About This Fish

Black Sea Bass

The black sea bass(Centropristis striata)is also known as groupers or true sea bass. It is an exclusively marine fish which belongs to Family Serranidae under Order Perciformes of Class Actinopterygii. The black sea bass inhabits irregular hard-bottom areas, such as wrecks or reefs. It is distributed in the Northwest Atlantic from Maine to Florida.

The black sea bass is a large mouthed bottom dweller. It has bluish black body with light spots that form longitudinal stripes. The snout is moderately rounded. The belly is slightly paler than the sides. The body is covered by very large scales but it is naked at the head. The exposed parts of scales are paler than the margins. Each gill cover has a flat spine near the outer edge. The dorsal fin is continuous with 10 slender spines and it is marked with several series of whitish spots and bands and the other fins are mottled with dusky. The pectoral fin is very long with rounded tip which reaches nearly towards the anal fin. The pelvic fin is very large which originates from posterior part of pectoral fin. The anal fin originates just below the soft portion of the dorsal fin. The rounded caudal fin sometimes has a long streamer trailing out from the top edge.

The black sea bass can grow to a maximum of 24-25 inches in length and 4.3 kg in weight. Its life span ranges between 15 and 20 years. Females reach sexual maturity when they are 7.5 inches long while males when they are 9 inches long. Mature males have a fleshy dorsal hump just anterior to the dorsal fin. The black sea bass is an opportunistic feeder that mostly feeds on crabs, shrimp, worms, small fish and clams.

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Location Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
New Jersey
South Carolina