If you’ve never experienced shark fishing charters in San Diego, you’re missing out on a special Southern California adventure. A phenomenal escape for novice and experienced anglers alike, these fun-filled, thrilling charters offer an opportunity to tangle with some of the ocean’s top apex predators.
You’ll spend the day out on the open water with picturesque views. All while learning how to track, lure, and catch some of the region’s most prominent fishing game.
Year-round warm weather and fantastic food options aren’t just attractive for people. It’s the perfect environment for sharks.
That’s why San Diego is home to several different species. If you want to get close to these magnificent animals and/or have the bragging rights (& photos) of catching one, shark fishing charters are your best bet.
Just what might you encounter on your excursion on the open ocean? Here’s a list of the top five sharks lurking off San Diego’s coastline.
Let’s start the list with one of the most dominant predators in the ocean – the great white shark. These massive beasts can grow anywhere from 4 to 6 meters long (up to 20 feet) and glide underwater at more than 35 mph!
Despite the widespread misconception that great white sharks attack humans, their prey of choice ranges from small fish and stingrays to sea lions and small whales. Although you might encounter a great white on shark fishing charters, they’re categorized as a vulnerable species, meaning they’re protected and cannot legally be caught without special research permits.
Anglers interested in honing their skills will enjoy fishing for mako sharks in San Diego. As one of the fastest animals in the world, they can hit top speeds of 65 mph and can propel almost 30 feet above the surface.
A mako shark fishing charter will track down and lure these ferocious aquatic hunters. Yet if you believe it will be easy to actually catch a mako, think again as these fish are not only fast and ferocious but very intelligent.
They rely on their sense of smell, hearing and vision to hunt prey and detect threats from humans. Large fish, sharks, dolphins, seabirds and swordfish are high on the list of food options for mako sharks. If you’re able to hook one on your mako shark fishing charter, get ready for a real fight as they flip, whip and jump around to get loose.
Named for their hammer-shaped heads, hammerhead sharks are another thrilling big game fish you’ll have a chance to see during shark fishing charters in San Diego.
Hammerheads grow anywhere from 11 to 20 feet long and weigh between 440 to 800 pounds. Their large size, 360-degree vision and keen sensory organs enable them to hunt and kill prey ranging from squid and octopus to stingrays and other sharks.
If you spot a shark with a vibrant blue or indigo skin color while out on a shark fishing charter, you’ve likely run into a blue shark. These dynamic creatures can be as big as 13 feet long and 450 pounds, so a very bragworthy catch for anglers. The blue shark’s prey of choice includes lobster, crab, shellfish and squid.
They tend to swim near the surface and are prevalent in the San Diego region in the cooler months. They’re among the few types of sharks that swim in schools, often grouped by size and sex. That’s great news for anglers because that means there’s a better chance to catch one.
A distant relative to the great white shark, thresher sharks are another popular fish you might find on shark fishing charters off San Diego’s coast. Adult thresher sharks can reach up to 19 feet in length and mainly live in deep ocean waters.
Thresher Sharks tend to prey on schools of small fish and crabs and use their massive tails to beat their prey unconscious. They’re also fast swimmers, making them exciting large fish to catch on the fly.
So, whether you consider yourself a fishing enthusiast or are simply looking for an amazing day out, a shark fishing experience in San Diego is well worth it. Be prepared for a rigorous fight if you catch a shark on your fly. Using every defense mechanism possible, these large fish will swim fast, jump high and dive deep to get free.
Home to numerous species of sharks, when you explore the Southern Californian waters you have great odds to cross paths with a massive fish. So, get in on the action and create memories that will last a lifetime.
We hope you found this guide to shark fishing charters in San Diego, Southern California useful. If you want to do more activities while in the area then check out these top adventure sports in San Diego.