A skittish and rare fish that devoted anglers insist is more difficult to catch than a permit, the California corbina is a prize few outside its native range have ever heard of. They are very wary and difficult to hook and have an avid following among a small crew of Southern California fly casters. Successful corbina fly patterns are tied to represent sand crabs, bloodworms and other crustaceans. Small flies and relatively small (albeit strong) fish allow the fly caster to use light gear—a seven-weight rod and an appropriate saltwater reel is often all that is needed when pursuing this rare prize.
A member of the croaker family, The California corbina has a long, slightly compressed body and a small mouth. Corbina are gray with an iridescent sheen and undulating diagonal lines on their sides. The corbina has a single barbel (a tactile organ) on its lower jaw and one weak spine at the leading edge of the anal fin.
California corbina are caught throughout the year along southern California's sandy beaches, although fishing is best from July through September.
The California corbina is a creature of the coastal surf zone. They prefer sandy beaches and shallow bays where they can forage for sand crabs, clams and other crustaceans.
California corbina are found in a relatively limited range from the Gulf of California, Mexico to Point Conception, California.