You will never have to look for a place or a specific day to go fishing once you find yourself in San Diego. Here the fishing season is all your round and is a host to one of the world’s largest fishing fleet giving San Diego and the perfect destination for catching more fish than you would in any other place. 

San Diego is home to some of the world’s most magnificent lakes and of course that largest fishing spots. You do not have to worry about the fishing gear, because once you see the number of fleets and several charter vessels to choose from, plan your next fishing trip here and I can guarantee you that the number of tuna and Pelagic that will land in your net will always be more anywhere else in the world.

Type of Fishing that Can Take Place in San Diego County

Saltwater Fishing in San Diego 

The ocean waters in San Diego have both the inshore and offshore which is a good thing because whether an expert or a beginner there is something for every angler. Fishing takes place from the shorelines, a private boat, a pier, a kayak, or using a large vessel. If you choose a boat, it should take you not more than half an hour to reach the productive fishing spots in the region.

Freshwater Fishing 

San Diego boasts of the world’s largest freshwater fishing grounds. The surrounding lakes and reservoirs are fishing grounds for the trout and the largemouth bass. According to fishing records, the world’s largest largemouth bass was caught in San Diego. If you remember the story of “Dottie” featured in National Geographic, then you are welcome to San Diego fishing grounds.

Top Freshwater Lakes for Fishing in San Diego

Today we will cover the freshwater fishing spots, and what kinds of are available for you. The fact that San Diego has rich fishing grounds it leads most visitors to think that fishing here is associated with deep-sea fishing. The County has a freshwater system that is ideal for anglers not used to the sea environment. Join the kings in angling by making the trout or the largemouth as part your catch.

  • Lake Cuyamaca

This lake is on the mountainous regions of the county’s Cuyamaca region earning it the name mountain lake. You will not visit this place without acknowledging the perfect scenic setting in the area. The 110-acre lake hides in the Cuyamaca Mountains at the height of 4,260 feet above the sea level.

The height above the sea level makes it ideal for trout fishing because of the fish lives in a cold climate found here. You can use your boat or try shoreline fishing. Do not worry about accommodation because camping grounds are within site. The site also supports fly-fishing enthusiast. Here is what you will see: Rainbow trout, smallmouth bass, sturgeon, bluegill, and crappie.

  • Lake Morena 

This lake is on one of the most remote locations in San Diego, at 3,000 feet deep in the Laguna foothills; this is an ideal location for campers. Victors will decide which one of two beautiful camping grounds will offer the most convenient fishing location. The best time to catch trout is during the winter. 

Here is what you will see: Trout, bluegill, catfish, crappie, bass

  • Lake Miramar

Lake Miramar is an urban lake that is a host of the urban legend. This is the lake that the 21-pound largemouth was sighted. The lake is located in the Scripps Ranch and offers a perfect recreational space with non-fishing activities like bicycling, rollerblading and jogging as well as picnic sites. The only thing missing at this fishing spot is the camping facilities

Here is what you will see: Bass, bluegill, catfish, channel

  • Dixon Lake

The Dixon Lake is famous for the presence of the record-breaking bass fishing. The lake is small but surprisingly home to large fish species, which depend on trout farming taking place in the lake. The big catch depends on adequate trout to make them pull up such massive sizes.

You can travel here with ease because of the availability of campgrounds. The authorities here do not welcome private boats and floaters. 

Here is what you will see: largemouth bass, catfish, and trout.

  • Lake Jennings 

This is a lake seated on an 85-acre land sitting between El Cajon and the lakeside. The reputation of the lake is its reputation for the giant-sized catfish. Lake Jennings is also home to large blue catfish scaling up to 15-pounds. Trout’s are also living here. 

Practice or perfect your shore fishing here and find a quiet campground just next to the fishing ground. Here is what you will see: Bluegill, bass, catfish, and trout

  • San Vicente Reservoir 

As one of the largest lakes in the United States, it sits on 1,100-acres with 14 miles of shoreline. A record bluefish Cath scaled over 100 pounds was caught sometime in the year 2000. The lake hosts bass tournaments and is popular for recreational water activities. 

Come prepared for skiing on a freshwater lake. You can as well join others in towing inflatables and wakeboarding. Here is what you will see: bass, catfish, crappie, and bluegill

  • Chollas Lake

Chollas Lake is a tiny 16-acre that fits the description of the urban oasis. The lake is in Oak Park on the eastern side of San Diego. It stands out as the only fishing ground allowed for children under the age of 15 years. Now you have a reason to tag your family along the Oak Park area.

Free fishing clinics are conducted and day camps available for the young ones. The beautiful eucalyptus trees surrounding the areas offer lovely shades and perfect ground for picnics. Playgrounds and basketball courts are within the vicinity. Here is what you will see: Bluegill and Trout

  • Santee Lakes

Santee Lakes is a chain of seven other lakes that are small and are from reclaimed land. Located somewhere in the middle of Santee, the region is now a popular recreation spot with picnic and camping sites. 

Fishing on these lakes does not require the California fishing license, which only applies to these chain of lakes and not the others already mentioned in the article. You are supposed to pay daily fishing fees. Every lake in the chain has its species. Here is what you will see: Bluegill and catfish

About the Author:

Brian Lange is the founder of Fishing Pax, a fishing blog dedicated to providing honest fishing tips and information. He aspires to help his readers achieve their dream fishing day experience by sharing personal tips learned through both years of experience and thorough research. Check out to learn more about Brian and his work.