If you plan to go to California in the near future, forget about the Government vouchers that the state there is giving it's residents instead of state income tax refunds http://http//www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-iou-budget3-2009jul03,0,4177099.story and focus on what may well be the best written compendium of coastal fishing in the golden state.
Of course, I'm speaking of what is one of the finest books that you can buy about coastal California fishing, Pier Fishing in California. You can get it here http://www.pierfishing.com/merchandise/book.shtml.
This book is 528 information and picture packed pages of pier and surf fishing opportunties from south to north in the Golden State. A fellow named Ken Jones has spent over 30 years gathering and more importantly, updating this information. When I travel to California on either business or pleasure, this book and at least one traveling fishing rig travel with me. Even when I don't take a travel fishing outfit with me, this book tells me the piers and tackle shops where I can rent a fishing rig for a reasonable price.
The past year, I've been to L.A. several times. On those trips, I've either fished at The Malibu Pier, surf fished in Malibu, or fished at The Santa Monica Pier. The guidance that this books gives, as well as the up to the minute accurate updates that the forum Ken runs on California saltwater fishing from the shoreline, provides you with everything you need to know about where to fish, what to fish with and what to fish for.
Probably the best fishing trip I ever had in my life was in San Diego about 12 years ago. I went out on a small party fishing boat, fishing about 10 or so miles offshore. It was nonstop fishing action from start to finish. There was about 20 of us customers on the boat, many of whom were pensioners seeking to augment their meager social security and retirement incomes with some tasty fresh fish. Since I didn't have any way to take fish home with me on that trip, my newfound friends were more than happy to take my fish as part of their limit and provide me with liquid refreshment in exchange.
Although that trip was in chilly early December, the fish were biting like mad. Really, six hours of fishing until you could no longer lift your arms was the kind of tired I like to be.
Although hopefully my fishing expedition to California at the end of this summer will be inland and in search of freshwater Golden Trout, later this fall I want to take the ferry out to Santa Catalina Island and do some fishing out there. I hear it is marvelous, and it's not all that expensive to head to Catalina either.
Too bad Ken hasn't written the ultimate fishing guide for freshwater trout fishing like he has for saltwater pier fishing.