Free Fishing in California - California Pier Fishing


Free fishing in California on public piers is a sport that you'll easily be hooked on. We went out and asked people why they fish from California piers, and most say it's a free, fun activity full of challenge and surprises.  Some parents start their kids fishing as toddlers, believe it or not. And the kids find that spending time with mom, dad, grandma and grandpa is probably the best experience a kid can have in these busy times. Become skilled at young ages, kids even have strong opinions about where the best pier fishing is.


Not only are is pier fishing free in California, children under the age of 16 generally do not need a fishing license to fish from lakes and in the ocean directly.  Over the age of 16, anglers do require a license to fish if they are standing on a shoreline, riding in a boat, casting line from a jetty not considered a public pier, etc. See photos and information for California piers.


Additionally, the State of California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) offers two free fishing days per year to lure non-anglers into a sport they can become hooked on and enjoy for a lifetime of great recreational activity. By the numbers, fishing is one of the top sports in the USA, if not #1. Fishing is recreational, fun, relaxing and offers the benefit of providing a food source.


It's always wise to check about the quality of local fish by reading signs posted about fish warnings and searching the DFG website for updates on recommendations about which fish to avoid in their fish consumption guideline pages that they routinely post and update. 


Fishing at public piers is a cheap sport if you want to get started with a pole rental and some bait. Many piers and nearby concessions sell or rent equipment at affordable rates costing a lot less than rentals for sports such as surfing. Below are California fishing piers where you can cast a line and not be required to purchase a fishing license. For licenses, 1-day, several day and annual fishing licenses are sold at sporting goods stores and places such as KMart and WalMart.


Ask the Department of Fish & Game - Great advice on fishing matters



Free Pier Fishing city
Antioch Bridge Pier (Antioch Oakley Regional Shoreline Pier) Antioch
Avalon Green Pier Avalon, Catalina Island
Avila Beach Pier Avila Beach
B Street Pier Crescent City
Belmont Pier fishing Belmont Shore
Burton Chase Fishing Platform Marina del Rey
Capitola Wharf Capitola
Cayucos Pier Cayucos
Cement Pier Seacliff State Beach
Crystal Pier San Diego's Pacific Beach
Dana Harbor Pier Dana Point
Del Norte St. Pier Eureka
Ferry Landing Pier Coronado
Gaviota Pier Gaviota
Goleta Pier Goleta
Harford Pier Port San Luis
Hermosa Beach Pier Hermosa Beach
Huntington Beach Pier fishing Huntington Beach
Imperial Beach Pier Imperial Beach
Malibu Pier Malibu
Manhattan Beach Pier Manhattan Beach
Morro Bay Wharf Morro Bay
Newport Beach Jetty Newport Beach
Newport Beach Pier Newport Beach
Ocean Beach Pier Ocean Beach
Oceanside Pier Oceanside
Pismo Beach Pier Pismo Beach
Port Hueneme Pier Port Hueneme
Redondo Beach Pier Redondo Beach
San Clemente Pier | pier fishing video San Clemente
San Francisco Municipal Pier San Francisco
San Pedro Pier San Pedro
San Simeon Pier San Simeon
Santa Cruz Wharf Santa Cruz
Santa Monica Pier Santa Monica
Sausalito Public Pier Sausalito
Seacliff Pier / Cement Ship Seacliff State Beach
Seal Beach Pier Seal Beach
Stearn's Wharf - Santa Barbara Santa Barbara
Vallejo Pier Vallejo
Venice Pier Venice


HP = Handicapped Parking; HR = Handicapped Restrooms
Antioch Pier, San Joaquin River - Catfish, striped bass, Posted
Avila Pier, HP - Mackerel, white croaker, surfperch
Balboa Pier, HR - Surfperch, corbina, jacksmelt, bonito
Berkeley Fishing Pier fishing, HP - Staghorn sculpin, surfperch, jacksmelt
Brisbane Fishing Pier, HP, HR - Staghorn, sculpin, Surfperch
Cabrillo Fishing Pier, HP- White croaker, Pacific mackerel
California Aqueduct, Hwy 198 -  striped bass
California Aqueduct—Avenal Cutoff -  striped bass
California Aqueduct—Kettleman City -  striped bass
Capitola Wharf, HP - Perch, mackerel, jacksmelt
Cayucos Pier, HP - Pacific mackerel, white croaker, jacksmelt
Chula Vista, "J" Street Marina, HP, HR -Smelt, perch, guitarfish, croaker
Dana Point Pier, HP, HR - Surfperch, corbina, jacksmelt, bonito
Embarcadero Fishing Pier (5th Ave, SD), HP; HR  - Smelt,  bass, croaker, halibut
F.D. Roosevelt Fishing Pier, HR
Fort Point Fishing Pier, HR - Staghorn sculpin, Surfperch
Half Moon Bay (Johnson's Pier), HP; HR - Surfperch, flounder, kingfish
Gaviota Pier, HP; HR - Surfperch, corbina, jacksmelt, bonito, mackerel
Goleta Pier, HP; HR - Surfperch, corbina, jacksmelt, mackerel
Huntington Beach Pier, HR - corbina, mackerel
Imperial Beach Pier, HP - mackerel, halibut, bass, croakers
Jenner Visitor Center - Steelhead, coho, topsmelt, striped bass
Los Banos Wildlife Area - Catfish, carp, crappie, bass
Malibu Pier, HP - Surfperch, corbina, jacksmelt, bonito, mackerel
Manhattan Pier, HP - corbina, jacksmelt, bonito, mackerel
Martinez Fishing Pier, HP
Monterey Wharf #2, HP - Mackerel, bonito, sanddabs, jacksmelt
Newport Pier, HP; HR - corbina, jacksmelt, bonito mackerel
North T-Pier, HR - Jacksmelt, Pacific mackerel, surfperch
Ocean Beach Fishing Pier, HR -  topsmelt, mackerel, bass
Oceanside Harbor, HP - Smelt, perch, guitarfish
Oyster Pt. Fishing Pier, HR - Surfperch
Pacifica Fishing Pier, HP - White croaker, surfperch
Paradise Beach Fishing Pier, HP, HR - Surfperch, Staghorn sculpin
Pismo Beach Pier, HP, HR - Mackerel, jacksmelt, perch
Port Hueneme Pier, HP; HR - corbina, jacksmelt, bonito, mackerel
Port San Luis Pier, HP, HR -   perch, mackerel, white croaker, jacksmelt
Pt. Benicia Fishing Pier - Flounder, bullhead
Pt. Pinole Fishing Pier, HP, HR - Staghorn sculpin, surfperch
Redondo Beach Fishing Pier - Silversides, jacksmelt, halibut
San Clemente Pier, HP; HR -Croaker, topsmelt, mackerel
San Leandro Fishing Platform - Staghorn sculpin
San Simeon Pier - Surfperch, jacksmelt, white croaker
Santa Cruz Wharf, HP; HR - Pacific mackerel, jacksmelt, sculpin, perch
Santa Monica Pier, HP - corbina, jacksmelt, bonito, mackerel
Seacliff Wharf and Cement Boat, HP; HR - Perch, jacksmelt, mackerel, sculpin
Seal Beach Pier, HP - California halibut, yellowfin croaker
South T-Pier - Pacific mackerel, surfperch, jacksmelt
Venice Fishing Pier, HP - mackerel, halibut
Ventura Pier, HP; HR - corbina, jacksmelt, bonito, mackerel

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