Latin name

Centropristis striata

Other names

Blackfish, sea bass, black bass, black will, black seabass, rockbass, common sea bass, humpback (large males), pin bass (small specimens); Spanish: serrano estriado.


The black sea bass has a relatively strong body with a length (not including the tail) three times its depth. It also has a noticeably high back, a flat-topped head, a slightly pointed snout, and a sharp spike near the top of each gill cover. The elongated upper tail ray protrudes beyond the rest of the tail and is the most distinctive feature of this fish. The body color varies from black to gray to brownish gray. There are several oblique white spots on the dorsal fins, and thin stripes on the flanks, broad vertical stripes overlapping the stripes in some fish, and a large dark spot on the last dorsal spine. The upper and lower edges of the tail are white, as are the outer edges of the dorsal and anal fins.


It inhabits the western North Atlantic Ocean in the United States, extending north to Maine and south to northern Florida, as well as in the Gulf of Mexico. It is most commonly found between Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.


A bottom-dwelling species that lives around shipwrecks, reefs, piers, jetties, and breakwaters, as well as on bottoms covered with barnacles, corals, and rocks. Smaller fish live in shallow and calm waters near the shore, such as bays, while most larger fish prefer offshore reefs, in water 10 feet to several hundred feet deep.


Larger fish range in weight from 3 to 8 pounds, while the average fish weighs 1 to 3 pounds. The world record in tackle is a fish weighing 10 pounds, 4 ounces. Sea bass can grow up to 2 feet in length, averaging 6 to 18 inches. They are known to live up to 10 years.

Life history and Behavior

Black sea bass are hermaphrodites. Most of them start their lives as females and then become males.

Food and feeding habits

Clams, shrimp, worms, crabs and small fish make up the diet of the omnivorous black sea bass.


Large fish are males, and females reach reproductive capacity in the second year of life. The transformation from female to male usually occurs between 2 and 5 years of age. The long spawning period lasts from February to May in the southern part of the range and from June to October in the northern part of the range.

Phylum Chordata
Class Actinopterygii
Squad Perciformes
Family Serranidae
Genus Centropristis
Species C. striata
Conservation status Least Concern
Habitat Pelagic
Life span, years No information
Maximum body weight, kg 4.1
Maximum length, cm 30
Sailing speed, m/s No information
Threat to people Edible
Way of eating Predator

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Sea Bass, Black

Tags: Sea Bass, Black