As your saltwater advocates, one of our main goals is to get more people fishing. We also want you to be more successful at it. So we’ve put together a resource page just for you! Below you will find pictures, videos, tips and techniques for fishing successfully in Southern California.
Fishing On A Private Boat
Fishing on your own boat, or a friend’s boat, involves a lot of work, but can be super rewarding and easy. Whether you’re fishing on a skiff or on a luxurious yacht, always take some time to familiarize yourself with the vessel and know where all of the safety equipment is located in case of an emergency.
Get Your Vessel (Or Your Buddy’s) Inspected
Before setting out on a trip, make sure you make all of your necessary checks and inspections. The United States Coast Guard Auxiliary is a great resource for you as a boat owner as they can come out to your boat for a voluntary inspection. The good thing about doing this ahead of time is that once inspected, your vessel does not require another once for a full year (even if you are boarded while out at sea).
Check (And Keep Checking) The Weather Forecast
A few days before going out, and even while you are out, you always want to check the weather forecast for your local area. Weather is unpredictable, and could change in minutes depending on the time of the year. Here are a few helpful sites that we always use:
Know Where To (And Where Not To) Fish
Success is always on our minds while fishing and even before we go out, we often seek out intel from those who have been recently (even if we don’t admit that we do). Some can research, others are lucky enough to have eyes and ears on the grounds the day before. But we always want to get on top of fish. Fishdope.com is a fantastic resource to gather reliable information from fellow fishermen each and every day. Another source that is particularly useful is Terrafin.com , which will give you accurate water temperatures when you need them the most.
Where not to fish is just as important as where to fish. Nobody wants to go driving through deserts and places where the fish were yesterday or the day before, which is why the links above are super helpful. But also, some areas might be closed to fishing altogether. Some of those are called Marine Protected Areas, or MPAs, which are defined by the California Department of Fish & Wildlife. Make sure to avoid fishing in these areas as the fines can be quite costly for everyone involved. There are fantastic resources that are available to all anglers that show exactly where MPAs are located.
Common Private Boat Rigging
There are too many combinations of methods and areas to go over individually, but fishing is really all about experimentation. Certain guys have particular ways, others are eager to learn different ways to be successful while fishing. Regardless of whatever method or area that you fish, it all doesn’t matter until you get out and go fish! Fishing is really enjoyable with others, so make sure you bring a friend or a buddy with you. It also makes for a great family activity, regardless of age differences or interests.
Have Success While Fishing
We have put together a few different playlists on our YouTube Channel to show you different tricks, techniques and methods for catching all kinds of species. We’re always constantly updating the playlist and are saving videos for YOU to enjoy. So make sure you subscribe to our channel!
Fishing On A Sport Boat
Southern California has a lot to offer when it comes to sport boats, and we truly can say that we have the best fleet in the world. Trips range from a 1/2 day, all the way to the 20-Day long range trips. Rental gear is always available at each of the landings or wherever you are planning to leave from.
Before you leave, make sure you purchase a California Fishing License from the California Department of Fish & Wildlife. It’s best to purchase these ahead of time to avoid long lines at the Landings, but they are available at every landing, tackle store, or sporting goods stores. But make sure they are an authorized dealer for CDFW.
Choose Your Landing And Boat
Being in California, we have access to the best charter fleet in sportfishing up and down the coast. Each landing has their very own selection of boats you can board, and a variety of trips that are available each day. Each landing is listed below by region:
Ventura Sportfishing – Ventura Harbor
Los Angeles / Long Beach
Prepare Before Stepping On The Boat
There are plenty of things to check off of your list before even stepping foot on a sport boat. After obtaining a license and booking your reservation, you always want to be prepared and bring the appropriate tackle that you will need while fishing. Calling ahead to your landing a few days before is always a good idea to find out what fish they’ve been catching, what size they are, and what they suggest to bring with you.
Make sure to check out our fishing playlists on our YouTube Channel for all of the latest techniques. We also have how-to videos for using artificial lures, picking out live bait, tying important knots, and so much more. We are constantly updating out playlists, so make sure to subscribe to our channel to receive all of the latest updates.