• Saltwater perch fishing can be done from a boat or from the shore.
  • Perch congregate for food and protection around structures like wharfs, piers, docks, pilings, rock retaining walls, etc. Look for these structures for your best chances.
  • Look for a substantial incoming tide (3-4 foot difference between high and low tides) as the perch feed most voraciously at this time.

Tackle & Equipment

In general, use a heavy freshwater or light-medium saltwater rod (6-8 feet) and a reel that holds at least 100 yards of 10-25 lb monofilament line. You might consider using a longer 9 foot rod for fishing off a pier or rocky wall.

Bait & Rigging

Two types of rigs are used: traditional surf rig, or basic #6 hook right on the main line with a small split shot (or two) about 18 inches up.





Common bait for perch include:

  • Sand crab (best for coastal fishing).
  • Grass shrimp and fresh mussel (best for bay fishing).
  • Clams, pile worms, squid strips, and cut anchovies.

Best Bets

Harbors, jetties, pilings, docks, wharfs and piers around Monterey, San Francisco, Tomales and Humboldt Bays are good spots for coastal fishing.

Other good spots:

Boat Fishing

  • Sausalito’s western shore
  • West side of Richmond and San Rafael bridges
  • Berkeley and Emeryville waterfront
  • Treasure Island Shoreline
  • Berkeley Pier
  • San Franscisco waterfront from Fisherman’s Wharf to Candlestick Point
  • Coyote Point Harbor

Shore Fishing

  • Fort Point Headlands
  • Marina Green rock wall
  • Fort Mason Pier
  • San Mateo Pier
  • Berekely Pier
  • Aquatic Park/Muni Pier
  • Emeryville Marina rock wall
  • Sausalito seawall