How to identify a White Seabass
These fish have a streamlined body shape and a characteristic raised ridge exists along the midline of the belly between the vent and the base of the pelvic (ventral) fins. There is also a black spot at the base of the pectoral fin. The mouth is large, with a row of small teeth in the roof; the lower jaw projects slightly forward. Adult specimens are steel blue to gray above with golden highlights, and silvery below. Young fish up to about 18 inches may have 3-6 broad, dark vertical bars on the flanks, but these disappear with age.The white seabass may be taken by drift fishing or still fishing with live baits or by slow trolling, jigging, or casting with feathers or small, flashy metal lures. Heavier spinning and baitcasting outfits are usually the tackle of choice but light ocean gear is also useful. These fish commonly prey on sardines, anchovies, squid, small mackerel, and other small fishes and crustaceans. The best fishing for white seabass is often at night using natural baits soaked near the bottom of the water column.The white seabass and its relatives are weakfishes. The name “weakfish” refers to the tender, easily torn mouth tissues characteristic of these fishes, not their fighting ability. “Seabass” and “seatrout” are misnomers for Atractoscion and Cynoscion species, which are not related to either bass or trout. These fish can grow very large to near 100 pounds but most common catches are in the 10-25 pound range.
Where to catch White Seabass
The white seabass inhabits the eastern Pacific southward from Magdalena Bay, Mexico to Juneau, Alaska. They are usually found near the mainland shore over sandy bottoms or around and near kelp beds, but they may also be found in shallow surf or deeper waters.Most are caught near the mainland shore of California and around Catalina and San Clemente Islands just off the coast. Off of the coast of California, these fish are most plentiful from about May through September. The following list includes additional details on where to catch this fish: