Black Sea Bass
Centropristis striata

f10 @ 1/400s, ISO:2000, Nikon D3S w 12-24mm @ 24mm

"Black Sea Bass," Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The black sea bass is an exclusively marine grouper found more commonly in northern than in southern ranges. It inhabits the coasts from Maine to northeast Florida and the eastern Gulf of Mexico. The three large biomass populations of black sea bass are the mid-Atlantic stock, from Cape Cod in Massachusetts to Cape Hatteras in North Carolina, the South Atlantic stock, from Cape Hatteras to the southern tip of the Florida peninsula, and the Gulf of Mexico stock, from the southern tip of the Florida peninsula to Texas. They can be found in inshore waters (bays and sounds) and offshore in waters up to a depth of 130 m (430 ft). They spend most of their time close to the sea floor and often congregate around bottom formations such as rocks, man-made reefs, wrecks, jetties, piers, and bridge pilings. The sea bass spawns when it is mature, at 190 mm (7.5 in), in middle of May to end of June. The buoyant eggs are 0.95 mm (0.037 in) in diameter, and their development time is 1.6 days at 23 C (73 F). The maximum size of a sea bass is 500 mm (20 in), weighing 4.3 kg (9.5 lb). It appears off New Jersey in the first weeks of May, withdrawing in late October or early November, and wintering offshore at 55 to 130 m (180 to 427 ft) at temperatures above 8 C (46 F). In summer, it is most abundant at less than 37 m (121 ft). Black sea bass are protogynous hermaphrodites, meaning they generally first mature as females and some later become male. The sex change generally occurs over the winter when the fish are 240 to 330 mm (9.4 to 13.0 in) long.
Vineyard Sound, Massachusetts