Black rockfish

The Black Rockfish (Sebastes melanops) is known by names like the black bass, black seaperch, black rock cod, sea bass, black snapper, and the Pacific Ocean perch. Many people mistake Black Rockfish for Red Snapper, but they are totally different.


Black Rockfish has a compressed body with a large mouth and a dorsal fin with spines. These spines are dangerous as they look because they are venomous. Black Rockfish can grow up to 69 cm in length and weigh up to 5 kilos, with female fish growing larger in size and weight.

Black Rockfish are usually gray and black in color with dark spots or stripes on the spinous dorsal fin. They are characterized by a large mouth, spiky venomous dorsal fin, and bass-shaped body.

Habitat and Lifestyle

Black Rockfish is mainly and commonly found in the northeastern Pacific Ocean down to the coasts of Southern California. They mostly dwell in rocky and coral reefs at depths up to 366 meters. One fun fact is that this fish likes water bodies where currents are strong or rough!

Black Rockfish are predator fish that eats almost everything. They mainly feed on small fishes, planktons, jellyfish, crabs, crustaceans, larvae, mollusks, and even squids and octopuses.

Did you know Black Rockfish eat their young!

Finding and Catching

This fish can be caught from an inflatable boat or kayak.

Black Rockfish can be found in water bodies having rocky or coral reefs with high currents. They dwell in shallow waters with depths up to 366 meters.

One can fish Black Rockfish from a shore, but you just need to ensure the area is rocky enough and the wind is low.

You can also take your boat to Alaska and fish huge Black Rockfish!

Peak Season

The best time to catch Black Rockfish is between April and December.

Best Bait

Best Baits to catch Black Rockfish are:

  • Anchovies
  • Sardines
  • Squid
  • Octopus