California is one of the best locations to fish for a wide variety of fish from almost unlimited scenic inland and oceanfront areas.With ample places to go fishing in land for trout, California offers one of the most diverse trout populations in America, including coastal and native species not found in other locations. Anglers and other fishing enthusiasts can hone their skills in urban or wilderness fishing places and enjoy hiking, boating, camping and other outdoor activities while on a fishing trip.
Continue reading to learn more about the different fishing places in California and the types of fish you might expect to catch around the state.
Yosemite National Park
This legendary National Park in northern California offers spectacular fishing places in addition to its iconic mountains, rock formations and geysers. Its best locations to fish in the park’s streams and rivers are open from the last Saturday in April through November 15. Yosemite fishing places in lakes are open year-round. Despite its name, Mirror Lake is considered a stream and is therefore only open during fishing season.
The Merced River’s main fork is a good place to fish with your family as it offers fishing, rafting and swimming. However, this place to go fishing encourages catch-and-release on all fish, at all times. The lower reaches of the Merced, and other lower elevations in Yosemite are good places to fish for native species including Sacramento pikeminnow and hardhead. Bodies of water at higher Yosemite elevations are where to fish for stocked, non-native fish including bluegill, smallmouth and five trout species.
Southeast of Yosemite, any list of California’s best locations to fish includes the high alpine lakes, reservoirs, creeks and streams in the little town of Mammoth Lakes. These prime fishing places are only open during the season that runs from April through November, and Mammoth Lakes hosts many fishing derbies and festivals throughout the season. The Mammoth Lakes Basin is one of California’s good places to fish for stocked trout. It is where to go fishing if you want to enjoy stunning views and engage in other outdoor recreation opportunities at Twin Lakes, Horseshoe Lake, Lake Mary, Lake Mamie and Lake George. The Upper Owens River is one of the area’s good places to fish in a river. It is just minutes from Mammoth Lakes and offers big trout, some so large that they have been nicknamed “Sierra Steelhead.”
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Marina Del Rey
Marina Del Rey is one of the best locations to fish near Los Angeles, offering great saltwater fishing from pier or boat. Its dock and jetty places to go fishing appeal to anglers who want to spend a relaxing day waiting on halibut, sargo, smelt, croaker, perch, yellowfin and mackerel. You must have a license to fish at the north and south jetties, but no fishing license is required to cast your line from Venice Pier. If you are wondering where to go fishing in deeper waters, seasonal gamefish abound offshore and include halibut and yellowfin, as well as sand bass, white sea bass, calico bass and barracuda.
Golden Trout Creek
The Golden Trout Creek and the South Fork Kern River are good fly fishing places to land heritage and native species of trout. If you are wondering where to fish for CA golden trout, these central California rivers are among the only places to do so. The California golden trout is the state’s official freshwater fish and frequently called the most beautiful trout in the world due to its bright gold, red, orange and green markings. Anglers find all the waters of the Kern Plateau good places to go fishing, but should note that many are only accessible by trail. This is also one of the best locations to fish for Kern River rainbow trout, Little Kern golden trout, brook and brown trout.
Echo Park Lake
Anglers wondering where to fish near Los Angeles can find good fishing right in the middle of the city at Echo Park Lake. Beautifully renovated and landscaped, Echo Park’s shallow body of water warms up in the summer and is where to fish for well-stocked hatchery trout and catfish varieties. It is also a good place to fish for largemouth bass, carp and bluegill. This tranquil location is perfect for beginning anglers and offers public restrooms and a handicapped-access ramp to the shoreline. Echo Park Lake is one of the best locations to fish in the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s “Fishing in the City” program.
Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge
One of northern California’s great fishing places, the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge is one of six nationally-managed and owned wildlife refuges in the San Francisco Bay area. If you are an angler and a birdwatcher who prefers natural fishing places, this is an idyllic place to visit due to the abundance of white pelicans, eagles, hawks and ospreys. If you are wondering where to fish, cast your line from the public pier at the end of Marshlands Road in Fremont, or from your own kayak or canoe. Motorized boats are not permitted at national refuge fishing places due to sound pollution disturbing the wildlife. The refuge offers good places to fish for striped bass, rays, leopard sharks, white sturgeon and shiner surfperch. Fishing is permitted only in the bay and its tributaries.