1/2 Day and Twilight Fishing Trips

Dana Wharf Sportfishing and Whale Watching

Zerve Seller: DanaWharf
Activity #1129

Available Dates & Times Price Duration
All times listed are Pacific time zone
Gift Certificates:

Customer Rating:

4.1 out of 5
View all 1,199 reviews  


Join us today for an exciting half day fishing trip (5 hours) on the sparkling Southern California waters just outside Dana Point Harbor.

Or try our twilight evening fishing trips, which are 4 hours and depart daily , a great deal at just $29 per person.
Join us for this special event - May 22nd @ 5:30pm for a twilight trip and Sept 7th for a am 1/2 day. The Owner Hooks Fishing Schools have become one of the leading sources of angler education since being founded in 1989. With the unique on-the-water fishing schools and land-based seminars, over 40,000 people have graduated from this angler education program. Join Sergio and his team of talented instructors on trips all the way up and down the California coast. There will be tackle giveaways on each trip and LIMITED TO 45 ANGLERS
Seasonal catches include Halibut, Barracuda, Yellowtail, White Sea Bass, Sand Bass, Calico Bass, and Bonito

  • Learn from our knowledgeable, family friendly crew and skippers who will expertly guide you throughout this fun filled excursion.
  • Bask in the breathtaking views of Dana Point Harbor's serene beaches and scenic shorelines from the deck of one our fleet's top of the line boats!
  • Cool down with a cold beer, soda, and more in our full service galley. Hungry? Both snacks and hot food are available!
 From novice to expert, everyone will enjoy discovering their love of sportfishing, conservation, and the great outdoors on this unique trip.

Looking for a bargain?
**1/2 PRICE TUESDAYS all year round!  (Please note that Tuesday trips generally sell out, so for a less crowded boat please book a full-priced ticket for a different day of the week) **

To buy tickets for a half priced trip, click on “List of All Activities” to the left of the page and then choose “Half Priced 1/2 Day & Twilight Fishing”!

What Is Not Included?

  • Fishing Equipment: Rods and reels are available for rent for $18. Rod rentals include a small tackle package.
  • Fishing License Regulations: Anglers 16 years of age or older are required to have a fishing license in their possession before boarding the boat. Please pre-purchase your fishing licenses if you are able online at https://www.ca.wildlifelicense.com/InternetSales/
    Non-anglers are not required to have a license.
  • Food and Beverages: Our boats feature full service cash galleys that offer beer, soda, chips, candy, and hot sandwiches for purchase. Sorry, personal coolers cannot be brought aboard!
  • Gratuities: Tips for the crew members are optional but greatly appreciated! They work very hard to make your trip as good as can be. Typical tips range from $5-10 per adult ticket.

Meeting Location

Dana Point Harbor Dr. and Golden Lantern St. (Dana Point, CA) (Exact meeting location details will be provided immediately upon purchase of tickets.)
1,199 Reviews Rating: 4.1 4.1 out of 5.0
Verified Customer Reviews
Always from real, paying customers
# of Reviews Positive
= Overall
% Positive Average
Last 3 months 74 113 19 = 94 82% 3.9
Last 6 months 97 170 20 = 150 85% 4.1
Last 12 months 125 219 29 = 190 86% 4.1
All 1,199 2,025 234 = 1,791 88% 4.1
1,199 Reviews
Displaying 1 - 10
Sort by: Date Attended Gender Age Where From Group Type
Rating: 5
Mon, Aug 31  12:00 PM Unspecified 40-49 Local Family With Children
It was a great trip, crew did a great job taking care of my son and I.

I would definitely recommend the experience to others.
Rating: 3
Need more Staffing (guidance)
Sun, Aug 30  5:30 PM Male 50-59 Local Family With Children
It seems all the focus from the on-board staff is geared for experienced fisherman.

The staff fish while your "paying" for their enjoyment. They are far more experienced than us regular fisherman so having their help and guidance would be a better use of time.
Rating: 5
Dad of 13 youngest child 1st deep sea fishing trip
Sat, Aug 29  5:30 PM Male 50-59 Local Family With Children
My seven year old came deep sea fishing with me for the first time and caught two Bonita. My 16 year old won the jackpot. We had a great time.
Rating: 5
Awesome Anniversary Date!!
Fri, Aug 28  5:30 PM Female 30-39 Local Couple on a Date
Fun boat with very helpful crew. Our boat was catching fish left and right. I can't wait to go back! A perfect evening of fun!
Rating: 5
Great 1/2 day fishing trip on the "Sum Fun"
Wed, Aug 26  6:30 AM Male 50-59 Local Family With Children
This trip was a lot of fun. I got the second yellow tail I ever caught in my life on this trip and the crew were very helpful in helping me land this fish. The deck hands and captain gave great advice as to what to do and when to do it. The fish weighed 26 pounds and took about 15 to 20 minutes to get it in. Deckhand and the captain were right next to me the entire time. They were very helpful all throughout the trip with all the passengers young and old. I highly recommend the "Sum Fun" for your next fishing trip.
Rating: 4
Good time out with 8yr old son
Sat, Aug 22  5:30 PM Male 40-49 Local Family With Children
I have been fishing with DWS for many years and it was finally time to take my son for his first time out. We went out on Saturday night for the twilight charter and unfortunately the bite wasn't too strong but the crew and the rest of the folks on the boat made for a very enjoyable time. Lots of other parents with kids and extremely helpful crew made the experience really worthwhile. My son is ready to go out again!
Rating: 4
Good fishing, but not catching!
Sat, Aug 22  5:30 PM Female 20-29 Local Family Without Children
I caught a few fish, but those fish were all too small to keep. I also had a big bass on, but lost it. My mom also only had small fish caught. The total fish caught and kept on the boat, was very few. If you are there for the fishing and not the catching, then you will have a blast! Great weather and great crew, as always!
Rating: 3
Way to crowded
Sat, Aug 22  5:30 PM Female 20-29 Local Group of Friends
We had friends coming to visit and decided we wanted to go fishing! We were really excited to take them out. My husband and I have only gone on private fishing tours before.. But since money was tight this time we booked this trip. I spent more time untangling lines then actually fishing. The boat was way to crowded (about 40 people) I think 20 people would have been good. The price was good.. But I would rather of paid just a tad bit more to have less people. I also had to deal with a drunk guy who was just annoying. We had such a good spot on the boat away from most of the crowd and the first part of the trip was great, but then they make you rotate around the boat and try different places! Then it got bad. I wish we could have just stayed in our spot. Overall we had a good night of laughs (and ALMOST got the jackpot for having the biggest fish) but I think I would plan ahead and save for a private fishing trip.. Or something with MUCH less people!!
Rating: 3
Okay overall
Thu, Aug 20  12:00 PM Male 50-59 Local Unspecified
On time. Took us to good fishing spots. On the downside, too stuffy. The lines kept getting tangled. They should perhaps take fewer people on the boat.
Rating: 5
Very well organized and Great fro anyone
Thu, Aug 20  6:30 AM Unspecified Unspecified Local Group of Friends
The trip was well done. I was with 4 non fishing family members ages 14-60 male and female. The deck crew was really helpful and never complained or acted surly no matter how many times you needed them. I have been fishing all my life and I think the positive attitude of the crew and the experience itself will help in making my family decide to do this trip again.
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Displaying 1 - 10 of 1,199
Ratings and Reviews for:
What is the latest fish count on the half day or twilight trips?
The 1/2 day trips are catching a mixture of bass and assorted rockfish. For the most up to date counts please visit http://danawharf.com/fish-counts
------------------------QUESTIONS ABOUT TICKETS/POLICIES------------------------
Do I have to purchase tickets in advance?
Advance purchase is strongly recommended, as trips often sell out quickly. To maximize your chances of getting the day and time you prefer, please buy your tickets well in advance. Tickets can only be purchased with a Visa, Mastercard or American Express.
Should I book a Tuesday trip or another trip?
Tuesday trips feature half-priced tickets and so are a great bargain! However, please note that Tuesday trips generally sell out. The boat could get crowded and the experience especially may not be ideal for a beginner. For a less crowded boat and a more ideal environment for an inexperienced angler, please consider booking a full-priced ticket on another day of the week. To buy tickets for a half priced Tuesday trip, click on the "List of All Activities" link to the left of the page and then choose “Half Priced Tuesday 1/2 Day & Twilight Fishing ”!
What happens if it rains?
We still go out. The rain is of no consequence; we are concerned with wind and sea conditions and they are not necessarily bad during the rain. In fact, some of our best conditions can be on a rainy day, so dress appropriately. In the case of severe weather, we may cancel the activity up to an hour before the start time in which case you will be allowed to reschedule tickets (subject to availability) or receive credit for a future event.
Are children allowed?
We love children, and encourage children of all ages to fish with us. Please keep in mind this is a half day fishing trip, which will require a certain level of attention span and concentration. All children 14 and under may attend with a discounted child's ticket.
Is the trip suitable for pregnant women?
While we don't put a limitation on who may or may not attend, pregnant women should always consult with their doctors before participating in any active activities.
How experienced do I have to be?
You don't! We encourage everyone, from novices to experts, to come and join us! We have a very knowledgeable, family oriented captain and crew on every trip to assist anglers of all skill levels.
What is the difference between the half day, three quarter day, and twilight fishing cruises?
All three trips are fantastic. The main difference between the half day trip and the three quarter day trip is time. On the three quarter day trip, we are much more likely to limit out on one kind of fish and start fishing for different species. The twilight trip is ideal for those wanting to stay out of the sun or folks who work during the day; sometimes the evening bite is even better than the morning (although you never can tell till you get out there).
I don't want to fish, can I still go on the trip?
People who do not want to fish are welcome to attend the trip, but you must also purchase a full priced ticket. If you are not planning to fish, you will not need a license or rod and reel. However, if you plan to help your child fish, or hold a rod and reel at any time, the Fish and Game Department defines you as a fisherman and requires you to have a license.
If this trip is sold out can I get on a waiting list?
Cancellations are rare, as tickets are nonrefundable and cannot be rescheduled. However, you are welcome to show up at the docks just prior to the departure time. To ensure the best chance of fishing with us on your preferred trip, we recommend booking your trip as soon as you know the day you would like to attend.
How early should I arrive to check in before the trip?
Please arrive 30 to 45 minutes prior to departure for check in, especially because the tickets are non refundable. Our trips generally leave right on time!!!
Do you guarantee that fish will be caught?
We can guarantee fishing but not catching. Our crew will do everything in its power to put you where the fish are. We cannot control what does or does not bite the hook.
Do we need to keep the fish we catch?
While you are welcome to keep any legal sized fish, Dana Wharf promotes catch and release and responsible conservation of our natural resources. You may also give your legal sized fish to another angler if you so choose.
How many fish can I keep?
The captain and crew are up to date with the most recent California Department of Fish and Game size and possession limits, and will inform you of these at the start of the trip. Regulations will vary depending on the season and what we are fishing for today.
What's the limit for a child under 16 with no fishing license?
Even though children under 16 years of age are allowed to fish on our trips without a license, they are allowed the same legal limit as an adult fisherman.
What do I do with the fish I decide to keep?
We will assist you with placing your fish in your sack. After the trip, fish cleaning is available for about $.50 to $1.00 per fish, for most fish. Certain species like tuna, giant squid and halibut may be more for fish cleaning. Giant Squid, for example, are $3 per fish. Fish cleaning is payable in cash only.
Can I sell the fish I catch?
NO! It is illegal to sell fish that are caught by way of "Recreational Sport Fishing." If you are caught violating this law, you (along with Dana Wharf Sportfishing) will be ordered to appear in court, fined, and items can be confiscated.
What happens when everyone catches their limits?
If everyone catches limits of the fish we're targeting for the day, we will simply pull up and start fishing for something else. For example, if the boat limits out on sand bass, we might go farther out and troll for yellow tail or bonito. In any event, we do not simply end the trip early.
How much of the trip will be spent fishing versus riding?
The typical half day or twilight trip gets between 3 and 3 1/2 hours of actual fishing time, depending on the bite and the day's conditions.
How far does the boat go out?
Typically the half day and twilight fishing trips stay within 5 miles of the harbor and will fish up to 1 mile out.
What do I see when I'm not fishing?
When we're not fishing, you'll enjoy the stunning California coastline, birds, whales, dolphins, sea lions, breaking fish, other fishing and sail boats, depending on the day, conditions and season.
Will we see whales or dolphins while we are fishing?
We will occasionally see whales, dolphins, sea lions, and birds while fishing depending on the season. Please keep in mind this is a fishing trip, so any such sightings are a bonus. If there is something worth seeing near by which does not inconvenience the trip, the captain will generally take a few minutes to check it out.
What is the voluntary jackpot?
The voluntary jackpot is an optional pool for the biggest fish of the day. If you choose to participate and put $5 into the pool, the person with the largest fish at the end of the day wins the pot!
----------------------FISHING EQUIPMENT AND LICENSES----------------------------
I have my own equipment. What type of gear do I need?
The half day and twilight trips consist of local surface fishing. We fish in anywhere from 30 to 90 feet of water. Light tackle is recommended. Typically we use 10 to 20 lb test line, 1/2 to 2 oz. sinkers, and size 1 hooks, although recommended equipment changes with conditions.
Can you provide me with fishing gear, bait, and tackle?
You can rent rods with spinning reels for $18 when you purchase tickets, and this would include a tackle package. These rods are easier to cast and less likely to tangle. Standard rods and reels are also available for rental at the shop for $18, and includes a package of five hooks and two sinkers. Bait is included in the trip price. Additional tackle can be purchased in the tackle shop.
Am I required to have a fishing license?
Everyone 16 years and older is required by law to have a fishing license (unless you will not fish at all during the trip). If you do not already have one, you may purchase a one day license prior to departure. The price for one day license's in 2015 is $16. To inquire further about year licenses, please visit our tackle shop.
-----------------------------------WHAT SHOULD I BRING?-------------------------------------
Can I bring my own food and/or beverages?
You are welcome to pack a lunch or dinner, including soft drinks or water. However, no coolers or alcoholic beverages are allowed on board. We do have a full service galley on each of the boats where you may purchase hot food, snacks, water, soft drinks, and beer.
What kinds of food and beverages are available in the full-service galley?
Grilled sandwiches such as burgers, BLT, and grilled cheese. Also assorted chips and candy are available. Drinks include water, beer, soda. Additional items may be available depending on the boat and trip you are on. Bring any other food items you may need with you!
How much extra cash should I bring?
Besides the price of the ticket, you will need $1 per fish sack per person (if you are keeping fish), $5 per person for the voluntary jackpot, about $10 per person if you plan to eat in the galley. Fish cleaning runs about $.50 to $1.00 per fish (all cash only). Additional rod and reel rentals, tackle purchases, clothing, etc may all be purchases before the trip with either cash or credit.
The crew was awesome! Can I leave a gratuity?
Tipping the crew members is optional but greatly appreciated, as they work very hard to make your trip as good as can be. Typical tips are $5-10 per adult passenger and can be given to the crew at the end of the day.
Can I bring an ice chest?
Due to space constraints on board, we do not allow ice chests on board. The only exception is in the case of a special medical related dietary need, such as diabetic, etc.
--------------------------QUESTIONS ABOUT OUR LOCATION-------------------------
Where exactly is Dana Wharf located within Orange County?
Hopefully these landmarks will help you to find us better: Dana Wharf is located 40 minutes south of Disneyland in Anaheim, 1 hour south of LAX airport in Los Angeles, and 60 minutes north of Sea World in San Diego. We are basically in the heart of Orange County!
----------------------------------QUESTIONS ABOUT THE BOAT----------------------------
Will there be room on the boat to stow my belongings?
There is limited room to stow your belongings on board. Please only bring what is absolutely necessary for the day's trip.
Is the boat wheelchair accessible?
That depends on the boat! If you would like to fish with us in a wheelchair, please click on "Contact DanaWharf" to the left of the page and we will make arrangements to accommodate you.
Is there shade on the boat?
Sometimes. Indoor seating and awnings are not available on all of our boats. Please take this into consideration and dress appropriately with hat, sunglasses and sunscreen (or layers for twilight trips).
Which boat will we be going on?
There are four boats in our fleet, and all of them are great. Because of regularly scheduled maintenance, variable passenger loads, and private charters, there is no way to guarantee a particular boat for a particular trip.
Are there restrooms on board?
Yes, there is a clean marine head on board each of our boats.
Is the boat safe?
Absolutely. In addition to modern safety equipment (EPIRB, Life Floats, Life Jackets, etc.) our vessels are constantly maintained and inspected once a year by the United States Coast Guard, a Division of Homeland Security.
Are there life jackets on the boat? Do I have to wear one?
All boats are outfitted with safety equipment for both adults and children. While you are not required to wear one, you may do so if you choose. The captain will explain and demonstrate all safety equipment before the trip.
Will I get seasick?
While our vessels are very safe and stable, we will be in the ocean. If you are susceptible to motion sickness, you may consider taking preventative measures beforehand, although we cannot officially advise you to do so.
Are dogs allowed on board?
We do not allow dogs on board, with the exception of service animals.
------------------PRIVATE CHARTERS AND GIFT CERTIFICATES-----------------------
Can I book a private fishing trip?
Absolutely! Custom dates and times are available for all of our vessels. Please click on "Contact DanaWharf" to the left of the page to inquire further.
Are gift certificates available for the Dana Wharf trips?
Yes, gift certificates are available for 1/2 Day/Twilight Fishing Trips, 3/4 Day Fishing Trips, and the 2 hour whale watching trips (both Gray Whale Season and Blue Whale Season), and they make a perfect gift for holidays, birthdays or any other occasion! To purchase a gift certificate for this trip please click on the "Gift certificates: Purchase" link in the box.
How is my gift certificate delivered? Can I print it out now and give it to the recipient myself?
Yes, you can! When you purchase your gift certificate online, you will be presented immediately with your gift certificate so that you can print it out and deliver it. If you buy it over the phone, a link to your gift certificate will be emailed to you as soon as your purchase is completed.
What if I want the gift certificate emailed to the recipient instead?
That's no problem, either! When you purchase your gift certificate, just select the option to have the certificate emailed directly to the recipient and provide their email address. You'll even be able to decide whether you want the email sent immediately or if you'd prefer to schedule it to be emailed on a future date. (For instance, if you want to buy it today so you don't forget, but you don't want it emailed to the recipient until their special day!)
Can I smoke on the boat?
Smoking is permitted in designated smoking areas.


Refund/Rescheduling Policy

Non-refundable, cannot be rescheduled.
Once purchased, tickets cannot be refunded and cannot be rescheduled because your space is being guaranteed at the event.

Weather Policy

Activity may be cancelled due to severe weather.
The activity usually runs in light rain and other moderate weather conditions, but the seller may cancel the activity up to an hour before the start time in the event of severe or unsafe weather conditions. If the seller cancels the event, ticket-holders will be allowed to reschedule tickets (subject to availability) or receive credit for a future event.

Other Policies

Anglers must have a fishing license before boarding the boat.
All anglers 16 years of age or older are required to have a fishing license in their possession before boarding the boat. One-day licenses can be purchased prior to departure. Non-anglers are not required to have a license but must have a ticket to board
Participants must have a rod and tackle to fish on the trip.
Participants fishing on the trip must have a rod and tackle suitable for the day's fishing, which are not included in the regular price of the trip. If you do not have your own, you can rent a rod, as well as purchase tackle at our shop prior to departure.

Dana Wharf Sportfishing and Whale Watching

Dana Wharf Sportfishing has been bringing high quality fishing experiences to residents and anglers of the Dana Point and surrounding areas since 1958.

Set in a beautiful and flourishing harbor, Dana Wharf Sportfishing showcases several top of the line vessels, from the fiberglass Dana Pride to the steel Clemente, recently refitted in 2006. All of the boats ensure total passenger comfort and enhance the fishing experience.

Dana Wharf Sportfishing's experienced, family oriented crew is there to make your fishing experience as enjoyable and educational as possible - every skill and experience level is welcome, from first timers to seasoned fisherman.
Please call Zerve at
1 (800) 979-3370
to get more information or
book this activity now
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