The catch of the day!! Yes, folks, we at San Diego Community Guide have the recommended best for your fishing pleasure. San Diego has a vast number of fishing locations. These include deep-sea fishing off Baja California, San Diego coastal waters, and area lakes in greater San Diego.
What San Diego Highlights is trying to accomplish is quite simple. We are giving the visitor the opportunity to plan their fishing trip without the worries of attempting to plan, search for and then locate the best ocean and lake fishing without any prior knowledge of the area.
My 28 years of residing in San Diego have afforded me the opportunity to fish both the deep sea and most lakes. All of the recommended fishing spots in our Handbook are preferred sites of mine. The uniqueness of the San Diego Highlights Handbook is illustrated predominantly in this section. We don’t just list all lakes or ocean trips, but we offer the best from personal experience. Recommended are only those which our family and friends have enjoyed over the years with repeated visits.
Please note, whale watching tours are also available and included in the Handbook.
Deep sea fishing
If you are planning a vacation or fishing trip to San Diego then you are in the right place for spectacular deep-sea fishing.
There are several areas in San Diego that run daily offering long-range, ½ day, ¾ day and twilight trips. As you know, fishing can be seasonal depending on the time of year, water temperature and the bite. Spring and summer months are absolutely excellent for topwater fishing out of San Diego and Mexico. During these months the surge of warm water from Baja California moves up the coast through San Diego. Yes, folks you better believe it! Open bites!
What you can expect to catch depends on your flavor of fishing, long-range trips to Mexico, the Banks or Coronado Islands during summer and late spring months. Your bite will consist of yellowfin tuna, skipjack, dorado, yellowtail, bigeye, and many more. It should be noted that El Nino has hit the Western Pacific. The waters are warmer year-round, its pushing all bites north from Mexico into San Diego costal waters. Also, there has been a significant increase in marlin hook-ups, that’s great news!
Local trips off the coast of San Diego are also quite excellent. Most ½ day, ¾ day and twilight trips are to Pt. Loma off the point, Coronado Island, and the La Jolla kelp beds. A variety of top and bottom fish are expected here. Your catch will consist of yellowtail, barracuda, bonita, calico bass, sand bass steep head, sculpin white seabass and of course mackerel.
Lake (fresh water) fishing
Not only is San Diego great for ocean fishing, but also has an excellent reputation for its lakes, particularly its largemouth bass fishing. It must be noted that all lakes listed in the Highlights Handbook are the best bass lakes San Diego has to offer. These quality lake are also great fishing for channel cat fish, trout and blue gill.
All lakes listed in our handbook are within San Diego county. From the coast or downtown area the lakes are approximately 45 minutes of travel time.
If planning a freshwater trip to any of San Diego’s local lakes you will need a fishing lie and day permit. These are very reasonably priced and are available at the lakes. Boat launches are available at all lakes we suggest a two-hour start before dawn. The lines for launch can be long due to the quality of fishing at the lakes listed.
Also, available at the lakes are motor and rowboat rental. Note most of our lakes listed are large we do recommend motorboat rental. Fortunately, San Diego has great weather but can sneak up on you on the lakes. Sun screen, hats, and plenty of water should be a priority when planning your day.
These lakes have been recommended in our Handbook because they are the best not just locally, but in the entire Southern California region. For the avid bass fisherman, like myself, there are certain criteria that are involved when bass fishing. These important aspects that need to be considered are the time of year (very important), water temperature, murky or clear water, rocks, paddies, depth of water, and available live bait in the lake.
If planning to use live bait, shad and worms are the only way. I got my best results using plastic worms, 6″-8″ , motor oil, black or brown. Spinnerbaits have also come through for me.
It will be up to the lake as much as the bass for a good day, but the lakes listed are my recommendation. Have a great trip regardless of which lake you pick, they are all challenging.