Ocean Sport Fishing

Using the map or the links below, select the portion of the California coast where you plan to fish, and you will access a summary of current sport fishing regulations for that area.

map of california showing adjacent ocean sportfishing regions
Northern Management Area - Oregon Border to the 40°10' Line Mendocino Management Area - The 40°10' Line to Point Arena San Francisco Management Area - Point Arena to Pigeon Point San Francisco Bay Management Area - San Francisco Bay Central-North Management Area - Pigeon Point to Point Lopez Central-South Management Area - Point Lopez to Point Conception Southern Management Area - Point Conception to the Mexico border

Text Regulations

General Sport Fishing Regulations

Seasons, Size and Bag Limits

The following links lead to sport fishing regulations taken verbatim from California Code of Regulations Title 14 (except for species whose seasons, size limits, or bag limits may possibly change in-season).

Where no bag limit is listed, the following limits apply:
Fish (Finfish) - 20 finfish in combination of all species with not more than 10 of any one species
Shellfish (Invertebrates) – 35 of any one species

More Regulation Information

thumbnail of booklet cover - link opens document in new window2024 Ocean Sport Fishing Regulations (PDF)(opens in new tab)
Sport fishing regulations booklet continually updated with the latest sport fishing information.

thumbnail of map on mobile phone - link opens map in new window Check out our interactive Ocean Sport Fishing Map(opens in new tab) Find fishing regulations, marine protected areas, groundfish conservation area depth restrictions, and more from your cell phone!

Current Sport Fishing Regulations for:

"How to Fish" Videos

California Spiny Lobster

An Introduction to Lobstering (Video)
A discussion of basic California spiny lobster diving and hoop netting practices, and spiny lobster fishing regulations. Part of the CDFW Harvest Huddle Hour series.

California Spiny Lobster Fishing at Catalina Island (Video)
CDFW Lt. Rod Buckler talks about some of the “do’s” and “don’ts” of lobster diving in the Catalina Island area.

How to Measure a California Spiny Lobster (Video)
CDFW Warden Michael Dilts provides a brief overview of spiny lobster fishing regulations and how to measure a lobster.

Shore/Pier Fishing

An Introduction to Angling and Crabbing from Shore and Pier (Video)
How to fish and crab from jetties and piers in California. Part of the CDFW Harvest Huddle Hour series.

A Beginners Look at California Halibut and Sandy Beach Surf Fishing (Video)
Tips and advice on beach fishing for California halibut and surf fishes. Part of the CDFW Harvest Huddle Hour series.

How to Fish from a Pier (Video)
How to organize gear and fish from a Southern California pier. This basic information applies to pier fishing at other locations in California, as well. Part of the CDFW California Fishing Passport program.

Live Bait

Live Bait Tutorial (Video)
How to set up gear and fish surface waters using live bait. Part of the CDFW California Fishing Passport program.

Pismo Clam and Red Abalone

How to Rebury a Pismo Clam (Video)
This short video shows how to bury undersized or unwanted Pismo clams to help them survive and replenish the population.

California Abalone Reporting and Tagging Requirements demonstration (Video)
NOTE: The red abalone sport fishery is closed through at least April, 2026. This video shows abalone sport divers and rock pickers how to comply with abalone regulations enacted April 2008.

Harvest Huddle Hour

Harvest Huddle Hour Videos
The Harvest Huddle Hour is a pre-recorded video series for adults who would like to learn how to fish in the ocean (or harvest any wild food in California). The series was discontinued in Spring 2023, however you can watch past episodes on a number of ocean fishing topics.

California Fishing Passport

Fishing Passport cover thumbnailThe California Fishing Passport Program is a fishing incentive and recognition program that highlights and promotes fishing throughout the state. Make plans to explore California in pursuit of the state's most popular fresh and salt water finfish and shellfish—and start the fishing adventure of a lifetime.

Marine Region (Region 7)
Regional Manager: Dr. Craig Shuman
Main Office: 20 Lower Ragsdale Drive, Suite 100, Monterey, CA  93940
Email CDFW's Marine Region  |  (831) 649-2870
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