- 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.
Mahogany snapper (Lutjanus)
Mahogany snapper have an olive to brown back and upper sides with a reddish tinge, fading to silver on the lower sides and belly. There is a conspicuous, usually black spot just below the second dorsal fin. Both the eye and tail fin are bright red. Mahogany snapper have a fairly deep body that curves down sharply from the apex of their back, while their belly is flat from the mouth to the anal fin. They have a pointed snout, very large eyes and two connected dorsal fins, the first with 10 spines and the second with 11 to 12 soft rays. The tail fin is large and slightly forked.
Mahogany snapper are a western Atlantic species that is found from North Carolina to Venezuela, including the Gulf of Mexico. They are more common in the Caribbean islands than near the coast of the United States.
This species spends its life around coral reefs in clear, shallow water and occasionally occupies sandy or sea grass areas. They are a warm water species that is found in temperate waters only during the summer. They also often form large aggregations during the day. Like most snapper, mahogany snapper can often be found tucked away in crevices and caves along rock pilings or reefs.
Spawning season for the mahogany snapper is midsummer and early fall, from July to October. After external fertilization, eggs are scattered and float freely until hatching.
Mahogany snapper are bottom feeders that feed at night. Their diet consists of small fish, shrimp, crabs and cephalopods such as squid.
With a fairly limited range and small average size, mahogany snapper are not widely sought after, but like other snapper they are considered scrappy fighters and excellent table fare. Small individuals can be caught in shallow waters but large adults are usually found at moderate depths. Bottom fishing with live or cut bait on small hooks and light tackle is a standard approach.
- The Spanish name for mahogany snapper is ojanco, which refers to their large eyes.
- Like many snappers, mahogany snapper are associated with ciguatera poisoning.