According to Cap'n Ed Ries, the old salt who taught me to fish California waters, Giant Black Seabass used to be so plentiful, the Victorians would catch 300+ pounders by the dozen from the piers using bamboo poles, catgut line, and dragless, gearless reels.
These fish live for hundreds of years, but spawn only infrequently. Now they are so rare as to be entirely protected in California waters, though they can be taken in Baja.
Occasionally one of the kayakers here will hook a monster Black Seabass and let it take them on a 10 or 15 mile ride. The only Black Seabass I ever caught was a 1/2-lb juvenile in San Diego Bay. The Scripps Aquarium in La Jolla has a young, 200 lb'er in the kelp-forest tank.
2004 Buick Lesabre Limited, Gran Touring; Bone Stock
1998 Buick Lesabre Limited, Gran Touring; Mods: Poly sway bushings/endlinks, Tru-Cool trans cooler, Thrasher shift kit (med), PLIM, front PEM; Mods in progress: Alot of stuff, but slowly...