- Black sea bass have dangerously sharp spines on their dorsal fin that can puncture human skin.
- The all-tackle world record for black sea bass is 9 pounds, 8 ounces.
- When hooked in deep water and brought quickly to the surface, a black sea bass will often regurgitate its stomach contents.
Almaco jack (Seriola)
The almaco jack is a deep-bodied amberjack with body colors that vary from a dusky brown to a bluish-green. The sides frequently have a lavender tint. They are distinguished from other jacks by the dark olive-colored diagonal stripe that stretches from the mouth across the eye to about the first dorsal fin. The almaco jack is similar in appearance to the greater amberjack but has a deeper, more flattened body and a more pointed head. The first dorsal fin has 7 spines; the second dorsal fin has one spine and 19-22 soft rays. The front lobes of the dorsal and anal fins are high and elongated with deeply sickle-shaped outer edges.
Almaco jack are found on both sides of the Atlantic and in the Mediterranean. In the western Atlantic, they occur as far north as the New Jersey coast and as far south as the northern coast of Argentina and throughout the West Indies. In the Pacific, it is found from Southern California south to Peru.
Almaco jack are a warmwater species, preferring deep open water. They typically inhabit the outer slopes of reefs, but rarely swim over reefs or near the shoreline. Younger fish of the species can often be found near floating objects and sargassum but adults are largely nomadic. The almaco jack typically travels at depths of 50 to 180 feet.
Very little is known about the reproductive habits of the almaco jack, except that spawning can occur at various times throughout the spring, summer and fall depending on latitude.
Feeding throughout the day and night, the almaco jack consumes primarily baitfish, squid and some invertebrates.
The almaco jack is known as a tenacious fighter but is a less common target for many saltwater anglers than the closely related greater amberjack. Medium- to heavy-action boat rods with spinning or conventional reels are typical tackle choices. Locating large schools and jigging for them in deep water is the standard technique for almaco jack, though they are sometimes caught when trolling with tuna feathers, spoons or freelining live bait. Angling efforts usually are focused near deep edges of offshore reefs, but open water areas near the reefs can also be productive.
- Although the flesh of the almaco jack is considered quality table fare, the species has been associated with ciguatera poisoning, a seldom fatal stomach irritation.
- The almaco jack is susceptible to tapeworm parasites in the caudal peduncle area, but the meat can be eaten safely if affected portions are cut away.