List of 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 Imperial Beach.


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, 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 convenience, I have added the California Marine Sportfishing Identification Index and a California Ocean Fishes Fishing Passport.

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

And one last thing, here are the California Saltwater Sportfishing Regulations and 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


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


  • 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, and 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 pelagic species such as small yellowtail, small white sea bass, bonito, Pacific mackerel, barracuda, kelp bass, and 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.


  • 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 is available at Helgren’s Sportfishing on the opposite side of the harbor
  • handicap parking
  • 44-inch railing on the pier

Fish Caught

Depending on where you cast your line, many different species are caught at this pier.

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 kelp growing around the pier’s outer and end. The water is not as deep as the other coastal San Diego Fishing piers.


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

Crystal Pier Pacific Beach San Diego Fishing Piers

Ocean Beach PierOcean Beach Pier north T San Diego Fishing Piers

San Diego Fishing Piers


Niagara Ave, San Diego

Hours– Open 24 hours

Size– 1971 feet- makes it the longest concrete pier in Southern California. The pier is T-shaped, 360 feet on the south and 193 feet on the north. 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. A reef off the north end of the T yields the most fish out of any other areas on the pier. Inshore is rocky intertidal.


  • 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

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

Most fish are caught on the north end 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 pier’s north. 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.


  • 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 include 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 include white croaker, queenfish, walleye surfperch, jacksmelt, California halibut, gray smoothhound shark, and 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, the best spot is behind or in the surf zone and about halfway out, right where the pier begins to slope upwards.


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 over 13 miles long and 1-3 miles wide.

There are five different fishing piers to choose from.

First starting closest to the San Diego Bay’s inlet is Shelter Island Pier, followed by the Embarcadero Pier, which is located right behind the San Diego Convention Center.

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

Finally, looping around the San Diego Bay, I will end the list with the Coronado Ferry Landing Pier, 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-shaped wooden pier,  200 feet from the shore and 500 feet in width.

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


  • 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.

A few rare fish have also been seen here, such as the angel shark, thresher shark, and the giant butterfly ray.

Best Spot– Any spot is good, but looking for an 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


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 a muddy bottom, eelgrass, and an artificial reef just off the pier.


  • 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, such as horn sharks, thresher sharks, and small white sea bass.

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

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 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.


  • 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, and 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


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, an industrial area.

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


  • 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 also been seen here: 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 behind the Ferry Landing Marketplace, a group of small shops and restaurants.

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

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


  • 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 many 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 can walk up and down these piers in person!

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

References Used-



15 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,

    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!

      1. Thanks for the tip. I went to OB and there was many lobsters just under legal at 3″. I did not have any keepers. 16 were let go to grow. My trap bait got cleaned out by 2 seals so I went home. I only saw 3 keepers around me.

        A couple of weeks earlier I went fishing for bait here and it was great for macs. Now they all seemed to have gone away. Is there a season for macs? The lobsters and seals like them.

        1. Hi Ken! Thanks for checking in after lobster fishing. I am happy to hear that at least there were small lobsters around the pier. As for mackerel, they are more a summer fish with their season being between June-March. When researching it says the winter mackerel have less fat on them. Also, Oceanside Pier gets a lot of mackerel. Good luck next time!

  4. Colleen – could you please tell me which pier is pictured in the top/lead-in photo? I took some photos many years ago, and looking at my slides, I want the proper pier to be associate with them. Thank you – great information!

      1. Thank you Colleen – I thought that is what it was, but all the images I saw were from the side and I just could reconcile the angled pylons with the straight ones in my shot (I was underneath like your shot looking out to infinity! 🙂 Alas, my mom has moved away from Carlsbad to Pensacola, So I’ll have to check out the piers there.

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