One of my absolute favorite treats from the sea is the Black Sea Bass.  The flesh is firm and lean and the flavor is mild. The fish caught by hook are the best tasting.  I should know my family catches them off the coast of MA, fillets them and prepares them for dinner. (See Scotty’s tip below)

The Black Sea Bass averages 11-12 inches but can grow up to 25 inches.  The fish migrate seasonally.  Heading inshore for late spring through fall then migrating to deeper waters for the winter.

Ocean temperatures in the Northwest Atlantic have been warming and this trend has contributed to a northern expansion of the Black Sea Bass population.

Did you know that each individual fish changes its sex at some point during their life? Usually before six years old.  The mature sea bass will reproduce from mid-May through July.  The eggs float in the ocean until hatched and the larvae are carried into inlets.

Crabs and shrimp are common prey to the Sea Bass. Their predators included bluefish, big nose and dusky shark.

Black Sea Bass


Angling Tips.

·         Black Sea Bass are close to shore during the summer.  You can find them hiding under structures like jetties, peers or rock piles.

·         Crab, fish or squid are good choices for bait.

·         Medium rod (20-30 lbs. mono or braid.  Leader with single hook and weight.

Scotty’s Tip

Pan seared Black Sea Bass with Orange and Fennel

Orange and Fennel Salad


·        Squeeze juice of one orange peel and break apart a second orange peeling off the skin.

·        Toss together one fennel bulb sliced very thin. With thing sliced orange segments

·        Add 1 ½ tsp. champagne vinegar

·        Add 1 ½ tsp. olive oil

·        Add 1 finely minced shallot

·        Sprinkle with 2 tsps. finely chopped parsley or cilantr


Pan Sear Black Sea Bass skin side down on med to medium high heat in 1 1/2 Tablespoon of olive oil 3-4 minutes. Flip fish and add 1 Tablespoon of butter cooking another 2-3 minutes basting the skin with the pan butter that has melted.  Remove fish and place over the tossed together Orange & Fennel Salad.


  Finish with a glass of Champagne and Chocolate Dipped Strawberries and it will be the best Valentine Dinner. LOL   

Lobsters and summer time go together, but… so do Fall and lobsters.  The colder water is a better and safer environment for our crawling friends.  I remember back in the early 80’s just moving in to this sea-fearing town.  The Five Mile River would be filled with large, broad wooden lobster boats.  The back stacked with crates bringing their lobster catch of the day to the dock at Rowayton Seafood Market.  Hundreds of pounds of lobsters weighed and separated for the large tanks inside.  The filtering system for the tanks circulated the water from the river, keeping the lobsters fresh in their custom environment.


Then the industry disappeared.  The lobstermen lobbied that the pesticides used for the mosquito carrying the West Nile Virus was to blame.  Others felt the warming waters were the culprit as the lobsters headed north to the colder water.  Whatever the case, the lobsters were scarce.  The lobster boats were sold, the lobstermen moved on and the river wasn’t quite the same.


But … they returned.  It took seven years to restore the population.  There are new restrictions for harvesting the lobsters.  Only lobsters above the legal minimum size and not carrying eggs are harvested and the time frame to harvest the lobsters has decreased, providing the necessary time to continue to replenish the population.


The warming waters are a problem for the lobsters in the Long Island Sound, scientists say, caused by the climate changing.  Also, the warmer water brings predatory fish like the black bass who prey on the lobsters.


So, cooler waters in the fall in the Long Island Sound make for a perfect environment for our friends

The Atlantic Halibut

The wild Atlantic halibut is the largest of bottom-dwelling flat fish. It lies on it’s left side and it’s mouth gapes back as far as the eyes. The halibut is armed with sharp curved teeth. Our flat friend is low-fat, low-calorie and is a source of selenium and vitamin D. They are lower in omega-3 fatty acids than some of their other fishy friends. Only swordfish, tuna and some of the larger sharks reach a greater size then the halibut. The Gulf of Maine halibut have weighed in as large as 600-700 lbs.

Halibut are fished year-round off the Gulf of Maine. Trawling, hook and line are the primary fishing methods. In state waters there is a minimum size limit of 41 inches for recreational harvest and a limit of five fish per year. The female ovaries of a halibut of 200 pounds carries over 2,000,000.00 eggs. The eggs are buoyant, drifting suspended in depth greater than 30 to 50 fathoms, not at the surface.

Scotty’s Tips:
Grilled Halibut with Mango Salsa
Mango Salsa:
2 cups Plum Tomato seeded and diced
1 ½ cups peeled and diced ripe Mango
½ cup diced Red Onion
½ cup chopped Cilantro
Juice of 2 Fresh Limes squeezed
1 tablespoon of Cider Vinegar
1 teaspoon of sugar
 Combine all ingredients, mixing well and allow to sit refrigerated overnight
or 6-8 hours
Grilling the Halibut
Brush the halibut with Olive Oil and sprinkle with a little salt and a little pepper.
Grill the halibut on medium/high heat for 3 minutes per side or until the halibut flakes easily with a fork. When cooked place on a plate and put a nice spoonful or 2 of the Mango Salsa on top of the Halibut. What a way to Eat.

Catch you in a day or two for your purchase of more halibut to share with your friends


Many anglers consider the Striped Bass to be the premier game 8ish in the Long Island Sound. They are a 8irm, 8laky and mild tasting 8ish. Fishing dusk and dawn provides the best success, also night 8ishing in the heat of the summer. It is all about the bait though. Live eels! The bass migrate in the spring from Virginia/Carolina area to New England waters, then migrate back south in the fall.

Stripers are known for their large mouth and the seven or eight narrow stripes that extend the length of their blueish body. Striped bass can live up to 40 years and can reach weights of 100 pounds. Females are larger then males. A twelve pound female can produce up to 850,000 eggs. A female weighing 50 pounds can produce 4,200,000 eggs!!

In Connecticut, an angler is permitted one 8ish that must be 28 inches long. Fisherman may not sell their catch directly to a 8ish market . Fish are tagged and accounted for.

Scotty’s tip

Block Island Striped Bass Recipe

Dredge the bass 8ilet in 8lour, seasoned with salt and pepper Pan sauté skin-side down in melted butter 3-4 minutes Flip over and fry another 3-4 minutes Drain liquid, add capers, juice of 1 lemon and 1/2 cup white wine, 2 tbs butter Simmer another 5 minutes Remove 8ish to plate and drizzle remaining sauce over the 8ish Garnish with fresh chopped parsley, a lemon wedge and Enjoy!

Bluefish is a sustainable, inexpensive East Coast local catch.  The Long Island sound is packed with them during the summer months.  The fish is a bit of a nuisance, as they will bite the lures meant for their swimming buddies, the striped bass.


They are a strong-muscled fish and they will put up a fight while trying to reel them in, which is why fisherman, who love to sport fish (and we do) seek them out.  The bluefish muscles translate into flavor when cooked.


Then why don’t you see bluefish on every local summer menu?  because bluefish have a bad rap.  They have the reputation of being oily and unpleasant, which is true if the fish isn’t fresh, fresh, fresh.  Non-oily fish can sit for a few days without a problem, but bluefish must be absolutely fresh to enjoy.  That’s why at Rowayton Seafood Market, we only carry the freshest selection or they taste gamey.  Smaller fish, with fillets weighting 6 – 8 ounces will have the sweetest flesh.


Bluefish are delicious and succulent when grilled with a squeeze of lemon to cut the richness.  They will also stand up to big flavors like chiles, ginger and garlic.


The local fishermen are feeling blue, bluefish that is.  With a hand line and a lure the anglers are catching off the surface, fish ranging from four to twelve pounds.  So, haste makes waste!  Catch yourself a blue, or head down to see Scotty at the market, and he’ll hook you up.


Send us a photo of your catch, and we will be sure to post it!


Scotty’s Tip:

Soak fillets in milk or buttermilk for several hours before preparing to remove oils and fishy smell. Then simple grill, bake or pan sear.

Bluefish St. Germaine



 4 Bluefish Filet de-boned

1 1/2 Cup of Sour cream

2 Red onion thinly sliced

Italian seasoned Bread Crumbs


In Baking dish place Bluefish skin side down

Layer top of bluefish with thin sliced red onions

cover onions with Sour Cream liberally

Coversour cream with Italian Style Bread Crumbs


Bake 375 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes