Fishing in Oceanside

“Gone Fishing!”  Cast your line out in the beautiful Pacific Ocean during your next trip to Oceanside. With a variety of locations available for fun and unique fishing experiences, O’side offers prime conditions for everyone, no matter if you’re a family of first-timers or experienced sport fisherman! Off our shores you can expect to catch a wide array of species, including croakers, surf perch, halibut, sand bass, stingrays, bonito and even sand sharks, just to name a few.

Show us your fresh catch! Be sure to tag @VisitOceanside in your fishing photos on Instagram using the hashtag #VisitOceanside for a chance to have your image featured!


Photo By: Portia Gorman, @inspiredchick
Photo By: Portia Gorman, @inspiredchick
Family Watching Fishing from the Oceanside Pier | Oceanside, CA
Sea Star Sportfishing Trip

Harbor Fishing

The quaint Oceanside Harbor offers calm waters making for a beginner-friendly fishing location. Because the Harbor is shielded from the open ocean it also becomes a safe haven for many fish species! The best place to fish in the Oceanside Harbor is the Small Craft Harbor Fishing Pier – a favorite spot for locals and visitors alike. Just like the larger Oceanside Pier, fishing here requires no license and there are even benches available to sit at. With the pier facing the Harbor entrance, enjoy the beautiful view while catching smelt, croackers, perch and bass.

From the Pier

The Oceanside Pier offers ample space for you to fish with the family, no fishing license required! If you’re in need of fishing gear, including rods, tackle or bait, the Oceanside Pier Bait Shop located at the middle of the pier has everything you could need. Depending on where you cast your line out from expect to catch different species of fish. At the end of the pier you’ll commonly catch bonito or mackerel, midway out stingrays or halibut, while inshore you can expect to catch croakers and guitarfish, among others!

Deep Sea & Sportfishing

Experience a deep sea fishing adventure on one of the several Sportfishing Charters based out of the Oceanside Harbor. Private or public, big or small, there’s an option for you complete with experienced deck hands ready to help you land the big one! Choose a fun day trip starting at only a few hours long or take on extended  multi-day excursions for an unforgettable fishing experience. Your fishing report while on a charter will include catches like sea bass, bonito, mahi-mahi, halibut, barracuda and even sometimes sharks!

Pond & Lagoon Fishing

Guajome Regional Park

Guajome Regional Park is located in inland Oceanside and has a little bit of everything that San Diego County offers. Among the beautiful hiking trails, campgrounds and parks are two ponds that attract migratory birds and serve as home to a variety of fish, such as bass, bluegill and channel catfish. Enjoy shore fishing during park hours from this scenic location. 

Buena Vista Lagoon 

At the southern edge of Oceanside, you’ll find the Buena Vista Lagoon. This freshwater lagoon was California’s first ecological reserve and offers fishing directly from shoreline access points. Here you can find crayfish, carp and even bass. Afterwards walk among native plants lining the trails to see views of the lagoon and its vibrant bird life.

Equipment & Licenses

While Oceanside sportfishing charters provide the equipment necessary to fish, if you want to stay on land you’ll need your own gear. For fishing on the Pier the Oceanside Pier Bait Store has everything you need, including rod rentals, bait and even snacks! Other well equipped tackle shops in Oceanside include Pacific Coast Bait & Tackle and Oceanside Sea Center located conveniently in Oceanside Harbor Village.

Oceanside Fishing Gear
Fishing Catch from the Oceanside Pier | Oceanside, CA

Depending on where in Oceanside you plan to fish, you may need a California Fishing License. The two fishing spots in Oceanside that do not require any licenses are the Oceanside Municipal Fishing Pier and the Oceanside Harbor Fishing Pier. Any other location, including fishing from the beach, harbor, or by boat will require a license. Children that are under the age of 16 are free to fish without a license in all locations.

To learn more about California Fishing Licenses and how to purchase one visit California Department of Fish and Wildlife.