Black Sea Bass and such...

YUP ' Water Temps are dropping like a rock. Fish are moving into the Rivers ect.
What would I catch if I went to 15 feet or so off Keyton Beach and anchored up and chummed the living he''ll out of the place in Winter ?
I've only got a Alum. skiff with a 25 but she scoots along good and I'd pick a Blue Bird day.
What's gonna show up in my Chum Line to make me happy...?
Killin and Grillin :grin

Replies

  • nicknick Crystal RiverPosts: 4,876 Captain
    You don’t need chum. Just find a rock and drop down anything you have. Sea bass will eat it! I’ve caught them on 3oz egg sinkers. 
  • Turner River TerrorTurner River Terror Posts: 7,063 Admiral
    Ah , Nick..I want more than BSB...
    What else shows up...in December / Jan...ect. Dead of Winter.
    15 ft. of water over the Sea Grass beds...
    Killin and Grillin :grin
  • capt louiecapt louie citrus countyPosts: 10,096 Moderator
    Good question ? Not sure anybody does it or has tried. Grouper maybe if near hard bottom ?
    "You'll get your weather"
  • Turner River TerrorTurner River Terror Posts: 7,063 Admiral
    Told you I'd try anything...
    Trend setter...That's me..or dam Fool , depends on how you look at it.
    Killin and Grillin :grin
  • Doc StressorDoc Stressor Homosassa, FLPosts: 2,528 Captain
    You should get sheepshead if you find rocks at that depth or closer.  Probably won't get anything but porgies over the grass flats that time of year if it gets cold. Even the seabass move out if it gets really cold since there isn't much to eat.  But if it gets warm for a while, trout will move out and Spanish can move in. 

    Look for shrimp muds in December.  You can catch trout, blues, jacks, and all sorts of stuff around the edges. 
  • Turner River TerrorTurner River Terror Posts: 7,063 Admiral
    So , It'd be a Trash Fish Slam except for the Trout ?
    Shrimp Muds ? Interesting.
    Can I throw a cast net and catch Shrimp on them Muds ?
    Killin and Grillin :grin
  • conchydongconchydong Pompano BeachPosts: 5,359 Admiral
    Curious, how shallow do you guys catch BSB up that way. I have only caught a few in my life off of Pompano Beach and they were in 300' of water. I'm thinking it is the water temperatures more than the depth.

    “Everyone behaves badly--given the chance.”
    ― Ernest Hemingway

  • Turner River TerrorTurner River Terror Posts: 7,063 Admiral
    edited November 2019 #9
    I've caught a dozen off Marco Islands and Surrounds in many Years.
    Here in the Big Bend them things are everywhere.
    Kinda like Chunky mini  Grouper ..sort of. White meat and make a fine fish sandwich.
    If them things weighted 25 pounds ..I'd be in Heaven.
    Dumb as a  Stump and Tasty...what's not to Love.
    It's either the vast Sea Grass beds or the Temps...maybe both.
    Killin and Grillin :grin
  • conchydongconchydong Pompano BeachPosts: 5,359 Admiral
    The ones I caught off of Pompano were nice. I agree they are great eating. I steamed them whole Chinese style.

    “Everyone behaves badly--given the chance.”
    ― Ernest Hemingway

  • Salty Dawg44Salty Dawg44 Homosassa, FLPosts: 1,096 Officer
    edited November 2019 #11
    Curious, how shallow do you guys catch BSB up that way. I have only caught a few in my life off of Pompano Beach and they were in 300' of water. I'm thinking it is the water temperatures more than the depth.
    I rarely bait fish on the bottom, but I regularly get Black Sea Bass  as bycatch while Grouper trolling in 25' to 35' of water over hard bottom. One of the benefits is that I rarely am bothered by the smaller ones. They sure are good eating!



    This photo was taken in September when the water temperature is usually in the mid 80's here.


    MY WORST FEAR......THAT WHEN I DIE MY WIFE WILL SELL ALL MY BOATS & FISHING GEAR FOR WHAT I TOLD HER I PAID FOR IT.......

    I may not always agree with what you say,
    but I will always respect your right to be wrong!
  • Doc StressorDoc Stressor Homosassa, FLPosts: 2,528 Captain
    Mature black seabass move offshore to spawn during the winter.  My guess is that the spawn peaks in February in 40 to 70 ft of water.  They never get very big in the Gulf.  16" is a nice one with most being not much over 12" when mature.  They stage inshore before heading out. 

    Like sheepshead, stripers, and some other temperate species, they were trapped in the northern part of the Gulf when the last Ice Age ended.  Now they aren't very abundant south of Tampa Bay and are absent in the Keys and South Florida. 

    They were worth a relative fortune when I was fishing up in New England during the early '70's.  We got $2 per pound for them when they were only paying $0.50 for stripers.  They went to Chinese restaurants, where they were the choice for whole fried and steamed fish.  They must resemble another fish that was used in Asia.  The commercial guys just about wiped them out with traps until the fishery was eventually shut down for a while.  They have come back in good numbers and in recent years they have just about eliminated the lobster fishery south of Cape Cod (they eat small lobster).  As a result of climate change, they have invaded the Gulf of Main and are now freaking out the lobster fishermen up there. 

    I really like them and have been known to run out 30-40 miles during the winter to get a couple of buckets of the spawners.  That's a lot of gas, but nothing beats them crispy fried Chinese style.
  • Turner River TerrorTurner River Terror Posts: 7,063 Admiral
    Doc..I see a Big Grant coming your way.
    Cross Breeding BSB to Jewfish. You'd be a Hero the way the BSB breed ..and now the weigh 50 pounds.
    Killin and Grillin :grin
  • capt louiecapt louie citrus countyPosts: 10,096 Moderator
    They were a mainstay of the Apollo head boat along with grunts. Used to be really abundant here in C.river area.
    I caught one up in the intake canal that was over 4lbs easy in the 80's. 
    "You'll get your weather"
  • SlackerSlacker Posts: 1,573 Captain
    Sheepshead and sea bass are not trash fish!
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