Bass – Sea Bass and Bass Groper – Polyprion americanus

Sea Bass - a great eating deepwater species  Maori name: Moeone Bass are very similar in appearance to groper. There…

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 22/03/2020 5:18 pm

Share
Leave a Comment

Recent Posts

Twizel Canals – Should they be catch and release only?

by Allan Burgess One of the controversies that surround fishing in the Twizel Canals relates to the percentage of trout…

25/09/2020

Hi-Viz Surfcasting Rod Holders Using Reflector Tape

How to make hi-viz rod holders by Allan Burgess Here is an inexpensive way to make your surfcasting rod holders…

25/09/2020

Lake Benmore Trout Fishing – A Week In Paradise By Ken Twyman

Lake Benmore Brass Monkey Trout Fishing Trip By Ken Twyman Update now includes Lake Benmore - Alf Palmer Memorial Fishing…

22/09/2020

Makarora and Wilkin Rivers Lake Wanaka Otago

By Monty Wright Being on holiday Colleen and I woke at a respectable hour. We had stayed overnight at Makarora…

18/09/2020

Harling Lake Dunstan – Best Fly Colours, Line Setups and Harling Tips

by Peter Lemin - Harling Lake Dunstan Part 1 The main angling methods in Lake Dunstan have been trolling as…

18/09/2020

Shadow-Box Trout Flies – How to make your own shadow-box project

by Allan Burgess Making a shadow-box to display your trout flies by hanging them on the wall is a great…

18/09/2020

All Rights Reserved © fishingmag.co.nz 1999 - 2020

Read More