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Fish On Your Family Vacation To Pacific Beach San Diego

Author: Colby Uva

Fishing Pier Pacific Beach (San Diego)

This article will help you get even a non-fishing family out fishing and ACTUALLY ENJOY IT. 

You think its a secret but its not,  your family knows that you dread family vacations to amazing places.  It is not because you don't love your family but because you feel trapped on a vacation so near to the water with no way to access it in the way that you want. You want to enjoy your family and your vacation, so this may be a good compromise. 

Quick Action That Can Excite Even Those With The Shortest Attention Spans

Ok, so this is not a boys trip you are going to have to make some concessions.  But there is a way for you to get a release and well maybe have them join you and actually enjoy it.   I hope that this article helps you to find an hour or two to share your passion with your family in a way that they can all enjoy.  (See Surviving A Non Fishing Family)

Crystal Pier Bait & Tackle

Vincent will get you up and running on pier fishing in minutes.

Crystal Pier Bait & Tackle is located on the Pacific Beach pier.  It not only has fishing tackle but it also has a number of rare to find items that are uniquely San Diego.  Remember we talked about that whole compromise thing, well this is a good time to hit that happy medium.  We know you would rather just get out and start fishing, but this place has a few things your family members might appreciate browsing. So take your time here. 

Signs your family is going to want to bring home to show they went to the beach.

I walked over to the pier after having a coffee at Pacific Bean Coffee.  But you may also want to check out ___ .  They have AMAZING breakfast burritos and there is usually a line, I hate lines too, so maybe while everyone waits in line for their coveted breakfast head down to Crystal Bait & Tackle to get everyone's fishing tackle ready.  Don't worry they will be happy to wait in the line for the "Most Famous Burrito In Town" and you will get brownie points right before fishing. 

No Fishing License Needed 

No fishing license is needed which makes this a great place to take the whole family.  Fishing license for California non-residents are $15/person at the moment, this will probably continue to go up.  If you want to take your whole family fishing and they are not a fishing family (See Surviving A Non Fishing Family), this is the way to go. 

Inexpensive Fishing Gear With Everything You Need To Get Started 

Your rental not only includes a rod, but also bait, tackle and a short briefing on local fishing conditions.

This bucket contains the basic fishing supplies you will need.  A pair of pliers , a knife for cutting bait, and a towel for cleaning your hands or maybe helping even the most squeamish member of your family grab a fish "with their own hands".


If you have your own gear you may want to try a little bit of local style fishing. 

Buy some shrimp or sabikis from the local pier and catch some Mackerel. You may want to try out a pier technique called slidebaiting. Below local fisherman Brandon Hernandez shows how to go about doing this. 

Below Brandon Hernandez casts an 8 oz pyramid sinker out on his Shimano Torium packed with braided fishing line and a 40Lb monofilament topshot.   

Below Brandon explains how he rigs for slidebaiting.  This is a technique that is used often here in Southern California from piers and was originally developed in Hawaii. Mo

Below Are A Few More Of My Trips And Experiences That Have Introduced Me To Southern California Fishing

Fishing For Spotted Bay Bass In San Diego From Land -

This report is about a fishing session with San Diego CCA California Chapter president Dave Chavez to target spotted bay bass from land using hookup baits.

My First Impression Of SOCAL Fishing In January - When I first got to Southern California I really didn't know what to expect. My mobility was limited without a car, so I joined fishing clubs and got tips from local anglers and friends that had fished in San Diego. I spent the first few months Airbnbing and that allowed me to be near the action to see what was going on without having to p as a fortune for ubers. (Also see ubering as a fishermen).

Learning About All The Long Range Boats -

Coming from Florida I had always seen pictures of Cow Tuna lining the rails of big long range boats. It seemed so far, and so expensive for a young fisherman, actually out of reach. Before coming over here I did all of my research to learn about all the boats. It still astounds me the scale of the operation at H&M Landing & Fisherman's Landing. It's the most impressive fishing fleet I've ever seen.

Each boat is there own full on hospitallity business. They are basically floating hotels who compete on amenities,  "restaurants" as most have their own chefs and of course the most important "fish counts" which are regularly updated on the landings websites.

Fishing From A Center Console In San Diego

When I first came to San Diego I fell in the love with the marlin club building. It was fricking awesome. There is nothing like it that I ca  think of in Miami. It's a piece of history. Fishing history that is actually preserved, and that's something to speak of especially in 2020.

Anyways I went down there so often that eventually the weighmaster Roger asked me if I wanted to come speak at the club. So I did I gave a speech about the concept of Spend More Time Fishing which after much research I have found is responsible for most of the major innovations of the world from the conquest of much of The Roman Empire to the fricking lightbulb. As a matter of fact I found this out later but one of Andrew Carnegie's biggest scandals was when a fishing club that he was a member of "didn't keep up with" a damn they had bought and it killed thousands of people.

Oh back to fishing on a center console in San Diego. Yea I met Will at the club and he invited me to go fishing on his 18 foot Boston whaler out to the canyons for tuna and that was my first offshore experience in a private boat. Click the link up top to see that report.

First Mexican Rockfish Trip -

Every year from January to February rockfish season in US waters closes for them suckers to spawn. You can still target them, but you will need to head south down into Mexican waters. By getting on a 3/4 day trip out of San Diego you should have plenty of time to get down there. What is nice about the trip is since it's a little specific, most people on the trip are decent fishermen and so you will have a pretty good crew to fish with. My first trip for Mexican rockfish was with JD on the Fisherman III , check it out at the link above.

First Full Day Trip Out Of San Diego

My first full day trip I actually drove down. From Dana Point with my fiance Fiona to fish on the Liberty. We saw a ton of tuna but only one was caught, lucky for Fiona the crew hooked it and handed it to her because she was the only girl on the boat. While it was tough for me to watch her catch a bluefin before me after I cleaned the 40Lber at the house we had Sashimi for us and a ton of family members who visited. I hooked one on and iron on the surface but he pulled the hook.

First Overnight Trip In Southern California

After months of moving , tradeshows, setting up a new warehouse etc, I finally made it out on my first over night trip in Southern California aboard the Fury (I highly recommend this boat and Cpt. Marcus it's new owner). It was some of the most insane fishing I have ever experienced. While I had hoped for bluefin the quantity of yellowfin we caught more than made up for it. It was so wild in fact that at one point I switched to a 12Lb set up just to have fun with the yellowfin. We ended up leaving them biting because our boat full of 30 people had limited out. Take a look at the link above to read about that trip.

Join A Fishing Club In San Diego

Fishing clubs are probably one of the best inventions in the fishing world. Fishing clubs are a great way to warn about a local fishery and its ins and outs. By joining a fishing club, not only will you learn more about that type of fishing, but you also meet new fishing buddies to go fish with, and learn of exclusive deals on tackle, trips and more. The link above is list of all of the fishing clubs in Southern California. If you want to fish out here. Join these clubs and get involved.

Drive South From San Diego To Fish  In Ensenada

In March to take a break from moving Fiona from DC and busting our asses in the warehouse we took a trip down to Ensenada to fish and relax. Click the link above to learn more about that trip.

My article is mostly about the fishing aspect but the goal of Bullbuster is to help you spend more time fishing. If you have a family a lot of time that means getting them involved. Fiona wrote a great article covering this perspective with a Things To Do In Ensenada Mexico article.

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