fall & Winter Fishing
A Guide to San Diego Winter Salt Water Sport Fishing
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winter time bite!
San Diego, California
The tuna fishing season is almost over. And I say that with a laugh because my customers are still asking how far they would have to go to catch them. I tell them, “far” and “south”. To have a decent chance at Tuna right now, you would need to schedule a 2 or 3 day trip on one of our faster six-pack boats like the Easter B and head due south at best speed. Even that will soon be over.
However, there is a bright side… Rockfish season is in full swing, and there are still Yellowtail, White Seabass, not to mention Calico Bass, Sand Bass, and Halibut. The awesome thing is, you don’t have to go far or spend a lot of money to enjoy the local fishing just outside of Point Loma, Imperial Beach, and La Jolla. Our ½ day the and ¾ day and full day trips will absolutely put you on the fish, many times with each Angler catching limits or a really big fish.
In and around San Diego Bay, mexican waters, & local banks
Can you fish in the winter?
Find the Right Time to Go
Winter Fishing Advantages
Winter Fishing Tips and Tactics
OPEN PARTY SPORT FISHING
Dont have enough people to fill a six pack? No problem! We offer open party four and six pack charters where you can team up with other people to catch fish and SAVE MONEY.
Answer a few questions, no credit card required to sign up. Go Fish.
What kind of fish species can you catch during the winter fishing season?
Believe it or not, that is me. I caught this fish on the Little G in route to Cabo on a nine day trip. I was the helmsman every night for a nine hour shift. I still had the strength to wrestle this monster on the boat to land my first Marlin. It was a very memorable trip and I can PERSONALLY recommend the Little G, Multi Day Trips, into Mexican Waters. These trips run way later than the Socal Fishing season, and the further south you go, the more Marlin you will find. Dorado too. They seem to like to run together. In this video you see the nicest fish I ever caught.
Easy to catch, Almost a sure thing, The Best Taco Around!
Many of our winter trips will focus almost solely on rockfish, but even if we do you will still have a chance at bass, lingcod, and other species at the same spot. Usually, we will find the good rockfishing spots on areas of rock from 100 feet down or deeper. Usually, a two-hook setup is used, double the fun, double the catch. Just before and just after we drift over the rock patches, there is a sand bottom, and big Halibut tend to hunt here. Lingcod also share this spot too!
Somewhat difficult to hook one, but tend to be one of the larger winter fish.
What makes these fish difficult to catch is not that they are rare, it is that they are subtle and skittish on the bite. They can clean your hook in the blink of an eye without you knowing, unless you are paying attention. You only have a moment of opportunity to set the hook before these flatfish make off with your bait. However, if you do land one, you have dinner for four. My advice, keep your rod in your hand, and your line tight, wait patiently, and be ready for the bite.
Hardest fighting and ugliest fish award go to this mean-looking bottom dweller. When this fish picks up your bait, you will instantly know it. Putting up a good fight is what they do, especially on the lighter tackle that we use during the winter and spring season. The meat of this fish can sometimes have a blue tint, but I can assure you that it is quite tasty. It is a strong fighting fish!
I can recommend several spots right off the top of my head. The Rockpile and the Coronado Islands in Mexico is year round two of the best places I know of to catch them. Passport required for these aforementioned trips. If you don't want to go into Mexico, the Nine Mile Bank also holds them and it is in U.S. Waters, no passport required. There are also a huge number of secretly guarded spots that are much closer.
Ask your crew for pointers on the hot setup, which may be live bait, or live squid if you can get it. Be patient, the fish is worth it. While you are down there, you will also be simultaneously fishing for many other species that have a hunger for the same bait.
Once you do catch one, be sure to check out its camouflage pattern that makes it such an effective deep water hunter, and a beautiful and unique game fish native to Socal.
Calico, Bay, Striped, and Sand Bass - If you get tired of fishing on the bottom, Bass Fishing is the answer. Grab a 10lb test rig and a shiny metal lure or plastic, and start casting. Fishing on the surface down to about 30 feet along the kelp forest is our go-to strategy. Be sure to try several different lures until you find the one they like that day. The secret here is to maximize your time by staying on the job of casting your bait out as many times as possible in the time allowed. Be sure to try several lures, and if no bite happens, try fly lining some live bait with the smallest BB lead you can find.
Whitefish are bottom fish that love squid. If you want to catch a whitefish, just put some squid on the bottom hook of a two hook rig and drop it down right in the same area as rockfish, rocky bottom structure deeper than 100 feet. These fish generally only weight a few pounds, but what they lack in size, they make up for in quantity. Also, this is a great tasting, and very easy to prepare fish that can provide a succulent dinner.
In the wintertime, a large majority of Yellowtail head south for the winter, but some stay. Generally, we catch them in all but the coldest months, along the kelp beds around La Jolla, and at the Coronado Islands in Mexico. Usually, you will catch them using a freeline sardine or anchovy and also occasionally on a crankbait. If you do hook into yellowtail on lighter tackle, be prepared to fight hard, as you will be hard-pressed to land this fish without using the drag to your full advantage.
One of the most challenging and rewarding fishing trips we offer. To catch White Seabass, first, you have to find them. There are only a few spots that I know of that can be said to hold a decent year-round population. Now keep in mind, everybody has there favorite spots, and its a matter of opinion, but I generally recommend Catalina Island. This island provides the most consistent bite other than Mexican waters. Farnsworth Bank and the backside of the island near Twin Harbors is my suggestion. Check out our multi-day trips to chase these beautiful fish.
Winter fishing is awesome! Get out on the water and enjoy the beautiful scenery, spend some quality time with your friends and family, and catch some fish!
At SanDiegoTunaFishing.com, all of our boats and Captain’s follow the letter of the law. Please arrive with your one-day or year-round saltwater stamped California Fishing License which you can obtain by clicking here.
To look over limit, size, and seasonal restrictions, please go here;
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If you need help picking out your next San Diego based sport fishing trip, let our operators assist you. We offer live chat as well as first-ring customer support by calling 619.508.7823. We are here to help you 24 hours a day. We can go over your departure date range, what kind of fishing you want to do, how many people you have, what you want to spend, and then help you decide you which boats are available, and guide you to choose the offshore charter that best meets your exact needs.
If you prefer to book online yourself, its fast and simple. Just go to the Sportfishing Fleet Page, pick a boat, and then click BOOK ONLINE. You can check availability, pricing, or place an online booking. Don't worry though, if you have questions, we are a call away.
Some things to remember, all prices do include rod rental, bait, fish cleaning, snacks, non alcoholic beverages, chips, coffee. For charters that are 10 hours or longer then one hot meal shall be provided. On overnight and multiday charters, 3 hot meals are provided per 24 hour period at sea. Customers are welcome to bring their own beer in an ice chest. We will provide you your fish at the end of the trip in ziplocks and you can put them in your cooler. If you are from out of state, let us know, and we will hook you up with Five Star or Sportsman's Seafood to get your catch shipped anywhere in the country on dry ice.
On all trips, customers are responsible for bringing a picture ID, Fishing License, and any alcoholic beverages. On trips into Mexico our Captain will assist you in purchasing the appropriate FHM VISA, BioBracelet, and Mexican fishing license that you might need. All trips into Mexican waters require each and every passenger on the vessel to have a booklet form passport that is valid. Charter s going into international waters *where the vessel is outside of the 12 mile mark of Mexican land* passports are not required.
On all trips, our captain and crew is at your service. We are always attempting to make sure you have a great time with us out on the water. If you ever have a question, please let us know. Any member of our staff can help you. Please remember to tip your crew. Thank you.
Age 15 and below
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San Diego and its surrounding waters are filled with many types of species, both large and small. If you are one person or 40, we have a boat for you. Both Open Party and Private Party sport fishing charters are available. If you have any questions, please give us a call or text.