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Spotted Sand Bass

Paralabrax maculatofasciatus

Physical Characters: The body of the spotted sand bass is moderately elongate and compressed. The mouth is large and the jaw protruding only slightly. The color is olive brown with round black spots on the body, head and fins. Spotted sand bass can be easily distinguished from kelp bass by the height of the third dorsal spine. In spotted sand bass and barred sand bass it is the longest of the dorsal spines, while in the kelp bass the third, fourth and fifth spines are of about equal length. Spotted sand bass differ from barred sand bass by the presence of spots that cover the entire body.

Range: Spotted sand bass occur from Mazatlan, Mexico, to Monterey, California. Spotted sand bass are confined to large bays in southern California. Because of this, they are taken less frequently than kelp or barred sand bass. They may be taken in the open ocean but this generally occurs only when drifting through the kelp.

Natural History: Spotted sand bass eat primarily crustaceans, and small fishes; nevertheless, they do consume many other organisms that occur in their Habitat. Spawning occurs during May and June.

Distribution: Most fishing for spotted sand bass takes place from March to November, with peak catches occurring during the spawning season (May and June). Most fish caught are between 12 and 13 inches long and taken at depths up to 200 feet. Spotted sand bass tend to aggregate around underwater structures such as rocks or pilings. Live anchovies fished around these structures should allow a catch of spotted sand bass, but lures such as spotted or plastic leadheads or "bay feathers" can be effective if correctly worked around suitable Habitat.

Habitat: They normally like to live in bay environment.