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The Return of The Giant Black Sea Bass

Updated: Apr 12, 2020

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. However, in Charles F. Holder's book The Channel Islands of California, published in 1910, the author claims specimens taken from the Gulf of California attained 800 lb (360 kg). Aside from its tremendous size, the giant sea bass is also known for its lengthy lifespan. They mature around the age of 11 or 12, around the weight of 50 lb. However, some of the largest specimens have been known to exceed 7 ft, and are estimated to be 75 years or older.

Giant sea bass were once a relatively common inhabitant of Southern California waters, yet in the 1980s, it was facing the threat of local extinction off the California coast. Beginning in the late 19th century, the species supported both a commercial fishery taking hundreds of thousands of pounds annually, and a sport fishery that also landed hundreds of fish each year. Due to this, the sightings of these majestic animals has been far and few between. However, in recent years the population of giant black sea bass in the Casino Point Dive park has exploded. The Casino Point Dive park is a key feature unlike any other in southern California.  A protected area of coastline that is absent of boat traffic thanks to a barrier created by a series of buoys and floating line. Because of this barrier and protections, giant black sea bass have been making the park one of their local favorites.

The best way to ensure an underwater sighting of these gentle giants, schedule a guided dive, freedive, and/or discover scuba dive tour with one of our elite instructors. Some months their numbers are so high, you may even be able to spot a couple on a guided snorkel tour.

To guarantee a longer more intimate experience with these magnificent creatures, good diving skills are a must. Every diver should continue their education no matter their experience level. Catalina Scuba offers a wide range of scuba diving courses and tours, freediving diving courses, and professional courses. If you are already certified as an open water diver and want to increase your skills, the PADI Advanced Open Water diver course is a great place to start. However, if you're not certified our experienced and helpful instructor staff are waiting to blow your mind. Our instructors can taka you through every step of the process to complete your entire SCUBA course instruction on Catalina Island. We offer a wide variety of specialty courses to prepare you for your next diving adventure and goals. Check out our navigation, peak performance buoyancy, dry suit, deep diver, enriched air Nitrox, and self-reliant diver specialties.

If you're looking for a challenge, check out our PADI Rescue Diver course. Every diver should take this course to learn self rescue techniques, as well as life saving techniques on others. This course will truly take you diving skills to the next level. Ramp up your skills today, and come join us and our giant black sea bass for the dive of your life.

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