Fishing for Spotted Bay Bass in Southern California

So during the height of bed fishing season in Nevada and Arizona, I had to leave on a three-day business trip out to Southern California – SHIT! My route took me straight through the desert into California, passing almost nothing that resembles fishable waters.

Last time I traveled out to the area, I scoured Google Maps trying to find some type of backwater action along my route. Once I showed up at each of my scouted locations I was usually warned by more than one person that I would probably catch every form of Hepatitis if I went anywhere near the waters – GROSS!

homeless camp near river in California
I don’t think I’m fishing anywhere near this…

I’ll usually throw my line into just about any water can find, but when you see hundreds of bums defecating in the waterways you want to fish, it’s time to move on. So my last trip to the area was a total bust, so I wasn’t really looking forward to retaking the same route during the lead up to bed fishing season. But then I learned about a particular type of Bass that roams the ocean shorelines of Southern California.

Bass fishing in the Ocean? You bet your ass I did!

Fishing for Spotted Bay Bass

spotted bay bass

I love fishing for bass in just about any water I can find, so when I learned about the Spotted Bay Bass that can be found throughout the bays, harbors, and back-channel waters of Southern California, I was all in for a road trip to weirdoville. If you’re a freshwater bass angler and live within driving distance of Southern California, I suggest giving it a shot.

What kind of Gear do you need to Fish for Spotted Bay Bass?

The great thing about fishing for spotted sand bass or spotted bay bass is you really don’t need anything that different from what you’re using to target Smallies or Largemouth Bass in freshwater. In fact, all I took on my trip was one of my baitcasters, a small tackle box filled with spinnerbaits, a couple skirted jigs, and a couple of plastic creature baits.

Abu Garcia Rod
Packed and ready to go!

Where can you find Spotted Bay Bass?

The Spotted Bay Bass is one of the top game fish in the bays along the Pacific Coast of Southern California and Baja California. There are a couple of other types of Bass — Barred Sand Bass, Kelp Bass, and Calico Bass – but those are generally further out into the ocean.

If you don’t have a boat, don’t worry. These Spotted Bay Bass can be easily fished from shore, up and down the harbors of Southern California. Targeting them is similar to fishing for Bass in freshwater. You want to look for cover; look for structure in the bays like docks, pilings, jetty walls, rocks, and weed beds.

Ready to Fish for Spotted Bay Bass

Spotted Bay Bass can be targeted year-round making them as excellent option for when things slow down in those grueling cold winter months. They are an aggressive fish, so fishing for them is a great alternative to freshwater bass fishing.

Spotted Bay Bass Caught on a Spinnerbait

sea cucumber
You catch some weird stuff in the Ocean!

Ocean Bass Fishing

Alright, so I did get back in time to start hitting those Bass Beds!

Catching Bass on the Beds

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