Channel Islands

Channel Islands Sportfishing FAQ's

Q. Where do we fish?

A. Channel Islands Sportfishing is located very close to the Northern Channel Islands. We are only 11 miles from Anacapa Island, with Santa Cruz only 18 miles away. We are within a few hours of Santa Rosa, San Miguel and San Nicolas Islands. We will fish these islands frequently. However, we might also fish down the coast towards Malibu or up the coast towards Santa Barbara. The shorter trips may venture to Anacapa or Santa Cruz Island or head up or down the coast. It all depends on where the captains think the best chance is to catch fish on any given day. The overnight and multi day trips typically fish the farther islands of Santa Rosa, San Miguel and San Nicolas Islands.

Q. How early should I arrive?

Please arrive at the Channel Islands Sportfishing landing 45 minutes ahead of your scheduled departure. We typically begin boarding the vessel 15-30 minutes prior to departure time. If you arrive before then we ask that you wait at the top of the dock for us to begin boarding. For overnight or multi day trips, check in starts as early as 6pm and boards approximately 1 hour prior to departure. No one is allowed to board without permission and a crew member on board.

Q. Is food provided?

A. Food and beverages are available in most galleys and are not included in the ticket price. The galley serves cold drinks including beer. You are more than welcome to bring your own food and non alcoholic drink aboard, please limit it to a "sack" style lunch. Passengers are not allowed to bring alcohol on board. NO ICE CHESTS OR COOLERS ALLOWED, space is very limited. (except where noted)

Q. What should I wear?

A. We recommend wearing pants or shorts and a jacket for your fishing or whale watching trip. Weather conditions along the California coast change throughout the day, layering is best. Closed-toe shoes are recommended, tennis shoes are fine. Some passengers wear deck boots or even rain boots. Your shoes may get wet. We recommend sunblock, hat and sunglasses. There is a chance your clothes may get fishy, please don't wear anything that you don't mind getting dirty!

Q. Will I need a fishing license?

A. Any passenger 16 years or older needs a valid California fishing license. This is required for any of our trips in California State waters. ALL ages must have a Lobster Report Card if keeping California Spiny Lobsters. (It is ultimately up to each angler to know the rules of what licenses are required)

Q. What if I need to cancel or reschedule?

A. Please contact us as early as possible at Channel Islands Sportfishing (805) 382-1612 to cancel your reservation or reschedule.  No shows will not receive a refund.

1/2 day & 3/4 day trips – 24 hour notice from time of departure date.
Full day & Overnight trips – 48 hour notice from time of departure date.
Whale Watching trips - 24 hour notice from time of departure date.
Twilight trips - 24 hour notice from time of departure date.

Q. What if the fish don't bite?

A. The Captains at Channel Islands Sportfishing are highly experienced and very knowledgeable about the California fishing grounds. They very aggressively pursue target catches as well as the fish most likely to be biting according to the current conditions. If the fish are out there and biting, the captains are experts at putting you right on top of them using all of the latest technologies. However, sometimes, fish just don't bite. That is the essence of the thrill of the hunt and the sport --- all of the elements have to be just right. Sometimes the angler wins, sometimes the hunted. We do our part to work with all of the natural elements to provide the best chances possible, but we can't of course guarantee you success.  

Q. Is gratuity included?

A. Gratuity is not included in the ticket price. The crews work very hard to make your trip easy and enjoyable; gratuities are always very much appreciated.

Q. Will I get seasick?

A. Seasickness can occur, even in calm weather conditions. If you do not know if you get seasick, we recommend that you consider taking seasickness medication. Please talk to your pharmacist or doctor. We are not able to return to the dock to drop off passengers who are seasick.

Q. What are the typical weather conditions?

A. Weather can range from sunny and hot to cold and windy with rough seas. Weather conditions can change quickly. The captain reserves the right to cancel trips due to rough weather for safety reasons. Remember, weather conditions on land can be very different from weather conditions out on the water.

Q. Can my trip get cancelled?

A. Yes, trips can be cancelled. We do our best to give as much notice as possible but trips can be cancelled up to the last minute due to weather, mechanical issues or lack of minimum passenger interest

Q. What is the trip minimum?

A. Each boat has a minimum number of passengers that must be reached before departing. Typically, that number varies by boat, increasing the number of passengers by the size of the boat. If the minimum is not met you will receive a phone call the evening prior to your trip. At that time you will be informed of any available trips on that day. You can then switch to another boat, reschedule or cancel. If canceled, all deposits paid will be fully refunded.

Q. What do I do with my fish?

A. Each boat is equipped with a system to ensure the quality of your fish while on the boat. Each passenger will have a large burlap sack with a number. (You can bring your own or purchase one on the boat) At the end of the trip, you may take your fish home whole in the burlap sack or you may have our deckhands clean your fish. Fish-cleaning is an additional cost of $1-3 per fish based on the size of the fish (very large fish are $5) and you will take your fish fillets home in a plastic bag. If you are driving a significant distance home, you may want to leave a cooler in your car for your fish. Ice is available for purchase at the end of the day in the tackle shop. If you do not want to keep your fish, please let the deckhands know ahead of time and they can assist you with catch-and-release.

Q. Will there be crew onboard to help me with the fishing?

A. No fishing experience is necessary. We welcome everyone from children and first time anglers to the most experienced. We love the thrill of sport fishing and want to share that with others. The friendly deckhands are available to assist passengers with setting up your tackle, baiting your hooks and will help you catch and land your fish.

Q. What if I don't have any fishing gear?

A. We have Rent rod/reels available for rent. (Security Deposit RequiredThe fee is $15.00 for adults & $12.00 for Juniors and Military. Tackle is not included but can be purchased at the landing. 

Q. What is the difference between an open-party trip and a charter?

A. You probably hear the words used somewhat interchangeably, saying.. “I am looking for the best fishing charter in Oxnard, California,” for example, meaning they are looking for an Open party fishing trip. For an open-party trip, tickets are sold individually. On a charter trip, the entire boat (including crew) is rented for the day. Charter trips can accommodate any number of passengers up to a maximum that each boat is licensed to carry. Ticket and charter prices are available on the website; prices vary according to season and type of trip. Customized trips are available.

Q. What does Freelance mean?

A. Freelance just means the captain will decide what to fish for on that day, depending on weather, tides (current conditions) and what has been biting. The goal is to have as a successful trip as possible.

Q. Where can I purchase a license?

A. Licenses are available online through the CADFG and through a link throughout our site. They are also available through most sporting goods stores. Channel Islands Sportfishing also sells fishing licenses for your convenience.

Q. Where do we park?

A. There is an ample free parking lot right on the Channel Islands Sportfishing premises, at 4151 South Victoria Ave. Oxnard, California 93035

For information, call us at 805-382-1612