Consider the Other Bass

May 31, 2013

While striped bass garner most of the sportsfishing glory this time of year, there is another bass in Cape Cod waters which ought not to be overlooked: the black sea bass. It is a type of grouper - and doesn't it look like it, with its stout body and large mouth? Still, the black sea bass is not without beauty, acquiring bright coloring lines and long tail filaments as it ages. A bottom dweller, it's not hard to catch; try fishing around structure with a bucktail baited with squid.

Black sea bass make good eating, fried or fileted. And they can be roasted whole, which does make for a striking presentation.

Sea Bass facts:

  • They are protogynous hermaphrodites - meaning (you guessed it) they go through a sex change. They typically mature as females, and only later do some become male. The sex change generally occurs over the winter.
  • They are found mostly on the south side of Cape Cod and Buzzards Bay.
  • Massachusetts season is May 11 to October 31. Minimum size is 14", possession limit is 4.
  • Typically 3 - 5 lbs, as big as 8 lbs.
  • Scientific name is Centropristis striata.

SEASONAL NOTES:

  • An "epic" weekend just passed on the Cape Cod Canal, with plentiful striped bass 15 - 20 lbs recorded 
  • First reports of bluefin tuna showing up in Stellwagen Bank area