BASS, GIANT SEA
The Giant Sea Bass and its close relative the Jewfish are the giants of the bass family. Despite its great size, the Giant Sea Bass is an inhabitant of near-shore waters, particularly over hard, rocky bottoms and around kelp beds. The most important prey items of the Giant Sea Bass are sting rays, skates, lobster, crabs, various flatfish, small sharks, mantis shrimp, blacksmith, ocean whitefish, red crab, sargo, sheephead, octopus, squid and an occasional kelp bass or barred sand bass. Giant Sea Bass are not built for sustained speed, and the vast majority of their prey are organisms that live on the bottom.
Giant Sea Bass start out life as a brightly colored orange juvenile with large black spots. As the fish grows it loses the orange coloration and takes on a bronzy purple hue. The spots slowly fade as the fish gets larger and darker, with large adults appearing solid black to gray with a white underside. As with its close relatives, the Groupers, Giant Sea Bass are capable of rapid and dramatic color changes. Large fish retain the ability to display large black spots, and can take on a bicolor appearance (light below, dark above), assume white mottling, or simply change from jet black to light gray. As implied by the name, the single most dramatic feature of giant sea bass is their large size. Giant Sea Bass reaching a size of 2.5 m (8.2 ft) and a weight of up to 255 kg (562 lbs) have been reported.
Fishing methods are live or dead bait fishing from an anchored or drifting boat with large natural baits. Fishing is best in the 10 to 25 fathom range. Giant Sea Bass don't have any teeth to cut the line so catching them is only the question of having the right tackle.
In the eastern North Pacific, its range is from Humboldt Bay, California, to the Gulf of California, Mexico, most common from Point Conception southward. It usually stays in relatively shallow water, near kelp forests, drop-offs, or rocky bottoms and sand or mudflats.