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The Black Sea Bass

The Black Sea Bass
Difficulty

Period

February, May to December

Minimum size

32 cm

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The Black Sea Bass belongs to the Serranidae Family. It adult size can reach 66 cm for 4 kg. It has a lifespan of about 20 years old. The spawning season occurs from May to June. It can be fished in February and from May to December.
They have a large body, a long dorsal fin, and adults have smoky grey-black or blue-black flanks and a lighter belly. Their scales are dark on the skin and become paler at the edges, giving the appearance of horizontal dots. Mature males have a hump immediately behind the dorsal fin. The youngest fish are green or brown. They are purely oceanic fish and, unlike many fish called "sea lions", they are a real Bass.

The Black Sea Bass lifestyle

Black Sea bass is a carnivore that feeds on the bottom, mainly crabs and shrimps, as well as small fish, tunicates, juvenile lobsters and barnacles. Juveniles feed by day. Their food is based on benthic crustaceans, including isopods, amphipods, small crabs, shrimps and copepods, as well as other epibenthic organisms such as mysides and small fish.
The black sea bass is a protogyne hermaphrodite. Individuals generally function first as women, then undergo sexual succession and become functional men. The northern population of this species (north of Cape Hatteras) lays floating pelagic eggs on the continental shelf from spring to fall. Spawning begins in the spring in the southern part of this population and occurs later in the northern part of this population. The eggs are pelagic and measure 0.9 to 1.0 mm in diameter. Hatching occurs after about 75 hours at a water temperature of 16°C. Larvae remain pelagic until they reach a length of about 13 mm, at which time they become either demersal or estuarine.

The Black Sea Bass habitat

This Serranidae is common around rock piers and bedrock in shallow waters, but has also been reported in offshore waters to a depth of 130 m. Most of their time is spent along the lower substrate, often forming gatherings around bottom formations such as rock piles, wrecks, pillars and piles. At other times, it remains motionless, in a head-down or head-up position. The dorsal fin is usually bent close to the body, but only as an aggressive posture towards other bars. Juveniles reside in protective estuarine waters around piers, wharves, wrecks and shell bottoms. They have also been reported in offshore waters.
Black sea bass is a warm temperate species that resides in the western Atlantic Ocean from Canada and Maine to northeastern Florida and the eastern Gulf of Mexico. During cold winters, this species has been reported in southern Florida. Some researchers consider the Gulf of Mexico population as a subspecies: Centropristis striata melanus.

The Black Sea bass angling

It can be caught by bottom trawl method.

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