Black Sea Bass

The black sea bass is a type of Grouper (Serranidae) found more commonly in northern than in southern ranges. It inhabits the coasts from Maine to NE Florida and the eastern Gulf of Mexico. There are three large biomass populations of black sea bass—the Mid-Atlantic stock, from Cape Cod in Massachusetts to Cape Hatteras in North Carolina, the South Atlantic stock, from Cape Hatteras to the southern tip of the Florida peninsula, and the Gulf of Mexico stock, from the southern tip of the Florida peninsula to Texas. 


They can be found in inshore waters (bays and sounds) and offshore in waters up to a depth of 130 m (425 ft). They spend most of their time close to the sea floor and are often congregated around bottom formations such as rocks, man-made reefs, wrecks, jetties, piers, and bridge pilings.


The sea bass spawns when it is mature, at 190 mm (7.5 in), in middle of May to end of June. The buoyant eggs are 0.95 mm (0.03 in) in diameter, and their development time is 1.6 days at 23 °C (74 °F). The maximum size of a sea bass is 500 mm (20 in), weighing 4.3 kg (9.5 lb).

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 (180 to 426 ft) at temperatures above 8 °C (46 °F). In summer it is most abundant at less than 37 m (120 ft).

Black sea bass are protogynous hermaphrodites, meaning that they generally first mature as females and some later become male. The sex change generally occurs over the winter when the fish are 240 to 330 mm (9.5 to 13 in) long.


Anglers commonly catch black sea bass incidentally while bottom fishing for grouper or snapper. While smaller than most other members of the family, black sea bass are aggressive and fun to catch, especially if you scale back to the lighter tackle. Light to medium weight spinning or bait casting tackle with 10 to 20 pound test line is sufficient. At times (especially during the winter months) black sea bass are so hungry and aggressive that they will hold on to your lead all the way to the surface or the bottom of your cooler. Good baits for black sea bass include squid, shrimp or cut bait, or jigs tipped with squid. As a food fish, black sea bass are excellent and known for their firm white flesh and mild flavor.

Species Information

Scientific Name:Centropris tisstriata
Environment:Inshore, Nearshore
Ideal Temp:64-71ºF (18-22ºC)
Technique:Bottom Fishing, Jigging
Lure Type:Bottom Rig, Jigs
World Record:4.65 kg (10 lb 4 oz) Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA
Other Names:BSB, Black seabass, black sea bass

Latest Black Sea Bass Fishing Reports and Spots

Outer Banks Fishing Report 12/13/20 - 12/13/2020 7:11:19 PM

There has been a few fish reported here on the Outer Banks primarily dog shark scattered drum and bluefish. We will continue our Sale till the (View)

Outer Banks Fishing Report 12/5/20 - 12/8/2020 9:36:10 AM

Alex caught this 8 pounds striped bass while fishing in duck yesterday. The post Outer Banks Fishing Report 12/5/20 first appeared on Bob's Bai (View)

Winter Steelhead Manifesto- An Obession - 11/30/2020 3:41:21 AM

  Coming in the winter issue of Hallowed Waters Journal... Cold Steel Dreaming-An Obsessive Winter Steelheader's Manifesto. The complete Zen bi (View)

Bobs Bait And Tackle OBX Sale - 11/28/2020 8:26:05 PM

Bobs Bait And Tackle Obx sale Wednesday Thursday Friday. Everything on sale plus take an extra 10% off all inventory. The post Bobs Bait And Ta (View)

Huge Sale Today Bobs Bait And Tackle 11/27/20 - 11/28/2020 8:26:05 PM

Big sale today at Bobs Bait And Tackle. Huge markdowns on Penn Shimano Smith Sunglasses daiwa and much more. We have plenty of fresh mullet. Th (View)

Outer Banks Thanksgiving Sale 11/24/20 - 11/24/2020 7:21:05 PM

Bobs Bait And Tackle Outer Banks Thanksgiving Sale will be on Wednesday Thursday and Friday Storewide sale. Also please bring non perishable fo (View)

Great Fishing On The OBX 11/20/20 - 11/24/2020 2:16:38 AM

Here is the photo of my best legal red drum caught in Duck on double bottom rig using cut finger mullet from Bob’s and measured by Shelton at 2 (View)

Bobs Bait And Tackle OBX Thanksgiving Sale 11/22/20 - 11/24/2020 2:16:33 AM

Attention: Bobs Bait And Tackle obx Thanksgiving sale will start on Wednesday thru Friday. Storewide sale. This year we will be hosting a fundr (View)

Outer Banks Fishing Report 11/23/20 - 11/24/2020 2:16:28 AM

Fishing report today for the Outer Banks has been pretty good. Red drum trout black drum and sea mullet being caught. We have plenty of fresh m (View)

Outer Banks Fishing Report 11/15/20 - 11/19/2020 8:01:04 AM

Andy Humer Charlotte NC Caught on Shrimp bite 27 in 6 1/2 lb In Duck The post Outer Banks Fishing Report 11/15/20 first appeared on Bob's Bait (View)