- 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.
Fat snook (Centropomus)
Fat snook have elongated bodies that are deeper than other species of snook, though they do not grow as large as the common snook, the most popular game fish in the snook family. Coloration, which varies by location, is yellow-brown to green-brown on the back fading to silvery on the side and belly. There is a black lateral line that extends from the gills to the tail. They lack the dusky outer edge on the pelvic fin of other snook.
Fat snook have small scales, two high, sharp dorsal fins and a similar anal fin. The tail fin is forked and the mouth, which ends with a protruding lower jaw, is large, extending back to the eye.
These snook occur from southern Florida and the Mexican Gulf Coast to the southern Brazilian port town of Florianopolis. They are also found near the larger islands of the Caribbean.
Fat snook are fond of waters with low salinity, preferring brackish and even fresh water and to high-salinity ocean water. They are found in a variety of coastal waters such as estuaries, lagoons, small canals, streams and mangrove areas, and are more common in these kinds of waters than any other kind of snook. Within these bodies of water they gather over shallow, soft bottoms. When in the ocean they can be found on reefs and pilings near shore. Young fat snook usually congregate along mangrove shorelines.
Spawning season finds fat snook migrating into freshwater rivers and streams in order to spawn or spawn in brackish water in estuaries. They do not build nests as many freshwater species do, but rather scatter their fertilized eggs in the open water in the manner of most ocean species. Around Florida, spawning takes place from December to January.
Fat snook feed on whatever small fish and crustaceans, usually shrimp, they find in canals and around mangrove shorelines. They tend to hunt by ambush.
Fat snook are considered hard strikers and good fighters, despite their small size. Casting or trolling with medium- to light-action spinning and bait-casting gear is usually preferred, along with fly tackle from 5- to 8-weight. Popular lures include small jigs, surface and swimming plugs, streamer flies or popping bugs, as well as live baits such as shrimp or small baitfish. Many anglers fish for fat snook during their spawning runs, when it is not uncommon to catch 50 fish in one day.
- The all-tackle world record is a 7 pounds, 4 ounces, taken off the coast of Florida.
- Excellent table fish, fat snook have delicate white meat.
- It is believed there are 12 species of snook, with six species occurring in the western Atlantic and six in the eastern Pacific. No single species lives in both oceans.