Southern California is made up of 8-10 counties in the southern third of this long state. Counties of San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura, Los Angeles, Orange, and San Diego all border the Pacific, which offers the opportunity for great SoCal surf fishing.
Depending on the habitat of the place (sand, rock, seaweed, etc.) and the access points, there are many species of fish in SoCal that can be caught while fishing. During surf fishing in California, some of the most common types of fish include: California corbina, California halibut, leopard shark, barred and walleye surfperch, and yellow-fin and spot-fin croakers (though not of the same species). Common names often vary and create confusion. Make sure to follow the terms of the name recognized in state publications for California Fisheries.
One tip for surfing is that while any standard fishing gear could work, the most effective fishing gear usually includes surf fishing rods that can reach up to 12 feet. These have a long butt for leverage to make long throws. Line weight and sinker size vary greatly, depending on the surfing conditions and the target species. Many types of bait will work as long as they can be cast over long distances. However, for the best chance of action, be sure to hit a local bait shop and set up your surf fishing rigs with circle hooks.
To save time before surfing with SoCal, do some research online. For example, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife has a handy interactive map of California that lets you click on a fishing spot and see what species have historically been caught there and what amenities (boat ramp, fuel, etc.) are available. Don’t forget to also check the saltwater fishing license requirements and follow the fishing regulations!
Andy is an outdoor writer (http://www.justkeepreeling.com/) and stressed out dad has contributed over 380 blogs to takemefishing.org since 2011. Born in Florida but raised on the banks of farm ponds in Oklahoma, he now hunts pike, small bass and steelhead in Pennsylvania. After receiving his Bachelor of Science degree in zoology from OSU, he worked in fish hatcheries and as a fishery research technician at OSU, in the US state of Iowa and in the US state of Michigan.