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Black sea bass, Centropristis striata, are also known as blackfish, Atlantic sea bass, bass, rock bass and pinbass.  They are sometimes confused with Black Drum, bank sea bass, and rock sea bass.


Their bodies are black.  The exposed parts of the scales are paler than the margins making the fish look like it is barred with a series of dots running lengthwise. The belly is slightly lighter in color than the sides.  The fins are dark and the dorsal is marked with a series of white spots and bands.  During the spawning season, males may have a conspicuous blue hump at the nape of the neck.  Black sea bass grow to 24 inches and 6 pounds but fish in the 12 - 18 inch range weighing up to several pounds are common.

Black sea bass inhabit irregular hard bottom areas such as wrecks, ledges, and reefs.  They are found from Cape Cod, MA to Cape Canaveral, FL.  They are often found with other tropical reef fish such as snappers, groupers, porgies, and grunts. 

Anglers generally fish for black sea bass on wrecks and reefs using a bottom rig.  Common baits are strips of squid and cut bait.