One of my absolute favorite treats from the sea is the Black Sea Bass. The flesh is firm and lean and the flavor is mild. The fish caught by hook are the best tasting. I should know my family catches them off the coast of MA, fillets them and prepares them for dinner. (See Scotty’s tip below)
The Black Sea Bass averages 11-12 inches but can grow up to 25 inches. The fish migrate seasonally. Heading inshore for late spring through fall then migrating to deeper waters for the winter.
Ocean temperatures in the Northwest Atlantic have been warming and this trend has contributed to a northern expansion of the Black Sea Bass population.
Did you know that each individual fish changes its sex at some point during their life? Usually before six years old. The mature sea bass will reproduce from mid-May through July. The eggs float in the ocean until hatched and the larvae are carried into inlets.
Crabs and shrimp are common prey to the Sea Bass. Their predators included bluefish, big nose and dusky shark.
· Black Sea Bass are close to shore during the summer. You can find them hiding under structures like jetties, peers or rock piles.
· Crab, fish or squid are good choices for bait.
· Medium rod (20-30 lbs. mono or braid. Leader with single hook and weight.
Pan seared Black Sea Bass with Orange and Fennel
Orange and Fennel Salad
· Squeeze juice of one orange peel and break apart a second orange peeling off the skin.
· Toss together one fennel bulb sliced very thin. With thing sliced orange segments
· Add 1 ½ tsp. champagne vinegar
· Add 1 ½ tsp. olive oil
· Add 1 finely minced shallot
· Sprinkle with 2 tsps. finely chopped parsley or cilantr
Pan Sear Black Sea Bass skin side down on med to medium high heat in 1 1/2 Tablespoon of olive oil 3-4 minutes. Flip fish and add 1 Tablespoon of butter cooking another 2-3 minutes basting the skin with the pan butter that has melted. Remove fish and place over the tossed together Orange & Fennel Salad.
Finish with a glass of Champagne and Chocolate Dipped Strawberries and it will be the best Valentine Dinner. LOL