Species - Barred Sand Bass
Scientific Name - (Paralabrax nebulifer)
Physical Description - The body of the barred sand bass is elongate and compressed. The mouth is large and the lower jaw protrudes slightly. The color is gray white on the back, white on the belly and there are dark vertical bars on the sides. Barred sand bass can easily be distinguished from kelp bass by the height of the third dorsal spine. In barred sand bass this spine is the longest of the dorsal spines, while in the kelp bass, the third, fourth and fifth dorsal spines are of about equal length. Barred sand bass can be distinguished from spotted sand bass by the lack of of spots on the body. Barred sand bass are generally larger than spotted bay bass and the largest California fish caught was 26 inches and 11.1 pounds.
Range - Barred sand bass occur from southern Baja to Santa Cruz California. The adults of this species occurs from shallow water to depths of 600 feet; however, most fish are taken in 60 to 90 feet of water. Younger fish are found in abundance from 5-30 feet.
Habitat - The barred sand bass lives in the sandy areas of the offshore. They congregate around bottom structure like boulders and shipwrecks. During their spawning period they gather in schools over hard sandy bottom areas from 90 to 100 feet.
Spawning Habits - N/A.
Food Usage/Selection - Light textured flesh and good eating.
Sporting Qualities - Very strong aggressive fish. Many times on the initial cast of a lure the entire school of fish, numbering in the hundreds, will follow a hooked fish to the boat. Tackle and Baits: Barred sand bass will attack most any artificial thrown at them. They eat lead heads and rubber tails as well as any live bait presented to them. When they gather for their summer spawn , they are located with a depth sounder. The boat is anchored in the area and traditionally the school builds under the boat as the anglers pick away at catching them. Usually the school builds to heavy proportions and the angling some times reaches a frenzy catch. They are fished in three main areas: Horseshoe Kelp to Newport Beach, Dana Point to Oceanside and the Silver Strand off San Diego.
- Catch by casting lead heads and various colored rubber tails. Iron Jigs and live bait. They can also be caught trolling very large plugs like Rapalas and Yo-Zuri.