Choose your state

AlabamaAlabama Hunting & Fishing

AlaskaAlaska Drivers ManualAlaska Motorcycle ManualAlaska Commercial DriversAlaska Waterfowl HuntingAlaska Hunting

ArizonaArizona HuntingArizona Waterfowl Hunting

ArkansasArkansas HuntingArkansas Waterfowl Hunting

CaliforniaCalifornia Big Game HuntingCalifornia Freshwater FishingCalifornia Waterfowl & Upland GameCalifornia Fishing SupplementCalifornia Saltwater Fishing

ColoradoColorado HuntingColorado Waterfowl Hunting

ConnecticutConnecticut FishingConnecticut Hunting

DelawareDelaware HuntingDelaware Fishing

FloridaFlorida HuntingFlorida Saltwater FishingFlorida Freshwater Fishing

GeorgiaGeorgia Alcohol & Drug Awareness ProgramGeorgia HuntingGeorgia Commercial DriversGeorgia Drivers ManualGeorgia Motorcycle Manual40-Hour Parent/Teen Driving GuideGeorgia Fishing

HawaiiHawaii Hunting

IdahoIdaho HuntingIdaho Deer HuntingIdaho Waterfowl Hunting

IllinoisIllinois HuntingIllinois Waterfowl Hunting

IndianaIndiana HuntingIndiana Fishing

IowaIowa HuntingIowa Waterfowl Hunting

KansasKansas HuntingKansas Waterfowl Hunting

KentuckyKentucky HuntingKentucky Waterfowl Hunting

LouisianaLouisiana Hunting

MaineMaine HuntingMaine FishingMaine ATV & Snowmobile

MarylandMaryland FishingMaryland Hunting

MassachusettsMassachusetts Hunting & FishingMassachusetts Saltwater Fishing

MichiganMichigan FishingMichigan HuntingMichigan Waterfowl Hunting

MinnesotaMinnesota HuntingMinnesota Waterfowl Hunting

MississippiMississippi Hunting & Fishing

MissouriMissouri HuntingMissouri Waterfowl Hunting

MontanaMontana HuntingMontana Deer HuntingMontana Waterfowl Hunting

NebraskaNebraska HuntingNebraska Deer HuntingNebraska Waterfowl Hunting

NevadaNevada FishingNevada Small Game HuntingNevada Big Game HuntingNevada Hunting Applications

New HampshireNew Hampshire Freshwater FishingNew Hampshire Saltwater FishingNew Hampshire HuntingNew Hampshire ATV & Snowmobile

New JerseyNew Jersey Saltwater FishingNew Jersey HuntingNew Jersey Freshwater Fishing

New MexicoNew Mexico HuntingNew Mexico Hunting Rules & Info – 2016-2017New Mexico Waterfowl Hunting

New YorkNew York HuntingNew York Fishing

North CarolinaNorth Carolina HuntingNorth Carolina Waterfowl Hunting

North DakotaNorth Dakota HuntingNorth Dakota Deer HuntingNorth Dakota Waterfowl Hunting

OhioOhio HuntingOhio Fishing

OklahomaOklahoma FishingOklahoma Hunting

OregonOregon Game Bird HuntingOregon FishingOregon Big Game Hunting

PennsylvaniaPennsylvania HuntingPennsylvania Waterfowl Hunting

Rhode IslandRhode Island Saltwater Fishing Regulations GuideRhode Island HuntingRhode Island Freshwater Fishing

South CarolinaSouth Carolina Hunting & Fishing

South DakotaSouth Dakota HuntingSouth Dakota Waterfowl Hunting

TennesseeTennessee HuntingTennessee Waterfowl Hunting

TexasTexas HuntingTexas Waterfowl Hunting

UtahUtah HuntingUtah Deer HuntingUtah Waterfowl Hunting

VermontVermont HuntingVermont Fishing

VirginiaVirginia Migratory Game Bird HuntingVirginia HuntingVirginia Fishing

WashingtonWashington HuntingWashington Deer HuntingWashington Waterfowl Hunting

West VirginiaWest Virginia HuntingWest Virginia Waterfowl Hunting

WisconsinWisconsin HuntingWisconsin Deer HuntingWisconsin Waterfowl Hunting

WyomingWyoming HuntingWyoming Deer HuntingWyoming Waterfowl Hunting

Logo

Article: Species Profile

Saltwater Marine Fishing Regulations Massachusetts Saltwater Fishing

Black Sea Bass

The black sea bass is one of the most valuable recreational fish species in Massachusetts waters. Members of the family Serranidae (that include other sea bass and groupers) they are extremely fun to catch and a delicious fish to eat. Inhabiting Atlantic coastal waters, black sea bass range from the Gulf of Maine to the Florida Keys, but they are most abundant in areas from Cape Cod to Cape Canaveral, Florida. Black sea bass prey upon many different animals including fish, crabs, mussels, and other invertebrates. As a very structure oriented fish, black sea bass inhabit reefs, rocky bottom, areas around pilings, wrecks, and jetties..

One amazing thing about black sea bass is that they are protogynous hermaphrodites. This means that many fish begin life as females and then between the age of 2-6 years will change sex to become males. This is not the only species of fish that makes this change as there are other groupers, wrasses, and parrotfish that do as well. There has been lots of research into the mechanisms for change in these fish; however, the exact reason and timing of change for each fish is not well understood. It may be based on the ratio of males to females in an area. Changes to the ratio, due to removals from natural mortality or fishing activity, may cause a larger female to transition to a male.

Male and female black sea bass can be distinguished by several external features when caught. Males tend to be darker in color with some having blue-green coloring around the eyes and on the dorsal side of the body. In the largest males there is also a hump that forms on the top of the head above the eyes in front of the dorsal fin. The males often have a long fin-ray that extends past the longest part of the tail fin. Female black sea bass are lighter in color and are more of a gray to brownish hue.

As a migratory species, black sea bass generally arrive in Massachusetts waters in early May. One of the ways to target black sea bass is to tip a hook with a piece of squid or crab and drop it down along with a weight to the bottom and wait for the bite. Anglers can also use baited or un-baited jigs dropped on structure to add movement that can entice black sea bass to bite.

However you get out on the water to catch black sea bass, just be ready. Once you hook into these fun to catch and eat fish, you’ll never want to stop!