- 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.
Knobbed porgy (Calamus)
Knobbed porgy have deep bodies. The head slopes steeply upward, giving the nape a knobby, protruding appearance, especially in large adults. The body is silvery with a rosy or bluish-greenish cast and the cheek and snout is dark grayish purple, with many yellow spots. The tail fin is forked. The first dorsal fin has about 12 spines.
These fish occur in the western Atlantic from North Carolina southward to and including most of the Gulf of Mexico, including the Florida Keys, the Bahamas and Cuba.
Preferring to live in subtropical waters over reefs, ledges, wrecks and other hard bottom areas, knobbed porgy are generally found near the sea floor at depths of 23 to 300 feet, but usually deeper than 80 feet.
Spawning season is yearly, during the months of April through July. Typically, the peak season occurs in May and June. Knobbed porgy reach sexual maturity at 4 to 5 years of age. Females lay thousands of eggs, which are fertilized eternally and scattered on open water. The eggs are not guarded.
Being speedy enough to take small fish and having both incisors and molars powerful enough to crunch through the shells of hard-bodied animals gives the knobbed porgy a variety of food options. Their preference is to eat bottom-dwelling creatures such as snails, crabs, sea urchins, starfish, clams and barnacles. Small fish are consumed but to a lesser degree.
While the knobbed porgy is valued by both the commercial and sport anglers, anglers pursuing grouper or snapper usually take these fish. Because of this the common equipment used is medium to heavy ocean tackle. However, experts say that sturdy baitcasting or spinning outfits are a better choice if angling exclusively for this species. Knobbed porgy are strong, but not particularly impressive fighters. The preferred bait is cut pieces of fish or squid. Drifting and stillfishing are both common methods.
- This fish is not caught in large numbers in any area it inhabits.
- Knobbed porgy provide excellent table fare. The meat is creamy white and flaky. It is commonly filleted and works equally well if fried, baked or broiled.