Black bass is a true sea bass caught along the Atlantic Coast of the United States from Cape Cod to Florida. A reef fish landed mainly from Long Island to South Carolina. It is a stout bodied fish, with large dorsal, pectoral and pelvic fins. The rounded tail often has a long streamer trailing out from the top edge. The background color is smoky grey to bluish black with darker patches and light speckles. Uncooked flesh should be sparkling white and translucent, not opaque.
Black bass is a firm snow white fleshed fish when cooked. It has a medium flake and a delicate flavor. The skin is delicious and often kept on when steaming or sautéing. It is extremely versatile in use, particularly popular for cooking whole in Asian cuisines.
They are primarily caught with pots and traps. They are also caught with bottom trawls, hook and line and gillnets. Commercial harvests are controlled by a quota system, which holds annual harvests to about 3 million pounds. All fish is sold fresh, there is not enough harvested for the frozen market.