Fishing Trips Frequently Asked Questions

What is the latest fish count on the half day or twilight trips?

The 1/2 day trips are catching a mixture of bass and assorted rockfish. For the most up to date counts please visit our fish counts page

Questions About Fishing, Limits & Trip Specifics

  • Chevron down Do you guarantee that fish will be caught?
  • We can guarantee fishing but not catching. Our crew will do everything in its power to put you where the fish are. We cannot control what does or does not bite the hook.

  • Chevron down Do we need to keep the fish we catch?
  • While you are welcome to keep any legal sized fish, Dana Wharf promotes catch and release and responsible conservation of our natural resources. You may also give your legal sized fish to another angler if you so choose.

  • Chevron down How many fish can I keep?
  • The captain and crew are up to date with the most recent California Department of Fish and Game size and possession limits, and will inform you of these at the start of the trip. Regulations will vary depending on the season and what we are fishing for today.

  • Chevron down What's the limit for a child under 16 with no fishing license?
  • Even though children under 16 years of age are allowed to fish on our trips without a license, they are allowed the same legal limit as an adult fisherman.

  • Chevron down What do I do with the fish I decide to keep?
  • We will assist you with placing your fish in your sack. After the trip, fish cleaning is available for a fee. Fish cleaning is payable in cash only.

  • Chevron down Can I sell the fish I catch?
  • NO! It is illegal to sell fish that are caught by way of “Recreational Sport Fishing.” If you are caught violating this law, you (along with Dana Wharf Sportfishing) will be ordered to appear in court, fined, and items can be confiscated.

  • Chevron down What happens when everyone catches their limits?
  • If everyone catches limits of the fish we’re targeting for the day, we will simply pull up and start fishing for something else. For example, if the boat limits out on sand bass, we might go farther out and troll for yellowtail or bonito. In any event, we do not simply end the trip early.

  • Chevron down How much of the trip will be spent fishing versus riding?
  • About 60-70% of the trip is fishing time.

  • Chevron down How far does the boat go out?
  • Between 1 and 12 miles from the harbor.

  • Chevron down What do I see when I'm not fishing?
  • When we’re not fishing, you’ll enjoy the stunning California coastline, birds, whales, dolphins, sea lions, breaking fish, other fishing and sail boats, depending on the day, conditions and season.

  • Chevron down Will we see whales or dolphins while we are fishing?
  • We will occasionally see whales, dolphins, sea lions, and birds while fishing depending on the season. Please keep in mind this is a fishing trip, so any such sightings are a bonus. If there is something worth seeing near by which does not inconvenience the trip, the captain will generally take a few minutes to check it out.

  • Chevron down What is the voluntary jackpot?
  • The voluntary jackpot is an optional pool for the biggest fish of the day. If you choose to participate and put $5 into the pool, the person with the largest fish at the end of the day wins the pot! The Jackpot winner is always determined by the Captain.

Fishing Equipment and Licenses

  • Chevron down I have my own equipment. What type of gear do I need?
  • The half day and twilight trips consist of local surface fishing. We fish in anywhere from 30 to 90 feet of water. Light tackle is recommended. Typically we use 10 to 20 lb test line, 1/2 to 2 oz. sinkers, and size 1 hooks, although recommended equipment changes with conditions.

  • Chevron down Can you provide me with fishing gear, bait, and tackle?
  • You can rent rods with spinning reels when you purchase tickets, and this would include a tackle package. These rods are easier to cast and less likely to tangle. Bait is included in the trip price and when available, we will use live bait. If live bait is not available, frozen bait will be used.. Additional tackle can be purchased in the tackle shop.

  • Chevron down Am I required to have a fishing license?
  • Everyone 16 years and older is required by law to have a fishing license (unless you will not fish at all during the trip). If you do not already have one, you may purchase a one day license prior to departure. Fishing licenses can also be purchased online at this link.

About Dana Wharf

Dana Wharf Sportfishing & Whale Watching is dedicated to helping locals and visitors alike enjoy the unique wonders of Dana Point Harbor and the Orange County coastline. The warm waters right out of Dana Point Harbor are flourishing with sea life including whales, dolphins, harbor seals, and California sea lions. Our thriving coastal waters provide bountiful fishing of sand bass, calico bass, halibut, bonito, yellowtail, yellowfin tuna, bluefin tuna, and dorado. Whether you’re looking for boat rentals in Dana Point to enjoy a private boat charter, sailboat or catamaran, coming for an awe-inspiring whale watching cruise or wanting to create memories onboard our sportfishing charters, one thing is for certain: your trip through the beautiful and scenic Orange County coast will be unforgettable. Dana Wharf is conveniently located in Dana Point, Orange County, just south of Newport Beach, Huntington Beach and Laguna Beach – about 30 minutes south of Disneyland, an hour south of Los Angeles and an hour north of San Diego.

World Cetacean Alliance logoProud Partner of the World Cetacean Alliance
The World Cetacean Alliance (WCA) is the world’s largest Partnership working to protect whales, dolphins and porpoises (cetaceans). Partners of the WCA aim to conserve and protect cetaceans and their habitats in the world’s oceans, seas and rivers, to ensure their continued survival.