Physical Description:

  • Large, long, and compressed fish.
  • It has a large mouth, with a lot of small teeth.
  • Bluish to gray coloration with dark speckling above, becoming silver below.
  • Juveniles have dark vertical stripes on their backs.


  • From Juneau, Alaska to Magdalena Bay, Baja California, Mexico.


  • Juveniles found in eelgrass beds, and near piers and jetties with kelp beds nearby.
  • Adults found in deep rocky bottom waters, kelp beds, offshore banks, or the open ocean.
  • Found at depths of 0–400 feet.


  • Spawning season from April to August.
  • Broadcast spawners, meaning the eggs and sperm are released into the water column.
  • They spawn at night to reduce predation on the eggs, which are the largest of any croaker species on the West Coast.


  • Diet includes fishes, especially anchovies and sardines, and squid.


  • Humans are the primary predator of adult white seabass.
  • Whales, dolphins, sharks, and sea lions.

Interesting Facts:

  • The biggest white seabass ever found was over five feet long and weighed over 93 pounds!
  • White seabass is not a seabass at all, but a member of the croaker family. They emit croaking sounds by hitting their abdominal muscle against their swim bladders.

Sources:; California Sea Grant

Photo: Laurel Bartels

Since 1986, over 1.5 million juvenile white seabass have been released along the California coast to enhance the natural population. The Hubbs-Sea World Research Institute here in San Diego asks anglers to save white seabass heads, which will contain microchips used to track the fish if they were part of the program.