Bass – Sea Bass and Bass Groper – Polyprion americanus

Sea Bass - a great eating deepwater species  Bass are very similar in appearance to groper. There are a few…

Sea Bass – a great eating deepwater species

Russel Clarke and Kim Delaney with a huge bass weighing 55kg caught fishing over the Ranfurly Bank, a seamount some 18 miles northeast of East Cape, New Zealand’s North Island. Amazingly this species can grow to twice this weight.

Bass are very similar in appearance to groper. There are a few things to look for to help you tell them apart. Bass has a noticeably larger eye. The lower jaw doesn’t protrude forward like that of the groper. The colour is also slightly different with bass being more of a brown rather than grey.

Differences between Groper and Bass

The main differences between hapuku (groper) and bass are: the lower jaw of the groper juts forward past the upper jaw. The bass also tends to be deeper in the body. Really big fish caught in deep water are more likely to be bass.

According to Arthur W. Parrott in Sea Anglers’ Fishes of New Zealand, the bass can also be distinguished from the groper by having its first dorsal fin not so high, by having the 6th spine of this fin distinctly shorter than the length of the pectoral fin, and by having a deeper body, larger eyes, and larger scales on the body.

You can find bass all around the New Zealand coastline usually in deep water over the 200m mark. The best area to catch this species seems to be off the Bay of Plenty particularly over the deepwater reefs around White Island. More on this species here.

Bass has a noticeably larger eye. The lower jaw doesn’t protrude forward like that of the groper. The colour is also slightly different with bass being more of a brown rather than grey.

Bass is a big fish caught in the very deep water. Only the strongest tackle and fishing gear will do to target them. Usually, 24 kg gear is used – or even heavier. Tie up the same traces with several droppers on 100 kg monofilament as you would use to target groper. On monofilament fishing line you can’t feel a strike deep beneath the boat so use tuna circle long-line type hooks unless using a heavy braided line.

The heaviest bass caught in New Zealand have weighed as much as 150 pounds (68kgs).

Bass are excellent table fish being much like groper to eat.

This post was last modified on 06/02/2018 3:13 am

Share

Recent Posts

Whareakeake Beach Near Dunedin – Spin Fishing for Kahawai

Whareakeake Beach Spin Fishing for Kahawai By Bill Gilmore Whareakeake Beach is a good spot for surfcasting not far from…

11/11/2019

Destination Trout New Zealand by Kent Fraser and Adam Clancey

Destination Trout New Zealand Published in New Zealand, 10 November 2006 by David Bateman Ltd. Dimensions 25.5 x 19 centimetres.…

10/11/2019

Groper – Polyprion oxygeneios – A favourite New Zealand Deep-water Fish

Groper - Polyprion oxygeneios Other names: hapuku (pronounced hapuka) This species is often called Hapuku in the North Island, and groper…

10/11/2019

Al Brown Go Fish – Recipes and Stories from the New Zealand Coast

Al Brown Go Fish - Recipes and Stories from the New Zealand Coast by Al Brown Published: 9 October 2009,…

09/11/2019

Barracouta – Thyrsites atun – Manga – Known as Cook Strait Sailfish

Barracouta -  Thyrsites atun Other names: manga, maka, couta, snoek, Cook Strait Sailfish. If there is one species in New…

18/10/2019

Chapter 7. Dead Drifting Soft Baits – Sea-Run Trout

Chapter 7. Dead Drifting Soft Baits - Sea-Run Trout The Complete Guide to Sea-Run Trout Fishing by Allan Burgess Many…

14/10/2019

All Rights Reserved © fishingmag.co.nz 1999 - 2019