About the White Seabass
The white seabass (Atractoscion, nobilis) is not a bass but a member of the croaker family and is related to the California corbina. White seabass (WSB) occur from Juneau, Alaska south to Baja California. They are usually found in areas of rocky bottom and around kelp beds. White seabass are present in California waters all year long. They spawn in kelp beds in the spring and summer. In the fall they form large schools and feed on spawning squid. In the winter they head off-shore following the squid and other baitfish. They can swim 300 miles in 2-3 months. White seabass feed on anchovies, pilchards, herring, and other fish, as well as on crustaceans and squid. The average weight of a 28-inch fish is 7 1/2 pounds. The all-tackle record is 83 pounds, 10 ounces.
The white seabass is a fish that has been much sought after commercially and by anglers. Its dense flesh is white and tender and highly valued, but it spoils quickly without proper care. White seabass landings have fluctuated considerably over the past century, with the commercial take ranging from a high of 3.4 million pounds in 1959 to a low of 58,000 pounds in 1997. The white seabass are making a tremendous comeback after years of pollution and gill netting took their toll. United Anglers assisted in getting legislation passed which now prohibits gill nets within three miles of the coastline. The Hubbs-Sea World Research Institute operates the white seabass hatchery at Carlsbad. The researchers and volunteers have raised, tagged and released approximately 413,000 juvenile seabass into the waters of Southern California since 1986.