Barred Sand Bass

Common name: Barred Sand Bass
Scientific name: Paralabrax nebulifer

The Barred Sand Bass is a native fish of California that lives in the eastern Pacific?s coastal waters. It belongs to the family Serranidae.

The fish is one of the pelagic spawners that inhabit the ecotone where the sand and rocky reefs meet.


The Barred Sand Bass has a compressed and elongated body that is grayish-white in color; the area around the belly is white while the other parts are slightly gray. The scales are small, and the body is covered in dark splotches.

The mouth is large with its lower jaw protruding. Its dorsal fin is divided into three parts with varying sizes, where the third is the largest. Their tail is almost square.

The fish can grow up to 26.4 inches long and weigh up to 13.2 lbs.

Habitat and Lifestyle

You can find the Barred Sand Bass both inshore and nearshore. They usually live in shallow waters up to 600 ft deep and are located near rocks and kelps.

This fish is prominent in the Eastern Pacific regions ranging from Santa Cruz in California to Magdalena Bay in Baja California.

An interesting fact ? the Barred Sand Bass fishes can change their sex, turning from female to male with time.

Finding and Catching

This fish can be caught from an inflatable boat or kayak.

Barred Sand Bass are found both on the shores and in deep waters near the rocks. They are caught between 60-90 feet of water.

So, you can catch the fish both from shore or on a rigid inflatable boat. However, if you want a better catch, you should use the boat as the bigger fishes are found in shallow areas. Also, use a lighter rod while on the boat to make things easier.

They are effortless to catch, but the best time is during sunset and night.

Peak Season

The best months to fish Barred Sand Bass is from May to October, which is their spawning season when they leave their reefs.

Best Bait

  • Live squid
  • Live sardines
  • Live smelt
  • Live anchovies