If you don’t have a boat but still want to go fishing, then piers are the perfect spot for you to go for a day of fishing. All you need is a fishing rod, some bait, and a free day. If you’re heading to San Diego you may be wondering about the best fishing piers in San Diego.
It’s no surprise that the sunny city of San Diego has some of the best fishing piers in the country. With gorgeous weather year round and a spectacular view along the coastline, even people who don’t fish love to come out for a relaxing afternoon. You don’t need a fishing license to fish on the piers in San Diego either.
Where are the best fishing piers in San Diego? There’s so many piers to choose from in this beautiful city, so we scoped out the 7 best ones to introduce to you.
Check out our guide for the best fishing piers in San Diego to make picking a pier easier so you have more time to spend fishing. San Diego has some of the most beautiful scenery, so you’ll be happy you have the extra time on the water.
Imperial Beach Pier
Imperial Beach Pier was built in 1963 and is the southernmost fishing pier in San Diego. This pier is made of wooden planks and is 1,491 feet long. Pack your fishing gear according to how far you plan on walking, because you won’t want anything too heavy in your bag if you’re walking the whole pier.
Imperial Beach Pier is located on a wide beach that is wonderful for strolls anytime of the day. One treat about the view at Imperial Beach Pier is that you can see across to Los Coronado Islands from the end of the pier.
Parking is fair priced at $2 per day. There are restrooms on site. If you get hungry, you can stop at their on site restaurant that offers burgers and freshly cooked seafood. Opening hours are between 5am-10pm.
There is a wide variety of fish to be caught on this pier. After a day along the waters at Imperier Beach Pier, you can expect to reel in any of the following fish:
- Surf Perch
- California Corbina
- Sand Bass
Imperial Beach Pier is located at 10 Evergreen Ave.
If you’re an avid fisher that lives nowhere near San Diego but still want to enjoy fishing on their world-famous piers, then Crystal Pier is the place for you. Crystal pier has on-site cottages for tourists to rent. At night time the pier is private to guests, but it is open to the public for fishing during the day.
Crystal Pier takes the health and safety of their guests and staff seriously. Since the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 a mask is required before entering the pier. There are fish-cleaning stations and a bait and tackle shop on site for daytime visitors. Take a seat on one of their benches and enjoy the view along the lake.
If you book a fishing getaway at Crystal Pier, here are a few of the fish you can expect to lure in:
- Surf Perch
- California Corbina
Crystal Pier is located at 4500 Ocean Ave.
Ocean Beach Pier
If you are looking for the longest concrete pier in the state of California, then head over to the Ocean Beach Pier. Can you believe this pier is 1,971 feet long? You will want to pack light if you plan on fishing off the end. The t-shaped design of this pier location allows more space for guests, so busy days on the pier won’t feel so crowded.
Originally built in 1966, Ocean Beach Pier continues to expand to accomodate all of it’s visitors. If you’re feeling hungry the Ocean Beach Pier Cafe has plenty of delicious choices for lunch. There is also a bait and tackle shop on site just in case you forget something.
Here’s a look at some of the fish you can find in the water at Ocean Beach Pier:
- Surf Perch
This pier is open to the public 24 hours a day at 1850 Ocean Front St.
Embarcadero Marina Park Fishing Pier
Embarcadero Marina Park Fishing Pier is one of the smaller fishing piers in the city, but it is still one of the best. It’s only 95 feet long and 300 feet wide along the water. There’s an artificial reef and an eelgrass bottom that attract many schools of fish to this pier, which makes it one of San Diego’s most beautiful lesser-known fishing spots.
It’s best to come prepared for a day at Embarcadero Marina Park Fishing Pier because there isn’t very much available for amenities. The view and the plentiful variety of fish make this pier spectacular. Here are a few of the fish that you can find at Embarcadero Marina Park Fishing Pier:
- Several types of basses (including calico, sand, and bay)
- Small barracuda
Parking at Embarcadero Marina Park Fishing Pier is always free. The pier is located at 200 Marina Park Way and is open between 6 am- 10 pm.
Oceanside Pier is one of the longest wooden piers in the state of California. It’s 1,942 feet long and can reach waters that are up to 50 feet deep. If you walk to the end of the pier, you have a chance of reeling in some bigger fish. Tourists love Oceanside Pier because it is along one of the nicest beaches in San Diego. This gorgeous harbor is also a very popular surfing spot.
People come from all over stop by Oceanside Pier just to grab a bite at their outdoor 50’s style restaurant, Ruby’s Diner. They also offer one of the best-quality bait and tackle shops in the city. There is so much to do at Oceanside Pier, so it you want to make a day of it come for opening at 4am and stay until closing at 10pm.
These are some of the fish you can find in those deeper waters at Oceanside Pier:
- Several basses (calico, sand, and bay just to name a few)
Another fun fact about Oceanside Pier is that it was built all the way back in 1888. It has been rebuilt several times throughout history. The current pier standing is the 6th one built and has been standing since 1987.
Oceanside Pier is located at 1540 N Harbor Dr.
Shelter Island Pier
Shelter Island Pier is a smaller pier located in the heart of San Diego’s more popular fishing community. The pier is 200 feet long and 500 feet wide to offer more space. If you are interested in hearing a fishing tale from some of the local fishermen stop by The Marlin Club, which is right next door to the pier. There is plenty of parking to make sure everyone can enjoy the day at Shelter Island Pier.
Althought it’s a smaller pier, that doesn’t stop Shelter Island Pier from being one of the best fishing piers in San Diego. The bay has a phenomenal view for a relaxing walk. There are quite a few restaurants within walking distance to stop in at once you get hungry.
After a day of fishing at Shelter Island Pier, these are a few of the fish you may find:
- Several types of basses
Shelter Island Pier is located at 1776 Shelter Island Dr. It’s open to the public between 6 am-10:30 pm.
Coronado Ferry Landing Pier
Last but not least on our list of the best fishing piers in San Diego is a secret spot that not many visitors know about. Across from San Diego Bay on Coronado Island, just behind the shopping complex is where you can find this beauty of a pier. It is only 377 feet long but there is plenty of fish to be caught.
Although there aren’t any amenities on site, everything you need is within walking distance. Not to mention that walk comes with a beautiful view.
The water at the Coronado Ferry Landing Pier is clear and shallow, so you can get away with packing lighter fishing gear. The fish you can find while fishing here are:
- Several types of bass
Be safe and follow all of the signage in the area. The Coronado Ferry Landing Pier is located at 990 N Harbor Dr.
San Diego has some of the most beautiful fishing piers in the country. Even if you don’t fish, the view along these piers is breathtaking enough to inspire a visit. Get your tackle boxes ready and make a day of it. Make sure you pack a light when visiting piers that require longer walks.