Catalina Fishing - The Birthplace of Sport Fishing

Catalina Island is often called the birthplace of saltwater sport fishing. The island's sheltered coves, beaches, and underwater reefs combine to create one of the most incredible fish habitats in the world. Sardines, smelt and mackerel schools abound and attract larger sport fishing game like Yellowtail and Sea Bass. Catalina Fishing is a year round activity for independent sport fishers and guided Catalina Island fishing tours are available.

Many species of saltwater game fish frequent the island year-round including Calico Bass, White Sea Bass, Halibut, Bonito, Blue Perch, Sheephead, and Yellowtail, with the action heating up as the water warms into the summer months. Other migratory fish can also be fished in the waters surrounding Catalina Island including migrating Yellowtail, Barracuda (begin to become active in the Spring-Summer), and Dorado. Just a few miles offshore it is possible to take Yellowfin Tuna and Marlin. Summer months are generally the best for White Sea Bass (March through May), Barracuda and Yellowtail (Spring through Fall), but also in the winter months following the squid spawning, making Catalina truly an island sport fishing paradise.

fishing boat two harbors

Catalina Island fishing is great for anglers of all skill levels. Whether you are a first-timer or and experienced sport fisherman, it’s all right here. Beginners can catch feisty Calico Bass from the Green Pleasure pier right in the center of Avalon Bay, or snag a Mackerel or Sand Bass just by casting out from the mole. Renting a small skiff, visitors to the island can get just a bit offshore and within range of Halibut and even snaggle-toothed Barracuda. A Catalina fishing charter boat (shown above) to one of Catalina Island’s hidden coves or bays gets anglers right in the action, where Yellowtail and large Sea Bass come inshore after schools of Mackerel, Sardines and Smelt. Yellowtails in the 30lb range and Sea Bass in the 50lb range are not uncommon! Catalina Island waters are truly a playground for nearby San Diego sport fishing enthusiasts, as well as many other California sport fishing charters that depart from towns along the coast.

Catalina Ferry - Catalina Flyer

Catalina Island saltwater sport fishing enthusiasts have formed the Tuna Club, whose members adhere to strict set of guidelines regarding the sport fishing tackle and the target specific sport fishing game. There are deep sea fishing charters and Guides ready to help you fish for a bog game trophy fish departing right from Avalon. Every summer, huge Marlin are caught within a few miles of the Avalon Harbor. Chartering a Catalina fishing boat for groups of 5 or more is a great way to share expenses and increase chances of finding Albacore and Yellowfin Tuna during the Spring and Summer months.Catalina night fishing charters are available for adventurous fishermen who are after Mako Shark and Swordfish.

Conservation should be the number one agenda of all responsible fishermen. This means you should fish only what you can reasonably consume, leaving the California sport fishing grounds when you’ve caught your fill so there’s something left for other fisherman, and even yourself next time you return. It doesn’t take a genius to know what the adverse effects of overfishing are for the sport fishing industry, and more importantly, the entire planet.