Fiesta Island- A Closer Look

Fiesta Island entrance mission bay san diego

On June 15, 2021, one of my best friends and I took her two dogs to Fiesta Island over at Mission Bay Park. Though I have been visiting Fiesta Island for well over 30 years, today was the first time I entered the infamous leash-free dog park; and oh my goodness, this place is magical! Ironically, the next day, the California Coastal Commission formally decided that Fiesta Island Dog Park was to stay the same way that it has been for years-rustic and undeveloped. I had no idea this was up for a vote.

A bit more commentary on this subject later.

So as I said before, I have been coming here for years, but back in 2018, I did a photoshoot of the island. I was surprised at how special it is over here. Would you care to see what I saw?

Let’s also take a closer look at all of the things you can do and enjoy over at Fiesta Island. As a bonus, I will be including phone numbers and links to relevant websites about this area!

A Few Mission Bay and Fiesta Island Facts

mission bay map fiesta island san diego

button map fiesta island mission bay san diego

Phone Number– (619) 235-1169

Hours– 4:00 am to 10:00 pm

Click on the map below for a better idea.

—>Fiesta Island Map<—

#– Fiesta Island Dog Park is open 24 hours, seven days a week, but the island is closed to cars after 10:00 pm. You may enter, but you will have to park off the island and walk.

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Saltwater Fishing in San Diego

saltwater fishing san diego featured image

San Diego, otherwise known as “America’s Finest City,” boasts over 70 miles of coastline to explore! Are you a piscator? Or, in other words, do you like saltwater fishing? Do you prefer to fish from piers or jetties? From shore or out in the ocean? San Diego’s peak fishing season begins in April until November. Would you like to learn more about saltwater fishing in San Diego?

–>The Beaches of San Diego County<–

What makes San Diego extraordinary is that the coastline is so varied. There are miles of sandstone bluffs in North County San Diego (San Onofre, Carlsbad, Encinitas, Del Mar). While down in South County San Diego, sandy beaches rule (Pacific Beach, Mission Beach, Ocean Beach, Coronado, Imperial Beach.) San Diego has it all, whether you prefer to fish from the beach, jetty, pier, boat, or by a chartered vessel!

piscator definition mackerel fishing pole

A Piscator Page, You Say?

I thought it would be good to have a specific page on my website with all of the San Diego saltwater fishing information in one place. A piscator page!

So down below, I have compiled complete lists of all San Diego saltwater fishing piers, saltwater sportfishing (half-day/full-day) party and charter boats, boat launch ramps, lobster fishing spots, the 2022 grunion run schedule, a few fish lists, as well as several noted shore fishing locations.

As a bonus, I have also included all harbor and bay cruises offered out of Oceanside Harbor, Mission Bay, and San Diego Bay for those of you that have no desire to fish but still yearn to be on the water.

To experience San Diego to the fullest, you must get on the ocean, breathe in all the negative ions, and let the salt water spray on your face. Believe me; you will thank me later. Also, don’t forget to pack a sweatshirt as it sure can get chilly out on the water.

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2021 Grunion Run Schedule

grunion out water sandy beach sea foam

It is that time of year again! The grunion are here! If you recall, last year, we in California could not see the grunion last March and April, as we were not allowed anywhere near the water. Well, this year is different, and I, for one, am heading down this month to check them out in person. Below, I present the 2021 grunion and the updated 2022 grunion run schedule for Southern California.

What is a Grunion, and How Do They Run?

marcro grunion fish head close up
credit-Nathan Rupert-(Flickr)

The grunion (Leuresthes tenuis) are small silvery fish between 5 to 7 inches long that live about 3 to 4 years. Each year, between March and September, the grunion comes onto Southern California’s beaches to spawn during the Full and New Moons.

The female grunion catches a wave, digs a hole, and waits for males to touch her. Once touched, she will release her eggs, and the males will then cast their milt (sperm) on her body, which then flows down onto the eggs.

The whole process happens rather quickly, and up to eight males may fertilize each female. Interestingly, the female grunion may be out of the water for over five minutes! Once the male is done, he will catch a wave back into the ocean.

Each grunion run lasts for four consecutive days when the tide is at its highest and longest. The eggs are buried in the sand for two weeks until the next high tide arrives. When the larvae become agitated by the waves, they hatch and are taken back into the ocean by the tide.

April and May are peak spawning months, so only observation is allowed.

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California Spiny Lobster Season is Here!

California spiny lobster featured image

The California spiny lobster season is upon us! Historically the season opens the Saturday at 6 am before the first Wednesday in October, and this year, that fell on October 3rd and closes on March 17. Though I have never fished for lobster before, I know where they hang out in San Diego.

Down below, I have provided information on the California spiny lobster fishing regulations, a map on where not to look for lobsters (Marine Protected Areas), how to fish for lobsters; as well as, a few San Diego recreational lobster boat charters that are available only during this time of year. Also included is a brief overlook of the California spiny lobster life-cycle and a few interesting facts which will help you get a better idea about this elusive and revered West Coast invertebrate!

Let’s now take a look!

(Update for 2021- Recreational lobster fishing season opens at 6 am on October 2 and closes at 12 am on March 16th. Lobster cards are due back by April 30…more information down below)

West Coast vs. East Coast Lobsters

There are 40 different lobsters worldwide, with the California spiny lobster (Panulirus interruptus) being one of the biggest.  Affectionately referred to as ‘bugs,’ the California spiny lobster ranges from south of Point Conception to Magdalena Bay on the west coast of Baja California, Mexico.

California Spiny Lobster Scientific Name Blog Chart
California Spiny Lobster Scientific Classification

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Oceanside Harbor Boat Launch-A Closer Look

Oceanside Harbor Featured image boat trailer car

Southern California has been experiencing a terrible heatwave for the past week, so I decided to go to the coast for much-needed relief from the heat! My girls and I decided to head over to Oceanside Harbor Beach. While heading over to the restroom, I decided to look at the Oceanside Harbor boat launch. I will be showcasing some of the highlights of San Diego’s North County-only Ocean boat launch ramp below.

Let’s first reiterate that I have a complete informational post that lists all of the San Diego Launch Ramps. (Click on the link for more information)

Oceanside Harbor Map

Oceanside Harbor Map display

Oceanside Harbor is located 38 miles north of Downtown San Diego and  27 miles south of Orange County’s Dana Point Harbor Boat Launch Ramp.  So the question is, if you live in San Diego, is the  Oceanside launch ramp worth the trip or not? If you live in North County San Diego, then, of course, it is, yes?

But is it?

Down below, I will be showcasing the west side of Oceanside Harbor, where the boat launch is situated. What I love about this ramp is that everything is in such close proximately to each other. But if you think about it, this feature could be a negative attribute if it is busy.

Here is a PDF file of the Harbor map. I encourage you to print it out, as it is a great reference to use the next time you are in the area!

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The New Shelter Island Boat Launch Ramp

shelter island featured image san diego bay

About a month ago, when we were “allowed” (I am not bitter) to leave the house, my daughters and I set off to San Diego. Towards the end of the day, we found ourselves over at San Diego Bay and decided to check out Shelter Island. I was anxious to see how the new Shelter Island boat launch ramp turned out, and I have pictures to prove it!

Shelter Island has always been a family favorite. We have been coming here ever since my children were small. It has a beautiful walkway that runs parallel to the Bay. It is also a prime spot to watch the boats and military ships entering and exiting San Diego Bay.  I have written extensively about San Diego Bay (San Diego Bay-A Photo Tour), as well as the Shelter Island boat launch ramp, so if you would like more in-depth information, press on the above links.

San Diego Bay’s New and Improved Launch Ramp

Shelter Island sign san diego bay

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Grunion Run 2020 Schedule

It has taken me a bit of time to tell you that the grunion, Southern California’s infamous fish, mating season is upon us! Why? Well, at the time of this writing, all the San Diego County beaches were closed; thus, all citizens were barred from experiencing the coastline, so I hesitated. The Department of Fish and Wildlife even took the chart off its website. Their reasoning was not to encourage people to come to the beach and witness this phenomenon. Down below, I present to you the San Diego grunion run scheduled for May- September, with the anticipation that the beaches will be open on May 1st (fingers crossed).

First, I will give you a little background information on why this is such a spectacular event, followed by my recommendation on the best beaches in San Diego would be ideal for witnessing the grunion mating dance.

What is a Grunion Run, and Why is it a Big Deal?

Single Grunion spawning beach sand
Wikimedia Commons

The grunion (Leuresthes tenuis) is a type of smelt which is small, silvery and is about the size of a sardine. These fish are only found off the coast of Southern California, from San Luis Obispo down to Northern Baja California.

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Walking Around Guajome Lake and Regional Park

Guajome Regional Park featured image water birds cattails

In mid-January, I took my daughters and Mother-in-Law to experience Guajome Lake and Regional Park in Oceanside for a couple of hours. You see, we are constantly passing by the front entrance whenever we take Highway 76 to the coast.

I have always been intrigued by what Guajome Lake looked like, so today was the day to find out!

Guajome Regional Park Map

A Bit of Guajome Regional Park History

Guajome regional park grassy picnic area

First off, here are a few statistics regarding Guajome Regional Park. The park spans over 394 acres and is 8 miles inland from the coast.

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List of San Diego Launch Ramps

Pepper Park Launch Ramp San Diego Bay

Are you thinking about coming down to visit San Diego with your boat or sailboat? Did you happen to know that there are ten San Diego coastal boat launch ramps?

Here is a complete list of all available San Diego boat launch ramps. I will be concentrating on the entire county of San Diego but limited to only on the coast.

 Also, I will be including smaller launch ramps where you may enter smaller boats, kayaks, and paddleboards.

Where are all of the San Diego Boat Launch Ramps?

South Shores Launch Ramp Mission Bay
South Shores Launch Ramp- Mission Bay

Did you happen to realize that San Diego County has three separate bays to launch out of- Oceanside, Mission Bay, and San Diego Bay? Altogether, there are ten different boat launch ramps.

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San Diego Bay-A Photo Tour

San Diego Bay Naval Ship Leaving

Today I would like to take you on a mini photo tour of San Diego Bay! Will you join me?

First off, fun fact.

Did you know that San Diego Bay mentioned in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848?

 After the U.S-Mexican War, the Treaty (which is still in effect) specifically pointed out that the entirety of the San Diego Bay would belong to the United States.

San Diego Bay Google Map Satellite

Discovering San Diego Bay Via Photos

Sailing San Diego Bay
Sailing San Diego Bay

The San Diego Bay is a natural deepwater harbor that is found minutes away from Mexico and the United States border and is the third-largest bay in California after San Fransico Bay and Humboldt Bay.

The  San Diego Bay is over 12 miles long and 1-3 miles wide and is separated into two sections:

  1. North Bay-North Island, Shelter Island, Spanish Landing, Harbor Island, Coronado, Embarcadero
  2. South Bay -National City, Chula Vista, Siver Strand, Imperial Beach

So today, we will be starting our tour up north at the mouth of the bay. We will then continue to make our way on the east shore of the Bay, going south and finally making our way back up north on the western shore of San Diego Bay.

Ready? Let’s go!

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List of All San Diego Sportfishing Party Boats

Helgrens Sportfishing Boat going into dock

I want to present to you a complete list of all public San Diego Sportfishing Party Boats. First off, what is the difference between and Party Boat and a Charter Boat? Well, to put it simply, a Party Boat is available to anyone who would like to come. While on the other hand, you can say that a Charter is a private rental, where the public is not welcome to join.

I will be listing all available Party boats in San Diego County, starting first up north in Oceanside Harbor.

A Few Much Needed References

I have included here a link to Sportfishingreport.com.  If you look towards the bottom of the list, you will see all of the San Diego Sportfishing party boats, as well as all Charter boats that go out daily.  Have a look! Every Sportfishing boat in California is listed here. What I like about this site is that every fish is caught is recorded.

Here is a useful page as well-The Current California Recreational Fishing Regulations.

The Captains and crew are well aware of all of the rules and regulations, but it never hurts to get an idea before setting out to fish.

Also, I would like to include “Everything Thing You Need To Know About Fishing in Mexico,” as it can get very confusing.

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List of San Diego Fishing Piers

San Diego Fishing Piers

Today, I would like to present a comprehensive list of all possible San Diego fishing piers.

Starting north at the Oceanside pier, to Ocean Beach pier, all around San Diego Bay, and finally ending at the Imperial Beach.

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Discovering Oceanside Pier CA

Oceanside Pier CA

Oceanside Pier

May 17, 2015- Oceanside Pier

Oceanside Pier is one of the largest piers in the State of California; measuring the length of 1954 feet.

This pier was first built in 1888 but was ultimately wiped out by a storm in 1890.

Eventually, it was again rebuilt in 1893 and additionally restored four more times due to heavy storms. The original location was at what is now Wisconsin Ave Beach.

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