Fishing Without A License In California

Apparently, there are rules and policies guiding fishing activities in California. Which fishing license has been stated as one of these rules. As a result of this, fishing without a license in California water bodies is prohibited according to California’s Uniform Bail and Penalty Schedule, Section 4175 (a). This can further hand you penalty charges such as a lifetime ban from fishing in the state and monetary charges.

American River/Freshwater Fishing Closure

In an effort to protect the rearing and spawning grounds of steelhead, and salmon the American River basin from the Nimbus Dam downstream to the USGS gauging station cable crossing is closed to fishing all year-round. As well as to ameliorate collections of hatchery brood stocks through a new fish ladder. See Section 7.50(b) (5).

Leader Length Restriction

Regulations such as fishing distant restriction from the fishing line terminal end and associated weight were embraced to preserve steelhead and salmon in anadromous waters.

Rock Creek Closure

All Fishing activities in Rock Creek, Shasta County, is closed to preserve Shasta Crayfish in the river basin.

Arrow and Bow Fishing

Fishing of bullhead and catfish in the Big Bear Lake, Delta, and Lake Isabella is now allowed with the use of Bow and arrow.

Definition of Artificial Lure

Clarification on the use of no flavors or scents on lures on water bodies designated only for artificial lures with barbless hooks has been made through the revised definition of artificial lures.

California Freshwater Fishing Unlawful Acts;

1. 16 years of age or older without a valid fishing license (FGC 7145);

2. Not satisfying the return requirements or deadline printed on the report card.  Reporting harvest online at satisfies the return requirement (CCR T-14, Section 1.74);

3. Illegal possession of fish taken. (FGC 2000 and 2002);

4. Personal Permit, validations, tag, applications, license, or reservations transferred to another person (FGC 1052);

5. Possession of illegally issued validations, license, permit, tags or reservations by users (FGC 1052);

6. Sell fish harvested with sport fishing license (FGC 7121);

7. The usage of explosives in state water inhabited by fish (FGC 5500);

8. Possession or usage of the unauthorized net in state waters (FGC 8603);

9. Interrupt other person’s traps set legally (FGC 9002);

10. Mess up 150 feet of the state waters (FGC 5652);

11. Owning fish where the species and size cannot be ascertained (FGC 5508 and 5509);

12. Prevent an officer from inspection of where fish may be found such as a receptacle, boat, and market or receptacle where fish may be found (FGC 1006).

13. Failure to show all tags, validation, applications, tags, reservation, or licenses as demanded by an officer or authorized CDFW employee (FGC 2012);

14. Failure to display all aquatic resources such as mollusks, amphibians, reptiles, fish and crustaceans, and instruments or devices designed for harvesting them demanded by an authorized CDFW employee or officer-in-charge (FGC 2012);

Salmon, Trout, And Special-District Regulations

General District Regulations
Area or water BodyOpen Season and Special RegulationsDaily Bag and Ownership Limit
North Coast District
All lakes and reservoirs excluding those written by name in the special regulationAll yearfive trout per day while Ten trout in possession
Anadromous waters of the Klamath and Trinity River systems, and those entering the ocean south of Humboldt Bay, which are not itemized in the special regulationClosed to all year fishing
All anadromous waters tributary to the north Humboldt Bay and Humboldt Bay, except those written in the special regulations and the Klamath and Trinity River Systems.Fourth Saturday in May through October 31. You can, perhaps, only make use of artificial lures with barbless hooksHatchery Steelhead or Two hatchery trout. Hatchery Steelhead in possession or four hatchery trout. Closed to harvest Salmon.
All streams and those itemized in the special regulations, except for anadromous waters.April up to November 15, mostly last SaturdaysFive trout per day while ten trout in possession.
Special brook trout bonus bag and possession limit; up to ten brook trout per day, harvest may be less than eight inches total length and own in addition to the other daily bag and possession limit specified for the North Coast District.
Southern District
Reservoirs and lakes excluding listed ones in the special regulationsAll year roundFive trout
Streams excluding anadromous waters in San Diego County and those listed in the special regulationAll year round. Exclusively use of artificial lures with barbless hooks.Two trout fish
The entire Streams along the district excluding anadromous waters in Santa, Los Angeles, Riverside Countries, Barbara, San Bernardino, Orange, and itemized names by the special regulations.All year roundFive trout per daily catch
Wholly anadromous waters excluding names recorded in the special regulation.All year round, fishing is closed
The entire streams and tributaries in the district above matilja Dam, Rindge Dam on Malibu Creek, Twitchell Dam on the Cuyama river and Bradbury DamOpened all year round Five trout per catch

Saltwater Fishing In Southern California

It is a notable fact that the southern California coast is known for its abundance fishing opportunities. This ranges from rich jetty offshore hot spots to productive beaches. Globally, it provides fishing opportunities for visiting anglers and local fishermen who depend on it as a means of livelihood. Fishes such as rockfish, halibut, flounder and surf perch are said to populate the southern coastal water bodies, also an assemblage of sport fish

Beach Fishing

Beach fishing along the southern California beaches is best carried out during a looming high tide as well as morning and evening of specified days. Numerous species are said to be available throughout the year while the summer periods literally provide the most productive fishing days. Along the Southern California beaches, species such as Corbina, surfperch and croaker has been recorded as the most frequently caught species while halibut, leopard shark and bat Ray may be harvest alongside when fishing. Few fishing hot spot Locations along the Southern California beach are Redondo Beach, Huntington Beach and point Vicente.

In respect to the above characteristics, it is said to dispense outstanding opportunities to trawlers who prefer to fish for near-shore species or do not have access to fishing vessel.

Offshore Fishing

There is an extensive variation of opportunities for fishermen who opined to set out for offshore fishing. Diversity of species such as sheepshead, whitefish, bass, pompano and much more fish are known to populate 300 feet deep waters. Invariably, it serve as a home for several species of rockfish while deeper waters harbor midshipman, sole, lingcod and more. Notable offshore spots along the southern California include hidden reef, santa Catalina, Nine-Mile Bank, Avalon Bank and Butterfly Bank.

Licenses And Regulations

Irrespective of the location you want to fish along with California water bodies, it is required of you to have a recent California saltwater fishing license to enable you fish. In order to have access and partake to fish, you can as well visit the California Department of Fish and Wildlife website. The license can also be obtained through sporting-goods shops across the state and most bait stores. Furthermore, a finalized guide to California fishing seasons, other regulations, and limits can be gotten online or anywhere licenses are sold as a free printed flyer. Also, it is highly recommended to check out the current advisories on fish consumption since it is known some marine water fish species contain contaminant varieties, DDT, and PCB. Invariably, details about the recent advisories on the consumption of fish are published/seen online using the official website – fish contamination education collaboration.

In order to allow the free access of the general public to engage in this great outdoor tradition, two free fishing days are designated by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) to motivate new and expired anglers. On these stipulated dates, all fishing policies such as mesh size limit, gear restrictions, and fishing hours stand. While normal licensing requisites are waived. However, anglers who will be fishing for fishes such as steelhead, sturgeon, or salmon in the Klamath-Trinity River Systems on these free fishing days must be with the relevant report card.

Frequently Asked Question You Might Need To Know

1. Do You Need A License To Fish From A Jetty In California?

According to California’s Department of Fish and Game, a jetty is said to be a public water body where fishermen can fish without acquiring a fishing license. Likewise, public fishing pier and breakwaters owned by public bodies. However, you are not required to have acquired a fishing license but other regulations of the state stand.

2. Fine For Fishing Without A License In California 2020

It is a prohibited act to fish in California water body without having a current fishing license. This dubious act can hand you a fine of one thousand dollars plus a thousand dollar on each fish caught as well as court fees. Failure to do all this can land you in jail.  

3. When And Where I Can Fish In California Water Bodies Without Fishing License

To catch any kind of fish in California water bodies such as crustaceans, mollusk or fish it is expected of you to have a fishing license as well as be 16 years of age or older. However, there is an exception for people who is fishing from a public pier for non-profitable purposes. According to sport fishing regulation, public jetty are artificial structures that are connected to a main coastline, above the mean high tide, a named and chatted natural island. More so, it must have a primal aim of allowing fishing, angling, and unlimited access to the water body for the purpose of seaweeds protective boundary of an ocean harbor.


Leave a Comment