Sand Bass Fishing

Sand Bass Fishing

Sand Bass

Sand Bass
  • Size 1–7 lb
  • Food Value Good
  • Game Qualities Good
  • Habitats Inshore, Nearshore


Beloved for their game properties and great taste, this family of fish is a firm staple along the West Coast! They’re native to California, and anglers looking to experience some authentic “Golden State” fishing will find themselves casting a line for either Spotted or Barred varieties. They’re both equally exciting to hook, and make for some excellent table fare.

How Big?

Barred Sand Bass generally weigh in at around 1–4 pounds, with a 4 lb fish considered to be a good-sized catch. The record size currently stands at 14 pounds. Spotted Sand Bass can reach a maximum weight of 7 pounds.

Where and When

It’s all about the West Coast when it comes to this family of fish. Barred Sand Bass, known locally as “Sandies,” can be found anywhere from Santa Cruz to Mexico’s Baja California, and are generally targeted along the coastline’s shallower waters. They’re especially fond of the “ecotone,” which is where sandy or muddy bottoms meet with rocky reefs!
Spotted Sand Bass prefer bays and harbors, which has earned them the nickname “Spotted Bay Bass.” They rarely travel further north than Santa Monica Bay.
Both varieties can be targeted year-round, but the summer months are the most productive. As this is their spawning season, they’ll generally chow down on anything you throw at them!

How to Fish

Sand Bass are a great target for children, new anglers, and experienced fishermen alike, as they can be caught in a variety of ways. Anglers normally use light tackle to really feel the movements of this fish while bottom fishing. Vertical jigging is an especially popular technique for the Barred variety. Both of these species can be readily hooked with both live and artificial bait, with anchovies and sardines being most commonly used. 

Good to Eat?

Both of these Sand Bass have mild, white flesh, meaning that they can be adapted into many tasty dinner options. However, there are certain regulations, so make sure you’re aware of them before casting your line.

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