Black Sea Bass: Centropristis striata


Also known as rock bass or rockfish.

  • Body color dark brown or black
  • Dorsal fin with stripes of white over black
  • Large males have a fatty hump on head, in front of dorsal fin, as well as blue and ebony markings on body
  • Females may have faint vertical bars
  • Tail may have three lobes
  • Adults have elongated ray on top part of tail
  • Back edge of gill cover has a sharp spine

Similar Species: Other sea bass species 

Size: Up to 24 inches (8 pounds); common to 12 inches (1.5 pounds) 


Coastal waters near structure and rocky bottoms.  Smaller specimens are often found inshore in finger channels.


Spawn January through March and are protogynous hermaphrodites, meaning older females becoming breeding males. Omnivorous bottom feeders, and their diet includes small fish, crustaceans, and shellfish.

Additional Information

State Record:External Website 5 lb, 1 oz, caught near Panama City.

Recreational Regulations

Image Credit: © Diane Rome Peebles

FWC Facts:
Measuring up to 55 feet, an adult right whale can weigh 70 tons. A newborn right whale calf can measure 15 feet at birth and weigh 2,000 pounds.

Learn More at AskFWC