20 miles from the southern California coast is Santa Catalina Island. You probably know the place as a top vacation destination, but it’s also a good spot for anglers as there are lots of fish here. If you’ve already bought your gear at Eat My Tackle, you may want to include this in your itinerary.
A Picturesque Island
Santa Catalina has never lost its charm even though it’s been frequented by visitors and anglers for more than 100 years. The small town of Avalon is a good place to begin exploring, and the beaches, grottos and coves all over the island offer several angling spots.
If this is your first visit and not familiar with the surroundings, you can take advantage of the party boats, vessels and chartered rides available on the mainland. These vessels are run by experts and will be more than glad to show you around the island and guide you to the best angling spots.
The island coastline has some sandy beaches where you’ll be able to engage in inshore and offshore fishing, and these are also good areas to go fishing on a kayak. Again you won’t have any problems finding suitable locations to go fishing as the waters around the island are full of fish.
Fishing Tips and Suggestions
Bait schools such as mackerel, squid, sardines and anchovies are seasonal, and when they arrive expect big gamefish to arrive. The calico bass, barracuda, Pacific bonito, yellowtail and the big white bass are among the regulars in Santa Catalina as well as the broadbill swordfish, marlin and tuna. If you’re looking for variety, the waters here won’t disappoint.
If you see a sand patch at the bottom, set down a Carolina rig with live bait as there is a solid chance you will catch a good sized California halibut. If you’re fishing in crevices and rocky outposts use a dropper loop rig with squid and you could end up with a rockfish or lingcod.
Getting Around Santa Catalina
If you don’t have a private boat, the most practical way of fishing in Catalina is to avail of one of the many party boats in southern California. Among the most well-known are Long Beach Sportfishing, Davey's Locker and Newport Landing plus a few more.
Another option is to board one of the shuttles along the channel and arrange for a boat to take you angling once you have arrived in Avalon. Once you’re in town just ask around for the local operators, and you can captain your own boat or go with an experienced crew who will guide you. The choice is up to you, but generally speaking it is best to go with a crew so you can make the most of the situation and your time: in fact some would suggest exploring the island a bit and get to know the place before doing any angling.
No matter what approach you take, one thing is for certain and that is Santa Catalina offers plenty of fish for anglers to catch. Even though it’s not far from California, it’s still a prime destination for anglers.