The Bank Sea Bass

Jess KContributor IIIFebruary 14, 2011

The popular fish known as the Rockfish or the Bank Sea Bass is a beautiful fish that is first noticeable by its body’s background of a pale shade of brown or olive.

Standing out against the light color are the vague, black splotches that look something like muddled tiger stripes painted vertically down the sides of the fish.

On the bass’s head you can see faint, bluish lines that appear wavelike over purplish lips. Adults of the species have a tri-lobed caudal fin and right at the base of their nape the skin is surprisingly void of actual scales.

These small little bass can only grow as large as around three pounds and at their longest; you will usually find them measuring about eight inches in length.

You can catch bank sea bass in places where there are reefs or rocks, usually just inshore when it comes to waters that are deeper. This species of bass is also marked by its unusually large mouth much like you would see on a largemouth bass.

As for their biology, the bank sea bass are fascinating creatures as they actually undergo a change in sex as they mature throughout their life cycle. In the beginning, these fish start out as female and after as many as three to four spawning cycles, they will then change to male.

Bank sea bass are generally bottom feeders as they search the floors for such food particles and prey as crustaceans, smaller fish and squid. Nearly anywhere you can find a fishing environment with a bay; you will find bank sea bass.

The Delta as well as San Francisco Bay are particularly well populated areas for this species of bass.

If you are interested in attempting to catch these fish, your best bet will be to attempt it in the late weeks of spring or throughout the fall. You will want to go bank sea bass fishing as deep as 500 feet as these fish very much prefer the harder floors for their habitats particularly in waters that are rather deep. 

These fish can live as many as seven years and they are extremely opportunistic hunters when it comes to looking for food.

They can use their larger mouths in order to swallow entire shrimp, crabs or smaller fish straight down into their stomach whole so it is best that you use the most realistic fishing tackle of this sort when searching for this amazing species.