San Diego Bay Fishing Information | Adventuress Luxury Catamaran

San Diego Bay Fishing Information

San Diego Bay Fishing Information

Jun 20, 2018

Southern California is home to some great fishing spots, and San Diego Bay fishing offers some of the best views of the SoCal coastline. There is more to it than simply heading out and casting your line, though. Here’s what you need to know to have the best fishing experience while complying with state regulations. 

Fishing Seasons 

San Diego experiences beautiful, temperate weather throughout the year with highs averaging in the mid-70s in the summer and 50s in the winter. Aside from the comfort factor, this also means that you can fish all year long. The best time to fish the San Diego Bay is from April to October, as this is when you’ll find the greatest variety and concentration of fish. However, there are still plenty of fish to be caught from November to March, though there will be fewer different types of fish at this time of year. 

Types of Fish 

The San Diego Bay is home to many different types of fish throughout the year, though some only stay in the area for part of the year. Aggressive spotted bay bass (spotties) are plentiful year round, which make them the most frequently caught. Barred sand bass flood the bay from November to March, and at the southern end of the bay, small to medium sized bonefish are caught (and released, as they don’t make good eats).

Additionally, the California Halibut is a favorite amongst anglers in the San Diego Bay, and there’s also small corvina and rock cod that settle here pretty much all year long, so you have a chance to catch these swimmers at any time of the year. 

Pier Fishing 

There are numerous piers throughout the San Diego area that allow fishing. Many are accessible 24 hours a day, but some only allow access during daylight hours. Be sure to check with a particular pier before you visit to ensure that you will be able to gain access at the time you hope to go fishing. 

Depending on the particular pier you choose, you may have access to bait and tackle shops on-site, but this isn’t always the case. Unless you know there is a shop at your destination, it is best to come prepared with your own equipment and bait to ensure you don’t go home disappointed. Even when there are shops available, many of them only operate during peak fishing times, so it is always best to stock up in advance, just in case. 

Shelter Island Pier, Embarcadero Park Pier, and Cesar Chavez Park Pier are all located right in the heart of San Diego, and there are several other piers in the neighboring communities. As its name suggests, Chula Vista Bayside Park Pier is in nearby Chula Vista. Pepper Park Pier is situated in National City, and Coronado Ferry Landing Pier is located in Coronado. Those piers in other towns still have easy access to the bay, so there is no need to worry about missing out on the best San Diego Bay fishing. 

Boat Fishing 

For those who want to actually get out there on the water to fish in the bay itself, there are plenty of options available to you. For starters, there are four boat launch points that are open to the public. Shelter Island is accessible 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, as is Glorietta Bay in the neighboring city of Coronado. Pepper Park in National City and Chula Vista Bayside Park in Chula Vista offer access from 6 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. There is no fee to launch a boat from any of these access points to the bay. 

If you don’t have your own boat, there is no need to worry. You can still charter a boat from the San Diego Harbor or join one of the many guided fishing tours available in the area. Some charters and tours will provide all of the equipment you need, while others require you to bring your own gear. Be sure to check with the specific company you choose in advance of your trip to ensure you know what is expected of you. 


If you intend to fish from one of the San Diego Bay’s many piers, there is no need to obtain any kind of license or permit. Fishing in these areas is open to the public all year long. 

If, on the other hand, you plan to fish from a boat, you’ll need to have a California sport fishing license with an ocean enhancement validation. Many charter companies will handle the details of getting this license for you, but if you are going out in your own boat, you’ll need to get the license from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife yourself. 

There are several licensing options available, ranging from single-day licenses to lifetime passes. Discounts are available for local residents, military service members and veterans, Native Americans, and disabled individuals. Low-income families may also be eligible for discounted rates, depending on their specific situations. 

Need a Break from Fishing? Charter a Catamaran 

If you get tired of fishing and want to just relax out on the open bay or ocean, charter the Adventuress Luxury Catamaran. We offer private charters out of the San Diego Harbor throughout the year, and we can take you and your family, friends, or coworkers out for an incredible San Diego Bay experience. 

Our guides are highly experienced and will do everything possible to ensure that your group is as safe as possible while out on the water. Our schedule tends to book well in advance, particularly during peak holiday’s, so get in touch with us today to reserve your preferred date.