We made extensive observations in the shallows off sandy beaches along the southern California coastline from 2013-2018 using SCUBA. The common diurnal behavior of young-of-the-year (YOY) of giant sea bass (Stereolepis gigas) were documented, in detail, and categorized the while they occupy their unique nursery areas. We identified and described the frequently observed behaviors referred to as 1) “kelping”, 2) “resting”, 3) “traveling”, and 4) “burying”. Finally, through direct observation, mysid shrimp were confirmed as the primary diet of young-of-the-year of the giant sea bass off southern California. This is the first study to provide a behavioral overview of the YOY of this internationally listed, endangered species, and it bridges important gaps in our understanding of their early life history.