White croaker (Pennahia argentata) is a commercially important but overexploited species that is often caught in trawl fishery of the South China Sea (SCS). The codend size selectivity for this species in the local commercial trawl fishery is of concern when considering the established minimum landing size (MLS). This study investigated the size selectivity of white croaker for six different diamond-mesh codends with mesh size from 25 to 54 mm. We paid special attention to two codends, made with meshes of 25 and 40 mm in size, which are currently used according to the regulations established in the SCS. The results demonstrated that the legal codends do not perform satisfactorily in the fishing grounds where juvenile white croaker is relatively abundant. This is because at a length similar to the minimum landing size of the species (MLS = 15.0 cm), all white croaker were retained, and the estimated discard ratio was >97% in both cases of legal codends. Our study showed that by increasing the mesh size, the size selection of tested codends could be improved for white croaker, and the retention rates for juvenile fish would decrease. However, none codend was proved efficient to release undersized white croaker suggesting that other gear design changes may be necessary.