Pismo Beach Fish Fanfare

Many of the world’s finest beaches are found along the 1,100 miles of our California coastline. The quintessential town of Pismo Beach is among the most popular spots to explore and restore. Here residents and visitors celebrate and enjoy the abundant sea life year round, as just below the surface of this beach haven you’ll find equally exquisite sea life.

With seasonal winds and waves, the sea floor and environment shifts and changes, creating variable habitats for sea creatures. Teeming with life, the coastal waters are labeled as “shore layers”, making for a special kind of playground where you’ll find different fish.

If you’re on foot along the beach, dip your toes into the magical tidepools where you’ll find colorful and unique playmates. If you prefer to be perched on top of a boat, whether recreating or fishing, you’ll find a whole different kettle of fish. And for the special breed of underwater mermaids and mermen who snorkel and dive, you’ll find your own delight amidst all the coastal layers. Here is a quick overview of the coastal layers and some of the creatures you’re likely to find in each.

Inshore and Nearshore

Along the immediate more shallow Pismo Beach shoreline areas, the sandy ocean floor creates a safe zone for many fish varieties. From the shore and even out toward the end of the piers, you can expect to find surfperch, striped bass, kingfish, starry flounders, sanddabs, sand soles, halibut, jacksmelt, and mackerel.

Also, as the tides recede, you’ll find the unique spectacle of the tide pools. Shelter Cove offers a great sampling of the beauty and magic of the Pismo Beach tide pools, where you can find anemones, starfish, crabs including hermit crabs and many other critters and shells. Low tide is the ideal time to ‘see the wildlife.


As you travel out into deeper, cooler waters (distance varies based on where the ocean floor drops off into greater depths), you’ll encounter albacore, rock cod, trout, halibut, perch and even salmon.


Fishing in and Around Pismo Beach

If you’re all about fishing, here are some great spots to cast off your next adventure.

Pismo Beach Pier – restored in the late 1980s, the pier is in like-new shape, 1,370 feet long with several cantilevered fishing decks.

Along the Shell Beach stretch you can fish from the cliffs.

Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Area is a beach and a dunes area for 4-wheeling. You can fish with all your gear in tow, as you can drive right along the shore.

For a much quieter experience, set out with Central Coast Kayak and fish right on the water.

Offshore fishing trips are led by Patriot Fishing year round.

You do not need a fishing license to fish off the pier. However if you plan to fish from the shoreline or from a boat, a license is required. For some great tips on fishing off the pier, check out Tips for Pier Fishing in Pismo Beach.

Keep a listen for wave heights and any flash flood warnings during winter months. For current conditions and up to date regulations, contact California Fish & Wildlife Department.


Blackened, Fried or Grilled – Seafood in Pismo Beach

If your favorite way to enjoy fish is blackened, fried or grilled and served on a platter, here are some of the most popular Pismo Beach seafood restaurants.

The Oyster Loft – Oysters! And other fresh fish and seafood dishes to delight you with sublime flavors.

Ventana Grill – Dine surrounded by the rhythmic serenade of waves crashing on the beach below.

Cracked Crab – Just come – we’re walk in only as we are too small for reservations.

Pismo Fish & Chips – No fuss seafood & sandwiches since 1963.

Create your very own fanfare with a Pismo Beach fish adventure. One detail you won’t need to fish for is a great place to stay. SeaCrest Oceanfront Hotel has you covered, hook, line and sinker. Book your getaway today.


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