San Diego is known for beautiful beaches, breathtaking sunsets, and screensaver-worthy scenery, among other things. It’s a mecca for surfing enthusiasts and sun worshippers alike, and the upscale coastal village of La Jolla, just north of the city of San Diego, is no exception.
The coastline of La Jolla (which means “The Jewel”) is one of the best locations for partaking in water sports in the world, for those that can brave the icy currents that often make their way down from Alaska. Kayakers find the area particularly attractive, making pilgrimage to La Jolla each year by the tens of thousands. The mild year-round climate and majestic sea caves, as well as the unique opportunity to fish in one of the most beautiful coastal landscapes in the country, make it the ideal spot for casting out via kayak.
A popular place to launch from is at the end of Avenida de la Playa where the waves are small. Wondering what to pack? Water, lunch, and a sweet playlist pumping from your waterproof Bluetooth speaker are recommended, and wearing a lifejacket is an absolute necessity: The game in this area can vary from moderately sized yellowtail and bonita to powerful 15 ft. thresher sharks – one of which could easily roll a kayak if it pulled the line too aggressively. In the case that your kayak does roll, the Fugoo strap mount will keep your waterproof Bluetooth speaker snug and secure, saving you from a music-less return trip to shore. (The Fugoo itself is waterproof and built to survive a few dunks in the Pacific, too.)
Once you set out, stay perpendicular to the waves, as turning parallel to them will set you up for a topple, and paddle hard until you pass the surf line. Heading south from here will take you toward the sea caves, where the water is generally clearer and the visibility allows you to spy on sea life like turtles and leopard sharks. Or continue out into the cove to cast a line. A good tip for choosing a spot to cast is to keep an eye out for where the seagulls are “working.” They’ll flock to where the schools of fish are, making this the easiest way to visually locate dense schools from far away.
Ocean kayakers have the potential to take home a variety of game (such as barracuda) that the more shallow shore and pier fishing don’t really allow for. Plan to spend at least a few hours casting in different areas, watching spouting whales, and splashing in the waves to the sound of your waterproof kayak speaker before heading back to shore.
Once you’re back on land, end your kayaking adventure by simply hosing down the ‘yak (don’t forget to rinse your Fugoo Tough!), packing up your gear, and hiking up the street to El Pescador Fish Market. Because if there’s one thing San Diego is known for besides the beaches, sunsets, and scenery, it’s the ridiculously good fish tacos.
Tell us in the comments below: What are your favorite tips for ocean kayaking?