Spotted Bass

Appearance

Spotted bass look so much like their largemouth cousins that it can hard to tell them apart even if right next to each other. Spotted bass, like largemouth, have a black stripe that runs laterally across the sides. However, unlike a largemouth, spotted bass have rows of spots beneath that lateral stripe. Moreover, the back of the mouth does not extend past the eye, and they have a patch of small teeth on their tongues that largemouths lack. Spotted bass are lighter in color than smallmouths, often more green and olive colored than bronze.


Maximum Size

Up to 10 pounds (4.5 kg)

Geographic Range

Native to both the Ohio and Mississippi River basin, across the Gulf states from Texas to east Florida and surrounding states. The spotted bass has been introduced in several states elsewhere, including North Carolina, Virginia, and California.

Habitat

bass fishing


Relatively deep pools in medium to large streams and rivers. Spotted bass enjoy faster-flowing current than largemouths, typically avoiding still waters with lots of vegetation.

Life Span

Up to 7 years.

Food

Crayfish and aquatic insects predominately, but will also feed on small fish and flying insects that land on the water.


Reproduction and Spawning

Spotted bass spawn between April and June, doing so in deeper water than both largemouth and smallies, sometimes as deep as 40 feet. Females lay between 1,100 and 47,000 eggs. Males guard the eggs and fry for a short time after they hatch.

Information credit: Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Game & Fish stories delivered right to your inbox every week.