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Looking for a quick green escape from Los Angeles or San Francisco? Find yourself smack dab in the middle of these two bustling cities in the beautiful village of San Simeon. It runs along the coast of the Pacific Ocean on State Route 1 and is a tourist destination known for its pristine coastal views and wide open spaces. Most tourists tend to start their San Simeon trip atop the Hearst Castle. This historic hilltop estate has defined the village for years. Nowhere else in San Simeon will you find a more apt and grandiose spot to see the surrounding natural vista. Aside from the views it proffers, the castle is a destination in itself with its museums and other recreational facilities that you can easily devote a whole day to.

From Hearst Castle, you will be able to appreciate just how rich and pristine the landscape is in San Simeon. Here you will be able to see elephant seals on the largest viewing area for the species in California and witness even more wildlife in the dedicated sanctuary at the Piedras Blancas Light Station. Knowing all these and the fact that the village sits on the coast of the Pacific Ocean, it should then come as no surprise that the fishing here is magnificent and world-class. Cast a line from the pier, launch a kayak in its calm bay waters, or brave the deep sea — there’s plenty of productive saltwater fishing to be had in San Simeon. 

San Simeon Fishing: Saltwater Fishing at Its Finest

San Simeon is a great saltwater fishing destination, thanks to its proximity to the Pacific Ocean. You don’t have to venture that far out into the water to enjoy productive fishing. Start from the shores. From the William Randolph Hearst Memorial State Beach, you can fish from a public pier without a fishing license. Here you can catch barred surfperch, rubberlip seaperch, walleye perch, and rainbow perch all year long. The best seasons to fish, though, are from late spring to fall when some of the migrating fish such as mackerel and striped seaperch can be found along with the year-round species.

Around fall, you will find productive steelhead trout fishing at the San Simeon Creek at William Randolph Hearst Memorial State Beach, right where the creek meets the ocean. But do be mindful that steelhead fishing is on a catch-and-release basis only in California. 

Anglers can enjoy even more surf-fishing at Pico Creek, right by the parking area on Pico Avenue. If you happen to be driving along Highway 1, park along the 1.6-mile stretch between Little Pico Creek to Pico Creek which offers some great fishing as well. 

Rock fishing is yet another must for any anglers coming to San Simeon. One of the best places to do so is at San Simeon Cove Trail. Point Sierra Nevada Beach is a great rock fishing venue as well. Here you can catch rockfish species such as rock cod, Boccaccio, and cabezon.

If kayak-fishing is more what floats your boat, choose from San Simeon Cove, Leffingwell Landing, or Arroyo Laguna Beach. It’s a great way to enjoy the scenery while targeting fish such as various types of rockfish, lingcod, and sheepshead

Want to challenge yourself with some deep-sea fishing? Head to the Morro Bay public boat ramp to launch your boat or book a charter specializing in your target of choice. Deep-sea fishing here can yield calico bass, halibut, white seabass, rainbow trout, Pacific barracuda, steelhead, and yellowfin tuna.  

Fish species
Barred Surfperch
Barred Surfperch fish

Habitat: Onshore, Nearshore

Weight: 1 - 1 Pounds

Length: 4" - 17"

Calico Surfperch
Calico Surfperch fish

Habitat: nearshore

Weight: 1 - 2 Pounds

Length: 9" - 11"

Pacific Halibut 
Pacific Halibut  fish

Habitat: Continental Shelf, Offshore

Weight: 20 - 500 Pounds

Length: 0" - 96"

Lingcod  fish

Habitat: Onshore

Weight: 25 - 85 Pounds

Length: 20" - 60"

Cabezon fish

Habitat: Kelp Forests

Weight: 25 - 31 Pounds

Length: 10" - 39"

Brown Rockfish
Brown Rockfish fish

Habitat: Onshore, Nearshore, Shallows

Weight: 1 - 2 Pounds

Length: 12" - 22"

Chilipepper Rockfish
Chilipepper Rockfish fish

Habitat: Pacific Coast

Weight: 3 - 5 Pounds

Length: 19" - 22"

Steelhead Trout
Steelhead Trout fish

Habitat: Coastal, rivers

Weight: 2 - 35 Pounds

Length: 12" - 46"

Experience What Makes San Simeon an Iconic Tourist Destination

1. See the Scenery from Your Bike

San Simeon is a big biking community, offering plenty of trails for various levels of expertise.

2. Visit the Hearst Castle

Maximize your visit to the castle and attend one of the tours it offers, or relax and just enjoy its many cafes, restaurants, and souvenir shops.