What Are the Best Fishing Spots in the Bay Area?
Picture this: you've found the perfect fishing spot to enjoy the warm weather. Tons of fish, beautiful scenery. What better way to spend your summer? If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, there are hundreds of great fishing locations to choose from.
So where do you start? Are you looking for a fun family destination, a popular tourist spot, or a locals’ paradise? Here are six of the best fishing spots in the Bay Area:
1. Lake Chabot
One of the most popular freshwater fishing spots in the Bay Area is Lake Chabot. Located in East Bay, this spot is ideal for your favorite freshwater fish like largemouth bass and crappie and is particularly known for its trout fishing. This lake has trout galore which offers the perfect location for beginners but also holds some challenging catches for the pros.
Because of the lake’s abundance of fish and beautiful atmosphere, this is also a great spot for kids to learn to fish for the first time! While there is no swimming allowed at the lake, Lake Chabot is the perfect place to rent a boat or go for a hike with the family during your fishing trip. To check out some Lake Chabot fishing in action, take a look at this video for some tips.
2. Municipal Pier
Another top spot in the Bay Area is this great San Francisco pier located at Aquatic Park. Also known as Aquatic Park Pier or “Muni Pier,” tourists and locals alike come here to enjoy the vibrant sea life. Halibut and salmon are frequent catches and anglers are also likely to encounter stingrays and even sharks! No fishing license is required here so naturally, tourists flock to this spot as it is so close to Fisherman’s Wharf and other popular destinations.
3. San Pablo Reservoir
Known to some as the best fishing lake in the Bay Area, San Pablo Reservoir is home to trout, catfish, bass, and most notably rainbow trout! This lake is located in Contra Costa County, northeast of Berkeley. You will need a fishing permit to fish here, but you can purchase one pretty easily. This lake is a drinking water reservoir, which means that body contact with the water is not allowed, so no swimming or wading. Boats, however, are allowed on the reservoir, but be careful because there are significant restrictions. Check it out for yourself in this video!
4. Pacifica Pier
A great spot for locals at Sharp Park Beach in San Mateo County, Pacifica Pier is known as one of the best fishing piers in the entire state. Anglers love this spot for its immense variety: salmon, halibut, flounder, striped bass, kingfish, sanddabs, and a host of other saltwater fish. Because of this wide variety, make sure to bring along the right gear depending on what fish you aim to catch.
Pacifica Pier is also a hugely popular location for crabbing! Looking to try out crabbing but not sure where to start? Take a look at this video for some insight into Dungeness crabbing at Pacifica Pier!
5. Pillar Point Harbor
Pillar Point is a commercial and sport fishing hotspot at the northern end of Half Moon Bay. Many sport and commercial fishing charters operate here at Johnson pier, but you don’t need a fishing license to get out there and fish on the pier! While this spot is particularly popular during salmon season, seaperch and kingfish are plentiful during winter months. If you’re a beginner, there are lots of lessons offered here to help you hone your fishing skills. Eager to catch some salmon at Pillar Point? Check out this video for some tips and tricks!
6. Bodega Bay
Finally, another great saltwater fishing spot is Bodega Bay. Incredible views combined with a wide variety of fish make this a top spot to check out in the Bay Area. Located in Sonoma County, anglers can find mackerel, rockfish, perch, and many more in this beautiful location. Depending on the season, trout and salmon are also popular catches. Here, anglers have the option to embark on any number of charters, or simply fish on one of the public piers in the area. Either way, however, a license is required to fish at Bodega Bay.
*Some of these locations have closures or restrictions due to COVID-19. Check the location’s website before heading out to fish!
What Should I Wear?
You should wear performance fishing shirts when you plan to spend hours on the water in the heat, rain, or cold. The fishing apparel you choose ultimately affects your performance and health. Long sleeve fishing shirts should have UV protection, moisture-wicking, anti-odor, quick-dry, and ventilated features. You should also have fishing shorts with multiple deep pockets, 4-way stretch, moisture-wicking, and stain-resistant fabrics. Sun protection is extremely important, especially if you fish frequently.
Finding the best fishing brands was difficult until now. Apparel By Home Run makes its fishing shirts with the best quality fabric to help with fishermen performance. They use new performance technology and fabrics that keep fishermen comfortable and efficient on the water for hours.