Black sea bass, a small, plump fish related to grouper caught on the wrecks off the coast in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina is a sequential hermaphrodite.
These bass begin life as males and become females between the ages of 2 and 5.
Mature animals have an even pattern of white diamonds along their dark sides, which are generally smoky gray, dusky brown or bluish black. Black sea bass are found from Rhode Island to Florida and are caught by trawl nets, longlines, hand lines and fish traps. Hooked fish offers best quality.
Black sea bass can grow to about 8 pounds, but most are caught at 1 1/2 to 3 pounds within the required size limits. Black sea bass is often confused with striped bass, which is also called blackfish.
Hilton Head Fishing Charters Tale Hunter targets Black sea bass during the Spring fishing season. The Black sea bass has a mild, fresh, somewhat delicate flavor and tender but firm texture. The firm, lean meat cooks up snow white.