Catching Black Sea Bass
The Black Sea Bass are of the grouper family that is most commonly found from the Gulf of Mexico and northern parts of the Atlantic Ocean. Most people target them in the early days of the spring because of their copious numbers around and in Buzzards Bay. Not only are they fantastic tasting fish, but they are also targeted because they are fairly easy to catch. You will undoubtedly stumble upon a handful anytime you are bottom fishing in the early season.
Another allure to these gamefish are for their beauty. They have an incredible combination of blacks, greens, blues and whites on their filaments. The males are known for their large bumps or knots on their foreheads. They are hermaphrodites, meaning that they all start off as females and some of them undergo this change during the winter months.
If you are looking for a similar fish to that of a largemouth bass, look no further. Photo Credits: On The Water
Baits, Tactics, And Gear For Catching Black Sea Bass
There are plenty of rods that will do the trick when targeting these fish. The biggest factor to determine is if you are going to be artificial jigging or bottom fishing with bait.
If you are going to be jigging, generally you are going to want to use a heavier rod with more back bone to allow for aggressive jigging and heavier spoons and jigs. For me, I prefer a medium-medium heavy spinning rod. If you prefer the conventional set up, you are going to want to use a lighter conventional rod.
Reel size is important when chasing these fish. When hooking into bigger sized Black Sea Bass, you’ll need a reel with some solid line capacity. Typically, a 4000-5000 size reel covers your bases. The spool can be filled with 20-30 pound mono or braid, especially when vertical jigging.
If you’re in it for the fight, there is no such thing as too light. When chasing big fish for the fight, handling them with a light rod can be tricky. Keep in mind, these fish can get upwards of 8 to 10 pounds!
Jigging For Black Sea Bass
Let’s dive into the different baits you can use when targeting Black Sea Bass. When fishing for Black Sea Bass, the majority are caught through the use of diamond jigs. They come in a variety of different colors and sizes, so it all comes down to preference. Three to four-ounce jigs tend to be the norm. ?
When you purchase a lot of these diamond jigs, they will more than likely come with a decent sized single hook on it. You have the option to keep on that single hook, or you can opt to replace it with a treble. I personally replace the hook with a treble. When using these jigs, they are no different than any others, the action that you put on it will determine your hookups. It is usually safe to go with a consistent jerking motion to the beat of AB-AB-AB. If the fish are really biting, they will hit it on the fall or pause.
Jigging for sea bass is no different than jigging for any other species. Photo Credits: On The Water
Using Cut Bait For Black Sea Bass
The three most commonly used baits for Black Sea Bass or any bottom fishing are squid, clams, and green crabs. If you go to any of your local bait and tackle stores, they will have an abundance of Black Sea Bass rigs which will just be a single hook with a little orange bead. You can go ahead and tie that to the end of your braid or mono with your weight slide and you’re ready to roll! The size and style of your weight are up to preference.
The most common type of bait that you will see people using to catch these fish is squid. Squid is cheap and stays on the hook very well in comparison to the slippery and more expensive clams and crabs. Just like any bottom fishing, you’ll want to drop down to the bottom, let it sit, and when you feel a bite set the hook vertically.
Usually, if you are targeting Black Sea Bass, you are going to be fishing around structure, so you are going to want to lean more towards a bank sinker, but if you are going to be fishing a flat sandy bottom, you can definitely throw a pyramid sinker on. The weight all depends on how light or heavy your rod is, the current, the drift of your boat unless you are anchored, and how deep the water you are fishing is.
The simplicity of this makes it a great type of fishing to do with family or to get the kids out and get them hooked on the feeling that we have all come to know and love.