UNITED STATES—From an angler’s perspective, the Golden State of California represents a true fishing paradise. When people think of it, the first thing that comes to their mind is probably the coast that runs all the way from north to the south. With a landscape of mountains, rivers, lakes and a Pacific coastline, there are many outdoor activities to enjoy here. Whether you enjoy hiking, climbing, mountain biking or maybe fishing, you will find plenty of things to enjoy here.

The fishing world in California is as diverse as the State itself. Whether you are into freshwater species such as catfish, trout and bass, or you want to go in the saltwater for species like surfperch and halibut, you will definitely be entertained. However, if you are not quite ready to throw the hook in the water and go for the catch, check out this Fishin’ Frenzy game that will entertain you while you prepare for the real experience.

If you are over 16 years old and want to go fishing, you will need to have a current license. Similar to other states and countries, the regulations may vary depending on the location you choose. Also, there are different rules for ocean sports fishing, freshwater fishing and shoreline fishing. In some cases, you will need to have particular special licences in addition to the standard fishing licence.

While this list can’t cover all the beautiful places in California, it is sure a great start for anyone looking to catch a few fish on a calm afternoon. Let’s go through our favourites.

Yosemite National Park 

The world-famous Yosemite National Park is probably not the first place you’d think of to go fishing. This place is best-known for its wildlife, breathtaking waterfalls and glorious mountain scenery. Visitors come to enjoy hiking and river rafting, but there are also some convenient fishing spots.

There are many different types of fish that you can find in Yosemite including: rainbow trout, crappie, sunfish and bullgill.

The season for river and stream fishing starts on the last Saturday in April through November 15. Fishing here doesn’t open until June 15 in order to protect the spawning rainbow trout.

There are a couple of local fishing regulations in place, for example you can only use artificial flies and lures, whereas if rainbow trout is your prey you are only allowed to do catch and release fishing.

McCloud River

This place is one of California’s best places to fish trout. The McCloud River runs off the famous Mount Shasta. The high mineral content in the glacial water is what gives the river its unique turquoise colour. Here, you will find rainbow and brown trout averaging 15-inches and weighing in at up to 12 pounds. The river flow is highest in spring and ideal fishing conditions usually start from the middle of May.

San Joaquin Delta

The San Joaquin Delta runs all the way through California. Visiting this fishing hotspot should be on every angler’s list.

Among the species you can expect to find here are: sturgeon, bluegill, stripers and king salmon. If you’re after the stripers, the best time for fishing is during the spring and fall.

The best boat fishing areas on the Delta are Sherman Lake where the water is less than five feet deep, Threemile Slough and Sacramento Rivers.

San Francisco Bay

The San Francisco Bay is located in the city that bears the same name. At a depth between 10 and 35 feet with a muddy bottom, this place is a perfect territory for halibut. The best time for fishing halibut is in the late May through summer, corresponding with the arrival of anchovies and beginning of a feeding frenzy.

There are other species you can encounter here, including ling cod, salmon, tuna and sturgeon.

Salmon is usually found within the Bay during late summer. The preferred method to catch this fish used by local fishermen is called trolling. If you are looking to catch sturgeon, go after the first rain in November through the first signs of spring.

Smith River

This place is located in the northwest of California and is renowned as California’s premier salmon and steelhead river. Smith River holds the record for the heaviest steelhead at 27 pounds. Salmons range between 50 and 60 pounds and the record is an amazing 86-pound salmon.

This river is best known as California’s last wild river. At this place, you are surrounded with the spectacular view of rare red forest trees, sheer rock walls and deep pools.

The salmon fishing starts in September, when fishermen target big king-sized salmon. If you want to go for a boat action, this is best in November, since the water is calm, and salmon is in the peak fishing season. After this period, it’s time for steelheads to take over, and their fishing season runs from December to April.

Going fishing in California has to be on your list if you want a memorable trip with great weather and spectacular landscapes. This place offers different species for the leisure angler to pursue. If you want to vary activities beside fishing, you can always go for a shopping trip in the big cities, taste a special dish at one of the many top-class restaurants or visit the lively beach bars.