San Diego is a large harbor south of Mission Bay popular for boating and paddling activities. This harbor features miles of paddling along its shoreline, which includes many famous landmarks and vessels such as the carrier USS Midway. The San Diego skyline can be viewed easily from the water. The harbor is a great place to paddle with wildlife such as sea lions, dolphins and marine birds. It's many inlets are also great paddling locations for those looking for a calmer paddle. It is a good sized deep harbor with a good deal of large boat traffic, so we advise that you paddle closer to shore in order to avoid the wakes of larger vessels.
The southern side of the harbor consists of the San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge, a 300 acre area of grassy salt marsh. This area is home to many species of migrating aquatic birds such as black skimmers, snowy egrets and terns. Many photographers visit the area to photograph birds. Bass fishing can be very productive here as there are miles of eel grass beds in the lower part of San Diego Harbor.
Kayak anglers can find a wide assortment of species such as spotted bay bass, halibut, calicos, bonita and perch among a good number of others. Yellowtail are occasionally landed in the harbor during the summer as well, although this is rare and they are not as large as those outside of the harbor. San Diego Harbor is known for its spotted bay bass fishery, with 15 inch fish not being uncommon. There are also bonefish in the bottom portion of the harbor that will often go after fly lined baits.
Air temperature in San Diego Harbor ranges from the 50s to mid 60s in the winter and the 70s in the summer. The area is subject to fog during the morning throughout the year, which typically burns off in the afternoon.
Shelter Island (San Diego Harbor)
Harbor Island (San Diego Harbor)
Chula Vista Boat Ramp (San Diego Harbor)
Pepper Park Boat Ramp (San Diego Harbor)