- 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 kingfish (Menticirrhus)
The gulf kingfish is a long and slender fish with a large head and single chin barbel. The kingfish is silvery-gray on top fading to a light silver or white underneath with a tail fin that is tipped in black.
Although this species roams primarily throughout the Gulf of Mexico, gulf kingfish also can be found along the western Atlantic Ocean coastline as far north as the Chesapeake Bay.
Gulf kingfish live in small schools in the surf. They will also inhabit other coastal waters over muddy and sandy bottoms such as channels, inlets, passes and sandbars.
Spawning for the gulf kingfish takes place any time from spring to early autumn. As with most ocean species, eggs are scattered into the open water, where they are externally fertilized before descending to the sea floor and moving in with the tides prior to hatching.
As carnivores and primarily bottom feeders, gulf kingfish eat crustaceans, worms, clams and other shellfish.
Gulf kingfish are considered tasty fish and are commercially fished around the Chesapeake Bay. However, due to their lack of size, it is not considered a good sport fish. When they are fished, the best bait for kingfish is peeled shrimp fished on the bottom with ultra-light spinning tackle.
- Gulf kingfish are very similar to southern kingfish except for the dark-colored marking on the sides of the southern. (They are not related to the king mackerel, which is commonly referred to as the kingfish.)
- Soaking the gulf kingfish overnight before cooking can help remove its iodine taste.