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Black Sea BassCentropristis striata
Physical Characters : Black sea bass, as their name goes, are usually black. But like many other types Deep Sea Fish, they have the ability to adjust their color to blend in with the bottom. Their colors may take on a gray, brown, black or even a deep indigo hue. The sides of their body may have dark vertical bands. But most distinctive is their skin, when seen up close resembles a fishnet pattern, because of the dark color that appears in the margin of their scales contrasted with the lighter color underneath the scales.
The average Sea Bass weighs about 1 1/2 lbs. The world record bass is 9lbs. 8oz. But any sea bass above 5lbs. is considered a large fish. As a sea bass matures, there are slight variations in their proportions. The smallest sea bass are often nicknamed “pin” bass. Larger fish are nicknamed “humpback” bass because as they grow larger they tend to bulk out just behind the head.
Black sea bass feed on crab, bluecrab, juvenile lobster, Brine Shrimp, mollusks, small fish, herring, menhaden and squid.
Natural History : The sea bass spawns when it is mature, at 19 cm, in middle of May to end of June. The eggs, 0.95 mm in diameter, are buoyant and their development time is 1.6 days at 23° C. The maximum size of a sea bass is 50 cm, weighing 4.3 kg.
It appears off New Jersey in the first weeks of May, withdrawing in late October or early November, and wintering offshore at 55 to 130 m at temperatures above 8° C. In summer it is most abundant at less than 37 m.