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A Guide To Florida Fishing:
Sea Bass, Rock Bass or Blackfish
More Fishing Articles
Florida need not give way to any section of the United States for the sport offered anglers seeking the Channel or Sea Bass. Here ideal facilities are offered for taking these game individuals, largely responsible for the tremendous popularity of late of surf casting. Actually within the limits of Florida coast cities fine catches of this species have been recorded. In no event would one have to travel but a few miles from his house, apartment or hotel to avail himself of one of the finest day's fishing within one's experience or expectations.
Channel Bass are familiarly known locally as: Sea Bass, Redfish, Drum, Spot, and are caught in the inlets, lagoons, flats, cuts, as well as in the surf. The smaller ones will take live bait, cut-bait, crabs, clams, sometimes biting plugs, spoons, etc., while the larger ones frequent the surf and ordinarily prefer cut mullet, menhaden, shrimp, and crabs.
Of grayish hue, with iridescent or opalescent sides which shade to a bronze reddish on the back; the larger the fish the more reddish the appearance. Usually, if not always, at the base of the tail appears a black spot (sometimes two, three, or more), about as large as the fish's eye.
Locally the species would average 6 to 20 pounds. However, it is not unusual for sportsmen to bring them in weighing up to 55 pounds. Record catch: 74 pounds.
Tackle and methods: A regulation surf casting rod, Calcutta cane preferred, with a 250-yard free spool surf reel and at least 100 yards of 15 thread linen line should be used with either 7/0 or 8/0 O'Shaughnessy hook. Fresh-cut silver mullet or menhaden is the usual bait.
Other suggestions: The most frequent catches of this fish are made in the late Summer and Fall after a strong northeast blow. They bite better then and are at their gamest.