The dataset contains fish surveys from deep natural reefs in the northern Santa Barbara Channel Islands, Southern California, mainly at reefs named Piggy Bank, Footprint (local names) and Anacapa Passage. Data collection began in 1995. Reefs are located at depths between 30 and 360 m (100 and 1,180 feet). Sampling was by the manned submersibles Delta and DualDeepworker and an unmanned Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV). These sites included a wide range of such habitats as banks, ridges, and carbonate reefs, ranging in size from a few kilometers in length to less than a hectare in area. On these features, we focused on hard bottom macrohabitats, including kelp beds, boulder and cobble fields, and bedrock outcrops. Transects were not deliberately revisited; some reefs were surveyed as many as four times per year. All transects are 2 m wide; transect length varied (see data). The dataset includes two tables: (1) the fish counts at Piggy Bank, Footprint, and Anacapa Passage; and (2), the habitat associated with each of the survey segments. Fishes were identified to lowest possible taxon (usually species), and verified against the WoRMs database (http://www.marinespecies.org/).