Guadalupe Bass Fishing

The Guadalupe bass (Micropterus treculii) is the state fish of Texas also known as the Guadalupe Black Bass. “Micropterus” is a Greek word meaning “small fin” and is in fact an unfortunate misnomer born from an injured type specimen which made it look like the posterior rays of the soft dorsal fin formed a small separate fin. The word “treculi” stands for Trecul which was the French compatriot of Bocourt and Vaillant. As a matter of fact, Trecul caught the specimen.

This type of fish is in most cases generally green in color and can be easily distinguished from other similar species found in the Texas area as well as the surroundings by the fact that it does not have vertical bars like the smallmouth bass has and unlike the largemouth bass, its jaw does not extend beyond the eyes. Another difference this time in comparison with the spotted bass is that the Guadalupe bass coloration extends much lower on the body.

Due to the reason that this type of fish does not adapt to small streams, they usually do not grow to large sizes in comparison with other basses. But a propensity for fast-flowing waters along with their capacity of utilizing this fast water to suit their advantage when they are hooked, make from the Guadalupe bass, a very desirable sport fish species. For the same reason of preferring small streams, it enhances their allure to anglers mainly due to the natural setting where the small streams are quite often found. Guadalupe bass specimens exceeding 3, 5 pounds have been found in the Texas area.

Both the male and female Guadalupe bass reach full sexual maturity at the age of one and spawning begins in March, continuing through May and sometimes June. There is a small possibility for a second spawn, usually in late summer or even early fall. Just like all the other black basses, the Guadalupe builds gravel nests for spawning purposes, preferably in rather shallow waters. Similar to the smallmouth and the spotted bass, the male Guadalupe has the tendency to build nests with higher flow rates in comparison with the largemouth bass.

After male will successfully attract a female to the nest, she will lay from 400 to a whopping 9,000 eggs. After that, the female is chased away and the male will stand guard over the incubating eggs. After the hatching occurs, fry feed on invertebrates and switch to piscivory as they grow older. The very young fish along with the older adults have the tendency to eat more invertebrates in comparison to the largemouth bass. Another difference when comparing to the largemouth is that the young Guadalupe have the tendency to eat more fish.

As far as their habitat is concerned, they can be found in flowing waters, different from the largemouth bass which prefers quiet waters. This type of fish is found only in Texas which is why it was named the official state fish. It is endemic to the northern and eastern parts of the Edwards Plateau, and here we include the headwaters of the San Antonio River, the Guadalupe River above Gonzales, the Colorado River north of Austin, and several portions of the Brazos River drainage. Small populations can be found outside of the Edwards Plateau, mainly in the lower parts of the Colorado River. Populations of Guadalupe bass have been introduced in the Nueces River systems.

This type of fish along with the other “black bass”, and here we include the spotted bass, smallmouth and the largemouth bass, is not a true bass at all but it is however a distinct member of the Centrarchiade sunfish family.