Bank Sea Bass: Centropristis ocyurus


  • Pale olive or brassy-brown on back, fading to a lighter belly
  • Black blotches form dark bars on sides (darker blotch above pectoral fin)
  • Head with wavy blue lines
  • Lips are purplish-blue A
  • dults have tail with three lobes
  • Top of head (nape) lacks scales

Similar Species: Rock sea bass, C. philadelphica (has spot near middle of dorsal base and head is fully-scaled) 

Size: Up to 12 inches 


Coastal waters over hard bottom areas.


Feed on small fishes and invertebrates.

Additional Information

State Record:External Website This species is not currently eligible for a state record. 

Fishing Tips and Facts: Bank sea bass start life as females and then change to male after three to four spawning seasons.

Recreational Regulations

Image Credit: © Diane Rome Peebles

FWC Facts:
Saxitoxin, the compound that produces paralytic shellfish poisoning, was used in suicide pills for U.S. U-2 spy plane pilots in the Cold War in case of crash and potential capture.

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