As evidenced by the untold number of songs, written works, and movies about it, California has an international reputation for being one of the most beautiful and desirable locations in the world to both live in and visit. Southern California, in particular, is revered not only for Hollywood and its exquisite beaches but also as one of the world’s premier spots for sport fishing. The deep waters, calm seas, and balmy weather make for both an ideal fish breeding ground and an enjoyable experience for fishermen. You can also find great fly fishing opportunities in this part of California.
Southern California (also referred to as SoCal) has a great many excellent locations that serve as a jumping-off point for amazing fishing, but there are a few places that are sure to please fishermen with both the quality and quantity of the fish they can catch and also with how many marvelous activities on land and at sea they can offer.
Redondo Beach is often considered to be the quintessential seaside town of the Los Angeles area. It somehow manages to maintain its small-town, beach vibe while remaining a key location in the sprawling metropolis that is L.A. Try a sportfishing charter in Redondo Beach for an exciting afternoon or morning on the water. Prefer to go on your own? Rent a fishing boat in Redondo Beach and bring your fishing rod, bait, and tackle. After a day of fishing, Redondo Beach is a wonderful place to relax in the sun and enjoy some nightlife.
In Redondo Beach, you can snag a lobster during the fall and winter season, or you can reel in fish like Yellowtail, Calico Bass, Sheepshead, Bonito, Perch, Dorado, Barracuda, Lingcod, Sculpin, and Cabazon
Redondo Beach has many restaurants and cafes, and the Riviera Village or South Bay Galleria will fulfill any shopping needs. Walk the famed Redondo Beach Pier and play in the arcade. Beach volleyball and surfing are immensely popular, and you can get your fill of culture at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center (home of the Los Angeles Ballet), or even strolling by the power plant to see the “Grey Whale Migration” mural by famous artist Robert Wyland.
A beloved fixture in Orange County, Newport Beach has garnered a reputation for being a sophisticated and cultured locale, but it is also a great place to go for fun and fishing. The Balboa Yacht Basin offers 172 slips, and there is a number of offshore mooring options. You can rent a fishing boat in Newport Beach or book a fishing charter to enjoy deep sea fishing while in this gem of Orange County.
There are over 30 kinds of game fish that can often be found off of Newport Beach, but some of the more popular species are:
After landing some fish, head to shore to enjoy numerous dining establishments, clubs, and bars, or to enjoy the artistic offerings of the Orange County Museum of Art or Newport Theater Arts Center. Spend an afternoon visiting the historic Balboa Pavilion and the Balboa Fun Zone. If you are a surfer (or are even just an admirer of the sport), you will definitely want to make time to visit The Wedge — a world-famous surf spot.
Newport Beach is also the home of many events like the annual Newport Beach Wine & Food Festival, the Ensenada International Yacht Race (the largest sailboat race in the world), or the Christmas Boat Parade (a beloved event that first began in 1908).
For a local island getaway that also provides access to rich fishing waters, Catalina Island is certainly worth the short boat ride from the coast. Once it is within your sight, you will immediately understand why it was once the chosen escape for legendary Hollywood stars like Clark Gable, Charlie Chaplin, Joan Crawford, and Betty Grable. With plenty of mooring spots around the island and activities for both relaxation and adventure, Catalina is popular with local and visiting fishermen alike.
Further down the coast from Orange Country and L.A. lies the lovely city of Oceanside, which is not wanting in incredible beaches, water sports, history, and (of course) fishing. Oceanside is a great place to book a fishing charter, with professional captains available to take you out.
While fishing in Oceanside, you can expect to come across a diverse array of bottom fish such as:
Top feeders like:
And in the fall, you might find any one of these at the end of your line:
If you are exceptionally lucky, you may be able to catch the rare and beautiful Opah fish, of which only three have been reportedly caught in the Oceanside area.
Ashore, you can visit the Oceanside Pier, tour the Mount Ecclesia historic district, view the California Surf Museum, or explore Oceanside’s many biking, hiking, and historical walking trails. The daring can try out the only coastal sky diving spot in SoCal, or get an aerial view from a vintage biplane. Back by the water, there are many stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking, surfing, and scuba diving opportunities.
A city with a long and colorful history and plenty to entertain, San Diego is a magnet for fun-seekers, history buffs, and fishermen. This coastal city is not to be missed and continues to lure in the water and fish lovers from around the world. Don't miss your chance to try sportfishing in San Diego, or at least rent a fishing boat or book a fishing charter while you're there.
In the deep waters of San Diego, fishermen often catch:
Along with many varieties of rockfish, among others.
After fishing, there are plenty of sights that are sure to appeal to everyone in your party. San Diego offers plenty of boutique shopping and places to play and dine. It is home to the San Diego Zoo, the San Diego Safari Park, Old Town San Diego Historic Park, Mission San Diego de Alcala, and the San Diego Maritime Museum. Gastronomists will enjoy touring the many vineyards and breweries in the city that is sometimes called “America’s Craft Beer Capital,” as well as enjoying the many bars and restaurants that line San Diego’s famous Gaslamp Quarter.
Southern California is an immense place filled with a myriad of exciting possibilities for exploration and culture. Anglers of all skill levels will undoubtedly enjoy their stay in SoCal and find this coastal paradise to be a lot more than meets the eye.
Want to find and book a fishing charter in Southern California? Download the GetMyBoat app and search your city to find the best fishing, boating, and other water experiences available.