Bank Sea Bass, also known as sea bass, belongs to the Serranidae family, order Perciformes. Of the same family is the cabrilla (Serranus cabrilla), a fish that presents on its skin vertical bands of brown or reddish color and longitudinal bands of yellowish white color, which facilitates its identification.
Where is fishing?
Wild sea bass is a fish that lives in the North Sea, the Channel and in the Atlantic Ocean, that is, it can be found from the coasts of Norway to the African coasts of Senegal. It is also very common in the Mediterranean Sea, and its presence is lower in the Black Sea. This fish is used to swimming along the rocky coasts and along the sandbanks, estuarine areas, ports and docks, where it takes advantage to feed itself, and can even penetrate the fresh waters of the estuaries. If you want to fish for sea bass, you should always look for them on the surface, at very shallow depths and with good waves, foam and swirls. Spring and autumn are their best season, although it is in winter when it is easy to fish for seabass in warmer areas. Young seabass move in banks, while adults swim alone.
The best season for the capture of sea bass are the cold months. Given the low frequency with which wild sea bass is sold, its price is very high, especially at Christmas, which is when its consumption increases. Currently, most of the seabass that comes to fishmongers comes from fish farms and is raised in many Mediterranean countries, among which Morocco. In this way you can have this fish throughout the year at an affordable price. This type of fish arrives very cool to the place of destination, without having suffered the exhaustion as a result of fishing. However, there is a remarkable culinary difference between aquaculture and wild sea bass, which is tastier and has firmer flesh.
The best-known species
Sea bass is a fish that is very appreciated for the quality of its meat, so it is difficult to replace it with other species. However, it is marketed under the name of Asoca bass, also called dances (Dicentrarchus punctatus), a fish that belongs to the same genus but to a different species and is clearly distinguished from the sea bass by having the body covered with dots. This species is distributed in the same areas as sea bass. Its meat is very fine and appreciated, although it does not reach the quality of the sea bass.
There are other lesser-known species that have also managed to breed in fish farms such as yellow, black or white sea bass.
Bank sea bass identification
Shape: It is a fusiform fish, with a round body, robust, elongated, slightly compressed and with a pointy head.
Minimum size: 23 cm.
Color: Its skin is silvery gray or greenish gray and bright, the back grayish, the sides or flanks lighter and the whitish belly. At the height of the operculum has a black shaded area that makes it unmistakable. Young specimens have black spots scattered throughout the body that disappear with age.
Length and weight: It can measure 90-100 cm, although its average size is around 40-80 cm. The weight is 300 grams (ration) up to one and a half kilo; the largest specimens weigh 4 to 7 kilos, and can even reach 12 kilos.
Feeding: It is a very voracious animal and eats worms, crustaceans, small octopus or any fish that crosses its path. It also feeds on algae.