- 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.
Sand perch (Diplectrum)
The sand perch is a small fish with an elongated, cylindrical-shaped body. Coloration is pale brown on the back and sides, becoming whitish on the belly, and there are several dark vertical bars or blotches on the side. There are also horizontal electric blue lines running across the head and body, as well as some orange and blue shading on the sides.
Sand perch have large mouths and sharp gill plates. The dorsal fin extends almost the entire length of the back, the pelvic fin is long and the back margin of the tail fin is concave.
The sand perch is found in scattered areas of the western Atlantic. The range extends from North Carolina to Uruguay, but it is considered doubtful that sand perch occur in the western Caribbean or along the northern part of the South American coast.
Sand perch are a warm-water, mainly inshore species that inhabit bays, grassy areas along the coast and shallow banks. They are most frequently found over sandy bottoms, but occasionally can also be found over rocky bottoms. When offshore, they are associated with wrecks and reefs. They will also occasionally occupy deep channels.
Sand perch are a shy species that frequently hides when approached.
Like almost all ocean fish sand perch do not build nests but instead scatter the fertilized eggs in the water. After the eggs hatch the young swim inshore.
Sand perch feed on small fish and crustaceans, mainly shrimp.
Sand perch are good table fare but so small that few anglers aim for this species, and the ones that do often plan to use them as live bait. They are an aggressive species that hits lures and bait often but is a disappointing fight because of its size.
They are excellent as live bait, and are used extensively for fishing grouper, snapper or shark. Using a slider rig, sand perch can be hooked through the mouth, shoulder, or above the anal fin. They can also be cut up and fished in chunks.
One of the best ways to catch sand perch is with cut squid or shrimp on small hooks. Another effective way (that is also more expensive) is to fish them with live shrimp.
Be careful in handling this species because of the sharp gill plates.
- Sand seatrout are closely related to the Atlantic coasts weakfish.
- The all-tackle world record for sand seatrout is a 2-pound, 3-ounce fish caught in Texas.