Recreational Fishing

Back CameraFishing along the Mendocino coast is guaranteed to be something you’ll never forget, whether you catch your first 25 pound salmon, pop your first abalone off the rocks, or spend a day out at sea tossing more than your line overboard!  Those brave enough to face the sometimes formidable weather and seas, can pursue an annual round of fisheries that includes salmon (when the season is open), albacore in late summer (when it is within range), abalone (late spring through fall) crab in winter, and rockfish year-round (subject to closure when quotas have been reached).

Fishing regulations can be complex, and they are always changing, so we have tried to simplify some of the information and provide the more important facts in the following table.  We will continue to add more page over the next few months.  Click on the species name for additional information.

Here are some of the north coast’s most popular recreational fisheries:


Click here to find out what’s open today!

Popular North Coast Recreational Fisheries

 Year RoundSeasonal
Chinook (King) Pacific SalmonSalmonMay-Sept
Dungeness CrabDungeness CrabNov-June
Red AbaloneRed AbaloneApril-Nov
Albacore TunaJune-Oct
LingcodDivers, Shore-based AnglersBoat-based: May-Sept
RockfishRockfishDivers, Shore-based AnglersBoat-based: May-Sept
CabazonDivers, Shore-based AnglersBoat-based: May-Sept
Musselsall, except when quarantined by the Dept of Public HealthTypically closed from May-Oct.
The dates provided here are guidelines only, as these fisheries are adaptively managed. Always check the table linked above for exact open/closure dates.

Who Needs a Fishing License?

            Anyone 16 years of age or older

How Long is a License Valid?

           One calendar year (January 1-December 31)

Where Do You Get a Fishing License?

          Hover over the icons on the map below to see where you can purchase a

CA Fishing License in the area.