List of San Diego Fishing Piers

Today, I would like to present to you a comprehensive list of all possible San Diego fishing piers. We will start the journey in North County San Diego at the Oceanside pier, making our way south, all around San Diego Bay and finally ending at the Imperial Beach pier less than two miles away from Mexico.

San Diego County Google Map

San Diego Fishing Piers-Which One to Choose?

Do you like to fish?

Do you like to take walks on piers?

San Diego has several piers to choose from depending on where you are or what kind of fish you wish to catch.

Fishing Pole San Diego Fishing Piers

Each pier has something unique to offer, be it the type of bottom or surrounding views. San Diego Bay alone has five different piers!

Fish Identification Tools

Kelp Bass San Diego Fishing Piers
Kelp Bass-CA Fish and Wildlife Fish ID

For your convenience I have also added a California Marine Sportfishing Identification Index as well as a California Ocean Fishes Fishing Passport to help the next time you go fishing or if you would like to have a look.

Sargo San Diego Fishing Piers
Sargo- CA Fish and Wildlife Fish ID

And one last thing, here are the California Saltwater Sportfishing Regulations along with a Guide to Southern California Beach Fishing which legitimately has some great advice.

All the piers listed below do not require a fishing license, except Crystal Pier in Pacific Beach.

For your assistance, each address is linked to a google map.


Oceanside Pier

Oceanside Pier San Diego Fishing Pier

San Diego Fishing Piers

Est-1888

Oceanside Pier, Oceanside, CA

Hours– Open 24 hours

Size– 1954 feet wooden pier with a concrete ramp

Underwater Environment– Sandy shore with a rock quarry artificial reef out toward the end of the pier

Amenities

  • Restrooms
  • Fish cleaning stations
  • Snack shop/bait shop
  • Benches
  • Lights
  • A restaurant at the end of the pier Ruby’s has an outdoor second story option
  • 24 hour metered parking
  • Handicap parking
  • 44-inch railing

Fish Caught

Beginning for the pier- Here you will find the sand dwellers such as croakers, corbina, barred surfperch, Sargo, round stingrays.

Middle of the pier- Halibut, barred sand bass, white croaker, yellowfin croaker, topsmelt, jacksmelt, herring and gray smoothhound sharks.

End of the pier– Here you will find more of the pelagic species such as small yellowtail, small white sea bass, bonito, Pacific mackerel, barracuda, kelp bass, barred sand bass. Sometimes even small thresher sharks, blue sharks, leopard sharks and Salema.

Best Spot– MId-pier

Rating– Good to Great

Let’s have a look at what is going on under the water! Special thanks to the TASI Youtube Channel for the use of the video.


Oceanside Small Craft Harbor Fishing Pier

Oceanside Harbor San Diego Fishing Pier
The pier is in the far background with the bait barge in the forefront.
San Diego Fishing Piers

Est. 1967

1540 N Harbor Dr, Oceanside

Hours– 24 hours

Size- 50 feet into the water/wooden pier

Underwater Environment– Shallow bay water with mud and eelgrass, rocky intertidal shoreline with a bait barge nearby. The pier is situated near the channel opening of the harbor.

Amenities

  • free parking on the adjacent street N Harbor Dr
  • restroom across the street
  • benches and grass lawn at the base of the pier
  • limited bait available at Helgens Sportfishing at the opposite side of the harbor
  • handicap parking
  • 44-inch railing on the pier

Fish Caught

Many different species that are caught at this pier depending on where you cast your line.

Fish caught at this location include: jacksmelt, topsmelt, kelp bass, spotted bay bass, white croaker, black croaker, spotfin croaker, California halibut, diamond turbot, fantail sole, sargo, shiner perch, rubberlip seaperch, barred surfperch, opaleye, halfmoon, blacksmith, Garibaldi (illegal), round stingray, thornback ray, bay ray, butterfly ray, kelpfish, California needlefish, shovelnose guitarfish, and gray smoothhound shark.

Oceanside Small Craft Harbor Pier

Fish Visiting the Bay

If you are looking for the more substantial pelagic fish that made a wrong way turn into the harbor, you would want to cast straight out from the midpoint of the pier.

Keeping the bait up top might land you – bonito,  Pacific mackerel, barracuda, or small white sea bass.

Best Spot– Midpoint or on the left

Rating– Fair to Good

Here is another TASI video underneath the pier-

 


Crystal Pier

Crystal Pier San Diego Fishing Piers

San Diego Fishing Piers

Est. 1936

4500 Ocean Blvd, San Diego

Hours– 7 am to sunset

Size– 1936 foot wooden pier

Underwater Environment– Sandy shore with no rocks. The pilings are covered with mussels, and there is a right amount of kelp growing around the outer and the end of the pier. The water is not as deep as the other coastal San Diego Fishing piers.

Amenities

  • One fish cleaning station.
  • restroom
  • benches
  • limited night lighting
  • limited metered parking at the front of the pier/ no handicap parking
  • Fishing Licence is required

Fish Caught

Tideline– California corbina, barred surfperch, spotfin croaker, yellowfin croaker, stingrays, shovelnose guitarfish, thornback rays.

Halfway out/ above the tideline– Walleye surfperch, queenfish, white croaker, California halibut, gray smoothhound shark.

End of the pier– Bonito, Pacific mackerel, jack mackerel, jacksmelt, bat ray, small to mid-size white sea bass.

Best Spot– Halfway out on the south side.

Rating– Good to Great


Ocean Beach PierOcean Beach Pier north T San Diego Fishing Piers

San Diego Fishing Piers

Est-1971

Niagara Ave, San Diego

Hours– Open 24 hours

Size– 1971 feet- making it the longest concrete pier in Southern California.  The pier is T-shaped with 360 feet on the south end and 193 feet on the north end. There is over 1 mile of pier railing.

Underwater Environment– The Kelp Forest is on the south end of the T, with a depth of 25 feet. There is a reef off the north end of the T and yields the most fish out of any other areas on the pier. Inshore is rocky intertidal.

Amenities

  • restroom
  • Two fish cleaning stations
  • bait and tackle shop
  • restaurant
  • benches and lights
  • 24-hour parking adjacent to the pier
  • handicap parking at the foot of the bridge

Fish Caught

On the south end which is in the kelp forest, yields kelp bass, sand bass surf perch, bonito, Pacific mackerel, California scorpionfish, California halibut, California lobster (keep only when in season) and occasionally a small Giant Black sea bass (illegal).

On the north end, is where most of the fish are caught due to an underwater reef just off the pier.

Midway out, on both sides of the bait shop, you will see white croaker, queenfish, jacksmelt, Pacific mackerel, barracuda, walleye surfperch, and small white sea bass. This area also yields California halibut, shovelnose guitarfish, and bat rays in the Spring and Summer.

Inshore, the foot of the pier is built over a rocky cliff area. When the tide is high, this shallow area will yield rocky intertidal species such as rubberlip seaperch, black perch, halfmoon, opaleye, blacksmith, senorita and occasionally a moray eel or even a California spiny lobster.

Ocean Beach Pier San Diego Fishing Piers south T

Best Spot– North end of the T.

Rating – Good


Imperial Beach Pier

Imperial Beach Pier San Diego Fishing Piers

San Diego Fishing Piers

Est- 1963

10 Evergreen Ave, Imperial Beach

Hours– A curfew is enforced from 10 pm to 5 am

Size– 1491 foot concrete pier

Underwater Environment– Sandy shore, 20 feet deep with short finger jetties to the north of the pier.  There is a substantial growth of mussels and barnacles on the pilings and an artificial 1/2 moon-shaped rock reef near the end of the pier.

Amenities

  • restrooms
  • fish-cleaning stations
  • benches
  • a restaurant at the end of the pier
  • night lighting
  • a parking lot near the foot of the pier-$2 all day, $1 after 5 pm
  • free parking on adjacent streets
  • regular police bike patrols
  • Market to Market across the street sells bait and fishing gear

Fish Caught 

End– Pelagic species such as bonito, Pacific mackerel, bonito, small barracuda and occasionally a small white sea bass or small yellowtail. Fishing in deeper water by the pilings may land you a rubberlip surfperch.

MIdway– Shallow species such as white croaker, queenfish, walleye surfperch, jacksmelt, California halibut, gray smoothhound shark, shovelnose guitarfish.

Inshore– Surfline species like barred surfperch, California corbina, yellowfin croaker, spotfin croaker, thornback ray, stingrays, shovelnose guitarfish and sometimes a California halibut.

Best Spot– According to Pierfishing.com, the best spot is behind or in the surf zone and about halfway out right where the pier begins to slope upwards.

Rating-Good

Imperial Beach Pier east view

Fun Fact- Imperial Beach is the most southwesterly city in the United States!


San Diego Bay Fishing Piers

Google Map San Diego Bay

San  Diego Bay is a natural harbor with an average depth of 22 feet which is over 13 miles long and 1-3 miles wide.

There are five different fishing piers to choose from.

First starting closest to the mouth of the bay is Shelter Island Pier, followed by the Embarcadero Pier that is located right behind the San Diego Convention Center.

Next, in National City,  the Pepper Park Pie is adjacent to the Sweetwater River Channel, followed by the Bayside Park Pier in National City located just outside of the Chula Vista Harbor.

Finally, looping around the San Diego Bay, I will be ending the list with the Coronado Ferry Landing Pier which is found behind the Coronado Ferry Landing Marketplace.

There are many options to choose from when fishing in San Diego Bay!

For a general overview, typically when fishing in the bay, you will find that the fish on the top include topsmelt, jacksmelt, Pacific mackerel and bonito. While croakers, bass, sharks, rays, and perch, are found on the bottom.


Shelter Island Pier

Shelter Island Pier San Diego Fishing Piers

San Diego Fishing Piers

Est- 1991

1776 Shelter Island Dr, San Diego

Hours– 6 am- 10:30 pm

Size– T-sharped wooden pier,  200 feet away from the shore and 500 feet in width.

Underwater environment– A mixture of mud, sand, eelgrass with a few rocks. At times the underwater current can get very strong.

Amenities

  • Restroom
  • Bait/Tackle Shop
  • Food and snacks
  • Two fish cleaning stations
  • lights
  • 42-inch railing
  • Handicap parking

Fish Caught

California halibut,  Pacific mackerel, topsmelt, jacksmelt, kelp bass, barred sand bass, spotted sand bass, yellowfin croaker, queenfish, black perch, opaleye, California scorpionfish, turbot, bonito, barracuda, gray smoothhound shark, shovelnose guitarfish, bat ray, and lizardfish.

There are a few rare fish that have been seen here as well, such as the angel shark, thresher shark, and the giant butterfly ray.

Best Spot– Any spot is good but if you are looking for opaleye, right next to the bait shop is best.

Rating– Good

Shelter Island Pier San Diego Fishing Piers


Embarcadero Marina Park PierEmbarcadero Pier San Diego Fishing Piers

San Diego Fishing Piers

Est-1980

200 Marina Park Way, San Diego

Hours– Open 24 hours, but the parking lot closes at 10 pm.

Size– 95 feet from the shore, a T-shaped wooden pier that is 300 feet wide

Underwater Environment– Shallow bay water with muddy bottom and eelgrass as well as an artificial reef just off the pier.

Amenities

  • restroom
  • fish cleaning stations
  • lights
  • bait store/snack shop
  • Burgers Baits and Beer Food Truck
  • picnic area
  • metered parking
  • handicap parking
  • 42-inch railing

Fish Caught

Kelp bass, barred sand bass, spotted sand bass, jacksmelt, topsmelt, walleye surfperch, yellowfin croaker, white croaker, spotfin croaker, Sargo, lizardfish, needlefish, queenfish, diamond turbot, California halibut, shovelnose guitarfish, bat ray, leopard shark, round stingray, and gray smoothhound shark.

When schools of pelagic fish make their way into the bay, there can be good fishing for bonito, Pacific mackerel and small barracuda at this pier.

Some uncommon fish have been seen here as well, such as horn sharks, thresher sharks, and small white sea bass.

Best Spot– Bayside, but it is ok toward the rocks as well.

Rating– Good

Embarcadero Pier San Diego Piers


Pepper Park PierPepper-Park-Pier-National-City

San Diego Fishing Piers

Est- 1970

3299 Tidelands Ave, National City

Hours– 6 am- 10:30 pm

Size– 162-foot wide wooden T-shaped pier.

Underwater Environment– Located right next to where the Sweetwater River Channel enters into San Diego Bay. Sandy bottom with little growth on the pilings. Some of the deepest near-shore water fishing opportunities are found here due to the dredging of the flood channel. On the other side of the river is the Sweetwater Marsh National Refuge which acts as a fish nursery.

Amenities

  • restrooms
  • picnic tables
  • playground
  • free parking
  • boat ramp

Fish Caught

Resident species-topsmelt, jacksmelt, white seaperch, black seaperch, kelp bass, barred sand bass, spotted bay bass, croakers, rays, California halibut, turbot, gray smoothhound shark, leopard shark, shovelnose guitarfish, bat ray.

Seasonal pelagics, Pacific mackerel, bonito and barracuda.

Best Spot– Any

Rating– Fair to Good

Fun Fact- Seeing that this pier is located right next to a river channel, in the winter after a big storm the water surrounding the pier becomes less saline. As a result, fish populations become sparse.

Sweetwater River Channel Pepper Park Pier
Sweetwater River Channel

Bayside Park Pier

Bayside Park Pier San Diego Fishing Piers

Est

999 Bayside Pkwy, Chula Vista

Hours– 6:30 am- 10:30 pm

Size– A small concrete pier located at the entrance of the Chula Vista Marina in the south end of San Diego Bay which is an industrial area.

Underwater Environment– Muddy and shallow water situated right next to the Marina.

Amenities

  • restrooms
  • sand beach
  • grass lawns
  • food concessions
  • telephones
  • free parking
  • handicap parking
  • 43-inch railing

Fish Caught

Here you will find the typical bay species such as queenfish, topsmelt, jacksmelt, diamond turbot, California halibut, shiner perch, shovelnose guitarfish, bat rays, round stingrays, gray smoothhound shark, and leopard shark.

Not as common but these fish have been seen here as well- Pacific mackerel, bonito, California needlefish, black perch, barred sand bass, spotted sand bass, yellowfin croaker, and mullet.

Best Spot– On the outside of the pier.

Rating– Fair to good

Bayside Park Pier San Diego Fishing Piers


 Coronado Ferry Landing Pier

Coronado Ferry Landing San Diego Fishing Piers

San Diego Fishing Piers

Est- 1987

1201 1st St, Coronado

Hours– Open 24 hours. The pier is located behind the Ferry Landing Marketplace which is a group of small shops and restaurants.

Size– 377-foot boarding area for the Coronado Ferry that allows anglers to fish but away from the Ferry landing.

Underwater Environment– Shallow water mix of sand, and mud, clam beds with eelgrass. Pilings are covered in mussels

Amenities

  • restrooms found in the shopping center
  • bait cutting platforms
  • free and metered parking
  • food in the shopping center
  • benches
  • lights

Fish Caught

Pacific mackerel, bonito, jacksmelt, topsmelt barred sand bass, spotted sand bass, kelp bass, black perch, white seaperch, rubberlip seaperch, sargo, white croaker, Salema, gray smoothhound shark, bat rays, shovelnose guitarfish, needlefish, California halibut, and sometimes shortfin Corvina.

Best Spot– Grassy areas for barred sand bass and under the far left corner for halibut.

Rating– Good

Coronado Ferry Landing San Diego Fishing Piers


So there you have it!

We sure have a large selection of fishing piers to choose from here in San Diego.

Regardless of what you are looking for, you are in for a treat. Each pier has something unique, so I suggest you try them all out and find the right “fit,” so to speak.

I hope you enjoyed yourself, and one day you too can walk up and down these piers in person!

Please feel free to leave any comments or questions down below.

References Used-

Pierfishing.com

SDFish.com

I have always had a deep-seated passion for the Ocean Environment which ultimately led me to receive a degree in Marine Biology. Living in the San Diego area for over 30 years, I have extensively explored the 70 miles of San Diego’s coastline, and I am here to share! Please use my website to your advantage and have a look around at all the wonders that the beaches of San Diego can offer you!

10 Replies to “List of San Diego Fishing Piers”

    1. Hi William! If I had to pick a pier to walk on it would have to be Ocean Beach Pier seeing that it is the largest in Southern California, but if I were to fish, I would pick Crystal Pier. Hope that helps and thanks for the comment.

    1. Hi Steve. Thank you for your question. I would say that Crystal Pier is not as crowded as most, but it is tough to find parking at this pier on the weekends. Also, there are a ton of tourists here that like to walk the pier. To be honest, all the piers are crowded on the weekends.
      I would guess that you would find the least amount of people early in the morning or later in the night. Ocean Beach Pier and Oceanside pier are great piers to fish at night. I hope this helped a little, but you have to remember that there are a lot of people that live in San Diego 🙂

  1. Wow! Great article!

    I’m looking to visit San Diego later this year visiting family. With nearly a month to explore and me being an avid fisherman, it’d be rude not to cast a line. Have a do at catching something other than just the usual pike/carp I go for here in the UK.

    I’ve got to say this is the most comprehensive guide to fishings spots I’ve ever come across… Thank you!

    I’m liking the look of pepper park pier. What’s the fishing like in October?

    1. Hi Anthony! I am so glad that you found this list helpful for you! How exciting that you will be down in San Diego in October.
      I did a little research for you. If you are interested in fishing San Diego Bay in Chula Vista, you will be coming at the tail end of the Halibut and kelp Bass, barred sand bass season. All three species are known to frequent South Bay ( the Southern portion of San Diego Bay).
      Regardless, the scenery alone is fantastic. Also, remember that the Bayside Park Pier and the Embarcadero Piers are both close by as well. Have a fantastic time!

  2. This is a great review, thank you! I will bookmark your site for when we next visit. My husband is always on the lookout for good fishing spots too. It is such a beautiful area!
    Thanks again,
    Suzanne

    1. I am so glad that this list is helpful for you! It was quite fun researching these piers. My next goal is to find a few more underwater videos to share. I find it so interesting to see what is actually under the water at each site. I sure hope you two can visit San Diego soon! Thanks for the bookmark 🙂

  3. This hass a lot of good info. I am new to the SD area and am gathering fishing info. Any places you might recommend to go for hoop net lobsters off piers as I don’t have a boat? Thanks.

    1. Hi Ken! Thank you for the comment. If I had to pick one pier to fish for lobster, it would be the Ocean Beach Pier. On the south side of the pier, there is a kelp forest and rocky shore as you make your way in. I hope this helps! Good luck and please feel free to come back anytime to tell me what you caught!

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