One of the really great things to see out here in Southern California are the Giant Sea Bass. These huge fish, swim lazily in the water, moving slowing with long casual flicks of their tail. Often easily recognizable by their size and large black spots, they were over fished in the 1950’s and 60’s making them also an elusive find these days. After protection laws were put in place and fishing stopped the Giant Sea Bass has been making a come back.
Every time we dive certain sites, like Goat Harbor, we’re told that the Sea Bass typically can be found there. These days I am often with students and end up in the sandy shallows away from the deeper water the fish enjoy, and up until Saturday I had not had been lucky enough to glimpse one of these large fish.
Saturday we went out with Eco Dive Center on the Bat Ray to clean up parts of the wreck of the Star of Scotland in Santa Monica Bay. I was filming the group as they searched for fishing line, old lures, trash, discarded nets and more and removed them carefully to help make the wreck a cleaner and safer dive site. This wreck is also known to be home to several Giant Sea Bass, so once again I was hopeful. Towards the end of the dive, such hope was rewarded. I happened upon the whole school of GSB!! Unfortunately I didn’t get a great picture, and didn’t get too close to one, but check out the shot below. I count 10. Yep 10 just hanging out about 10 feet above the wreck! Love it. No spots on these guys, the biggest was only about 4-5ft, the rest around 3-4ft, but still an awesome sight!