Sportfishing, Whalewatching & Charters

One of the Coastide’s most cherished destinations is Pillar Point Harbor, a vibrant marina that teems with colorful fishing boats, many of which are ready to welcome you aboard.

Whether you’re looking to reel in a longfin tuna, or witness the awesome spectacle of migrating whales, you’ll find an expert crew ready to charter the perfect trip.

For those that turn green at the site of a boat, there’s still much to enjoy. Pillar Point is one of the last working harbors in California where you can buy fresh fish and shellfish direct from the boat. Fishline, a handy hotline and mobile app, makes it easy to find out the day’s catch which often includes salmon, rock cod, and, when the season is right, succulent dungeness crab.

Huli Cat Sportfishing/Party

(650) 726-2926
Princeton-by-the-Sea, Half Moon Bay, Northern California

Salmon fishing takes place from late March to early November. Rockfish varies from year round to July through November, depending on regulation. Albacore and blue fin tuna are offshore mid July through October, a great time for deep sea fishing trips.

Whale watching is almost year round in the Bay Area. December through May, experience the Gray Whale migration. May through October, find humpback whales, blue whales, or pilot whales. See killer whales, dolphins and porpoises.  Take a trip offshore bird watching for Northern California’s sea birds flying back and forth feeding along the coast. Care to see the lighthouses that have guided seaman and boaters for over a century? There are three within a days cruising range. See the unique and rugged Farallon Islands, 28 to 40 miles offshore; see seabirds, sea lions and white sharks. White sharks move in close at the Farallons, October and November.

Riptide Sportfishing

(650) 728-8433
Princeton-by-the-Sea, Half Moon Bay, Northern California

During the fishing season they will be fishing for salmon, rockfish or tuna depending upon regulations. When the fishing action starts and you’ll hear the reel sing as the line peels off with a whopper of a king salmon jumping and tugging against the straining angler…or the biting of a ling cod pulling your line and trying to dive into a hole in a rock on the ocean bottom – well, the excitement is felt all around the deck and everyone cheers in unison when the catch is landed!

Riptide will customize trips to fit your needs.  Riptide offers both half and full day tours for whale watching/nature trips and to observe surfers off Mavericks.  You can often see Humpback whales, which are present in this area  of Northern California year-round. Many times during the Spring through Fall, we see Blue whales. The height of the Gray whale migration is from late December through May. There are many other forms of life to observe from their vessel –  Dolphins, Porpoises, Stellar Sea Lions and many a binocular is bird watching for offshore species.

Moonspinner Sailing  Yacht

(650) 787-9263
Half Moon Bay, Northern California

The Moonspinner Sailing’s 440 Luxury Catamaran Charter yacht is a special up-close way to view the whales.  The boat is almost 45 fee in length and has a smooth, level and comfortable ride unlike most sailboats.  There is also indoor comfort in their Main Salon or a covered aft outdoor lounge. A whale watching trip on a luxury yacht is an experience to the discerning marine mammal enthusiast. Guests can document sightings in Meriel’s Log Book as a record of their whale watching adventure.

If you want fresh fish but sea fishing trips aren’t for you, often you can purchase fish right off the boats at the dock and from fish markets around Pillar Point Harbor and the Coastside.

(All boating excursions depart from Pillar Point Harbor, 4 miles north of Half Moon Bay)