Possessing nearly 30 years of experience, Captain Nathan Beall guides anglers on The Long Run, a 42-foot six-pack sportfishing charter. Venturing into waters off San Diego and Mexico, Beall and his crew cast out live bait or plastic lures during both trolling and drifting trips. Catches vary by season, and may include hauls of lingcod, halibut, and multiple species of tuna. For trophy hunters, Beall takes anglers on excursions for shark and marlin. Trips can last from a few hours to 2.5 days, and The Long Run enhances guests' comfort with a full galley, sound system, and eco-friendly engine that minimizes fumes and noise.
Cleaning is included with most trips, though crews enforce a catch-and-release policy for protected species, such as shark and scuba divers. In addition to guided fishing trips, Beall charters The Long Run for private parties, sunset cruises, and whale watching.
The experienced staff at Seaforth Boat Rentals play host to watery adventures that were voted finalists for the KGTV San Diego A-List’s Best Water Activities in 2010 and 2011. Guided sailing adventures and WaveRunner tours shoot seafarers along the waterways for exceptional views of the coastline, splashing sea life, and dolphins circling on their own WaveRunners.
Consummate aquaphiles can haul various benefits⎯including reduced rates on the rentals of kayaks, canoes, and other seaworthy crafts, access to all five Seaforth locations, and free bicycle rentals in Mission Bay⎯with the Seaforth Sailing Club membership. Seaforth also offers sailing classes along with myriad sailing, yachting, and fishing charters for luxurious days on the water or early mornings spent serenading elusive sailfish.
Though she's only a few decades old, the Privateer has already retired to a warmer climate. In May 2011—after 28 years of ferrying passengers around on whale-watching trips in brisk Massachusetts waters—she made her way down the Atlantic, through the Panama Canal, and to the warm San Diego coast. She hasn't stopped working, however. The Privateer still carries up to 149 passengers across ocean waves during sunset cruises. With her roomy outdoor decks, she makes it easy for people to have unobstructed views of the pink-and-gold horizon kissing the Pacific's azure waters.
Years of fishing in local waterways have taught the specialists at So Cal Fly Fishing how to attract fish swimming in different conditions. During fly-tying classes and casting lessons, they share this knowledge with students, outfitting them with nets, flies, rods, and reels, and then teaching them how to outwit trout by imitating their food sources. They also take groups out to explore the local surf for halibut, the bay for mackerel, and offshore waters for yellowfin tuna and the mythical creatures that are turned into fish sticks.
Enthusiastic instructors at OEX Mission Bay invite beginning and experienced adventurers into the cerulean waters of the Pacific. The outpost began as a kayak and freediving center, but has since branched out to include standup paddleboard, outrigger canoes, and poker tournaments with local sea bass. Staff members happily help sea student get fitted with the perfect-sized gear and train them in basic safety before their expedition over and under the blue bay waters.
The California Sportsman Association was created for the support and development of the Sportsman's Industry in both Hunting & Fishing.
Carlsbad Lagoon's on-water adventures take place at a private beach area lined by palm trees. Here, wakeboards, waverunners, and water skis speed across the water’s surface, bouncing into the air with each wave. The fleet also boasts more leisurely watercraft, such as kayaks and aqua cycles—oversized, buoyant tricycles that fulfill the dream of every child who drove his big wheel into the bathtub.
Of course, Carlsbad Lagoon doesn’t leave its customers to paddle hopelessly in circles. The staff includes instructors, who teach the basics of the various on-water activities. The aquatic educators also run a children's camp.
Dana Wharf Whale Watching's expert crews and skippers glide their watercrafts on the open seas so visitors can soak up sunshine while searching for rare and endangered whales as they migrate south to avoid tax season. Expert captains steer crafts through frothy spumes and narrate each trip, educating passengers on the abundant life beneath the glassy waters. Voyagers can either venture into the boat's full-service galley for a hot meal or bring their own food and nonalcoholic drinks to stave off hunger and resist eating the ocean's jagged, hamburger-shaped coral.
While seated in a boat on Laguna Niguel Lake, visitors feast their eyes on the surrounding rolling hills and lush forestry while taking advantage of 44 acres of fishing spots. The staff constantly stocks the waters with new fish, sending thousands of pounds of rainbow trout, catfish, and other species to swim amid the watery depths. With the fishing arena prepared, they then rappel down on fishing lines to awaiting customers to supply permits, poles, and bait, which they use to entice bluegill and other aquatic passersby.
Though all share the same lake, visitors can embark on fishing adventures in multiple ways. They can wrestle with carp from the lakeside, steer a rented boat, or bob across the water in float tubes, a single-person watercraft reminiscent of the floating easy chairs used by retired penguins.
Davey's Locker guides guests onto the water aboard the mighty Freelance, an state-of-the-art open-water and open-deck touring and fishing boat. During full-day and evening fishing trips, anglers of all experience levels ply the more than 40 miles of coastline off Catalina Island, Newport Beach, Huntington Beach, hitting up fishing hot-spots that change with the seasons. During tours, a full-service kitchen, indoor restaurant with booths, and an indoor lounge keep passengers comfortable. Crew members are onboard to provide any needed assistance, and other amenities, such as computers and live bait wells, help with the fishing process.
As twilight colors San Diego's skyline and the waters surrounding it, the 85-foot New Seaforth is just setting out onto the ocean. Onboard, passengers armed with rods and reels watch the coast shrink as they make their way to Point Loma and the La Jolla kelp beds in search of yellowtail, barracuda, and other fish who have late curfews. Joining them the whole way is Seaforth Sportfishing's crew, who help beginners set up their equipment and give more experienced anglers tips and pointers. And for those who've caught their limit or are waiting for a bite, the galley stands ready, serving up cheeseburgers and sodas or beers for them to sip while they watch the last color fade from the sky and the stars come out. On the way back to shore, during the summer months, passengers might catch Sea World's fireworks show to cap off their evening with a bang.
These twilight trips are indicative of the experience every Seaforth Sportfishing excursion offers. Captains aboard the company's 17
vessels—which range from 65 to 85 feet—also venture out on half-day trips for yellowtail, barracuda, bonito, and bass, or full-day trips into Mexican waters, where tuna and dorado flash beneath the surface.
Staff Size: 2–10 people
Average Duration of Services: 2–4 hours
Brands Used: Duffy Electric Boats
Pro Tip: Show up at least 30 minutes early
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Parking: Parking lot
Most Popular Attraction/Offering: Duffy Electric Boat rental
Recommended Age Group: All ages
San Diego Electric Boat Company
transforms customers into captains, renting out luxuriously equipped Duffy boats to people looking to spend a bit of time on the waters of Mission Bay. Each boat accommodates up to ten adults, with a seat for each beneath a full canopy top. Between hull and canopy, passengers can remove or secure windows to fend off the sea's spray or that lone, vengeful seagull that has never stopped following them. The boats even come with a full stereo system, complete with iPod docks, empowering riders to DJ their own high seas adventure.
With its fleet of luxurious vessels, Fisherman’s Landing leads equally adventurous, and often awe-inspiring, expeditions throughout the year.
Its family-friendly half-day fishing trips encourage anglers of all ages to try their hands at snagging seasonal targets.
As a pod of 12 gray whales epically crashed through the waves, their mighty fins left a trail of mist in their wake. This jaw-dropping natural display didn’t come from the pages of National Geographic, but was actually witnessed live by a group on a whale-watching trip off the San Diego coast in January 2013. Private charter trips, meanwhile, offer a bit more flexibility as they cruise highly populated fishing zones such as the Coronado Islands and the backyard ponds of local celebrities.
At La Jolla Water Sports, guides undergo extensive training before captaining snorkeling excursions into the calm, crystalline waters of the Pacific. The experts escort 6 to 12 patrons at a time on shark tours) of the shallow, sandy flats where small-mouthed leopard sharks up to 5 feet long lounge on their easy chairs of sand. Snorkeling tours of the La Jolla cove grant participants, including beginners and kids, a siren's-eye view of rock formations, underwater flora, and marina critters including garibaldi fish, sea cucumbers, anemones, and starfish. The most action-packed of La Jolla Water Sports's offerings are the spearfishing tours in which leaders expound on the importance of safety and proper form as customers skewer fish before schlepping them home for dinner or as treats for pet grizzly bears.
First String Sportfishing sails the open seas off of Southern California, taking passengers on both fishing voyages and educational marine tours. Its largest boat, First String, can hold up to 149 people for its whale-watching tours. On board the 93-foot boat, you’ll find two 9-ton fish holds, two radars, a large-screen television, and a dolphin-to-English dictionary. First String Sportfishing’s other boats depart for both Californian and Mexican waters on fishing excursions. These trips typically yield shallow-water rockfish such as Sculpin and Whitefish and larger varieties including yellowtail and barracuda.