It’s rare that you get to come face-to-face with a fish in the wild. When you see one, it’s usually in a fishbowl or on your plate for dinner. Even if you visit an aquarium, the fish you see are captive, not wild and free. But when you visit Catalina Island, you can have a whole new experience: seeing real, live, wild fish through the bottom of a boat! In an ordinary canoe or row boat, you really can’t see down into the water very well, and there typically aren’t that many fish around, even if you could. The construction of the glass-bottomed boats however, allows you to easily see into the clear blue water, and the Lover’s Cove Marine Preserve is teaming with fish: bat rays, opaleye, striped bass, and the bright orange garibaldi, just to name a few.
There are three main outfits that offer glass-bottomed boat tours:
CatalinaTours.net has 45 minute long tours every day of the week save for Tuesday. Guides aid you in identifying the different types of fish, and you can feed the fish for an additional charge. Tickets are $21.95 for adults & $16.95 for children. There is an additional $6.95 processing fee per order. Reservations must be made at least 48 hours in advance.
CatalinaAdventureTours.com offers a tour that is also lasts 45 minutes, and has similar perks. Tours happen daily, and cost $18 for adults, and $14 for children. Register online, and get $2 off each ticket (reservations must be made 24 hours in advance).
VisitCatalinaIsland.com has 40 minute tours at 12:30 pm, 1:30 pm, and 2:30 pm every day, year-round. Adults are $15, children are $13. Not only do they have incredible prices, they also offer an experience like no other: night trips. With advanced registration you can charter a ride that will let you tour the sea during the night, with the aid of underwater lighting. Different fish swim around at different times of day, so the night tour will give you a completely different experience. For more information, you can call them at 800-626-1496.
For $25, you can rent a glass-bottomed kayak from CatalinaKayaks.com, and see the swarms of fish in peace and quiet, all by yourself.
No matter which route you take, you shouldn’t be disappointed, as you have a fun experience like you’ve never done before.