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Monterey, CA Fishing: Culture and Fishing in One Place

Monterey, CA Fishing: Culture and Fishing in One Place
Published: Tuesday, July 27th, 2021
Updated on: Tuesday, July 27th, 2021

The beautiful city of Monterey is situated in Monterey County, California. This city on California’s Central Coast is at the southern tip of Monterey Bay, making it a prime fishing destination for anglers wishing to experience fishing in California. Aside from Monterey Bay, there are also ponds and rivers nearby where anglers can cast their lines. Anglers can catch a wide variety of fish in this area, ranging from salmon, bass, and trout to shark and even tuna. This city is also famous for its various tourist attractions and historical landmarks. Places like the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the Cathedral of San Carlos Borromeo, and the beaches found on its shores are just a few of the places where anglers and visitors can go to while staying here.

Monterey, and the bay it was named after, got their name from Sebastian Vizcaino when he first arrived there on December 16, 1602. They were named after the Viceroy of New Spain at the time; the Conde de Monterey. The area was first inhabited by the Rumsen Ohlone tribe of Northern California until the Spanish arrived and began colonizing it. The city once served as the capital of the Alta California province of New Spain and later, Mexico. Later, the US would gain control of Monterey during and after the Mexican-American War. Because of its importance, Monterey was the site of the first public library, printing press, theater, public-funded school, public building, and newspaper in all of California.

Throughout its history, Monterey has been a center of learning and culture in California. Several of California’s visual artists and authors lived here during the 19th and early 20th centuries. It remains as a center of language learning and translation that it’s been called the language capital of the world. They got this title because of the skill in language possessed by the people of Monterey, which they then share with the rest of the world. 

Monterey Fishing

History and beautiful sites aside, Monterey is popular with visitors, anglers in particular, due to its bountiful waters. Whether you’re looking for a big catch out in Monterey Bay, or you’re just relaxing fishing on its shores, you’re sure to have a wonderful time looking for the various gamefish available here. There are ports, piers, and marinas in Monterey that anglers can use to launch a boat out into the bay or fish via the docks. You can find chinook and sockeye salmon, rainbow trout, giant seabass, halibut, and striped bass in Monterey’s inshore and rivers. You can also find rockfish, lingcod, calico bass, cabezon, and California scorpionfish nearshore or in the kelp forests. You can also catch albacore and even leopard shark

For first-time visitors in Monterey, they’ll be glad to know that there are fishing charters in the area that could help them during their trip. These charters provide a variety of services to their customers to make their trip a more fun one. These include transporting them to fishing spots to teaching them the appropriate fishing techniques in the area. It’s never a bad idea to hire or consult them and the bait shops operating there, as they know more about Monterey’s waters than you do. These charters dock on Fisherman’s Wharf, so head there if you want to avail of their services. 

Popular fishing techniques in the area include bottom fishing, trolling, jigging, surfcasting, and baitcasting. Monterey’s marshy bottom waters and abundance of kelp forests make it the perfect place for anglers to practice bottom fishing. These places are often the best spots to look for fish as they congregate here in large numbers to avoid being caught by other predators. If you’re not sure where to go when it’s your first time in Monterey, ask the bait shops and fishing charters about the locations of these areas. That is usually a good starting point on getting your bearings here. For anglers who want to surf cast, you can do that on the piers and beaches around Monterey. 

Some of the best fishing spots in Monterey are the Fisherman’s Wharf, the Coast Guard Wharf, Carmel Beach, Pinnacle Cove, North Moss Beach, and Monterey Harbor. These spots are perfect for anglers wanting to keep their feet dry while being able to fish. For those who wish to go deep sea fishing, you can launch your boat from several harbors in Monterey, such as El Estero Bay. The Carmen River is also just nearby for those wanting to catch freshwater gamefish. If you want to catch salmon, try casting your line on Carmel Beach, as its waters connect to the Carmel River. Here, countless salmon make their journey back to freshwater to breed, making it easy to catch them. 

Aside from the Carmen River, there are also plenty of other creeks and ponds where you can catch freshwater gamefish. Places like Lake San Antonio, El Estero Park Lake, Andrew Molera State Park, and Arroyo Seco River. These places allow anglers to practice their baitcasting and fly fishing techniques while looking for bass, rainbow trout, and catfish. Take note that there are areas in these spots where angling isn’t allowed. Get in touch with the local authorities to know which fishing spots are allowed for fishing. This way, you won’t get in trouble while visiting Monterey and make the most of your time there. 

For those looking forward to searching Monterey Bay for gamefish, make sure that you’ve either brought a boat or have hired one before going there. By doing this, you efficiently use your time, and you can get to fishing quickly. Reserving early also has the advantage of picking which fishing charter you want, as charters can fill up fast if you take your time. Don’t forget to check out Carmel Bay during your trip; as it may not be as famous as Monterey Bay, there’s still plenty of gamefish swimming its waters. Salmon, shark, albacore, and rockfish abound in Monterey Bay, and deep-sea anglers will have a great time looking for them in its waters. 


Top 10 Fish Species in Monterey, CA

The top 10 fish species to catch in Monterey, CA are the rockfish, calico bass, chinook salmon, sockeye salmon, rainbow trout, striped bass, lingcod, halibut, California scorpionfish, and the leopard shark

Monterey, CA Fishing: Culture and Fishing in One Place Fish species
Pacific Halibut 
Pacific Halibut  fish

Habitat: Continental Shelf, Offshore

Weight: 20 - 500 Pounds

Length: 0" - 96"

Rainbow Trout 
Rainbow Trout  fish

Habitat: River, Lake

Weight: 1 - 8 Pounds

Length: 16" - 34"

Sockeye Salmon 
Sockeye Salmon  fish

Habitat: Inshore, Lake, River

Weight: 4 - 15 Pounds

Length: 18" - 32"

Chinook Salmon
Chinook Salmon fish

Habitat: Onshore, Nearshore, River, Lake