Yes, Los Angeles County has close to 10 million people and is far better known for Hollywood, the Lakers and its care-free, beach-loving culture.
Let the other 9 million-plus folks worry about all that glitz, because the truth is that Los Angeles County has far more fishing than most people realize.
The area is home to the almost incomparable Castaic Lake, which has produced largemouth bass nudging incredibly close to world-record territory, as well as several other pretty darned good fishing lakes. Click the links with some of the better spots to read our full location articles.
And, of course, the area is a veritable gateway onto the Pacific Ocean, which offers up a nearly endless array of fishing opportunities, from near-shore reefs to deep-sea expeditions.
Besides Los Angeles itself, county residents live in well over 80 other cities, including more than a dozen with 100,000 or more people. A handful of the larger cities include Long Beach, Santa Clarita, and Glendale. Pasadena is famous for the Rose Parade.
What follows is an alphabetical listing of the best fishing spots in Los Angeles County.
Also be sure to check out the “Fishing in Neighboring Counties” feature at the end of this article. It will give you a brief rundown of great fishing that nearby areas offer and a link to more information.
Alondra Park Lake
Located about a half hour southwest of downtown Los Angeles in Lawndale, Alondra Park Lake has a variety of fishing opportunities.
Some of the species you can find in the 14-acre lake include channel catfish, largemouth bass and common carp.
Check the Alondra Regional Community Park website for hours of operation and other details.
Google Map and Directions to Alondra Park Lake
Belvedere Park Lake in the East Los Angeles area is most popular when it is stocked with rainbow trout during the winter season and catfish during warmer months.
In addition, other common catches in the lake are bluegill, largemouth bass and common carp.
Google Map and Directions to Belvedere Lake
Located just below the main Castaic Lake, Castaic Lagoon is a popular fishing spot where anglers can often catch stocked rainbow trout in the cooler months.
Other fish you are likely to catch include black crappie, bluegill, channel catfish, largemouth bass, striped bass and common carp.
The Lagoon, as it is often known, is 197 acres and fairly shallow, with a maximum depth of 170 feet. You can spread out to fish about three miles of shoreline.
Aside from fishing, this is popular as a picnic and camping area for families.
Visitors may also enjoy biking, hiking, swimming and non-gasoline powered boating. Equestrian trails are nearby.
Castaic Lake and Lagoon are located near I-5 in the Sierra Palona Mountains in the northern part of the county, just north of Santa Clarita and less than an hour from Los Angeles.
Google Map and Directions to Castaic Lagoon
Castaic Lake is famous for largemouth bass fishing but is also stocked with plenty of rainbow trout and has lots of other fish to catch.
Other species you might catch include catfish, crappie and striped bass.
Castaic Lake makes a family-friendly destination with a variety of recreational activities, including boating, swimming, biking and hiking. There is a children’s playground and picnic areas.
Camping is available at neighboring Castaic Lagoon (see that entry) and other locations in this mountainous region of northern Los Angeles County, just off Interstate 5.
Google Map and Directions to Castaic Lake
More: Castaic Lake Fishing
If you like saltwater fishing in Southern California, Santa Catalina Island is definitely a bucket list destination for you.
Yellowtail, halibut and various sea bass are practically right off shore, sometimes in amazing numbers. Longer trips head out for tuna, marlin and dorado (mahi mahi).
Don’t have a boat or want to pay for a chartered trip? Fish from the Green Pleasure Pier in the Bay of Avalon for a shot at a variety of fish species. You don’t even need a fishing license.
Catalina Island is not necessarily a cheap fishing trip, but you can get started with a ferry ride or chartered flight from various points on the mainland.
Cerritos Park Lake
Located in the popular Don Knabe Community Regional Park in Cerritos, the lake can be a good fishing destination whatever the season.
The lake is stocked with rainbow trout during winter through spring. Anglers can often catch catfish during the warmer season.
Resident bluegill, crappie, largemouth bass and carp can also be found in the lake.
The park also includes a playground area, skate park, barbecue grills, picnic tables and other amenities.
Check the park website for more information.
Google Map and Directions to Cerritos Park Lake
Despite being small in size, the 13-acre Crystal Lake is a favorite to many anglers. It’s that rare mountain lake near LA.
The popular fishing spot is often stocked with trout during the cooler season, if water conditions allow.
You also may catch bluegill, catfish and largemouth bass in the lake.
Crystal Lake’s name was derived from its crystal clear waters. It is located in the Angeles National Forest and is one of Southern California’s natural lakes.
Aside from fishing, guests may also go boating but take note that only hand-carried paddle or electric boats are permitted in the lake.
Also located nearby is a recreation area which features 50 campsites.
Don’t have enough food or forgot to bring some camping essentials? You can check out the Crystal Lake Cafe. They have everything from meals and drinks to firewood and other camping items.
Google Map and Directions to Crystal Lake
Downey Lake (Wilderness Park Pond)
Wilderness Park’s Downey Lake is popular after it is stocked with rainbow trout, which is planned some years during winter and early spring.
In the summer season, anglers can instead catch catfish, bluegill, carp, crappie, largemouth bass and carp all year.
The park also has barbecues, children’s play area, picnic tables, and restrooms.
Google Map and Directions to Downey Lake
Earvin Magic Johnson Park Lake
Named after the legendary NBA Laker, the Earvin Magic Johnson Recreational Area is a popular 104-acre park south of Los Angeles.
Anglers can fish for bluegill, catfish, crappie, largemouth bass and carp in the lake.
The park is also an ideal spot for outdoor activities because their amenities include barbecues, fitness courses, picnic areas, playground, restrooms and soccer fields.
Google Map and Directions to Earvin Magic Johnson Park Lake
Echo Park Lake
Echo Park Lake is an ideal family destination for those looking for fun outdoor activities.
Fishing is permitted in the 29-acre lake all year, but winter trout stocking will likely bring the most anglers.
Echo Park Lake also is home year-round to other game fish including bass, bluegill, catfish and perhaps other fish species.
The park, located west of Dodger Stadium, also offers pedal boat rentals, picnic areas and walking paths.
Google Map and Directions to Echo Park Lake
El Dorado Park Lakes
Located in the El Dorado East Regional Park in the city of Long Beach, these lakes offer fishing for various game fish.
The lakes are stocked with rainbow trout multiple times during the winter season and also are stocked with channel catfish, usually in the spring.
Other fish you might catch include bluegill, catfish, crappie, largemouth bass, redear sunfish and common carp.
The park also has barbecues, children’s play areas, hiking trail, and picnic tables. There is a nature center where guests can explore walking trails or check out beautiful flora and fauna.
For details, check out the park’s website.
Google Map and Directions to El Dorado Park Lakes
Hansen Dam Lake
Los Angeles’ Hansen Dam and Reservoir is home to a moderate-sized lake that is open throughout the year.
Hansen Dam Lake has plenty of rainbow trout stocked during the winter months.
Channel catfish also are stocked in the spring and should offer catches into the summer.
The lake has resident populations of bluegill, largemouth bass and carp.
The park also offers additional outdoor activities such as a bike trail, picnic area, playground, skate park and a sports center.
Google Map and Directions to Hansen Dam Lake
Hollenbeck Park Lake
Hollenbeck Park’s pond offers a variety of fishing options, including wintertime trout stocking.
The lake also is stocked with catfish during the spring, and other fish you might hook include bluegill, crappie, largemouth bass and common carp.
The lake is on South St. Louis Street alongside Interstate 5.
Additional park amenities include basketball courts, barbecue pits, picnic areas and a playground.
Google Map and Directions to Hollenbeck Park Lake
Located in the Big Pines area of the Angeles National Forest, this small lake is a relaxing place to go for fishing and boating.
It’s surface area is only 7 acres but provides anglers with a fair amount of fish species, including stocked rainbow trout and resident bluegill. Trout are generally stocked a few times during the winter.
Note that motor-powered boats are not allowed on the lake. Plus there isn’t a launch ramp.
Plan on using small non-motorized boats and float tubes you can carry to the shore.
Other activities include camping and swimming.
Google Map and Directions to Jackson Lake
Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area Lake
This small urban lake is in Kenneth Hahn Park State Park close to Los Angeles.
Open daily, the lake is a well-loved fishing spot among anglers all year round.
Typically during winter, the lake is stocked with rainbow trout.
Meanwhile, catfish fishing is best in late spring into summer.
In addition, the lake also has bluegill and largemouth bass.
Other amenities in the park include athletic fields, barbeque area, baseball diamond, basketball court, picnic sites and playgrounds.
Google Map and Directions to Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area Lake
La Mirada Lake
Located within the La Mirada Regional Park, this small, urban lake at times can offer great opportunities for anglers.
A popular time to fish is when rainbow trout are stocked during colder months, while catfish are stocked heading into warmer months and offer renewed opportuntity.
Resident fish species in the lake include bluegill, crappie, and largemouth bass and carp.
The park is open daily. In addition to fishing, guests may enjoy the disc golf course, handball courts, playgrounds and tennis courts.
Google Map and Directions to La Mirada Lake
This lake can be found in the city of South El Monte and looks like a series of three inter-connected lakes offering lots of bank fishing access.
It offers plenty of fishing opportunities for anglers, including multiple wintertime stockings of rainbow trout as well as channel catfish planted heading into the warmer season.
On top of that, bass, bluegill, and crappie can also be found here.
The lakes also have picnic areas where families and friends can relax and eat together. For those looking for more outdoor activities, they have baseball fields and bicycle paths.
Google Map and Directions to Legg Lake
Lincoln Park Lake
Found in Lincoln Park east of downtown LA, this park lake offers anglers with bluegill, carp, crappie, and largemouth bass.
Some years the lake has been stocked with rainbow trout during winter months.
It is typically stocked with channel catfish heading into the warmer moths.
The park also has barbecue pits, a baseball diamond, a playground, a picnic area, a recreation center and a senior center, among other amenities.
Google Map and Directions to Lincoln Park Lake
MacArthur Park Lake
This park lake tends to be stocked with rainbow trout once or twice a month during the winter months, which is when you’ll have to fish them to have a reasonable chance at catching them.
The pond also is typically stocked with catfish during the spring (check for possible plantings around the April time frame), and some of these fish may be catchable for sometime afterward.
MacArthur Park is a very old city park in the Westlake neighborhood west of downtown Los Angeles. It also has picnic areas, playgrounds and a baseball diamond.
Google Map and Directions to MacArthur Park Lake
There is a wide variety of saltwater fishing opportunity in Los Angeles.
For many anglers looking for a simple trip, the county’s many piers are the ticket to catching perch, sea bass, sargo and other common species. At times, halibut, mackerel and even sharks will find your baited hook.
Public ocean fishing piers include the Belmont, Cabrillo, Hermosa Beach, Malibu, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, Santa Monica and Venice. There is a fishing platform at Burton Chace Park in Marina del Rey.
Beach fishing can also be productive at times. CDFW lists potential spots to fish as Dockweiler, Malibu Lagoon, Nicholas Canyon, Robert H. Meyer, Santa Monica and Will Rogers state beaches and Zona Beach County Park.
Other bank opportunities may be available in King Harbor, Long Beach Harbor and Los Angeles Harbor.
For bigger trips, book an offshore fishing trip out of various locations in Los Angeles County. There are plenty of boats for hire around Long Beach and San Pedro, as well as down into Orange County.
Peck Road Park Lake
Anglers will find various species of fish here, including bluegill, catfish and largemouth bass.
Family and friends may also be interested in the park’s amenities, such as barbecue, picnic tables, as well as the trails for biking, hiking, and walking.
Google Map and Directions to Peck Road Park Lake
A 250-acre artificial lake in San Dimas, Puddingstone Reservoir is a promising place to cast your line, especially during the quieter seasons.
Anglers get to catch stocked trout during the winter season and catfish during the spring.
When the trout fishing fades, there will still be catfish, bluegill, largemouth bass and common carp in the reservoir.
This is a popular outdoor recreation destination that also offers camping, jet skiing, sailing, swimming and windsurfing.
Note that during the hotter months, the power boaters tend to take over and fishing generally takes a back seat.
Also commonly known as Puddingstone Lake, it’s easy to reach about 30 miles east of Los Angeles.
More: Puddingstone Lake Fishing
This lake is a popular outdoor recreation spot in the mountains of northern Los Angeles County.
Anglers love fishing here because they get to catch a variety of species ranging from largemouth bass and even smallmouth bass, to bluegill and catfish, to crappie and trout.
The rainbow trout are stocked frequently from December through February, and then the bass and warmwater fishing takes off for the rest of the year.
Pyramid Lake remains open the entire year and those visiting may also enjoy boating, camping, hiking, biking and more.
More: Pyramid Lake Fishing
Reseda Park Lake
Situated in the north part of Reseda Park, the 2.5-acre Reseda Park Lake is a shallow urban pond that attracts anglers looking for a good catch, especially if it is stocked with hatchery fish.
If it’s planted, the likely times are winter months for rainbow trout and spring or early summer for catfish.
Reseda Park also has barbecue pits, a baseball diamond, a children’s playground and some picnic tables.
Google Map and Directions to Reseda Park Lake
San Gabriel River and Forks
This stream in the San Gabriel Mountains is home to rainbow trout and has been stocked some in the past, but apparently not consistently in recent years.
There are modest numbers of wild trout, particularly in the cooler upper reaches such as the tributaries.
Lower in the river system you may find several non-native species, perhaps including carp, bass and panfish.
Meanwhile, those interested in camping can check out the East Fork.
Google Map and Directions to San Gabriel River
Santa Fe Reservoir
This 80-acre reservoir in a suburban park is likely to attract the most anglers when it’s freshly stocked, such as after it is planted with hatchery rainbow trout in the winter and channel catfish in the spring.
You may also catch some other resident species of fish, such as bass.
The lake is open to fishing year-round has grassy banks dotted with shade trees and picnic tables.
The lake is in the Santa Fe Dam Recreational Area, located in Irwindale about 30 minutes east of downtown Los Angeles.
Fishing in Nearby Counties
Ventura County: To the west, a short drive up the coast brings you to even more great ocean fishing as well as a few incredible fishing destinations in the form of Casitas Lake and Lake Piru.
Kern County: To the north, the Bakersfield area is home base for some great fisheries, especially Lake Isabella and the Kern River.
San Bernardino County: To the east, from excellent fishing lakes like Big Bear and Silverwood lakes and across the desert to Lake Havasu, this absolutely gigantic county has plenty of places to catch fish.
Orange County: To the south, being the smallest and most densely populated suburban area in Southern California doesn’t mean there isn’t much fishing. Check out the many park lakes and beaches teeming with fish to catch.
Riverside County: To the southwest, this long county has some excellent reservoirs like Diamond Valley Lake and Lake Perris in its western side clear out to the Colorado River on the Arizona border.