White Sea Bass

From Islapedia
White sea bass caught by C. H. Harding, 1904
Avalon, Santa Catalina Island
C. F. Holder Fishes of the Pacific Coast (1912)
White Sea Bass


White Sea Bass (Atractoscion nobilis) are relatively large fish resembling salmon, known as “sea trout” in the 19th century. White Sea Bass reach three or four feet long and weigh forty or fifty pounds. They are the only California member of the croaker family to exceed 20 pounds in weight.

White Sea Bass arrive at the Channel Islands around April and remain through the summer. Sportfishermen fish White Sea Bass primarily with live bait in relatively shallow water, but they will also take a fast-trolled spoon, artificial squid or bone jig. Live squid appear to be the best bait for White Sea Bass, but large anchovies and medium-size sardines are also used. At times, large White Sea Bass will bite only on fairly large, live Pacific mackerel.


Record white sea bass at the Tuna Club, Avalon, Santa Catalina Island:

  • 1899 58 pounds Edward M Boggs
  • 1903 52 pounds William P. Adams
  • 1904 60 pounds C. H. Harding
  • 1905 36 pounds E. C. Wilson
  • 1906 34 pounds A. L. Beebe
  • 1907 53 pounds Mrs. E. H. Brewster
  • 1908 40 pounds S. A. Barron
  • 1908 40 pounds A. L. Beebe
  • 1909 46-3/4 pounds A. L. Beebe
  • 1909-1910 51-1/4 pounds J. W. Frey
  • 1910 44 pounds Benjamin Thaw
  • 1910-1911 38 pounds A. E. Eaton



In the News~

June 6, 1899 Riverside Enterprise]: “Fishing tournament. An evening of great interest to lovers of fishing is now in progress at Avalon, Catalina. It is a fishing tournament given under the auspices of the Tuna Club of that place and judging from the circular received at this office regarding the affair the sport that the tournament will afford will draw a good crowd...The records in previous tournaments are:...white sea bass, 65 pounds, E. Barnett, 1897...


July 23, 1917 [SFC]: “Many white sea bass off Catalina. Los Angeles, July 23.—The best white sea bass fishing experienced in years is being had by the anglers in the Catalina waters, according to George E. Daul of this city. The other day forty-three white sea bass were caught on hook and line. It was the largest catch of the season. It was broken the next day, when forty-seven big white sea bass were caught brought in to Avalon. Seventy-eight albicore were caught in the two days' fishing and 235 barracuda.”


June 13, 1947 [SPNP]: “The new record for white sea bass, caught in Catalina Island waters, is 70 pounds, the division of fish and game said today. New record holder is Carroll B. Cone of Los Angeles, who took the fish Sunday off the wet end of Catalina on the fishboat Hall-a-day, skippered by Mike Martin, formerly of Florida...”