Rock Sea Bass Fishing

The Rock Sea Bass (Centropristis philadelphica) is a small-sized type of fish that rarely reaches the length of 10 inches. The color of their coat is olive-brown and in some particular cases, even bronze. They have dark blotches that form vertical bars. They can be distinguished by their dark black blotche on the middle of the dorsal-fin base. The Rock Sea Bass has a purplish lower jaw tip and on the head as well as the fins, very bright orange and blue stripes and markings can be spotted. They have a fully scaled nape and in adults, a tri-lobed tail.

The Rock Sea Bass belongs to the Centrarchidae family and there are no subspecies recognized at the moment. Other common names include: Goggle eye, northern rock bass, redeye, Crapet de roche, Gemeiner felsenbarsch, gemeiner sonnenbarsch.

They are known to be large-mouthed and have eyes that have a red color pattern with rows of small, chocolate-colored squares along the sides of its greenish to brownish body. The Rock Sea Bass can be found offshore and differs from other species of bass in that it is commonly found on muddy or sandy bottoms. Regarding their spawning habits, they usually spawn from January until March. The young ones are usually female but they transform into males as they grow older. Like most of the other members of its family, the rock bass fish has a very deep, laterally compressed body. Its easkt distinguishing features are a red to orange eye and 5 to 7 spines in the anal fin. Less colorful when you compare it to the pumpkinseed and bluegill, the rock bass are golden brown to olive with silvery white undersides. They are capable of changing rapidly to silver or blackish.

They spawn over male-constructed and guarded nests. The demersal, adhesive eggs hatch in three to four days. The male continues to protect the young as long as they remain in the nest area. Once they scatter, usually within a few days, protection ceases. They reach sexual maturity at three to five years. Their conservation status is “not threatened”.

If you are having trouble identifying them, take into consideration the brown or olive coloring with blotches that usually form bars. The lower jaw has a rather purple color pattern and the head along with the fins come with orange stripes, blue in some cases. Being a rather small-sized type of fish, it rarely reaches more than ½ pounds. They can usually be spotted in temperate waters.

Regarding their habitat, the Rock Sea Bass are found along many of the artificial reefs of the Tampa – Saint Petersburg area. They can often be spotted in groups in the near vicinity of other sunfishes such as the smallmouth bass and the pumpkinseeds. During the wintertime, the rock bass moves to deeper water, where it can enter a condition of semi hibernation. Their sport value is considered to be minimal but the food value is very good. As far as the most efficient fishing tactic is concerned, the light tackle is recommended but paying close attention to keep them out of reef structure is imposed.

Distribution: North America – Mississippi Valley almost to the Atlantic Coast, Lake Winnipeg to Missouri as well as the northern boundaries of Alabama and Georgia. In the last decades, the Rock Sea Bass has been widely introduced around the world. They prefer heavily vegetated areas of freshwater ponds and lakes but also rocky streams.

Regarding their behavior, they school in the winter, become solitary when the breeding season occurs, they commence in the spring. They usually eat aquatic plants, conspecifics, fishes and invertebrates. Adults feed most heavily in the evening and morning. Young rock bass become food for larger predatory fishes such as large basses, northern pike, and muskies, and they compete with such fish as smallmouth bass for food.Their significance to humans is not very important, considered to be a minor sport and commercial fishes. They are often caught incidentally; this type of fish is considered to be fairly easy to catch from a variety of locations with several different types of bait. The fish strike the bait hard and put up a fight.