Whale watching is great year round in the Monterey Bay. However, my personal best trip occurred in the month of August, where the boat was surrounded by 35+ humpback whales.
Humpback whales typically hunt solo, but I have seen pods of up to 4 surfacing together in the bay.
I’ve found that the whales are most active in the early morning. The 8am, 9am and 10am tours are the best to take.
And don’t be upset if its cloudy or a rainy day. That’s when they’re most like to breach!
December to April is the best time to see gray whales as they make their migration to and from their breeding grounds in Mexico. I have seen a few blue whales and a random humpback during this time too. Its been said that old, non-breeding humpbacks remain in the bay year round since the food is plentiful.
April to November is the best time to see a variety of species here in the bay. Humpback whales have been the most frequent during each of my trips, however Killer whales also enter these waters at this time. Unfortunately, I usually miss their visits by a couple of days. Select pods come and go, and do not stay long. (you can follow @go_whales on Instagram to see who’s in the bay that day!)
Dolphins are also plentiful in the bay. Every time I’ve gone out, we’ve run into giant pods. Some were 300+ and others were over 800 dolphins. The most common dolphin in the bay is the common dolphins- wonder where they got their name?… Many other dolphin species frequent these waters too. There have been more than 25 different marine mammal species have been observed in these waters.