Habitat: White bass migrate along the coast based on spawning habits. Although some are caught year-round in Southland waters, they tend to migrate north in the spring and south in the fall, spending the winter months in Baja California. The best fishing is usually from June to September. They are most common on offshore islands. Typically, schools on rocky soils 10 to 40 feet deep that feed on octopus and small fish; taken to a depth of 804 feet. White bass are mainly fished with live bait in relatively shallow waters, but they also take a quick-trolling spoon, artificial squid or bone template. Live squid seem to be the best bait for a white sea bass, but large anchovies and medium-sized sardines are also good. Sometimes the large white bass bites only on a fairly large and lively Pacific mackerel. Juveniles of this species are exceptionally vulnerable to anglers for two reasons: firstly, because as juveniles they inhabit shallow coastal areas, bays and estuaries, and secondly, because they are not easily recognised as white bass by the average fisherman. In general, these juvenile fish are mistakenly called “sea trout” because of their thin profile and vertical bars, or “parr marks”. [ref. needed] To add to the confusion, these bars fade as the fish grows.
Fishermen here (Ocean Park Pier) literally went “into town” last week, with almost every angler taking a white bass limit overnight. Pillar fishing during the day allowed enthusiasts to play sports with halibut and barracuda. —Los Angeles Times, August 15, 1937 The white bar also occasionally visits some piers, and heavy specimens are lifted. An example of this is Newport, where during the moon`s darkness in late spring, these fish make night raids on the hopeless sardines that tremble beneath the pier. News of this situation drifts inland, and belts of passionate fishermen obstruct the pier from dusk until the wee hours of the morning, all eager to hang a few tent-tasting cavities. Sardines are obtained as bait by catching them, and when impaled on O`Shaughnessy brand hooks from 2/0 to 5/0, it seems that 15 to 20 pounds of bass are commonly deceived. Some even go up to 50 pounds. And you can imagine what fury one of these babies provokes among the dock fishermen! – Mortimer Norton, Pacific Coastal Fisheries, 1950 White Sea bass fishing techniques White-bass fishing techniques are similar to yellowtail, but some special techniques have proven successful: Bait and fishing: Unlike other California croakers, white bass prefer pelagic habitat to coastal areas. They prefer to feed at medium depths rather than on the ground like most croakers. They are preferred meals seem to be octopus, pelagic crabs and small fish.
Therefore, fishermen should look for them in the deepest waters of the pier and be prepared to try different depths. Plus, the early morning hours are traditionally the best time for white bass. The vessel must be medium to heavy, with a test line of at least 20 pounds and 2 to 2/0 size hooks caught near the bottom. The best bait is live bait: anchovies, smelt, queen or shiny bass. Next come frozen anchovies, striped baits of sardines or mackerel or squid. If you are specifically looking for these fish, try a live bait pusher and cast at a considerable distance from the pier. At Hermosa Beach Pier and other piers where artificial reefs have been built, throwing a live mackerel as close to the reef as possible is a popular tip. One hundred and fifty white bass in a single night while fishing at Ocean Park Pier last week is positive evidence of the largest sea trout run in years, reports Commodore Bob Oefinger. —Van Nuys News, 14.
June 1934 Distribution: Gulf of California, Todos Santos and Bahia Magdalena, southern Baja California and along the Pacific coast to Juneau and Boca de Quadra, southeast Alaska. North of Monterey Bay (although an increasingly common catch in San Francisco Bay) and northern California rare. In the late 1800s, the main commercial fishery was bass off San Francisco and large catches were seen in San Francisco Bay and Tomales Bay. In the 1930s, 90% of the catch came from Southern California. The most frequently cited reason was that the waters of central California had cooled and white bass could no longer produce as successfully as in previous years. A more limited population existed and still exists in Monterey Bay, particularly at Soquel Cove, which typically sees the warmest water in Monterey Bay. Ocean Park, July 17. (A. P.) A nighttime catch of 600 white bass, known as sea trout, was reported today at Ocean Park Pier. It was the biggest race of the season for those who fished under the mighty headlights.
—Bakersfield Californian, July 17, 1934 Last week brought a glimmer of hope for fishermen, especially those fishing in Santa Monica Bay. It was good fishing at the pier, and remember, old hands, whitefish fishing. These conditions are likely to persist for some time. Pierfishing has found many anglers at work, especially at Ocean Park. White bass, a misnomer by the way, the fish is officially considered a croaker, took live bait, jigs and roller bait. Anglingers at all the docks in the Santa Monica Bay area have had varying degrees of success with these fish. Hundreds were captured. —Frank M. Bockway, Los Angeles Times, 18.
June 1934 White Sea Bass Fishing – Bait and their fishing styles Here are the standard suggestions for fishing finbaits, live octopus and iron devices and with the above techniques you should be ready to land this monster white bass. The white bass (Atractoscion nobilis) is a species of sea bass in the Atractoscion family. They usually move to the banks on deep rocky bottoms (0-122 m) and in and out of seaweed beds. Size: The white bass is the largest croaker in California. At 65.4 inches and over 90 pounds; Those caught by the piers are usually young “seated trout” up to 24 inches long. California`s record for “fish catch” was 79 lb 0 oz and was caught at the mouth of the Pajao River in Santa Cruz County in 2011.