Candlestick Point Fishing Guide: Navigating the Waters of Urban Angling

Candlestick Point, once the roaring stadium for the San Francisco Giants, has transitioned into a sanctuary for anglers seeking a unique urban fishing experience. Explore the depths of the Bay Area’s fishing scene as we unveil the diverse marine life awaiting your line at Candlestick Point.

Types of Fish You Can Expect to Catch:

  • Striped Bass (Migratory): The stars of the show, especially from October to May, as they cruise the shoreline and around the pier ends, chasing baitfish. Trolling or baitfishing near the structure is key.
  • Halibut (Seasonally): Pacific Halibut migrate through in spring and summer, hugging the bottom near the deeper areas of the “Fish Hole.” Large baitfish or jigs fished slowly can tempt these giants.
  • Rockfish (Resident): Sculpins, Kelpfish, and the occasional Cabezon lurk around the pilings and breakwater, eager for bait or small jigs.
  • Surf Perch (Year-round): Walleye and Silver Surfperch love the sandy shoreline near the park entrance, offering light tackle fun with bait or lures.
  • Sharks (Occasionally): Leopard Sharks and Bat Rays are occasional visitors, especially at night near the sandy bottom. Use bait with caution and respect these creatures.
  • Herring (Seasonally): Large schools of herring, particularly in the spring, attract other fish and offer exciting jigging opportunities near the pier.

Local Insights:

  • Fish the Tides: Incoming tides bring baitfish closer to the pier, attracting stripers and other predators. Outgoing tides are good for bottom feeders like halibut and crabs.
  • Know the “Fish Hole”: This deeper area near the pier end is a prime spot for halibut, especially during slack tide. Use heavy sinkers and large baitfish to reach the bottom.
  • Trolling Secrets: Trolling lures or baitfish along the shoreline towards the Bay Bridge or Hunters Point can yield stripers, herring, and even the occasional halibut.
  • Windy Warriors: Candlestick Point can be notoriously windy, especially in the afternoon. Be prepared with warm clothes, wind protection, and a sturdy rod holder.
  • Respect the Park: Candlestick Point State Recreation Area offers hiking, biking, and other activities. Be mindful of other park users and share the space responsibly.

Unique Things to Pay Attention To:

  • Limited Parking: Parking near the pier can be tricky, especially on weekends and during events. Consider alternative transportation like biking or public transit.
  • Strong Currents: Currents near the point and the Fish Hole can be swift, especially during outgoing tides. Use proper anchoring or be cautious when wading.
  • Pier Etiquette: Be mindful of fishermen using long lines or nets. Follow proper etiquette to avoid tangles and conflicts.
  • Bird Interactions: Gulls and pelicans might be interested in your baitfish. Keep your food secure and avoid attracting unwanted visitors.

Specific Locations:

  1. “Fish Hole” at the Pier End: This deeper area is prime for halibut, especially during slack tide. Use heavy bait and jigs to reach the bottom.
  2. Shoreline Near the Park Entrance: Cast for surf perch in the sandy shallows during the day. This is a family-friendly spot for beginners.
  3. Breakwater Towards the Bay Bridge: Fish the rocks for Cabezon, Sculpins, and other rockfish. This area attracts baitfish, luring predators.
  4. Pier End Facing Hunters Point: This spot can be productive for stripers chasing baitfish along the shoreline, especially during incoming tides.
  5. Sandy Stretch Near the Ferry Terminal: Try bait or lures for Leopard Sharks and Bat Rays during the night. Be patient and respectful.

Additional Tips:

  • Grab a California Fishing License before heading out.
  • Check seasonal regulations for specific fish, especially halibut and sharks.
  • Pack snacks, drinks, and sunscreen for a comfortable fishing experience.
  • Be prepared for changing weather conditions, particularly in the afternoons.
  • Dress warmly and in layers to combat the Bay Area’s famous wind.

Check out our Gearlist for the gear we for trips like this

Our Gearlist account lists all of the gear we use. Discover our top picks, where to snag them, and stay informed with our regular updates.

Candlestick Point offers a unique blend of urban convenience and natural beauty, attracting anglers of all skill levels. So, with these insights and a dash of local knowledge, you’re well on your way to reeling in a memorable fishing experience at this historic San Francisco spot.