Fisihing in San Diego United States

As the South/Western Tip of the United States, San Diego California is made up of beautiful beaches and coastal cliffs that fall into the ocean with a plethora of marine life that call these waters home. The unique proximity to seasonal Pacific ocean current shifts have made this one of the most bountiful and bio-diverse marine environments in the Country, with unparalleled access to some of the best managed fisheries in the world and the rich waters of Mexico’s Baja coast. Aside from the fishing, San Diego offers world class opportunities for diving, snorkeling, kayaking, hang gliding, mountain biking, offroad riding and many other activities for the outdoor enthusiasts. If that’s not your thing you can spend time cruising and people watching in Little Italy whilst savoring mouthwatering food from the many restaurants. La Jolla or Mission Bay Boardwalk make great places for people watching and just hanging out. If a family affair is in order, The San Diego Zoo, Legoland and SeaWorld are great places to spend a day or a few. This is, after all, sunny California.

Fishing Seasons

San Diego offers an exciting range of species to target throughout all four seasons. With Kelp beds surrounding San Diego as close as a mile offshore, one need not travel far to enjoy great spearfishing, diving, tight lines and screaming reels. The proximity of these marine havens gives you more time to fish the grounds. Late winter, spring and into the summer are a great time to focus on the elusive White Seabass, Yellowtail, Calico bass, Sand bass, Sheephead, Halibut and barracuda. Most of the time is spent in the local kelp, Coronado Islands (Mexico) or the Channel Islands such as San Clemente, Catalina and Santa Barbara Island. Our offshore season happens mainly during the warm-water months of the year from about May to September. It is a short ride to the 9 Mile bank and we often travel further in order to try your luck against prized trophies like Yellowfin and Bluefin Tuna, Dorado, Yellowtail, Bonito, Skipjack and occasionally even Wahoo and Marlin. These species have been caught in recent years from as close as 5 miles offshore. During the fall and winter months from October through March we shift into the Ca Spiny Lobster season as well as a whole host of Rockfish, Halibut, Lingcod and reef species to target. There are also some home-guard Yellowtail in the mix occasionally throughout the cold months.

Target Fish

Our local kelp beds and reefs are a magnet for life. You can expect to find White Seabass, Calico Bass, Sand Bass, Sheephead, Barracuda, Bonito and the strong and much desired Yellowtail. Offshore pelagics typically consist of Yellowfin and Bluefin Tuna, Yellowtail, Dorado, Skipjack, Bonito and occasionally Wahoo and Marlin.

Bluefin Tuna

The Bluefin Tuna is one of the most prized fish off the coasts of San Diego as well as the rest of the world for both Spearfishermen and Anglers. The average size being caught off the coast has been about 30-60 pounds although many fish between 200 & 300 pounds have been landed in offshore waters. Bluefin are some of the strongest fighting fish in the ocean, plummeting to the depths once hooked or speared they exhibit the might of a bull and are no easy feat to land. At times one is not sure who will win the fight the angler or the fish. This is what makes these fish a bucket-list catch for any angler.


The Yellowfin Tuna is on the top list of species for most saltwater anglers around the world and luckily can be found in our waters during the warm water months. Like its cousin the Bluefin, this fish is no pushover. Many anglers lose to Yellowfins after an arduous battle. Once hooked, it usually only heads down to the depths. It is up to the angler to try and get them back up to the surface with most fish coming back to life once they see the boat. Most anglers seek battle with this species.


These acrobatic and colorful fish also make an appearance under the kelp paddies that are commonly found in the coastal waters of San Diego. Also Known as Mahi Mahi, the acrobats of the sea, when hooked these fish often break the surface in an effort to spit the hook. Dorado have not always been a common catch within reach of the half day and one day trips out of San Diego, but as with other pelagic species their journey inshore is on account of the warmer waters in recent years.


A close relative of the greater amberjack The Yellowtail as they are known in California are found in droves all year long, especially around the kelp. These fish are some of the greatest fighting fish around and can be targeted around the inshore kelp beds or offshore circling the floating kelp paddies. For those who have not hooked one before, having a yellowtail on the line is kind of like fighting a train once they reach a certain size. The fish are plentiful in our waters and will give even the most avid anglers and spearfishermen a run for their money.

Mako Shark

One of the strongest fighting fish in the ocean and definitely one of the most acrobatic fish around. This is a big target for many a saltwater angler and luckily can be found offshore around the waters in San Diego. When fishing for these fish make sure you have the right licensing on the charter as that situation can quickly get messy with the department of fisheries.Makos are shark with attitude, once hooked there is no telling what they will do and depending on the size of it is often a game of angler vs. fish and a fair game as to who will win that fight. It is also risky fishing as it is not uncommon for these sharks to have a run at the boat and sometimes landing right in them.When fished you better make sure if you are keeping the fish not to land one that you aren’t sure is 100 percent exhausted. As an avid anglers I recommend that you catch and release these oceanic predators to live and fight another day.

San Diego United States Fishing Season

  Fish Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Sea Bass
White/Sand Bass
Kelp/Calico Bass