Fishing California

Seriously, where else can you go to get the diversity that the state of California has when it comes to fishing? NOWHERE!!!  

Think about it this way, California has close to 164,000 square miles of land within its borders of the US, making it the 3rd largest state (only behind Alaska and Texas). With a state of that size, California has a near endless supply of places to go fishing inland, or in freshwater bodies of water. In fact, California has over 3,000 named lakes and reservoirs – most of which having access to fish in. California freshwater, you can fish for trout, bass, catfish, etc. The list is too long to list here. It’s truly amazing for one state.

But, as amazing as California is for freshwater places to go fishing, what makes California even more special is where it is located on the west coast. Talk about a gold mine. The saltwater fisheries that anglers have access to in California are some of the best in the best in the world. San Diego, near the Mexico border, you can go after trophy-class Bluefin Tina, Yellowfin Tuna, Yellowtail, Dorado (Mahi-Mahi) and so many more. Further north in Los Angeles, you can take trips out to Santa Catalina Island for Yellowtail, Calico Bass, White Seabass, Halibut, and more. Even further north, you can catch sharks, Halibut, Bass, Sturgeon and salmon in the San Francisco Bay area.

So, whether you are wanting to fish inland (freshwater) for trout and bass or in the ocean for tuna and Yellowtail, California is an easy choice to make as your next fishing adventure.

For a list of licenses, fees and where to buy, see our California Fishing License page.

The locations below are listed alphabetically and just a sampling of the many places to go fishing and some of the species you can catch in California. 

Freshwater Places To Go Fishing In California

Big Bear Lake: Big Bear Lake has great trout fishing year-round. The best fishing spots on Big Bear Lake are the areas that make up the “Trout Triangle” on the west side of the lake.  “The Triangle” is basically the waters along the south shore of the lake from about Gilner Point. However, if you’re more into bass fishing, then most any weedy area anywhere along the North Shore is good and on the South Shore you will need a boat to get into the hidden coves and best bass spots. Boulder Bay Park has a fishing dock and is great place for families to play and fish from the shore.

Popular Species To Catch: Rainbow Trout, Largemouth Bass, Crappie, Bluegill, Channel Catfish, Carp

June Lake: June Lake is located in the High Sierra and is the home of some of the best rainbow trout, cutthroat trout and bib Brown trout fishing in all of California. Due to California’s great location and climate, anglers can fish June Lake year-round and is great for family vacations.

Popular Species To Catch: Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout, Brooke Trout, Golden Trout, Perch, Owens Sucker

Lake Crowley: Crowley Lake is home to some of the largest trout in all of the USA. The lake is about 12 miles long and roughly 5,000 acres in size, making it a great place to find your own spot to catch a trout of a lifetime! It has been proven that trout in Crowley lake can grow as fast as  6 – 9 inches per year!!! A unique aspect of the fishery at Crowley Lake – 6 months out of the year are essentially catch-and-release only. No wonder the trout fishing is great.

Popular Species To Catch: Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout, Brooke Trout, Golden Trout, Perch, Smallmouth Bass

Lake Isabella: Lake Isabella is 11,000 acres, it is one of the larger reservoirs in California. 11,200 surface acres and 38 miles of shoreline at capacity. It sets at an elevation of 2,650 feet. The lake is open year round. There are several boat launches that are free however a boat safetey permit must be obtained at the park office. Minimum boat length – 11 feet. 

Popular Species To Catch: Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout, Kokanee Salmon, Bluegill, Crappie, Catfish

Saltwater Places To Go Fishing In California

Catalina Island

Popular Species To Catch: Yellowtail, White Seabass, Calico Bass, Marlin, Halibut, Tuna, Perch, Rockfish, Lobster

San Diego

Popular Species To Catch: Yellowtail, Bluefin Tuna, Yellowfin Tuna, Halibut, Calico Bass, Dorado (Mahi-Mahi), Marlin, Sand Bass, Shark, White Seabass, Bonito, Barracuda, Wahoo

To see the full list of California fishing licenses and prices, please visit our California Fishing License page.

Many more locations to come. If you have any favorite spots or bodies of water that you think should definitely be on this page, please send us a note. 

Also, if you are a private club or guide service that would like to be featured on any “Places To Fish” page, or other page within the StartFishingToday™ website, let us know.

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