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San Leandro, CA Fishing: An Angler's Paradise

San Leandro, CA Fishing: An Angler's Paradise
Published: Monday, June 7th, 2021
Updated on: Monday, June 7th, 2021

Located in Alameda County in California, San Leandro is a large suburban town with a vibrant community of 90,103 residents. It lies on the south of Oakland on the eastern shore of San Francisco Bay, where it forms the metropolitan area of the East Bay. Found here are the commercial trading centers, waterfront industries, and other suburban developments on which the town’s economy relies.

The Spanish first explored San Leandro in the late 1700s to spread their religion. They called the first inhabitants there as Costeños (or coast people in English) and, later on, named the town after Leander of Sevilles, the 6th century Spanish bishop. Between the late 18th and early 19th century, when there was a rise in agricultural activities in the town, San Leandro became popular for its delicious cherries, leading to the still celebrated Cherry Festival every year in June. It then transitioned remarkably into an industrial community after the second world war.

Also known for its well-organized and peaceful neighborhood, San Leandro also takes pride in its unique old houses and streets uniformly lined with trees. In addition to that, the temperate climate in this area makes San Leandro an excellent destination for outdoor recreation all year. Surrounded by mountains on its east and tremendous wetlands and coastline on its west, fishing access areas, golf courses, trails, parks, nature centers, and historical places are abundant here.

San Leandro Fishing

San Leandro encompasses different water bodies, including San Leandro Creek that connects San Leandro Reservoir and Lake Chabot, which then drains into San Leandro Bay (a greater area of San Francisco Bay), making this town an abode of a broad range of fish species. With this combination of freshwater and saltwater bodies surrounding San Leandro, fishing opportunities are abundant here.

On the east side of San Leandro lies Lake Chabot, which is a 315-acre man-made lake built for East Bay’s primary source of water. It is stocked with channel catfish and rainbow trout, and fishing here is available throughout the year. To catch these species, find a good spot either on the shore or on the boat with enough space to cast your weighted rig as these fish love to forage underwater, especially during warmer seasons.

Fishing in this area is very convenient because of the surrounding amenities such as Lake Chabot Regional Park and Lake Chabot Marina Cafe that has a bait and tackle shop as well as boat and canoe rentals. This makes this location ideal for family outings and to make kids try their first fishing experience. Before coming, just make sure to secure a fishing license and permit and check the regulations in the area.

Home also to rainbow trout is San Leandro Creek, the primary spawning area for this species. Other native fish, including three-spined stickleback, Sacramento sucker, and prickly sculpin can also be found here. Catching these bottom-dwelling species does not necessarily require fancy gear. Take anything from light to medium spinning tackle attached with a rig that can reach the bottom.

An even wider fishing opportunity can be found west of San Leandro, facing the San Francisco Bay, which contains water from brackish to saltwater. Whether you’re fishing along the coast, from a boat, or from piers, the bay offers an astounding angling experience. Along the San Leandro Marina Pier, you’ll be able to catch native fish such as sculpins, small perch, and jacksmelt that dwell on the muddy, shallow areas. This makes high tide a better condition for fishing here. Other species that can be seldom caught here are striped bass, leopard shark, and shiner perch—the same fish species found in San Leandro Bay, a bay situated east of Oakland International Airport and Bay Farm Island.

Fishing in these areas may be slow, but the area is strategically near other recreational facilities such as golf courses, Shoreline Trail, and parks, so you will not run out of activities. And since it is near the Oakland International Airport, you will enjoy watching some descending planes crossing above while you wait for your catch.

Depending on your mood and preference, different fishing techniques are available here. Try pier fishing or surf fishing for more convenience and a day filled with relaxation and fun. Aside from this, pier and surf fishing only require basic gear. Just cast a line from on the shore, and you’ll end with a catch. If you’re up for more challenges and want to catch trophy-size fish such as chinook salmon, California flounder, white sturgeon, brown rockfish, and yellowfin tuna, rent a boat or fishing charter and go deep-sea fishing. It can be very challenging, but you’ll have a great chance to hook your target fish with the help of a professional guide. You will not have to worry also of the proper equipment and tackle because the fishing charter service normally provides these.


Top 10 Fish Species in San Leandro, CA

The top 10 fish species in San Leandro are channel catfish, rainbow trout, striped bass, leopard shark, shiner perch, Chinook salmon, California flounder, white sturgeon, brown rockfish, and yellowfin tuna.

San Leandro, CA Fishing: An Angler's Paradise Fish species
California Flounder
California Flounder fish

Habitat: Inshore, Nearshore

Weight: 6 - 30 Pounds

Length: 54" - 60"

Channel Catfish
Channel Catfish fish

Habitat: Rivers, Tidal Mouths, Bends, Wrecks

Weight: 2 - 4 Pounds

Length: 15" - 25"

White Sturgeon 
White Sturgeon  fish

Habitat: Onshore

Weight: 1 - 1100 Pounds

Length: 1" - 148"

Leopard Shark 
Leopard Shark  fish

Habitat: Onshore, Nearshore, Reef

Weight: 10 - 44 Pounds

Length: 50" - 78"

Rainbow Trout 
Rainbow Trout  fish

Habitat: River, Lake

Weight: 1 - 8 Pounds

Length: 16" - 34"

Shiner Perch
Shiner Perch fish

Habitat: Inshore

Weight: 1 - 3 Pounds

Length: 5" - 8"

Yellowfin Tuna 
Yellowfin Tuna  fish

Habitat: Offshore

Weight: 40 - 150 Pounds

Length: 27" - 94"

Striped Bass
Striped Bass fish

Habitat: River, Lake, Onshore, Near shore

Weight: 10 - 81 Pounds

Length: 20" - 55"

Explore the Best Activities in San Leandro

1.Fishing Charters

Several fishing charters are available in San Leandro to take you and your loved ones for open water and deep-sea fishing to catch San Francisco Bay’s famous trophy fish. Depending on the season, the professional guides will take you to the best spots for a half- or full-day trip, depending on you.


2. Golf Courses

The golf courses here present a stunning bay view as you move along every hole. Featuring different courses, both beginners and seasoned players would surely enjoy.


3. Parks

Also, with scenic water views, the parks here are perfect for families or groups looking for places to do picnics, play around, and relax. Some parks have built-in BBQ grills and huge open spaces, while the others include trails open for bikers, hikers, and runners.


4. Cherry Festival

If you happen to visit around June, don’t miss the popular Cherry Festival, an annual event held on West Estudillo Avenue near Pelton Plaza. Even if the celebration is focused on the amazing cherries in all forms, food trucks, a beer garden, live music, and other activities happen simultaneously.

Fishing Techniques
Light Tackle
Light Tackle
Surf Casting
Surf Casting
Deep Sea Fishing
Deep Sea Fishing