We brought in a wonderfull fish as a feature a few weeks back and it was amazing. I’ve seen Wreckfish on sales sheets on and off the past few years and always stayed away from it mostly and ignorantly in favor of a more universally named species. Well, when this same fish is marketed as American Sea Bass we jumped on it. We received large off white filets that were easy to bone out and produced beautiful rectangular portions. The fish cooks up very moist with a large sweet flake. It is like the best attributes of Red Grouper and Chilean Sea Bass. I looked into Wreckfish a bit so let me share what I found.
There are currently only 7 commercial vessels harvesting Wreckfish in the American fishery. All the fresh fish brought to market in the U.S. is caught domestically off the south-east coast. The fishery is completely shut down from the end of January till mid-April allowing the fish to spawn. This makes the Wreckfish fishery a sustainability success story.
Wreckfish and named as such because the often eat and spawn in and around ship wrecks and the aquaculture that surrounds such events. Fishing boats us heavy duty hydraulic reels and cables with multiple hooks usually baited with squid lowered just above the sea floor to catch Wreckfish. There is considered little bycatch among the 7 commercial vessels.
Wreakfish can be found in both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans usually in water depths from 140 feet up to 3000 feet. The upper end of the size range reaches 220 pounds and 6.5 feet long. The fish do migrate but most of the domestic commercial catch comes off the South Carolina coast.
If you have the opportunity to enjoy Wreckfish I highly suggest it. You won’t be disappointed.