What Are The Best Bass Fishing Spots In The Bay Area?

Fishing is fun, especially at the perfect spot with tons of fish and a beautiful view on a sunny day. You may be intending to fish for sport or just a chill-out day with your family and friends. With numerous fishing destinations at San Fransico bay to choose from, how do you save yourself the best spot? Stick around for illuminating information.

Ideally, you will have to make your intentions clear on the type of catch you aim to get. You have options to either fish from freshwater or saltwater. Some of the best spots for bass fishing, to mention but a few, include; Lake Chabot, Municipal Pier, San Pablo Reservoir, Pacifica Pier, Pillar Point Harbor, and Bodega Bay,

Lake Chabot

Lake Chabot

It is a freshwater and human-made lake with plenty of fish covering 317 acres in Alameda County, California. It was completed in 1857 by damming San Leandro Creek to serve as the major water source in East Bay.

Lake Chabot is famous for trout fishing; the most common species are rainbow trout, Largemouth bass, and Channel catfish. You might get lucky and catch an unusually large fish just like Chabot whoppers’ below cases.

Lake Chabot Whoppers

Largemouth Bass19 lbs.10-28-2016
Channel Catfish14 lbs.9-05-2019
Largemouth Bass11 lbs. 12 oz.1-24-2018
Rainbow Trout10 lbs.2-20-2020
Rainbow Trout8 lbs. 8 oz.11-11-2019
Channel Catfish8 lbs. 5 oz.8-24-2016
Rainbow Trout8 lbs. 3 oz.4-04-2019
Rainbow Trout8 lbs. 3 oz.12-14-2019
Rainbow Trout8 lbs.2-08-2019
Common Carp8 lbs.8-22-2019

The plenty of fish makes it a perfect spot for beginners and children to learn the art of fishing. While swimming may not be allowed, the atmosphere makes it an ideal destination for hiking, biking, golfing, and kayaking. Do not forget to get yourself a fishing license before heading out to fish; you’ll also need an East Bay Regional District Fishing daily permit, which can be bought from the local marina cafe.

Municipal Pier

Municipal Pier

The municipal Pier was built as a part of the sewer system of Pacifica city in 1973. It gained popularity among locals and tourists in 2004 after a local water treatment plant was constructed. It has now become a favorite fishing spot among locals.

You do not need a license to fish here, which explains why there has been an influx of tourists in the area. It is a public area with free utilities such as the parking lot and toilets, benches, and fish cleaning stations, making it a perfect spot for local anglers.

This Pier is strategically located in an aquatic park. It’s also an around-year fishing spot with various fish, the most common being; jacksmelt, kingfish, salmon, California corbina, striped bass, and sometimes sharks can be spotted. Crabbing is also very common since it is a delicacy among the local anglers.

San Pablo Reservoir

This lake is a drinking water reservoir managed by the East Bay Municipality Utility District (EBMUD). It is located in San Pablo Creek valley, Contra Costa County, northeast Berkeley. Swimming and body contact with the lake is prohibited, but locals and tourists enjoy various lake area activities.

This lake is considered the best bay fishing area for most residents; there is ample fish since restocking is usually done by management regularly. You will mostly find species such as (rainbow trout), catfish, and bass. You will also need to buy a fishing license at the visitor center before heading out to fish in the lake.

Boat rental services are available, with a maximum capacity of boats allowed on the lake limited to only 20 vessels per day. Only a deluxe motorboat type of boat is allowed, and it will have to pass through a thorough inspection before heading out to the lake. 

San Pablo Reservoir is a perfect flat-water kayaking and canoeing destination. You will be able to enjoy paddling along 14 miles of shoreline while exploring the sandy beaches. While at it, you’ll come across a flock of white pelicans, ducks, shorebirds, and geese, so make sure you carry a camera to capture moments.

You will not be able to go for a picnic for now because sites are closed, but you can still opt for hiking around the San Pablo Recreation area. Make sure you go for an adventure at Old San Pablo dam road, all the way through to Kennedy Grove and Briones Reservoir trails.

Along the trails, you’ll come across wildlife such as deer, wild turkeys, doves, and quails. You may also notice predators such as osprey, eagles, hawks, and owls. Make sure you be on the lookout for coyotes, otters, and bobcats.

Pacifica Pier

This Pier is L-shaped and measures up to 1,140 feet in length. It is a common spot for anglers in the bay area. It’s located in San Mateo County and is officially known as Rev. Herschell Harkins Memorial Pacifica Pier.

You do not require a fishing license to start fishing, and it is free of charge. Anglers love it here because of the different fish species found in the Pier, varying from halibut, striped bass, salmon, flounder, sanddabs, kingfish, and much more saltwater fish.

November marks the beginning of crabbing season, which lasts until July. Winter brings with it Dungeness crabs in abundance off the Pier. Striped bass is mostly caught in summer months or off all Pacifica shores. The best time to fish for salmons is between June (the last week of June) and August (the previous week).

Do you enjoy whale watching? It would help if you visited the Pier from February to April. This is the perfect timing for spotting Gray whales; blue whales are noticed during late spring all the way to fall. The humpback whales usually make an appearance between the summer and fall seasons.

Dogs are not allowed on this Pier; other prohibitions include biking, smoking, drinking alcohol, and use of glass containers. Follow these rules as you enjoy beautiful sunsets on Pacific Pier.

Pillar Point Harbor

This harbor is a favorite stop for both sport and commercial fishing and is located at the north end of Half Moon Bay. Pillar Point is a protected area of refuge and is considered among the US’s safest harbors.

You do not need a fishing license to go out fishing; as a beginner, it is the best spot for learning more about fishing. The salmon season is usually the most engaging time at this harbor. During winter, kingfish and seaperch are ordinarily in plenty.

Bodega Bay

If you want to try saltwater fishing, Bodega bay is one of the best spots with saltwater fish. It is an inlet of the Pacific Ocean in northern California. It is located in Sonoma County and is commonly famous for commercial and sport fishing, swimming, and surfing.

Bodega Bay is a shallow and rocky marine habitat, making it ideal for one of the Bay’s best fishing sites. The most prevalent fish species found at Bodega include mackerel, trout, rockfish, and salmon. Do not forget to get yourself a fishing license before heading out for a catch since it is a requirement at this Bay


There are plenty of good sites for bass fishing at the Bay. You’d have to decide where best fits your needs depending on the type of catch you want, be it saltwater or freshwater fish. It is important to note that some spots do not allow pets and have restrictive measures in alcohol, smoking, and even swimming.

Most bays require that you get a fishing license before heading out to fish; others are open to the public and free of charge. You have to be aware of your fishing goals to settle on a spot that meets your fishing goals. We hope you get to visit most of these spots and enjoy your fishing adventures as you go!

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