California Department of Fish and Wildlife

California Fishing Passport
Ocean Fishing Achievement and Recognition

View a printer-friendly summary of information on this page. Adobe Reader required

Sport anglers come from all over the world to fish off California's coast, because nowhere else will you find such a variety of ocean game fish or diversity of saltwater angling adventures! From salmon and Pacific halibut off northern and central California, to the warmer water species such as yellowtail and marlin found down south, California is an unbeatable playground for saltwater anglers.
Ocean Fishing

Ocean Anglers may qualify for three different awards:

  • California Fishing Passport Ocean Angler
    Catch at least 10 different qualifying fish.
  • California Fishing Passport Accomplished Ocean Angler
    Catch at least 25 different qualifying fish.
  • California Master Ocean Angler
    Catch at least 50 different qualifying fish.

Which ocean fish qualify?

  • Any species from the Ocean Fishes section of the California Fishing Passport
  • Any saltwater-caught species from the Anadromous Fishes section of the California Fishing Passport EXCEPT shad or steelhead (the latter may not be legally caught in the ocean)

Specifically:

  • Blue shark
  • Sevengill shark
  • Brown smoothhound shark
  • Leopard shark
  • Striped bass
    saltwater-caught
  • Chinook salmon
    saltwater-caught
  • White sturgeon
    saltwater-caught
  • Shortfin mako shark
  • Shovelnose guitarfish
  • Soupfin shark
  • Spiny dogfish
  • Swell shark
  • Thresher shark
  • Bat ray
  • Round stingray
  • Thornback
  • California grunion
  • Jacksmelt or Topsmelt
    counts as one stamp
  • Surf smelt or Night smelt
    counts as one stamp
  • Jack mackerel
  • Pacific chub mackerel
  • Barred surfperch
  • Black perch
  • Calico surfperch
  • Pile perch
  • Rainbow seaperch
  • Redtail surfperch
  • Rubberlip seaperch
  • Shiner perch
  • Silver surfperch
  • Spotfin surfperch
  • Striped surfperch
  • Walleye surfperch
  • Black croaker
  • California corbina
  • Spotfin croaker
  • White croaker
  • Yellowfin croaker
  • California halibut
  • Diamond turbot
  • Fantail sole
  • Pacific halibut
  • Sand sole
  • Sanddab
  • Wolf-eel
  • Monkeyface prickleback
  • Starry flounder
  • Bocaccio
  • Black rockfish
  • Black-and-yellow rockfish
  • Blue rockfish
  • Brown rockfish
  • California scorpionfish
  • Chilipepper
  • Copper rockfish
  • Gopher rockfish
  • Grass rockfish
  • Kelp rockfish
  • Olive rockfish
  • Quillback rockfish
  • Starry rockfish
  • Treefish
  • Vermilion rockfish
  • Yellowtail rockfish
  • Cabezon
  • Kelp greenling or Rock greenling
    counts as one stamp
  • Lingcod
  • Barred sand bass
  • Kelp bass
  • Spotted sand bass
  • Sargo
  • White seabass
  • Ocean whitefish
  • Blacksmith
  • Halfmoon
  • Opaleye
  • California sheephead
  • Albacore tuna
  • Bigeye tuna
  • Bluefin tuna
  • Dolphinfish
    dorado
  • Opah
  • Pacific barracuda
  • Pacific bonito
  • Skipjack tuna
  • Striped marlin
  • Swordfish
  • Yellowfin tuna
  • Yellowtail
 

Only species listed in the California Fishing Passport as defined above and caught in California during 2006 or afterwards qualify for Ocean Fishing awards.

What California Fishing Passport awards will I receive?

certificate
  • California Fishing Passport Ocean Angler
    • Ocean Angler award pin
    • Certificate of Recognition suitable for framing
  • California Fishing Passport Accomplished Ocean Angler
    • Accomplished Ocean Angler award pin
    • Certificate of Recognition suitable for framing
  • California Master Ocean Angler
    • California Ocean Master Angler pin
    • Certificate of Recognition suitable for framing
    • CDFW Director's Letter of Congratulations

How to apply for recognition:

California Fishing Passport
  1. Get your Passport book stamped at one of our Department offices or independent stamping agents. Each qualifying species must be fully documented and stamped in your California Fishing Passport. If you have trouble finding an agent, call us at (707) 964-5026.
  2. Make clear photocopies of your passport showing all the stamps earned towards your current level of achievement
  3. Print and fill out a California Fishing Passport Angler Award application. Adobe Reader required
  4. Send the photocopies and the signed application to the Department at:

    California Department of Fish and Wildlife
    California Fishing Passport Program
    32330 N. Harbor Drive
    Fort Bragg, CA 95437

NOTE: Anglers will soon be able to apply online for recognition! Check back soon for more details.

What is the ultimate level of achievement?

Supreme Master Angler

Become a California Supreme Master Angler by earning two or more of the following:

Visit the California Supreme Master Angler page for more information about achieving California Supreme Master Angler status.

Questions? E-mail passport@wildlife.ca.gov or call us at (707) 964-5026.

All decisions of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife are final.

Return to Awards Page