In the US Sea Bass fishing in a number of areas is the main means of earning a living for commercial fishing charters and is a popular recreational sport.
In US waters there are two main types of Sea Bass, black and white.
The Black Sea bass is a member of the grouper family, smaller than it's cousins found is Asia and Australia, it is found on the Eastern seaboard between, Maine, Florida and the Gulf of Mexico normal catch weights are between 7 and 8 pounds at a length of 20 inches. This year 2010 the fishing season has been extended from the usual September to the end of December due to the protection measures taken over the last few years following much over fishing. Reproduction takes place between May and June with tiny eggs that only take one and a half days to hatch.
The white Sea bass is a member of the Croaker family and makes a very distinctive noise underwater, usually found off the pacific coasts. White sea bass travel in schools feeding on small fish usually sardines, in shallow waters. Usual catch weight is about 7 pounds and 28 inches long. Some rare fish have been caught that have been over five feet in length and weighing over 90 pounds.
In Europe there is the European Sea bass which can grow to a meter in length and weigh over 15 kg. Normal catch weight is between and 2 and 4 kg.
European Sea bass are very slow growing taking many years to reach full maturity, a 20 year old bass typically weighs around 5 kg with a length of 70 cm.
Over the last twenty years the number of Bass in UK waters has decreased, due to them becoming a commercially valued fish following them being used in recipes by top chefs and cooks. They are now starting to make a comeback but are generally of a smaller size than fish of yesteryear.
When Sea bass fishing you can be sure of a sporting challenge as Sea Bass are well known for their fighting prowess and put up a lively fight when hooked, light tackle can increase the thrill further. They can be caught in a variety of ways ranging from using lures that look like small or injured prey fish to more regular baits such as worm or crab, live baiting especially for White Sea bass can be very productive.
The majority of fishing in the US is done by boat using a variety of tackle but in the UK many fish can be caught from the shore, with specialist tackle available for the keen angler. A technique that many fishermen prefer when fishing from shore is to use very light tackle, just a rod, fixed spool reel and a couple of lures and employing catch and release for any fish caught a very enjoyable day can be had.
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