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Old 02-22-2017, 07:00 PM   #1
wileyseajr.
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Best Shore Diving in CA?

I've got some vacation time coming up later in the spring and really wanting to just get out and do some spearfishing (freediving) on a budget. Was pondering doing some shore diving in CA.

I'm really just trying to get an idea of what shore diving in CA is like.

-How far out do you go?
- Kayak or swim out?
- What kind of depths are y'all diving?
- Average viz?
- what are some good areas to look into? (I prefer hunting reef fish)
- will I have I throw down with a sea lion every time I shoot a fish?

Forgive my ignorance. I grew up diving the west coast of Florida. We head 20 miles west to get in 50 ft of water.
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Old 02-22-2017, 08:54 PM   #2
growingupninja
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Re: Best Shore Diving in CA?

For somebody that doesn't live here, shore diving in California is a bit of a crap shoot since viz tends to be more variable near shore, ranging maybe 8' - 25' depending on geography, depth, weather, algae. One thing to remember is that 25' in a kelp forrest is plenty good, and while diving in gin clear water is awesome our better eating reef fish are pretty smart about divers (having evolved with seals that hunt like us) and may see you coming from a ways off...

Sea lions near shore are not usually very aggressive. They get sparkier the further offshore you get.

A kayak is a really, really good fishing tool for California since you can launch from any beach, cover lots of ground, stash food and game, and 98% of 'shore dive' spots are less than half a mile out. Our coastline is pretty steep, I would say almost anywhere you don't need to kick more than a 1/4 mile to get 50' of water.

Most California divers aren't hunting much deeper than 20' - 40', although they may be able to go deeper if necessary. Also means if you are turning over rocks at 50' and deeper there is a lot of good stuff that nobody bothers with. Beyond about 70' the kelp thins out and it can be hard to locate structure without a fish finder and numbers.

The primary 'big game' fish that guys luck into shore diving southern california are white sea bass and yellow tail, if they are around they are frequently in the top half of the water column and so are pretty shallow. They can be hard to find but not difficult to shoot if you have a decent breathhold...

Central California, around Big Sur is pretty fishy and cheap for camping. LA/San Diego and surrounding just aren't budget cities. Nobody really comes here to spear cheap but they use it as a jumping off point for the islands, which are also not cheap for camping.

Have fun!
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Old 02-22-2017, 09:56 PM   #3
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Re: Best Shore Diving in CA?

Thank you for that info! Good stuff.
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Old 02-22-2017, 11:56 PM   #4
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Re: Best Shore Diving in CA?

Areas to hunt the SoCal areas, from north to south. The easy, short list.....

San Simeon, Cambria. Anywhere from Hearst Castle down to Cambria is good reef diving. Just scratch around, you will find fish.

Montana De Oro. Head south, need a kayak for this.

Deer Creek Malibu. Reef diving can be good. Later in the year, WSB can be good.

County line/ Leo Carrillo state beach. From Neptunes' Net restaurant down to the campground. Some reefs good, some reefs not so good, but overall, pretty good.

Latigo shore, or Paradise cove. Can be some decent diving. Often it's intermittent, less than perfect but not bad. At Paradise, watch the MPA boundary.

North face PV. This includes spots like Flat rock, the Pipe, Malaga and Lunada cove. It's a huge area, but there are reefs and fish. No kayak; hiking down a hill on all these to the bottom.

White's point. Kayak spot, shore dive spot. Central PV. Drive to the water's edge and park. South, or north. Both directions have reefs, and some big fish come out of here.

LA breakwall. Launch kayak from Cabrillo beach, paddle south. Don't do it if there has been rain recently. It gets fed from the 3 biggest river basins in the LA valley, and you will be swimming with dogshit from Magic Mountain, down to San Gabriel. Uggh. If clean, sky's the limit. Can be good diving.

Reef Point/ Crystal Cove, north Laguna. Gets a lot of pressure, but is still good diving. Expensive parking (State park pass helps. ) Kayak or shore dive.

1000 steps. Like it sounds; no kayak unless you are a masochist. Lol Can be good reef diving.

Salt Creek. A walk and a half down to the beach. Can be good diving. Kayak with good wheels can make this better, the trip back up is brutal with the board.....

Dana headland. Park inside Dana Harbor at the end, walk into the surf and dive. Nice shore spot at times. Usually dirty, but worth a look.

Beyond here, San Clemente has some stuff, the surf area known as Old Man's/ San Onofre has little reef, but sometimes excellent big fish diving, and if halibut are in, this area can be good.

Oceanside area, Del Mar, north SD have a few spots. Small spots, usually locals dive them for a fish for dinner, but not a ton of structure.

SD. La Jolla, goes without saying. Out by the lifeguard tower, south of the La Jolla cove reserve. Enter somewhere near or at the Children's pool. Out to the kelp, find reefs, or look for gamefish in the forest.

Yeah, I passed over 143 spots, but these are known, easy to get to, and not too much effort to actually catch dinner at them. The smaller spots, you need a local to guide you, or burn a lot of time finding them, so I did not bother much.

Bring a 75, a 90, and a 110 or 120. Vis can vary greatly.
Lance is spot on with depths and such. From 5ft to 55ft is where you will spend your time.

Good luck. Paul.
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Old 02-23-2017, 11:52 AM   #5
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Re: Best Shore Diving in CA?

Lance and Paul for the win. I was halfway expecting a roast session considering the time of year and question. Good on you guys. This is some good intel from some standup guys.
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Old 02-23-2017, 05:33 PM   #6
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Re: Best Shore Diving in CA?

That's very thorough information.
Thanks for sharing.
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Old 02-23-2017, 06:44 PM   #7
Eddieparrasuper
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Re: Best Shore Diving in CA?

LA. river is full of fish right now. best spot I know of.
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Old 02-23-2017, 07:46 PM   #8
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Re: Best Shore Diving in CA?

You guys are awesome. Thank you.
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Old 02-23-2017, 09:36 PM   #9
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Re: Best Shore Diving in CA?

Don't listen to Eddie, he is trolling. LA river is incredibly polluted and nasty
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Old 02-23-2017, 09:59 PM   #10
wileyseajr.
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Re: Best Shore Diving in CA?

Eddie, you should come diving in some rivers down south. I'll put you on some trophy gators.
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Old 02-23-2017, 11:48 PM   #11
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Re: Best Shore Diving in CA?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wileyseajr. View Post
I've got some vacation time coming up later in the spring and really wanting to just get out and do some spearfishing (freediving) on a budget. Was pondering doing some shore diving in CA.

I'm really just trying to get an idea of what shore diving in CA is like.

-How far out do you go?
- Kayak or swim out?
- What kind of depths are y'all diving?
- Average viz?
- what are some good areas to look into? (I prefer hunting reef fish)
- will I have I throw down with a sea lion every time I shoot a fish?

Forgive my ignorance. I grew up diving the west coast of Florida. We head 20 miles west to get in 50 ft of water.
If you make it down to San Diego hit me up.
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Old 02-24-2017, 11:25 PM   #12
wileyseajr.
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Re: Best Shore Diving in CA?

Will do! Thanks
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Old 07-10-2018, 08:56 PM   #13
charnut963
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Re: Best Shore Diving in CA?

Can someone offer a reco for how I could rent a kayak to access & hunt the la jolla kelp? I just called a kayak rental place and they said they would not allow it to leave la jolla cove.

I'm a new england spearo and will be coming next month (aug'18). Will be doing one day offshore charter for tuna, and want to do a second day (aug 17 and/or 18) of shore diving to get the inshore experience. I'm experienced but would love at minimum a kayak hookup, or a dive buddy hookup to for my friend and I to sync up with a local. Would happily buy a case of beer or throw some money in exchange for putting us on some solid inshore fish.
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Old 07-12-2018, 09:15 PM   #14
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Re: Best Shore Diving in CA?

Quote:
Originally Posted by charnut963 View Post
Can someone offer a reco for how I could rent a kayak to access & hunt the la jolla kelp? I just called a kayak rental place and they said they would not allow it to leave la jolla cove.

I'm a new england spearo and will be coming next month (aug'18). Will be doing one day offshore charter for tuna, and want to do a second day (aug 17 and/or 18) of shore diving to get the inshore experience. I'm experienced but would love at minimum a kayak hookup, or a dive buddy hookup to for my friend and I to sync up with a local. Would happily buy a case of beer or throw some money in exchange for putting us on some solid inshore fish.
i rented from a store once, and it wasn't on the beach so they don't watch you . just kayak wherever you want with it
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Old 07-12-2018, 10:37 PM   #15
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Re: Best Shore Diving in CA?

Go to Craig's list San Diego and type "kayak rental". A lot of locals are renting their kayaks per day. You can pick them up or they can deliver it to you at La Jolla Shores.

Try this

https://sandiego.craigslist.org/csd/...640377682.html
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