- 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.
Rock sea bass (Centropristis)
The body color of the rock sea bass is olive-brown or bronze, with dark blotches arranged in vertical bars. The head and fins have bright blue and orange markings. The second dorsal fin has about 11 rays. The tail fin is tri-lobed in adults. The tip of the lower jaw is purplish. The body, which is more elongated than other sea bass species, is tapered at both ends. A dark black blotch at the middle of the dorsal fin base differentiates it from the similar bank sea bass.
The rock sea bass is found in the western Atlantic from North Carolina to Florida, as well as the eastern Gulf of Mexico.
Primarily found offshore at depths up to 180 feet, rock sea bass prefer areas near or above hard bottoms, rocks, jetties and ledges, but can also be found near sandy or muddy bottoms. Water with an average temperature of 63 F is preferred.
Rock sea bass spawn January through March in their native waters. Eggs are deposited and fertilized externally in the open water or sea floor, and are not guarded.
As omnivorous fish, rock sea bass feed on other fish, squid and plankton. Juveniles feed on benthic invertebrates, or those organisms that dwell close to the bottom sediment, especially crustaceans.
Rock sea bass are not highly sought after because of their small size. They can be fished with light tackle with small hooks, and cut bait or small baitfish. The meat is considered to be of good quality.