Sea bass can be caught by anglers using a variety of techniques and lures. Found mainly around steep drop-offs or kelp beds, sea bass are opportunistic feeders that will pounce on an offering that looks like a quick meal. Give the fish a few different lure presentations, and they will let you know what they want to eat that particular day.
Brightly colored bucktail jigs are a good option to use when targeting sea bass that are holding tight to cover. Since the jig is a sinking lure, it allows anglers to drop it to the depths where large bass are holding.
Be sure to work the jig at different depths, starting at the deepest point and stopping at different points along the water column on the way back up to the boat.
Also, try tipping the jig with a piece of squid or clam meat to give it a fresh scent that sea bass often find appealing.
When sea bass are in an aggressive feeding pattern, tossing diving plugs like a Rapala will trigger bites consistently. Cast the lure parallel to the structure the sea bass are holding to and retrieve the lure quickly, building in a pause or two during the retrieve. This often induces a curious sea bass into striking because the lure acts like a wounded prey item.
Sea bass tend to push schools of bait fish, like herring or anchovy, to the surface before thrashing the school and picking off stragglers. Look for action on the surface, such as diving gulls picking off an easy meal or bait fish jumping out of the water trying to save themselves.
Cast a surface plug, like a popper, into the school of minnows and use short, sharp tugs on the rod to make the lure splash loudly. This will get the sea bass' attention through all the commotion and they will home in on the biggest meal - your lure!