Channel Islands Sportfishing FAQ's

Channel Islands Harbor provides convenient access to the exceptional fishing waters of the Northern Channel Islands. Channel Islands Sportfishing (the “Landing”) is approximately 11 miles from Anacapa Island, with the east end of Santa Cruz Island only 18 miles away. Depending on the nature of the trip, vessels operating out of the Landing are also within range of Santa Rosa, San Miguel and San Nicolas Islands. Coastal fishing, either down the coast towards Malibu or up the coast towards Santa Barbara is also available. Multi day trips may make it to the Cortez and Tanner banks if the tuna show up.

The options all depend on conditions and where the captains think the best chance is to catch fish on any given day, and to provide their passengers with the best fishing experience possible. The overnight and multi day trips typically fish the farther islands of Santa Rosa, San Miguel and San Nicolas Islands, with the shorter day trips generally targeting Anacapa or Santa Cruz Islands or coastal grounds.

Please arrive at the Channel Islands Sportfishing Landing facility 45 minutes ahead of your scheduled departure for check-in. Boarding the vessel typically begins 15-30 minutes prior to departure time. Please wait to board inside the facility or otherwise at the top of the dock or adjacent areas. For overnight or multi-day trips, check in starts as early as 6 pm and boards approximately 1 hour prior to departure. No one is allowed to board a vessel prior to being instructed to board and with the assistance of a crew member.

Food and beverages are available for sale in most vessel galleys and at posted prices, which are not included in the ticket price.  You are more than welcome to bring your own food and non alcoholic drinks aboard. Please limit carry-on food items to a “sack” style lunch on the charter trips. Passengers are not allowed to bring alcohol on board. NO ICE CHESTS OR COOLERS ALLOWED (except where otherwise noted), as storage space aboard is very limited.

We suggest dressing in layers for your fishing trip. Weather conditions along the California coast may change significantly throughout the day. Closed-toe shoes are suggested, tennis shoes are fine. Some passengers wear deck boots or even rain boots. Your shoes or the vessel deck may get wet, so non-slip soles are essential. There is a chance your clothes may get fishy, please don’t wear anything that you don’t mind getting dirty!

Sportfishing, like any sport, has some rare but inherent risks of injury from hooks, sinkers, fish spines, etc., and many anglers will also bring protective eyewear/goggles, long-sleeve shirts, gloves, and other safety gear. Please use your best judgment in deciding what to wear or bring aboard, based on the anticipated weather, sea conditions, and type of fishing trip booked.

Any passenger 16 years or older needs a valid California fishing license. This is required for any of the trips. ALL ages must have a Lobster Report Card if taking California Spiny Lobsters. It is ultimately up to each angler to know the rules of what licenses or endorsements are required. Licenses are available online through the CADFG. California Fish and Wildlife Online Licenses. They are also available through most sporting goods stores. Channel Islands Sportfishing also sells California sportfishing licenses for your convenience. If purchasing at the Landing, please bring cash.

Please contact the Landing 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.

The licensed Captains are experienced and knowledgeable about the Southern California fishing grounds. They 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. The crew will provide advice and assistance regarding gear, techniques, when and where they can. However, in spite of the above, on occasion, fish just don’t bite. That is the essence of sportfishing. and we can’t, of course, guarantee you a particular amount or variety of catch. We do have a large number of returning customers, which attests to a high probability of success on your trip. 

Gratuities are not included in the ticket price. The crews work very hard and gratuities are always very much appreciated.

Seasickness can occur, even in calm weather conditions. If you do not know if you are susceptible to motion sickness, please arrange to bring appropriate medication. There are numerous over-the-counter remedies or you may wish to consult your pharmacist or doctor. Generally, the boats are unable to return to the dock to drop off passengers who are seasick, so advance preparation is the key.

Weather can range from sunny and hot to cold and windy with rough seas. Weather conditions can change quickly. By law, the Captain of each vessel (not Channel Islands Sportfishing) reserves the right to cancel trips at any point in the voyage, whether due to rough weather or other safety reasons. Remember, weather conditions on land can be very different from weather conditions out on the water, particularly further offshore.

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 such matters as weather, mechanical issues, insufficient bookings, or other factors.

Each boat on an open-party trip has a minimum number of passengers that must be reached before departing. That number varies by vessel size, the length of trip, and other factors. If the minimum is not met, you will receive a phone call the evening prior to your trip. It is important when reserving, to provide a phone number that can be reached after 5 pm. In such an event, you will be informed of any other available trips on your day of departure. You can then switch to another boat, reschedule, or cancel. If cancelled, all deposits paid will be fully refunded.

Each boat is equipped with a system to ensure the tracking 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 the 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 or more) 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 procedures.

The Landing has rental rod/reels available for rent. (Security Deposit Required) The day fee is $15.00 for adults & $12.00 for Juniors and Military. Tackle is not included but can also be purchased at the Landing. 

For an open-party trip, tickets are sold individually. On a charter trip, the entire boat (including crew) is rented for a specific period of time, generally by a group or business. 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, type of trip, and by vessel. Customized trips are available upon request.

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 successful trip as possible.

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