Posted on Monday Jul 22, 2013 at 6:31 AM
I love the San Diego area. I grew up fishing the coast of Southern California.
Medium action spinning rod or baitcaster laoded with 15# test. If you want to go after bass (kelp bass, sand bass, or spotted bay bass) you can throw scroungers in 1/4 oz to 1.5 oz, or scampies or mojos (all very similar leadheaded jigs). I prefer pearl, chartreuse, and root beer colors. fish off jetties and breakwaters. Fish them just like you would fish a jig for LMB. Bounce them along the bottom. You will also catch halibut with those. Sometimes tipping the hook with a small strip of squid will get you bit quicker.
You can use the same equipment and fish the surf for perch and corbina. Cast just beyond where the waves begin to break. In addition to the lures you can use sand crabs or mussels (collect your own) or cut squid for bait. Hooks in size 6 to 2. Another good bait is frozen anchovies.
Free-lining an anchovie off the breakwater will often hook you up with bonito, mackerel, and small barracuda - all lots of fun on light tackle.
Mission Bay is a great place to wade fish for bass, halibut, and spotfin and yellowfin croakers. Bouncing a sassy shad or leadheaded jig along rock walls or near dropoffs can be pretty productive. Look for fish busting bait or birds diving - just like the lakes here...
You might have a school of bonito start tearing it up within casting distance. A kastmaster or any flashy spoon or slab will work with them.
There are several public landings where you can walk up and take a day trip on a party boat. I don't know how much it cost these days but they will take you out to the local kelp beds or the Coronado islands. You can rent a rod for a couple of bucks from them. On the boats you'll be going after anything and everything. Most popular fish out there (besides albacore tuna) is Yellowtail.
Best way to start is to look up a local bait and tackle shop and chat up the guys there.
When I go to San Diego on business I often stay at the Holiday Inn at the Embarcadero which is right across the street from the Star of India ship. It is also just down the road from the USS Midway floating museum. You can fish off the walls right there by the restaurants and catch bass and halibut. Also - Anthony's Fish Grotto is right there - a great seafood place. One of its dining rooms is below the water level and it has huge windows under the water.
There is no lack of fishing opportunities in the San Diego area. Ask around; look around, and have a ball!