Have you ever felt the excitement of watching your bobber suddenly jiggle, then dive out of sight? Or feeling the tap-tap-tap of a bass as it tastes the worm on the end of your line? Or having a salmon practically tear the rod out of your hands as it smashes your lure? What's that? You say you never learned to fish?
If you are new to the sport of fishing, and not sure if you will enjoy it, a great opportunity awaits you. CDFW offers two Free Fishing Days each year. On these days, you can fish without a sport fishing license. Free Fishing Days provide a great, low-cost way to give fishing a try. Some CDFW Regions offer a Fishing in the City program where you can go fishing in the middle of major metropolitan areas perhaps just a few blocks from your home. Fishing in the City and free fishing day clinics are designed to educate novice anglers about fishing ethics, fish habits, effective methods for catching fish, and fishing tackle. You can even learn how to clean and prepare your catch so you can enjoy it for dinner that night.
While all fishing regulations, such as bag and size limits, gear restrictions, report card requirements, fishing hours and stream closures remain in effect, there are two days each year when anyone can fish without purchasing a fishing license.
On Free Fishing Days, every angler must have the appropriate report card if they are fishing for (if applicable):
- spiny lobster
- or salmon in the Smith and Klamath-Trinity River Systems.
A list of San Francsico fishing spots, courtesy of FunCheapSF:
- North Lake Merced: 105 acres. Stocked spring, summer, and fall with catchable trout. The Concessionaire is supplementing the department’s stocking program. An additional North Lake daily fishing access permit is required.
- South Lake Merced: 203 acres. Stocked spring, summer, and fall with catchable trout.
- Lake Merced Impoundment: 17 acres. Not planted with catchable trout.
San Francisco Piers
- Candlestick Park Public Pier: Located south of Candlestick Park, off Hunters’ Point Expressway and Jamestown Avenue.
- Fort Mason Piers: Golden Gate National Recreation Area is located in the northern end of Fort Mason, off Marina Blvd., San Francisco.
- Fort Point Pier: GGNRA. Located near Fort Point in the Presidio. From Highway 101 near the Golden Gate Bridge toll plaza take the viewroads to Lincoln Blvd., then to Battery “E” Road to the pier. Closed at night.
- Aqua Vista: In San Francisco on China Basin Street between Pier 64 and Mission Rock Resort.
- Islais Creek Pier: Located on Third Street, two blocks from Army Street in San Francisco.
- Fisherman’s Wharf: There are a number of fishing platforms on wharfs extending form Pier 39 to Pier 45 to the Embarcadero in San Francisco.
- Marina Green Jetty: Located in San Francisco, at the end of East Harbor. Take Marina Blvd to Gashouse Cove and then to East Harbor.
- Mission Rock Pier: San Francisco; located at Aqua Vista Park, off China Basin Street, near Mission Rock Resort.
- Municipal Pier: City of San Francisco. Located at the foot of Van Ness Avenue.
- Pier Seven: Located at the end of Broadway in San Francisco.
- Twenty-Fourth Street Pier: Located at the east end of 24th Street in San Francisco near the PG&E plant.