I was fishing on a half-day trip aboard Captain Tim Green’s sport boat Premier when a large shadow cruised past a MC Swimbait lure I was retrieving to the boat.
“White seabass?” I asked Green, who was standing nearby.
“Sure looked like a white seabass,” Green said.
Seeing a 30- to 50-pound white seabass like that, or better yet, catching one like that, is part of the adventure of taking a half-day sportfishing trip out of Point Loma or Mission Bay. You never know what will tug the end of the line. And springtime means topwater time, the start of surface action for calico bass, barracuda and bonito or maybe a trophy yellowtail or white seabass.
There are other trophy fish in these waters, too, such as California halibut and even thresher sharks or mako sharks, making a half-day fishing trip out of San Diego one of the most diverse in the country. On most trips, depending on the season, you can expect to catch sand bass, calico bass, whitefish, sculpin, rockfish, sheephead, lingcod, mackerel, bonito or barracuda.
My personal favorite half-day boats are the Daily Double out of Point Loma Sportfishing, the Premier out of H&M Landing and the New Seaforth out of Seaforth Boat Rentals. The Daily Double and Premier are based in San Diego Bay, and the New Seaforth is docked in Mission Bay. Parking can be a challenge in Point Loma. Seaforth has free parking.
Once you have picked your charter, the adventure starts at the Everingham Bros. Bait Barge, where the boat loads up on live bait, either anchovies or sardines and sometimes both. Don’t be afraid to drop a plastic swimbait or iron jig on the other side of the boat as the crew scoops bait. Some big fish lurk around the bait barges.
Once out to sea, just relax and take in the San Diego sunshine as you catch tonight’s dinner!
Cost and Other Information
All of the landings have rental gear and terminal tackle such as hooks and sinkers. You need a fishing license if you’re 16 and over. It costs $14.30. Trips run from $44 to $46 for adults, $36 for kids 15 and under. And seniors and active military get discounts. A rod and reel may be rented for $10, and there’s a charge for fish-cleaning, $1 to $5, depending on the size of the fish.
Tell us in the comments below, where is your favorite place/charter for saltwater fishing?