It is more likely that you have heard of wreckfish, otherwise known as stone bass, by visiting a local restaurant than by reading about local gamefish when heading offshore in Georgia, South Carolina, or North Carolina. These fish are a little-known secret but require specialized equipment to catch. What exactly is a wreckfish. 

How Do You Identify A Wreckfish

The stone bass lives in profoundly deep water; therefore, it is unlikely to be confused with another fish. 

To identify a wreckfish, look for black or brown colored fins, silver stomach and sides, grey-colored back, massive mouth, and head.

Stone bass grows exceptionally large. They exceed two hundred pounds but most often range between 30 and 70 pounds. 

Is A Wreckfish The Same As A Grouper

The wreckfish is unrelated to the grouper family. Although it spends its time on the bottom of the ocean bed much like the grouper, the two are not related. 

Where Are Wreckfish Found

The wreckfish has a vast range in the western portions of the Atlantic Ocean. The fish extends as far south as Argentina and up to Newfoundland, Canada.

Stone Bass are a deep water species where they live on the bottom of the sea between 150 feet to over 3,000 feet. Stone bass prefer steep dropoffs, reefs, and rocky bottoms. Anglers require specialized fishing equipment, including deep drop electric fishing rods and reels to reach Stone Bass. 

What Is The Main Diet Of A Wreckfish

The fish eats a wide range of species. These include crustaceans, squid, and a fish called a cuttlefish. The diet of any fish has a significant factor in the quality of the fillets produced and served. 

How Do You Catch Wreckfish

What is most important is understanding where most wreckfish are caught. The offshore waters of South Carolina and particularly the city of Charleston, are the most well known for catching stone bass. 

The boat must be equipped with electrical connections for deep drop combinations. Locate hard bottoms, reefs, or areas with shelter for stone bass. 

Drop a multi-hook rig equipped with a light, bait, and lead heavy enough to hold the bottom. The bait can include squid, mullet, or discards of fish caught while trolling. 

Pay close attention to the tip of the rod and reel up by pushing the button when the bait is hit. However, remember that the fish is subject to closed seasons. Remember to purchase a license and ensure that the fish is open for harvesting. 

Is Wreckfish Good Eating

Wreckfish is a delicious tasting fish which is why it is in high demand in restaurants across the nation. 

The fish is mild with a sweet flavor as a result of its crustacean-rich diet. Expect large tender flakes once the fish is cooked through, which can be prepared in many ways. Remember, the wreckfish must be seasoned minimally because of the delicious natural flavor. One of the most popular cooking methods includes grilling wreckfish

It is no wonder why the stone bass is harvested commercially. The taste and texture are a delicacy for fish connoisseurs. 

Is Wreckfish High In Mercury

The wreckfish can live up to 70 years of age. As a result, the fish which are aging are prone to high levels of mercury. It is best to consume fish in moderation to avoid ingesting excessive mercury. 

Are You Heading Offshore To Catch Stone Bass

While the stone bass is certainly tasty, heading offshore to catch the fish is challenging. Boats must be equipped to handle long runs and rough seas to reach the deep water they live in. In addition, electric rods and reels are a necessity. When you are geared up and ready to go, head out to rocks, reefs, or other structures for your chance at catching a wreckfish.