takes a full day trip of at least (8-10 hours). At Captain Experiences, we even offer plenty of extended day (10+ hours) overnight, multi day, and even weeklong trips that take anglers south to Mexico to warmer waters.

San Diego Bay Fishing Charters

Not to be overlooked is the inshore fishing in San Diego. The inshore grounds consist of San Diego Bay and north in Mission Bay, and they're every bit as bountiful as the offshore waters. San Diego Bay is 60 feet deep at its max and has shallow mud flats in its south end - giving anglers the opportunity to target a variety of species year round. Just outside of the bay and going north to La Jolla are massive kelp forests teeming with biodiversity and life, giving anglers the opportunity to catch dozens of species in a very special environment.

There is great inshore fishing in San Diego year round, but the winter time tends to be the most dominant. The winter months bring cold waters and wind offshore which slows the bite down. Meanwhile, the inshore bite is just heating up.

Unless you've fished San Diego before, there are some species in the bay that you've probably never heard of, much less seen. White Seabass are the largest of the inshore species, with some growing to over 100 pounds.

Other popular species include the Spotted Bay Bass, Rockfish, California Halibut, and Yellowtail. Cortez Bonefish - almost identical to the Bonefish of the Florida tropics - are bountiful in the shallow southern bay mud flats. Light tackle and fly gear are the weapons of choice while fishing in San Diego Bay.

Things to do in San Diego

After your trip, there is no shortage of entertainment around San Diego to keep your whole crew busy. If you want some more wildlife action, head to the Birch Aquarium or the world-renowned San Diego Zoo.

While you're close to the water, head over to the USS Midway Museum for a history lesson aboard an aircraft carrier. From there, head over to Little Italy and then on to Balboa Park to complete your perfect day in San Diego.

San Diego Tides and Weather

View San Diego tide times and charts here and San Diego weather forecasts here.

Places to Stay in San Diego, California