- 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.
Blue runner (Caranx)
Coloration of the blue runner is light olive to bluish-green on the back and upper side blending to silvery gray to golden on the lower side and belly. Its body shape is similar to the tuna, tapering symmetrically toward both ends and shaped like a football, with a highly forked tail with long lobes. This body shape allows the blue runner to swim extremely fast. The tips of the tail fins have blackish shading and there is a black spot near the upper end of the gill cover.
They are often confused with the crevalle jack, but can be distinguished from this species by the lack of a blotch on the pectoral fins that all crevalle jack exhibit.
Blue runner inhabit both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. On the western side they are found from Nova Scotia to Brazil, including the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. They are found north of Florida only in the summertime. In the eastern Atlantic they are found along a majority of the African coastline, from Angola to Senegal, as well as in the western Mediterranean.
Blue runner are a highly schooling species that will inhabit both inshore and offshore waters. They accumulate at reefs, jetties, grass beds and bridge pilings in water up to 300 feet deep. Blue runner prefer warm water to 70 F.
Young blue runner are often associated with floating objects, such as sargassum.
Very little is known about the reproductive habits of blue runner. They spawn offshore between January and August. Off Florida and the Mississippi Delta they spawn during the summer months.
Both sexes get darker during spawning season, with males turning almost completely black.
Blue runner are aggressive fish that will utilize their high speed swimming ability to overtake quickly moving minnows, one of their staple prey. They feed heavily on silversides and glass minnows, along with squid, shrimp and small crabs. They usually hunt in small groups, though they will also hunt in large schools. They have been known to pick apart injured prey much larger than themselves the way piranhas do, even though they do not possess significant teeth.
Because of their small size, blue runner are not targeted by anglers as often as other fish even though their meat is considered tasty and they are good fighters. They are most frequently caught to be used as baitfish for larger game fish, such as sailfish, mahi-mahi, grouper, tuna and king mackerel, and are considered excellent in that capacity.
The best way to catch blue runner is by trolling, casting or fishing with bait, either cut bait (the best being glass minnow pieces) or live shrimp. They will generally strike any fast, erratically moving lure such as a spoon, plug or small jig. The best place to fish them is around wrecks, on the edge of hard bottoms and around marker buoys, as well as in the surf along beaches.
- Young blue runner have been seen living inside the bell of jellyfish.
- The all-tackle world record is an 8-pound, 7-ounce fish taken off Texas.