- 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.
Dog snapper (Lutjanus)
The dog snappers name is derived from two especially long canine teeth (which can be as long as 1 inch) in their upper jaw, which are visible even when the fishs mouth is closed. Coloration is a dark yellowish-orange on the back and side that slowly lightens towards the belly. The fins are a brighter shade of yellow than the body. Young dog snapper have a blue horizontal line running across the head just below the eye; this line breaks into a row of spots in adults. There is also a whitish triangular bar under the lower edge of the eye.
Dog snapper have deep, stout bodies. They have two connected dorsal fins, the first with 10 sharp spines and the second with 14 to 15 soft rays. The tail fin is large and has a straight back margin.
Dog snapper are found in the western Atlantic from Massachusetts to northern Brazil, including the Gulf of Mexico. They are also common in the eastern Atlantic off Africa, from the equator to Ascension Island, which is roughly parallel with the northern part of Angola.
Adult dog snapper, like so many other members of the snapper family, are largely found over hard bottom such as rocky or coral reefs. Young dog snapper are occasionally located in estuarine areas and will, at times, enter rivers. They are primarily a deep-dwelling inshore species that can be found close to shore but in waters up to 100 feet deep. As adults, dog snapper are mostly solitary in their habits. In general, they are a shy species that is wary of contact with humans and will usually swim away when approached.
Dog snapper spawn in the summer, from May through August. It is thought their spawning season is longer in at cooler latitudes. Like most ocean fish, they scatter their eggs in the open water after external fertilization.
Dog snapper are carnivores that use their large, sharp teeth to crush shrimp, crabs, mollusks and squid, though they also consume a variety of small baitfish. They feed almost exclusively at night.
Like other snappers, the dog snapper puts up a strong, stubborn fight as its pulled from the depths. Dog snapper are not nearly as abundant as other species of snappers, such as the red or gray snapper, but they can be caught using the same light- to medium-weight outfits with lines to 30-pound test. The best bait is live bait, especially ballyhoo or squid, although artificial lures like jigs and jigging spoons are also effective times.
- A dog snapper that has been hooked and pulled from the ocean will repeatedly open and snap shut their jaws.
- Dog snapper are considered good table fare, especially if they are small, as large dog snapper are more strongly associated with ciguatera poisoning.