I recently caught a 3 pound 4 oz spotted bass at Lake Ozarks, MO. You’re absolutely right, thanks for pointing that out. If you’re more prone to fishing for smallmouth you’ll want to head to cooler waters. You’ll also want to pay attention to size, number and location of body markings, stripes or blotches. It’s a question I certainly grappled with in my early beginnings of the sport long before online databases were ever a thing. Replied on November 7, 2019 They’re both great fighters, and are sure to put your angling skills to the test. The smallmouth bass was first described in the early 19th century and has since then been divided into two subspecies; the Northern and the Neosho (though no one actually breaks it down this much in the fishing world). Before we get to the differences between Spotted Bass and Largemouth Bass, let’s cover a few common facts about them. The biggest recorded weight for a smallmouth was 12 pounds at 27 inches, for a spotted it’s 10.27 pounds. Both have soft-rayed dorsal fins with notches between them while the base of both their dorsal and anal fins have small scales too. Furthermore, there are a few extra things to consider. Hopefully, at the end, you’ll finally be able to tell your bass apart. Silver and white in appearance, often with dark horizontal lines down their sides, bass stand out from other fish of a more colorful variety. Thanks again! On a Largemouth, the jaw is longer, and it does reach past the eye line. Spotted Bass like clear waters, and you can often find them out in the open. Fishing in San Antonio – Your Complete Guide. Aug 19, 2019. Smallmouth bass build spawning nests within 150 yards of last year’s nest. Spotted bass primarily relate to structure while largemouth bass primarily relate to … The region where you’ve caught the bass could be a massive giveaway too – especially considering some are more prevalent in certain waters than others. … The spotted, by comparison, tends to have blotches on its body rather than bars, with its lower lateral scales forming horizontally orientated stripes. The jaw on a Spotted Bass does not extend past the eye line. Tadpoles, fish, and crayfish tend to make up most of the dietary requirements of the smallmouth. Thanks again! Spotted Bass don’t always have red eyes, but they can. Migrations for the smallmouth can often be up to 12 miles a day and generally hover around 60 miles in total. Smallmouth Bass Fishing Tips. Hope you catch a bunch of them this fall. Today the name Mean Mouth Bass is more commonly referred to as the offspring of a Smallmouth Bass (Micropterus dolomieu) and a Spotted Bass (Micropterus punctulatus). Sometimes, you won’t be able to recognize each of these features as clearly as you’d like. Gear selection is another keen consideration you’ll also want to make when going after either type of fish. They’re a lot quicker to take a lure when they’re bedding, too. Using this quick guide, you’ll be able to tell a Spotty from a Largemouth in no time. They can also be found in reservoirs and gently flowing streams. Usually in gravel, sandy or rocky bottomed lakes and rivers. Then there are slightly nuanced advantages; like better understanding a particular species’ behavior, or helping contribute to an ecological study of the area you fish. They are beautiful fish and fun to catch in the fall period! Your turn. Largemouth generally keep to shallower waters, and don’t care much for water clarity. Regionally speaking, spotted bass are commonly found in the Ohio and Mississippi river basins but can also be seen in Gulf Coast states, particularly Texas. Another significant feature of the smallmouth is the three dark bars on its cheek, with about eight to sixteen lateral bars running the length of its body. Thanks for the rundown on Spotted Bass & Largemouth. Knowing the difference between the species you catch is important for a couple of reasons. Spotted Bass, on the other hand, only live six years. Sometimes I can’t tell them apart. Due to their predatory nature, bass, unlike all fish, also have sharp serrated teeth. Spots remain active during winter time, while Largemouth tend to slow down when the water temperatures drop. When telling Spotted Bass and Largemouth Bass apart, there are several key features that you should look at. Both species’ upper jaws differ slightly where the smallmouth’s jaw fails to reach past its eye while the spotted runs up to the middle of the pupil. After discussing appearance it’s useful to look at the regions you’ll commonly find both species in and the types of habitats both frequent. In conclusion both these species, given their similar behavior and size, can be a lot of fun to catch for both beginners and the more experienced alike. The cheek scales on a Spotted Bass are usually much smaller than those on the rest of their body. Likewise, males build a nest and guard the eggs. Most often found in areas where there is a water current, they also fit into a niche environment that’s generally warmer and more turbid than that lived in by small and largemouth species. Spotted Bass and Largemouth Bass are not only exciting game for anglers, they’re also considered good eating fish, too. There you have it – now you know how to tell if your catch is Spotted Bass vs. Largemouth Bass. Dorsal fin connected. All rights reserved. This is one of the more difficult differences to spot, but it is there. Yes, the difference between Spotted and Largemouth Bass can be tricky to spot sometimes. Anglers preferring a heavier catch might just edge toward the smallmouth too, given that they tend to be slightly heavier and longer on average. Here I hope to make it all a little clearer by breaking down the common differences. When telling Spotted Bass and Largemouth Bass apart, there are several key features that you should look at. That’s when you’ll take a look at the spots, or the jaw, or any of the other features we mentioned.
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