When Is Mackerel Season In California?

Pacific mackerel

Pacific mackerel
The blue mackerel (Scomber australasicus), also called Japanese mackerel, Pacific mackerel, slimy mackerel or spotted chub mackerel, is a fish of the family Scombridae, found in tropical and subtropical waters of the Pacific Ocean from Japan south to Australia and New Zealand, in the eastern Pacific (Hawaii and Socorro …

https://en.wikipedia.org › Blue_mackerel

spawn from late April to September off California, year-round off central Baja California peaking from June through October, and from late fall to early spring off Cabo San Lucas.

There is no need to introduce the “Golden State’s” ideal climate, Hollywood, amazing beaches, and recognizable national parks. Each California fishing season welcomes anglers with incredible opportunities, no matter their age or skill level, with a healthy dose of fantastic catches all year long, of course.

Over 800 miles of coastline, as well as stunning and varied lakes, rivers, and reservoirs, are all gifts to California. Anyone who enjoys fly fishing can do so in the Sacramento River before venturing out to the abundant deep sea waters off the San Diego coast. The mighty Pacific is home to fish like Tuna, Marlin, and Halibut, while Lake Tahoe is home to salmon and trout as well as other lakes and streams that contain bass and kokeye.

This guide details the best fishing in California month by month. It discusses the best places to cast your line as well as the year’s biggest catches. Without further ado, let’s discuss what you can anticipate.

Clams – geoduck (a.k.a. horse or horseneck clams)

  • limit: Sec. 29.30
  • size limit:
  • seasonal limit: Sec. 29.20(b)
  • What is the limit for mackerel in California?

    The smallest size allowed is 20 inches alternate length or 28 inches total length.

    What to expect from California’s fishing seasons?

    You want to go fishing in California, so you’re trying to figure out when the best time is to do it. It’s true what we said earlier: fishing in the Golden State is always a good time. The best time to fish in California, or anywhere else for that matter, depends on your chosen location, though.

    For instance, early spring and late summer are the ideal times to fish for salmon and trout on Lake Tahoe. When tuna and marlin migrate through the region in October, the high season in San Diego starts in April and lasts until then. But that doesn’t mean that outside of the busy months, nothing else is biting!

    Species Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
    Yellowtail Amberjack Weak Weak Good Good Good Great Great Great Great Great Good Weak
    Mako Shark Weak Weak Weak Good Great Great Great Great Great Great Good Weak
    California Sheephead Ban Ban Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great
    Crab Good Good Good Good Good Good Good Weak Weak Weak Great Great
    Halibut Good Good Good Great Great Great Great Weak Weak Good Good Good
    Lingcod Ban Ban Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great
    Rockfish Ban Ban Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great
    Bluefin Tuna Weak Weak Weak Weak Good Great Great Good Good Weak Weak Weak
    Species Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
    Largemouth Bass Weak Weak Good Good Great Great Good Good Good Weak Weak Weak
    Brown Trout Good Good Great Great Good Good Good Good Good Good Good Good
    Sturgeon Great Great Great Good Good Weak Weak Weak Weak Good Great Great
    Chinook Salmon Ban Ban Ban Ban Good Good Great Great Great Great Great Great
    Smallmouth Bass Weak Weak Good Great Great Great Good Good Good Good Weak Weak
    Striped Bass Good Good Great Great Good Good Good Good Good Great Great Good
    Spotted Bass Weak Weak Weak Good Great Great Good Good Good Weak Weak Weak
    Lake Trout Great Great Great Great Great Great Good Good Good Good Great Great

    Anglers in California have something new and exciting to look forward to each month. Here’s a breakdown of the California fishing season:

    When planning your next fishing trip, be sure to research the applicable freshwater and saltwater fishing laws in the area. Additionally, you must purchase a current California fishing license. Now you know that, let’s dive in.

    Simply put, California’s winter fishing season is just as fantastic as its summer fishing season. While some anglers put their rods away until the following spring, winter anglers are giddy with anticipation.

    Your first stop might be looking for sturgeon in San Pablo Bay if you’re wondering how fishing is in California in January. Locals have long referred to this location as a “Mecca for winter Sturgeon,” and with good reason. There is even a location where anglers drift shrimp on the ebbing tide known as the “Sturgeon triangle.”

    When Is Mackerel Season In California?

    If you prefer to fish for steelhead, you can go to the Klamath River to see when they have their best winter run. As an alternative, they are also cooking in the Smith, Tuolumne, and Merced Rivers, Lake Berryessa, and the Smith River. Early January typically marks the start of the Steelhead season in California’s Central Valley, and Lake Havasu is a great place for Crappie enthusiasts to look for their preferred species. However, since it can significantly affect your success when catching a line, be sure to check the weather forecast in advance.

    But don’t think we’ve forgotten about saltwater anglers; your first stop in January can be bottom fishing for halibut and flounder. Alternately, continue searching for calico bass along the coast of Southern California.

    Even more exciting fish species are available as we approach the winter season’s final month. From Eureka to San Diego, halibut arrive in protected bays. The following are some places to look for these bottom feeders:

  • San Francisco Bay
  • Humboldt Bay
  • Tomales Bay
  • Bodega Head
  • Oceanside Pier
  • Shelter Cove
  • Morro Bay
  • Monterey Bay
  • Of course, halibut aren’t the only prominent anglers in February. Additionally active in February are Calico and White Seabass, as well as excellent Crabbing opportunities in Bodega Bay.

    When Is Mackerel Season In California?

    On the freshwater front, the Smith River’s Chinook “King” Salmon bite well, and the Delta’s sturgeon action is good. You can go on a troll trip for Mackinaw Trout in Lake Tahoe or fly fish for steelhead in the upper Sac River.

    To top it all off, northern California’s Los Vaqueros Reservoir is home to landlocked Striped Bass and Catfish.

    March marks the beginning of the California spring fishing season. Numerous lakes in the state offer good bass and trout fishing if you’re unsure where to start.

    Collins Lake, which is located in the foothills of Yuba County, has good largemouth bass fishing. If you prefer to fish for smallmouth bass, you might want to visit the Diamond Valley Reservoir. In this 4,500-acre lake, some fishermen succeed in catching smallies up to 15 pounds!

    In terms of Rainbow Trout options, this time of year the tailwater section of the Sacramento River can be quite productive. You can search for Brown Trout in the tributaries of Lake Almanor to add to the mix of trout.

    When Is Mackerel Season In California?

    Saltwater-wise, March can also be pretty productive. Southern California offers excellent lobstering, while anglers on the north coast target halibut and crab Look for White Seabass, Sculpin, Calico Bass, and Sheephead as well if that is insufficient.

    Come April, saltwater fishing really begins to pick up momentum. First off, yellowtail and barracuda begin to show up close to Catalina Island. Secondly, the season for Lingcod and Rockfish opens.

    Striped Bass chase after schools of anchovies as they enter San Francisco Bay. Consider basing your travel arrangements on the current fishing craze and visiting locations like the Vallejo Wall, Candlestick Point, Fort Point, and Sausalito Jetty.

    When Is Mackerel Season In California?

    You should also look into your freshwater options in April. Here are some of the best lakes in California to visit in April:

  • Lake Almanor. This picturesque reservoir in northwestern Plumas County offers good Smallmouth Bass fishing opportunities.
  • Lake Sonoma. If you’re a die-hard Bass angler or just passing the lake on your way to one of the vineyards, consider a quick Largemouth trip.
  • Lake Perris. Nestled between Moreno Valley and Perris, this artificial lake offers good chances for landing trophy Largemouth Bass.
  • Lake Tahoe. This premier alpine lake needs no introduction. The main April attractions of Lake Tahoe include Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout, Kokanee, and Mackinaw.
  • Lake Don Pedro. Finally, Lake Don Pedro is a good spot to practice your angling skills against springtime Chinook Salmon.
  • The big game hunting season in California is now open as we head into May. Off the coast of San Diego, tuna fishermen prepare their rods for fishing. Additionally, the menu is impressive at this time of year with options like Bluefin, Bigeye, Yellowfin, and Albacore available. Our advice is to target the vicinity of Catalina Island.

    Saltwater options aren’t limited to just Tuna, though. Additionally, you can catch mackerel, barracuda, sheephead, and calico bass fairly close to the shore.

    It’s good to know that the San Francisco Chinook Salmon season begins in May if you’re curious about what’s biting inland. Along with that, you can explore various other Salmon destinations. Lake Berryessa also offers good Kokanee populations, for example.

    Shad runs can be found in the American River in downtown Sacramento, and anglers who prefer trout can go fishing in Collins Lake. Folsom Lake’s waters are ideal for catfish fishermen looking for a big catch, while rainbow trout anglers may want to check out the Upper Hat Creek.

    An absolute big game star, Marlin, arrives in the first month of summer. Striped and Blue are both available in deep waters. Along with Mahi Mahi, there are also tuna and yellowtail in the area, impressing both local and outside anglers. Among the hottest places in June are San Clemente and the Coronado Islands.

    Consider scheduling an overnight charter for a saltwater mixed bag if the weather and conditions are favorable. June has the potential to yield catches of rockcod, calico bass, sand bass, halibut, yellowtail, bluefin tuna, marlin, bonito, and barracuda.

    When Is Mackerel Season In California?

    While there is an increase in deep sea fishing off the coast of San Diego, San Francisco, and many other cities, freshwater opportunities are also plentiful. Largemouth bass are abundant in Clear Lake, Lake Henshaw offers good catfish action, and Lake Nacimiento offers good white bass fishing.

    It goes without saying that July is one of the best months for fishing in California. San Diego and Dana Point’s offshore waters have active white seabass fishing. You can still go after most of the big game superstars if the conditions are right, and you can add Albacore and Wahoo to the list.

    Catalina, San Clemente, and the Coronado islands offer incredible action. On the list are Fort Bragg, MacKerricher State Park, Laguna Point, the Point Cabrillo Lighthouse, and Fort Bragg.

    When Is Mackerel Season In California?

    Salmon fishing is also hot in July. Kokanee fishing is popular in Lake Tahoe, and some anglers are getting ready for the fall salmon run on the Sac River. Target Yellow Perch in Crowley Lake’s drop-offs and deep waters to diversify your freshwater fishing options.

    There are excellent chances to catch a variety of species during the middle to end of the summer. Striped Marlin, Yellowtail, Wahoo, Halibut, Mahi Mahi, Calico Bass, Sand Bass, Barracuda, and many more species may be caught on a full-day or overnight trip.

    When Is Mackerel Season In California?

    The fact that you can catch four different types of tuna in August is additional evidence that it’s the hottest month for fishing in California. Bluefin, Albacore, Yellowfin, and Bigeye all bite well in August.

    Anglers of all ages swarm the lakes and rivers of California in August. They travel to Bodega Bay and the Sac River in the hopes of catching King Salmon. Additionally, some locals fish in Salmon Creek, Tomales Point, and Whistle Buoy.

    While others fish for smallmouth bass in the Russian River, fly fishermen pursue Golden Trout in the John Muir Wilderness.

    Believe it or not, the fishing season in California doesn’t end in September. Offshore, tuna continues to be a popular catch along with bonito, mahi mahi, calico bass, and yellowtail

    When Is Mackerel Season In California?

    Marlin and Bluefin Tuna are departing, but you can still try your luck offshore. In fact, if the weather is warm enough, you can find them in San Diego, which is closer to the shore. You might not want to pass up the opportunity to say goodbye because striped marlin are also moving to warmer waters.

    You can take your light fishing gear to bays and estuaries to troll for albacore tuna in Shelter Cove or fish for leopard sharks there. Mako, Thresher, and Blue Sharks are also available.

    Consider going Kokanee fishing at Don Pedro Reservoir if you’re into salmon. Some locals say it holds the state’s largest Kokanees!.

    Come October, surf perch are available all along California’s coastline, and steelhead are biting in the Trinity River just below Lewiston Lake. Streams in the eastern Sierra produce excellent Brown, Brook, and Rainbow Trout as well.

    Additionally, Lake Tahoe continues to provide reliable fishing opportunities in October, with trout fishing increasing. Meanwhile, the Sac River keeps Salmon anglers busy.

    When Is Mackerel Season In California?

    You can still take part in some offshore fishing action if the weather permits and you feel adventurous. For those who know where to look, there may also be some Yellowfin Tuna, Halibut, and Bonito available. Rockfish, particularly Rock Cod, Corbina, and Calico Bass, are exploding in San Diego.

    In San Diego, November is a good month to relax and enjoy some groundfish bottom fishing. Popular November catches in California include lingcod, halibut, albacore, sharks, and rockfish.

    If you haven’t given up on deep sea fishing yet, think about spending the night in Mexican waters. Don’t forget to pack your passport, though!.

    When Is Mackerel Season In California?

    The bay’s salmon season is over, but you can still search for them in the Sacramento River. Many anglers in the San Francisco Bay Area shift their focus to targeting striped bass and sturgeon in the Delta. Stripers are also active in the Sacramento Delta.

    The Klamath River offers some early-winter Steelhead fishing as one of your alternatives. Additionally, you could start your winter fishing season with a trip to Lake Oroville for spotty bass.

    Most saltwater anglers split into two categories by the end of the year. The first category consists of adventurers who plan trips all the way to Coronado Islands in the south. Why? Because if you travel far enough, you can find Mahi Mahi, Bluefin, and Yellowfin Tuna even in December.

    In the second category, they focus on lobster and Dungeness crab, both of which reach their peak in December. Before the season’s closure in January, there are still some Halibut and Rockfish available as a last resort.

    When Is Mackerel Season In California?

    Freshwater anglers enjoy the winter fishing season in California by pursuing landlocked Stripers in San Luis Reservoir or Rainbow Trout in Lower Owens River. Others seek out less populated areas, like Lake Perris, to catch largemouth bass.


    What is the best month to catch mackerel?

    The best time to catch mackerel is from May to June, though they are also frequently caught throughout the summer and occasionally even in the winter.

    What is the limit for mackerel in California?

    Anchovies, grunion, jacksmelt, topsmelt, Pacific butterfish (pompano), queenfish, sanddabs, skipjack, jack mackerel, Pacific mackerel, Pacific staghorn sculpin, round herring, Pacific herring, Pacific sardine, petrale sole, and starry flounder are among the species that are not subject to quotas.

    What time of year do Spanish mackerel come out?

    Spanish mackerel migrate northward along the Atlantic coast from their wintering grounds off Florida to North Carolina in early April and New York in June. Later in the year, as the weather cools, the waters migrate south to Florida waters.

    What season is mackerel season?

    In the Mid-Atlantic Bight, Atlantic mackerel spawn from April to May; in the Gulf of the St. Lawrence.

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