While San Diego is well-known by tourists for its beautiful weather and beaches, anglers also come to San Diego for some of the best fishing in America.
The city boasts over 20 lakes and reservoirs for freshwater fishing and seven piers for saltwater fishing in the Pacific Ocean.
Pier fishing offers a cost-effective way to start saltwater fishing without buying or renting a boat.
Some of San Diego’s piers stretch out almost 2,000 feet into the ocean, allowing anglers access to a host of saltwater fish.
This article breaks down the top fishing piers in San Diego. You will learn about each pier’s area, what fish are available there, and other geographical facts to help you decide the best pier to visit.
Top 7 San Diego Fishing Piers
- Crystal Pier
- Imperial Beach Pier
- Ocean Beach Pier
- Oceanside Pier
- Shelter Island Pier
- Coronado Ferry Landing
- Embarcadero Marina Park Fishing Pier
Crystal Pier is located off Pacific Beach and offers yellowfin croaker, round stingrays, corbina, guitarfish, and barred surfperch as some of the most popular catches.
The pier is relatively short compared to other San Diego fishing piers at 872 feet. However, this pier is the only one that offers hotels on the pier itself.
Crystal Pier opens at 8 AM and closes at sunset each day. Hotel guests, however, have access to the pier all day and night.
The pier opened on April 18, 1926, to encourage people to buy property in the surrounding area.
Free parking is available, but it is limited. As a result, most visitors rely on metered parking close to the pier.
Imperial Beach Pier
Smack dab in the middle of Imperial Beach sits the Imperial Beach Pier. This pier offers a variety of catches, including yellowfin croaker, spotfin croaker, halibut, corbina, surfperch, sharks, and rays.
Built in 1989, Imperial Beach Pier is located a few miles north of Tijuana, making it the southernmost pier in San Diego. The pier covers the entire surf zone at 1,500 feet long.
The pier opens a few hours earlier than Crystal Pier at 6 AM, and it closes a few hours later at 10:30 PM.
Surrounding Imperial Beach Pier are some popular surf spots, some beautiful coastal artwork, the Imperial Beach Surfboard Museum, and some scenic biking trails.
Ocean Beach Pier
Located at 1850 Ocean Front St, Ocean Beach Pier offers fishing with a cafe and shop on the pier to pick up supplies.
Some of the most common species of fish to catch at Ocean Beach Pier include Scorpionfish, Perch, Mackerel, and lots of other tasty fish.
The variety of fish makes this pier one of the top destinations for anglers of all skill levels.
The official opening of Ocean Beach Pier was on July 2, 1966. At 1,971 feet, it is the longest pier on the west coast.
Ocean Beach Pier is open 24 hours a day.
Located just off downtown Oceanside sits Oceanside Pier. Whether you’re a new angler or an experienced veteran, this pier offers some of the best catches in San Diego.
Here you will find surf perch, bonito, croakers, stingrays, halibut, sand bass, and sand sharks.
The current Oceanside Pier is the fifth in its history. The first pier was built in 1888. However, it was destroyed in a storm just a few years after. Since then, the city has constructed four more piers. The latest opened on September 27, 1987.
Sitting at 1,954 feet, it is the longest wooden pier on the west coast. The pier opens at 4 AM and closes at 10 PM.
Shelter Island Pier
Shelter Island Pier is located on Shelter Island’s narrow strip of land. This area is known as one of the most avid fishing communities in San Diego.
As such, it’s no surprise this pier offers a wide variety of catches sure to suit most anglers.
The fish species available to catch at Shelter Island Pier include Spotted bay bass, Barracuda, Bat rays, Guitarfish, Leopard sharks, and more.
This t-shaped pier only extends 200 feet away from the shore and is 500 feet long. Despite this, it is situated in a perfect fishing location.
Coronado Ferry Landing
Located on the west side of San Diego Bay, the Coronado Ferry Landing Pier is 377 feet long, making it one of the shortest piers in San Diego.
Even so, the surrounding waters can yield some nice catches as fish love to hang out in the sand, mud, and grassy areas around the pier.
The best fish to catch at the Coronado Ferry Landing Pier are mackerel, spotted bay bass, Corvina, and halibut.
The first ferry arrived at the Coronado Ferry Landing Pier on August 19, 1886.
Embarcadero Marina Park Fishing Pier
Nestled off Embarcadero Park sits the Embarcadero Marina Park Fishing Pier.
This small, 95-foot pier is a favorite for family outings. The family can sit and play in the park while the anglers relax on the pier for some excellent fishing.
Some of the top catches at the Embarcadero Marina Park Fishing Pier include Surfperch, Needlefish, Jacksmel, and Topsmelt.
This t-shaped pier is a bit of a diamond in the rough. Few people know about it, but it still offers some good fishing.
Built in 1980, the Embarcadero Marina Park Fishing Pier is open 24 hours a day. However, the park and the parking lot open at 6 AM and close at 10 PM.
With seven different piers to choose from, each San Diego pier offers a different experience.
If you’re looking for a short, quiet pier, you can check out the Embarcadero Marina Park Fishing Pier. However, if you want to be in the hustle and bustle of San Diego beach life, Crystal Pier or Imperial Beach Pier could tickle your fancy.
With beautiful weather and ample fish available, you can’t go wrong fishing in San Diego, but nothing compares to what Miami has to offer.