- 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.
Gulf flounder (Paralichthys)
The gulf flounder looks similar to their flatfish relatives, the summer and southern flounder. Both of the eyes are located on the left side, and they swim with this side always facing upwards. The left side of the body is an overall brownish tone that can change depending on the color of the immediate surroundings. They also have many white spots splattered over the body and fins. The right side is white and colorless. Gulf flounder have large mouths with strong, canine-like teeth.
Distinct from summer and southern flounder, the gulf flounder has three prominent, eye-like spots that form a triangle. One of these spots is on the lateral line near the base of the tail fin; the other two are located centrally above and below the lateral line.
To differentiate between the sexes, it has been recorded that the eyes of the female are located closer together than the eyes of the male, whereas the male has the longer pectoral fins.
The gulf flounder inhabits western Atlantic waters from North Carolina to southern Florida, the Bahamas, the Gulf of Mexico and the western Caribbean.
Gulf flounder are predominantly inshore fish that prefer sandy or rocky bottoms in water up to 60 feet deep. They will associate anywhere there is cover, in grass flats, rock or oyster reefs and along pilings and bridge supports. They also are known to move into tidal creeks at times.
Not much is known about the reproductive habits of the gulf flounder. However, they are known to be open water egg scatterers that spawn offshore in the winter.
Gulf flounder are bottom-dwelling carnivorous fish that feed primarily on crustaceans and small fish.
Gulf flounder are not overly fished for sport, however, when caught with light tackle they can be an entertaining catch. Shrimp, minnows and fiddler crab fished on the bottom have proved to be effective. Gigging for gulf flounder in shallow waters at night is also a popular way of pursuing them where legal, and they are considered excellent table fare.
- The all-tackle world record for a gulf flounder is 6 pounds, 4 ounces.