Black sea bass season opened on May 19th, and there have been reports of very good fishing. If you don’t know a sea bass from a striped bass, don’t worry—here’s what you need to know.
Black sea bass are a completely different species from striped bass. They don't get as big, averaging around two pounds, and can get up to about eight pounds.
“They're a very cool fish, very striking,” syas Kevin Blinkoff, of On The Water magazine. “They look almost tropical. They've got black-and-white striped fins. They're very bright, even though they're black in color—it's kind of a black and purple, with some iridescent blues mixed in. And then some of them, especially the males. they grow long filaments on the tailfins.”
They also have an unusual lifecycle. “Black sea bass are hermaphroditic,” says Blinkoff. “So they have the ability to produce eggs when they mature, and then at some point they'll switch from female to male. It's a really interesting fish in that the smaller fish tend to be females, and the larger fish tend to be males.”
We’ve got more on black sea bass—including where and how to fish for them—in the audio below. Also, we round up the week’s fishing action, including bigger stripers likely going the long way around to make it to Cape Cod Bay. Give it a listen.