- 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.
Blackfin tuna (Thunnus)
Blackfin tuna are one of the smaller but most abundant tuna species. They are equally tapered toward their head and tail from their midsection, helping them earn the nickname football. Coloration is dark metallic blue on the back, silver on the sides and milky white on the belly. The finlets that run from the second dorsal and anal fins are gray, as are the other fins. Light bars and spots alternate on the lower side. The eyes are large and the pectoral fin is moderately long.
This species of tuna is found only in the western Atlantic Ocean, from Massachusetts in the north to Brazil in the south and including the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea.
Blackfin tuna prefer warmer water and are found in the more northern part of their range only during summer months. They favor water above 68 F. They are usually found on or near the surface in open water, usually near offshore reefs, but sometimes near shore. They often occupy areas along current lines over reefs and banks and are known to form large schools with skipjack tuna.
Data concerning the reproductive habits of blackfin tuna is lacking, but it is believed that they spawn far from shore in the warm, clear waters of the Gulf Stream along the southeastern United States. They also probably spawn in the western and northern sections of the Gulf of Mexico, as well as the Caribbean.
Though blackfin tuna were thought to be mainly piscivorous, or only fish eaters, they actually feed more on small crustaceans, zooplankton, crab and shrimp larvae and squid than on fish. Blackfin tuna feed most often at the surface, feeding in schools. They feed both by straining food items from the water and chasing and engulfing prey.
Held in high esteem for their fighting ability, blackfin tuna are also valued as table fare. The most effective fishing technique for blackfin tuna is trolling, especially using strip bait, spoons and jigs at high speeds. They can also be taken by casting, especially with live baits such as mullet and ballyhoo. Chumming from the boat is often undertaken to draw in the schools of blackfin tuna.
- The all-tackle world record is 45 pounds, 8 ounces caught off the coast of Florida.
- Blackfin tuna are one of the most common items in the diet of blue marlin.