The wonderful thing about fishing the surf is that it is wide open and free. Most reservoirs require you to pay a daily fee to access the lake or pay for parking. The beach is yours, my friend. The fee exceptions will be the state parks and state beaches. They might require a small fee to park in the lot for day use, but they will allow fishing as long as the area is not part of a Marine Protected Area (see below).
California fishing regulations are here: Fishing in California
There are a few areas of the coast that are closed to fishing. They are not marked at the locations (the DFW expects you to know where you cannot fish), but the information is available on the links on this page:
California Marine Protected Areas
Here's a map of the Central Coast Marine Protected Areas that have fishing restrictions:
Some of the areas do not allow any fishing whatsoever, while others allow fishing only for certain species. For the latter, you'll be fine with flies and catch & release fishing.