Saltwater Fishing Santa Monica California

Image of Santa Monica Beach with stunning cliffs, homes, and palm trees against a backdrop of clear blue skies. The perfect, relaxing setting for an afternoon of saltwater fishing.
Shaman Mountain is reader-supported. We may earn a small commission on certain links, at no additional cost to you. Learn more.

Welcome to the angler’s paradise of Santa Monica, California, where the rhythmic waves of the Pacific Ocean invite fishing enthusiasts to embark on an unforgettable saltwater fishing experience. Nestled along the stunning coastline of Southern California, Santa Monica boasts a rich marine ecosystem, teeming with a diverse array of fish species. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a novice eager to cast your line into the deep blue, Santa Monica offers a bounty of fishing opportunities against the backdrop of sun-kissed beaches and breathtaking ocean views. Join us as we explore the saltwater fishing scene in Santa Monica, where the thrill of the catch meets the beauty of the Pacific.

Best Saltwater Fishing Spots in Santa Monica California

Santa Monica California has some great saltwater fishing spots to explore. Here are a few of the best:

  1. Santa Monica Pier: This historic pier offers excellent saltwater fishing opportunities for a variety of fish species, including mackerel, halibut, and perch.
  2. Malibu Pier: Located just a short drive up the coast from Santa Monica, the Malibu Pier is another great spot for saltwater fishing. You can catch a range of fish here, including bass, halibut, and yellowtail.
  3. Marina del Rey: This large marina is home to a variety of fish species, including bass, halibut, and barracuda. You can fish from the shore or rent a boat and explore the surrounding waters.
  4. Venice Beach: This popular beach is also a great spot for saltwater fishing. You can catch a variety of fish species here, including surfperch, croaker, and halibut.
  5. Redondo Beach Pier: Just south of Santa Monica, the Redondo Beach Pier is another great spot for saltwater fishing. You can catch a variety of fish here, including mackerel, bass, and halibut.

Fishing the Surf at Santa Monica Beach

Types of Saltwater Fish in Santa Monica California

There are many different types of saltwater fish that can be found in the waters around Santa Monica California. Here are some of the most common:

  1. Halibut: Halibut are a popular game fish that can be found in the sandy bottoms and kelp beds off the coast of Santa Monica. They can grow up to several feet in length and are prized for their firm, white flesh.
  2. Yellowtail: Yellowtail are a highly prized game fish that are known for their strong fighting ability. They are typically caught offshore in deeper waters and can weigh up to 40 pounds or more.
  3. Barracuda: Barracuda are a common sight in the waters around Santa Monica, and are known for their long, slender bodies and sharp teeth. They are a popular game fish and can grow up to several feet in length.
  4. Calico bass: Calico bass, also known as kelp bass, are a popular game fish that are found in the kelp beds off the coast of Santa Monica. They can be caught using a variety of different lures and techniques.
  5. Mackerel: Mackerel are a common baitfish in the waters around Santa Monica, and are often used as bait for larger game fish like yellowtail and barracuda. They can also be caught for sport using small lures and bait.

Best Time of Year for Saltwater Fishing in Santa Monica California

The best time of year for saltwater fishing in Santa Monica California depends on the type of fish you’re targeting. Generally speaking, the spring and summer months tend to be the most productive for fishing in this area. Here are some of the best times of year to target specific fish species:

  1. Halibut: The best time to catch halibut in Santa Monica is usually from March through October. These fish tend to move closer to shore during this time, making them more accessible to anglers.
  2. Yellowtail: Yellowtail fishing is best during the warmer months, from June through October. These fish are typically found in deeper offshore waters and can be caught using a variety of techniques, including trolling and live bait fishing.
  3. Barracuda: Barracuda can be caught year-round in Santa Monica, but tend to be more active during the summer months. They are often caught using artificial lures and jigs.
  4. Calico bass: Calico bass fishing is best during the spring and summer months, from April through August. These fish are typically found in the kelp beds off the coast of Santa Monica.
  5. Mackerel: Mackerel can be caught year-round in Santa Monica, but tend to be more abundant during the summer months. They are often used as bait for larger game fish like yellowtail and barracuda.

Santa Monica Bay – Artificial Reefs – Trigger Fish

Best Bait for Saltwater Fishing in Santa Monica California

The best bait for saltwater fishing in Santa Monica California will depend on the type of fish you are targeting. Here are some popular bait options for different species of fish:

  1. Halibut: Live anchovies or sardines are a popular bait choice for halibut. Other effective options include squid, octopus, and soft plastics designed to imitate baitfish.
  2. Yellowtail: Live baitfish, such as mackerel or sardines, are a popular choice for yellowtail. Other effective options include jigs and swimbaits.
  3. Barracuda: Barracuda can be caught using a variety of artificial lures, such as swimbaits, jigs, and topwater plugs. Live baitfish, such as sardines, can also be effective.
  4. Calico bass: Plastic swimbaits and jerkbaits designed to imitate baitfish are a popular choice for calico bass. Live baitfish, such as anchovies, can also be effective.
  5. Mackerel: Small pieces of cut bait, such as anchovies or sardines, can be used to target mackerel. Jigs and small lures can also be effective.

It’s always a good idea to do some research on the specific species of fish you are targeting and their feeding habits before selecting your bait.

Recommended Gear for Saltwater Fishing in Santa Monica California

Here are some recommended gear options for saltwater fishing in Santa Monica California:

  1. Rod and reel: A medium-heavy or heavy action spinning or conventional rod and reel combo is recommended for most saltwater fishing in Santa Monica. Look for a rod with a length between 6 and 8 feet and a reel with a strong drag system.
  2. Fishing line: Braided line is popular for saltwater fishing in Santa Monica because of its strength and sensitivity. Look for a line with a test weight appropriate for the fish species you are targeting.
  3. Terminal tackle: Depending on the fish species you are targeting, you may need hooks, swivels, sinkers, and other terminal tackle. Be sure to choose the appropriate size and weight for the fish you are targeting.
  4. Lures and baits: As mentioned before, the type of bait and lures you use will depend on the fish species you are targeting. It’s always a good idea to have a variety of options in your tackle box, including live bait, plastic lures, and metal jigs.
  5. Safety gear: When fishing in the ocean, it’s important to prioritize safety. Be sure to wear a life jacket, bring sunscreen and a hat to protect yourself from the sun, and bring a first aid kit.
  6. Other essentials: Don’t forget to bring a cooler with ice to keep your catch fresh, as well as snacks, water, and other essential gear like pliers, a knife, and a fishing net.

Santa Monica, California Pier Fishing

Best Saltwater Fishing Charters in Santa Monica California

There are several great saltwater fishing charters in Santa Monica California. Here are a few highly rated options:

  1. Spitfire Sportfishing: Spitfire Sportfishing offers half-day and full-day fishing charters for up to six passengers. They target a variety of species, including halibut, yellowtail, and white seabass.
  2. Redondo Beach Sportfishing: Redondo Beach Sportfishing offers both private and open-party fishing charters for up to six passengers. They target a variety of species, including barracuda, rockfish, and tuna.
  3. New Del Mar Sportfishing: New Del Mar Sportfishing offers half-day and full-day fishing charters for up to 45 passengers. They target a variety of species, including halibut, yellowtail, and white seabass.
  4. Marina Del Rey Sportfishing: Marina Del Rey Sportfishing offers both private and open-party fishing charters for up to six passengers. They target a variety of species, including calico bass, rockfish, and yellowtail.
  5. Island Packers: Island Packers offers full-day and multi-day fishing charters to the Channel Islands, which are known for their excellent fishing opportunities. They target a variety of species, including yellowtail, white seabass, and rockfish.

Be sure to do some research on the specific charter and captain before booking to ensure they have experience fishing for the species you’re interested in targeting.

Fishing Regulations in Santa Monica California

Here are some fishing regulations to keep in mind when fishing in Santa Monica California:

  1. Fishing license: A valid California fishing license is required for all anglers over the age of 16. Licenses can be purchased online or at a local sporting goods store.
  2. Size and bag limits: There are specific size and bag limits for different species of fish in Santa Monica California. For example, the minimum size for halibut is 22 inches and the bag limit is two fish per day. Be sure to check the California Department of Fish and Wildlife website for the most up-to-date regulations.
  3. Protected species: There are several protected species of fish and marine life in Santa Monica California, including sea turtles, sea lions, and certain species of sharks. These species must be released immediately if caught.
  4. Fishing gear: Certain types of fishing gear, such as gill nets and traps, are not allowed in certain areas in Santa Monica California. Be sure to check local regulations before using any type of fishing gear.
  5. Marine protected areas: There are several marine protected areas in Santa Monica California where fishing is restricted or prohibited. Be sure to check local regulations before fishing in these areas.

It’s important to follow all fishing regulations in order to ensure the sustainability of fish populations and protect the marine environment.

53 Pound White Seabass Fishing in Santa Monica Bay

Where to Stay When Saltwater Fishing in Santa Monica California

There are many accommodation options to choose from when planning a saltwater fishing trip to Santa Monica California. Here are a few options to consider:

  1. Shore Hotel: The Shore Hotel is a boutique hotel located just steps from the beach in Santa Monica. It offers ocean view rooms, an outdoor pool, and a fitness center.
  2. Hotel Casa Del Mar: The Hotel Casa Del Mar is a luxury hotel located right on the beach in Santa Monica. It offers ocean view rooms, a rooftop terrace, and a spa.
  3. Ocean View Hotel: The Ocean View Hotel is a budget-friendly option located just two blocks from the beach in Santa Monica. It offers basic rooms, free Wi-Fi, and a complimentary continental breakfast.
  4. Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel: The Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel is a family-friendly hotel located on the beach in Santa Monica. It offers ocean view rooms, a heated outdoor pool, and a fitness center.
  5. The Huntley Hotel: The Huntley Hotel is a luxury hotel located a block from the beach in Santa Monica. It offers ocean view rooms, a rooftop bar, and a restaurant.

These are just a few of the many accommodation options available in Santa Monica California. Be sure to book early, especially during peak fishing season, to ensure availability.

Expert Tips and Tricks for Successful Saltwater Fishing in Santa Monica California

Here are some expert tips and tricks for successful saltwater fishing in Santa Monica California:

  1. Use live bait: Live bait, such as anchovies or squid, can be highly effective when fishing in Santa Monica California. Make sure to keep your bait fresh and lively by changing it frequently.
  2. Check the tides: The tides can have a big impact on fishing success. In general, the best time to fish is during a rising tide. You can check the tide charts online or through a local fishing report.
  3. Use the right gear: Make sure you have the right gear for the type of fish you’re targeting. This includes the right size and weight of fishing line, hooks, and lures.
  4. Know the structure: Understanding the underwater structure can help you find the best fishing spots. Look for areas with drop-offs, rock formations, or kelp beds, as these can be hotspots for fish.
  5. Be patient: Fishing can require a lot of patience. Don’t be afraid to spend time in one spot or try different techniques to see what works best.
  6. Stay safe: Always wear a life jacket and be aware of your surroundings when fishing in Santa Monica California. It’s also important to stay up-to-date on any weather or ocean conditions that could impact your safety.

By following these tips and tricks, you can increase your chances of having a successful saltwater fishing trip in Santa Monica California.

Conclusion

Santa Monica California offers a great saltwater fishing experience with its abundant variety of fish species, beautiful ocean views, and a range of accommodation options. To make the most of your saltwater fishing trip in Santa Monica California, be sure to follow all fishing regulations, use the right gear and bait, and stay safe on the water. By taking the time to research the best fishing spots and techniques, you can increase your chances of catching a prized fish and creating memories that will last a lifetime.

Related Posts:

Beach park in Cape Coral FL

Saltwater Fishing Cape Coral Florida

If you’re a saltwater fishing enthusiast, then Cape Coral, Florida should be on your list of must-visit destinations. This beautiful city is known for its

Clear waters of Lake Tahoe California. Snow capped mountains in the background

Fishing Lakes in California

Prepare to be captivated by the allure of California’s breathtaking lakes, where fishing enthusiasts can indulge their passion. Whether you’re an avid angler seeking the

California beach cove on a sunny day.

Shark Fishing In California

California is known for its beautiful coastline and diverse marine life, including a variety of shark species. Shark fishing in California can provide an exhilarating