Top 10 White Seabass Records


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Found from Baja California to Alaska, white seabass are prized for their fighting ability and taste. Jim Hendricks

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White seabass, angler favorites from Baja California, to Alaska, are known by a multitude of nicknames, including Catalina salmon, seatrout, king croaker of white weakfish. They are part of the croaker family and are prized for both their fighting ability and taste on the plate, although they don’t freeze well are best eaten fresh.

Anglers key in on dolphins and porpoises feeding through big schools of baitfish, especially anchovies. A bird show usually accompanies the feeding frenzy. Below the surface, schools of adult white sea bass are often feeding on the same baitfish. A stealthy drift through the scene can result in powerful hookups.

Depending on the season and fishing conditions, white sea bass can be caught on live or freshly dead squid, sardines or mackerel. Jigging or casting feathers or small, flashy metal lures can also produce fish. Some seasoned fisherman counsel against using bait that’s too lively, noting that white sea bass seem to not want to work too hard to obtain a meal.

According to the International Gamefish Association, white seabass are usually found near the mainland shore, usually over rocky or sandy bottom or around kelp forests. While they can be found in waters up to 400 feet deep, they seem to prefer depths under 200 feet or less.

They have large mouths with a slightly protruding lower jaw with no barbels on the chin. They have two dorsal fins, and their pectoral fins have a black spot at the base. Their lifespan ranges from 12 to 20 years. Adults are steel blue to gray on the upper portion of their bodies and silvery with golden below.
Here is a look at 11 of the biggest white sea bass, as recorded in the IGFA record books.

All-Tackle World Record – 83 Pounds, 12 Ounces

Lyal Baumgardner is the all-tackle world record holder with an 83-pound, 12-ounce white sea bass. It was 65.50 inches long with a 34-inch girth. Baumgardner caught the fish March 31, 1953, while fishing off San Felipe, Mexico. He was using a Sila-Flex rod with an Ocean City 107 reel. The line was 12-thread Rainbeau Surf. He was drifting a sardine. This catch is also the record in the Male 30-Pound Line Class category.

All-Tackle Length World Record – 35.83 Inches

Timothy Humphrey record white seabass
Timothy Humphrey’s white seabass measured 35.83 inches. IGFA

The all-tackle record for length is held by Timothy Humphrey with a 35.83-inch fish. Humphrey caught the fish June 2, 2013, off Santa Barbara Island, California. He was using a Seeker rod, Daiwa reel and 65-pound PowerPro line. He was bait fishing with live squid.

Female Junior World Record – 57 Pounds, 6 Ounces

Kale’a Patricia Woodard’s record white seabass 57-pound, 6-ounces. IGFA

Kale’a Patricia Woodard reigns as female junior world record holder with a 57-pound, 6-ounce white sea bass. Her fish measured 54 inches with a 26-inch girth. She was bait fishing with a squid off Punta Colonett, Baja California, Mexico, on June 18, 2014, when the fish bit. She was using a Calstar rod with an Okuma reel spooled with 40-pound Izorline.

Male Junior World Record – 59 Pounds

Shane Aviano record white seabass
Shane Aviano landed a record white seabass weighing 59 pounds off Imperial Beach, California. IGFA

In the male junior division, Shane Aviano is the record holder with a 59-pounder that also measured 59 inches. The fish had a 34-inch girth. Aviano caught the fish June 21, 2002, off Imperial Beach, California. He was using a Seeker rod and a Shimano Corsair 400 reel. The line was 15-pound Ande. He was casting a Slammer Jig.

Male 16-Pound Tippet (Fly) World Record – 38 Pounds, 9 Ounces

Stan Pleskunas record white seabass
Stan Pleskunas caught his record white seabass weighing 38 pounds, 9 ounces off Monterey, California. IGFA

Unsurprisingly, given the fish’s propensity to feed well down in the water column, there are many vacant records in the fly-fishing categories for white seabass. Angler Stan Pleskunas has the 16-pound tippet record with a 38-pound, 9-ounce fish. It taped out at 49 inches long with a 25-inch girth. Pleskunas caught the fish on Sept. 9, 2001, off Monterey, California. He was using a G. Loomis rod with a Ross Saltwater III reel loaded with 15-pound P-Line. He was fishing with a Stan’s Squid.

Male 50-Pound Line Class World Record – 79 Pounds

Frank Bruder record white seabass
FRank Bruder set a record with his 79-pound white seabass. IGFA

A more recent record was set April 24, 2021 in the male 50-pound line class. Angler Frank Bruder’s 79-pound white sea bass was caught off Corona Del Mar, California. The fish was 58.27 inches long with a 33-inch girth. Bruder was wielding a Phoenix reel paired with a Shimano reel. The line brand is not specified in the records. He was using live bait.

Male 16-Pound Line Class World Record – 78 Pounds

David Sternberg record white seabass
David Sternberg’s record white seabass tipped the scales at 78 pounds. IGFA

David Sternberg is the male 16-pound line class record holder with a 78-pounder caught April 4, 2002, off Monterey, California. Sternberg’s fish was 62 inches long with a 32-inch girth. The gear included a Shakespeare Ugly Stik, Daiwa S027LC reel and 12-pound Maxima line. He was drifting a squid.

Female – 50-Pound Line Class World Record – 67 Pounds, 4 Ounces

Taylor Kingsmill record white seabass
Taylor Kingsmill’s record white sebass weighed 67 pounds, 4 ounces. IGFA

Taylor Kingsmill’s 67-pound, 4-ounce white seabass nails down the female 50-pound line class record.
Her 58.50-inch-long fish (girth not recorded) came off Dana Point, California, on April 25, 2018. She was using a Shimano rod and reel combo with 50-pound line. She mixed things up, pairing a spoon with a live mackerel to catch the fish.

Female – 30-Pound Line Class World Record – 62 Pounds

D.W. Jackson record white seabass
Mrs. D.W. Jackson’s record white seabass weighed 62 pounds. IGFA

A 62-pound fish is the world record in the female 30-pound line class category. Mrs. D.W. Jackson
Caught the white sea bass on Dec. 6, 1951, while fishing off Malibu, California. The fish was 57 inches long with a 28-inch girth. Jackson was using a Harnell – Hollow Glass rod and a Penn #250 reel spooled with 36-pound Golden Dot line. She caught the fish on a live sardine.

Other remarkable light-tackle catches include:

Male 6-Pound Line Class World Record – 56 Pounds, 3 Ounces

Vick L. Sommers record white seabass
Vick L. Sommers caught his record white seabass weighing 56 pounds, 3 ounces off Newport Beach, California. IGFA

Vick L. Sommers holds both the 6-pound and 8-pound line class world records. His 6-pound line class record fish was a 56-pound, 3-ounce catch on June 15, 2015, off Newport Beach, California. It measured 55 inches long and had a 29-inch girth. Sommers’ tools included a Phoenix rod, Daiwa reel and Ande 6-pound line. Sommers’ 8-pound record white seabass, caught in June 2012 off Newport Beach, weighed 66 pounds, 14 ounces

Male Smallfry World Record – 54 Pounds, 13 Ounces

Gavin Simmons record white seabass
Gavin Simmons landed his record white seabass weighing 54 pounds, 13 ounces off Point Mequite, Baja, Mexico. IGFA

Gavin Simmons holds the male world smallfry record with a 54-pound, 13-ounce fish caught July 3, 2009, off Point Mesquite, Baja, Mexico. Simmons’ fish was 56 inches long and had a 28-inch girth. He used a Seeker rod with a Shimano TR 2000 reel. The line was 25-pound P-Line. He was bait fishing with a squid.

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