Southern California’s
Fresh Seafood by Season

Southern California’s<br/>Fresh Seafood by Season

Sitting on one of the world’s most productive and consistent fisheries, It’s always Seafood Season in San Diego. This means, there is always something delicious, in-season, and on the menu. Yellowtail, Tuna, Rockfish & Halibut are all great choices that are regularly available.

What makes Southern California Special?

Coastal San Diego’s diverse underwater environment offers a wide variety of year-round seafood option. Local offshore kelp forests provide a great home to countless species of fish. In coastal California options for fresh sustainable seafood are vast. With so many options, Reel & Ranch sources the highest quality seafood while recognizing the importance of conservation and the maintenance of healthy fisheries and preserving natural habitats.


Prized for their delicate meat most Yellowtail are caught during late Spring through Fall. This is one of the best fighting fish, pound for pound, of any fish in San Diego and Mexico waters. Boats anchor where yellowtail are known to congregate. They chum the fish to the boat with live anchovies. As the fish mill about the boat, anglers use lines to bring them in.

White Sea Bass

Springtime is prime time for this fish caught along San Diego’s kelp beds and San Clemente Island. Squid is like candy for this enormous fish. Talk about some fine dining! During peak season there is a one fish limit. If you plan to release one, careful handling technique is essential for the fish to survive.

Sand Bass

Another great eating local fish. Caught year-round, but in Spring and Summer the fishing is best. These fish are hardy and abundant. They are caught near the bottom and at the kelp beds, between Pt. Loma and the Coronado Islands, or off Oceanside Harbor South to Encinitas.

Calico Bass

Caught Spring through Fall mostly when the surface temperatures rise. The respected and elusive Calico Bass can be difficult to catch in a forest of floating kelp. A local San Diego favorite for eating, this fish especially great in fish tacos.  Bites well in a strong current and tide.

California Halibut

From September through May these beauties average 15-30lbs. but some can get up over 50lbs.! These are caught drift fishing off Imperial Beach and North of Oceanside Harbor along the flats offshore from Camp Pendleton Marine Base. To specifically target this fish in San Diego fishermen, consider the timing of grunion runs as the summer spawning Halibut will gorge themselves on this favorite treat.

Rockfish & Sculpin

These fish are caught near the bottom and are best between September and April. However, Department of Fish & Game will enact closures for some species during their breeding months. Rockfish are fantastic eating, especially in fish tacos. Just don’t poke yourself as they have very poisonous spines that inflict big pain when stuck!

So, what’s it all mean?

Relying on relationships with local fishermen, we talk to the men & woman who are in the water making the catch every day. We find out what is at its peak and what might be better to cook with next month. This connection to the ocean and to the people who work the sea for their livelihood ensures you are eating at Southern California’s very best seasonal Seafood selection.