Micropterus punctucatus

Description: The spotted bass is perhaps best described as an "in-between" species. Its mouth is midway in size between that of the largemouth and smallmouth bass. True to its name, the spotted bass has definite spots along its sides beneath the lateral band. The band itself has diamond-shaped blotches along its length. There are twelve rays in the soft dorsal fin and scales lap up onto the fin. Between the spinous and soft ray portions of the dorsal fin, the notch is not as deep as that of the largemouth.

Related Species: largemouth bass; smallmouth bass

Nicknames: spot

Coloration: Coloration is similar to the largemouth bass, but the spotted has rows of small, dark spots on its sides and belly.

Field Marks: The spotted bass resembles a largemouth bass with a smallmouth bass's head and dorsal fin structure.

Habitat: The spotted bass occupies the same sort of environments as its largemouth cousin.

Feeding Habits:  Spotted bass are much like largemouths in their feeding habits.

Comments: The spotted inhabits the Ohio and Mississippi river systems, where it is a popular gamefish. It doesn't achieve the size of its cousins, but it's definitely a worthy opponent.

U.S. Record: 9 lb. 9 oz. 1997; Pine Flat Reservoir, California