SoCal Seabass

White seabass fishing erupts off southern California

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White seabass have finally arrived in big numbers at Santa Catalina Island and along the coast of Southern California. As these pictures from Pacific Coast Editor Jim Hendricks illustrate, anglers are enjoying great fishing, catching most of the big croakers on live squid. The white seabass are ranging from 25 pounds to over 60 pounds in weight.Jim Hendricks
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Schools of white seabass often cruise the edge of kelp beds and close to the beaches on the backside of Catalina Island, and this is where a number of fish are caught late in the day.Jim Hendricks
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White seabass are actually large croakers, related closely to spotted seatrout and weakfish. They also have sharp teeth and can easily bite through light line, so most anglers fish with 40-pound test fluorocarbon or monofilament line.Jim Hendricks
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White seabass often feed in the morning between first light and sunrise, earning them the nickname of “gray ghost.” When a school cruises by, the action can heat up with multiple hookups, as seen here, with one angler holding a big white, and the other hooked up behind him.Jim Hendricks
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Even though it is spring in Southern California, the weather around the offshore islands can be chilly. But the red-hot white seabass action helps keep anglers warm.Jim Hendricks
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White seabass success brings big smiles to Southern California anglers. These croakers are one of the most sought-after game species in the region.Jim Hendricks
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White seabass can reach weights of nearly 80 pounds off the coast of Southern California. Big fish such as these are known as “tankers” to local anglersJim Hendricks
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White seabass cruise the coast, as well as the offshore islands. This tanker was caught in Santa Monica Bay on a type of metal jig known locally as “light iron.”Jim Hendricks