Best Places to Fish in California

California is a scenic state, full of mountains, lakes and rivers – and the Pacific coastline! There are areas in the state that are an anglers dream, and we are going to write about the best places you can fish.

There’s a huge variety of fish that reside in California, in both freshwater and saltwater areas.

The Golden Trout was designated the official Californian state fish in 1947, as it’s native to California.

It’s only found in highly elevated areas due to the colder climates.

The official state marine fish of California now is the Garibaldi, which is found in more shallow waters off the coast.



Best Places to Fish in California
Chapter 1

The Delta

The Delta has been described as an anglers paradise by countless fishing enthusiasts. It’s a fishing hotspot that should be on every Fishermans list!

There are plenty of fishing holes, both secluded and out in the open, where you can have a relaxing day catching fish.

It’s always best to check a map to see the best or most convenient fishing spot in The Delta for you.

The Delta

Best Places to Fish in California: Location 1

The Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta is located in Northern California. It’s formed at the western edge of the Central Valley. California’s two largest rivers come together to make the Delta – the north-flowing San Joaquin and the south-flowing Sacramento.

The California Delta is not only a perfect place for fishing, but it hosts plenty of festivals and events – there’s something for everybody.

There are fishing derbies in the winter and spring, so you can show off your angling skills and hopefully win a prize.

The Delta also features two public piers, located in Antioch. There are even marinas where you can rent small boats, which is perfect if you like to get away from the land.

With over 1000 miles of water to fish from, you’re certain to catch some fish worth bragging about.

Here’s a list of some top fishing spots you can go to in the CA Delta.

  • Antioch Pier
  • Contra Loma Regional Park
  • New Anchor Marina
  • Clifton Court Forebay
  • Park Delta Bay
  • Pittsburg Marina
  • Oak Grove Regional Park
  • West Sacramento Riverfront Promenade
  • Buckley Cove Park
  • Garcia Bend Park\Discovery Park
  • The River (Ryde)
  • Tiscornia Park
Types of Fish You Can Catch

There’s a huge variety of fish in the San Joaquin Delta. If you want to go for stripers, the optimal time to catch them is in the springtime through to the fall.

Striped bass catches regularly weigh in between 10 and 20 pounds – so hopefully you’ll land a catch to be proud of.

  • Bluegill
  • Smallmouth
  • Largemouth
  • Striped Bass
  • Crappie
  • Redear Sunfish
  • Channel Catfish
  • Bullhead Catfish
  • Salmon
  • Shad
  • Steelhead
  • Sturgeon
Chapter 2

Lake Cuyamaca

Good things come in small packages, and this is certainly the case with this 110-acre reservoir in the Cuyamaca Mountains.

The scenic location is perfect for fishing and offers a lot more activities too.

You can fish via boat, canoe/kayak, or there are land-based fishing areas, as well as areas that you can fly fish.


Lake Cuyamaca

Location 2

The lake is around an hour’s drive from San Diego, located in the Cuyamaca Mountains.

After a long day of fishing, you can camp at the lakefront. Tent camping is available on the north shore of the lake. If you’re wanting a larger campsite, there’s one Cuyamaca State Park which offers RV hookups.

There are also stores in the area, where you can purchase tackle, drinks, and snacks.

A restaurant overlooks the lake on the western shore, so if you’re unlucky catching a nice fish for dinner, you can always eat at the restaurant.

The conditions here are slightly colder, as it’s situated at a high elevation of 4,620 feet. Due to these colder temperatures, you won’t find many huge fish in this area.


Make sure you bring your fishing license with you! You can purchase a daily fishing permit for $10 or less depending on your age.

Private boats must be no longer than ten feet to launch, and if you are on the boat, you must follow a no-wake speed.

Kayaks and canoes are only allowed in the summer months, and if you use float tubes, you can only use them during the last three hours of weekends and bank holidays.

It’s always best to check with the local authorities before you plan your trip to see if there are any new restrictions in place.

The lake opens at 6 am every day, so you can get there nice and early for a day of fishing.

Types of Fish You Can Catch

Lake Cuyamaca is stocked with over 38,000lbs of trout annually, making it a perfect location for sport fishing. It’s the only San Diego lake that is able to stock trout all year long, so it is certainly a place to go for an off-season fishing trip.

A lot of the bass that reside here can weigh between 7-11lb. If you’re after big largemouth bass, you may be disappointed as they don’t grow too large there due to the colder conditions.
Here’s a list of other species you can find in the lake:

  • Florida Bass
  • Rainbow Trout
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Channel Catfish
  • Crappie (black and white)
  • Bluegill
  • Sturgeon