Fort Point Fishing Unveiled: A Diverse Angler’s Haven Beneath the Golden Gate Bridge

Discover the allure of Fort Point, a historic pre–Civil War fortification nestled beneath the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. Once a guardian of the bay entrance, this rocky shoreline has transformed into a captivating fishing destination, offering not only a rich historical backdrop but also a plethora of diverse catches against the stunning backdrop of San Francisco Bay.

Types of Fish You Can Expect to Catch Here:

Embark on an angler’s odyssey at Fort Point, the historic pre–Civil War fortification beneath the Golden Gate Bridge. This rocky shoreline, once a guardian of the bay entrance, has evolved into a captivating fishing spot offering diverse catches and scenic vistas.

Rockfish (Year-round): The stars of Fort Point, boasting over 20 species like Lingcod, Cabezon, Grass Rockfish, and Canary Rockfish. Target them near rocks and drop-offs using jigs, bait, and plastics.

Halibut (Seasonally): Pacific halibut migrate through in spring and summer, lurking near sandy areas. Tempt these giants with large baitfish or jigs fished slowly.

Striped Bass (Migratory): From October to May, striped bass grace Fort Point, chasing baitfish along the shoreline and structures. Trolling lures or baitfish near the bridge or piers is key.

Sharks (Seasonally): Leopard sharks and Bat rays occasionally visit, seeking prey near rocks and shallows. Exercise caution and respect when using bait or lures.

Surf Perch (Year-round): Smaller fighters like Walleye Surfperch and Silver Surfperch love the surf and sandy areas. Bait, lures, or flies near the shore offer light tackle fun.

Local Insights:

  • Know the Tides: Rockfish and halibut are most active during slack tide or outgoing, while stripers cruise on incoming tides.
  • Fish the Structure: Cast jigs or bait near rocky outcrops, bridge pilings, and submerged structures for ambushing rockfish and halibut.
  • Trolling for Stripers: Troll lures or baitfish near the Golden Gate Bridge or along the Marin Headlands for a chance at a trophy striper.
  • Respect the Currents: Strong currents, especially near the bridge, require a seaworthy boat and secure anchoring.
  • Be Mindful of Others: Share space respectfully, avoiding crossed lines and interference with fellow anglers.

Unique Things to Pay Attention To:

  • Weather Changes Quickly: Fog can roll in, reducing visibility. Be prepared with proper gear and have a backup plan.
  • Limited Parking and Boat Launch Access: Arrive early, especially on weekends and holidays. Consider alternative launches like Sausalito.
  • Fort Point National Historic Site: Respect the historic significance and follow park regulations, including designated fishing areas.

Specific Locations:

  1. Pier and Shoreline Near the Bridge: Cast jigs for rockfish, bait for halibut, or troll for stripers along the shoreline and around the bridge pilings.
  2. Rocky Areas South of the Bridge: Ideal for jigging Lingcod, Cabezon, and Grass Rockfish. Look for kelp beds and structure for added attraction.
  3. Sandy Stretches Near the Bay Bridge: Try bait or lures for Leopard sharks, Bat rays, and occasional halibut cruising near the bottom during slack tide.
  4. Surf Along the Outer Shoreline: Cast lures or flies for Walleye Surfperch and Silver Surfperch in the waves and sandy shallows.

Additional Tips:

  • Get a California Fishing License: Ensure compliance with regulations, and obtain an EBRPD Daily Fishing Access Permit.
  • Rent a Kayak: Explore hidden coves and reach prime spots inaccessible by foot for a unique angling experience.
  • Pack Essentials: Carry plenty of water, sunscreen, and snacks for your fishing adventure.
  • Be Weather-Ready: Prepare for changing weather conditions, especially during spring and fall.

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Fort Point Offers More Than Views:

Fort Point isn’t just a historic site; it’s a gateway to a diverse fishery waiting to be explored. With its unique blend of rockfish haven, striper highway, and seasonal surprises, Fort Point promises an unforgettable fishing adventure for anglers of all skill levels. So, grab your rod, cast a line, and let the Bay Area bounty reel you in!