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Travelers often head to San Diego for the ultimate SoCal trip, but head further out and hop on the San Diego-Coronado Bridge for a more charming bayside escape at Coronado. This lovely resort town harkens back to the old era with its sprawling namesake beach and the iconic Hotel del Coronado as its backdrop. It’s the best way to cap off a classic California trip of a lifetime.

While at Coronado, you’ll be tempted to spend the entire time swimming, sunbathing, and surfing at the beach, but there’s so much more to this city. Just a few steps away you will find its downtown district along Orange Avenue. This spot is renowned among both tourists and locals for its highly rated and culturally diverse restaurants as well as its unique shops, art galleries, and theaters. The rest of the city offers ample opportunities to get closer to the water as well. Sailing, paddling, surfing, and kayaking are just some of the water sports you can try at Coronado. And don’t forget sport fishing. Coronado sits right on the bay, after all, and provides easy access to many nearby fishing destinations. 

Coronado Fishing: Great SoCal Fishing Opportunities

Here in Coronado, you can either cast a line from the pier or its shores or hop on a charter boat to fish offshore or on the nearby Coronado Islands.

Pier-fishing is a big passion in SoCal, and it’s no different in Coronado. One of the best fishing spots in this area is the small but productive Coronado Ferry Landing Pier. It can be a little hard to spot as it sits right behind the shopping center, so keep a lookout for it after crossing the bridge. The pier itself is part of the boarding area for the ferry, but a small portion of it is dedicated to fishing. The grassy bottom areas attract species such as spotted bay bass, kelp bass, and barred sand bass. Other species you can expect to catch are Pacific mackerel, bonito, shortfin corbina, perch, halibut, turbot, as well as some stingray and leopard shark

Another pier-fishing spot worth checking out is the Imperial Beach Pier, the southernmost pier in California with a great view of the nearby Coronado Islands in Mexico. Here you can catch many SoCal classics, including barred surfperch, California corbina, and yellowfin croaker. At the mid-pier, you can find some halibut, along with bonito and white seabass, and around the pilings with the heavy growth of mussels, you can find some of the largest perch.

For some stand-out surf-fishing, Coronado has great options as well. These include the Silver Strand State Beach where you can fish both the bayside and oceanside from the surf and the Coronado State Beach. At Silver Strand, you can expect some of the best surfperch fishing, while at Coronado Beach, you can fish the jetty to target corbina and halibut.

Fish the rich waters of San Diego Bay from a boat or under the San Diego-Coronado Bay Bridge. Glorietta Bay is one of the best public boat ramps within Coronado. It’s the smallest in the bay but has the best location for fishing. From Glorietta Bay itself, you can catch trophy halibut, as well as corbina, surfperch, and some rays in large sizes. Within San Diego Bay, the most commonly targeted fish is the spotted bay bass. They are most active in the flats located south of the bridge. North of the bridge, you can get plenty of activity during the colder months from November to April, when barred sand bass migrate in big groups. 

Finally, fishing in Coronado will not be complete without a charter toward the nearby Coronado Islands. Do remember that the Coronado Islands, which share the name of this city, are technically part of Mexican territory. Fishing legally in Mexico, you will need a Mexican fishing permit, a Forma Migratoria Múltiple Visa or FMM visa, a Temporary Importation Permit, a valid passport, and a Biosphere Bracelet. 

Fish species
Barred Surfperch
Barred Surfperch fish

Habitat: Onshore, Nearshore

Weight: 1 - 1 Pounds

Length: 4" - 17"

Pacific Halibut 
Pacific Halibut  fish

Habitat: Continental Shelf, Offshore

Weight: 20 - 500 Pounds

Length: 0" - 96"

California Kingcroaker
California Kingcroaker fish

Habitat: Inshore

Weight: 6 - 8 Pounds

Length: 24" - 28"

Spotted Bass 
Spotted Bass  fish

Habitat: Lake, River

Weight: 1 - 11 Pounds

Length: 20" - 25"

Barred Sand Bass
Barred Sand Bass fish

Habitat: Inshore, Nearshore

Weight: 1 - 4 Pounds

Length: 7" - 10"

Yellowtail Amberjack 
Yellowtail Amberjack  fish

Habitat: Offshore, Reef, Wreck

Weight: 15 - 96 Pounds

Length: 22" - 98"

Leopard Shark 
Leopard Shark  fish

Habitat: Onshore, Nearshore, Reef

Weight: 10 - 44 Pounds

Length: 50" - 78"

Yellowfin Drum 
Yellowfin Drum  fish

Habitat: Coastal Areas, Sandy Shorelines, Harbors

Weight: 1 - 6 Pounds

Length: 1" - 22"

Do as the Tourists Do in Coronado

1. Enjoy a S’Mores Roast by the Beach

Seeing the iconic Hotel del Coronado is a must for any Coronado tourist. Even if you’re not a guest, you can still join in some of the beachfront fun. Reserve a spot on the S’More Roast for a fun night along Coronado Beach.

2. Surf’s Up

Learn to surf or rent your surfing gear at the Coronado Surf Academy which is just a few minutes away from the beachfront and Hotel del Coronado.

Fishing Techniques
Surf Casting
Surf Casting