Spotted Bass Fishing

The spotted bass also known as the Kentucky Spotted Bass or the Spotted Black Bass is a species of freshwater fish that belongs to the sunfish family of the Perciformes family. This type of fish is native to the Mississippi River basin as well as across the Gulf States, starting from central Texas throughout the Florida panhandle. It was introduced also to the eastern part of North Carolina as well as the Virginia state. Later on it was further introduced into Africa where it is now established in several isolated waters. The spotted bass fish is frequently confused with the largemouth bass which is why people have to know that the most solid way to differentiate them is by their mouth size, the spotted bass has a smaller mouth in comparison to the largemouth, quite like the mouth of the smallmouth bass species.

The spotted bass fish is nowadays recognized as a distinct single species with three different subspecies. The two most usual subspecies are known as the northern spotted bass (often referred to as the Kentucky spotted bass) as well as the Alabama or “Coosa” spotted bass.  The latter subspecies is originated to the Coosa River drainage area in Alabama and in some parts of Georgia, and they have been shown to be genetically different from the other black basses including the spotted bass.  In the near future, it is very probable that the Alabama spotted bass may be separated as a distinct species, but in the present there is only a single species of spotted bass recognized (Micropterus punctulatus).

The spotted bass fishes have a somewhat similar coloration in comparison to a largemouth bass. Both of them have a black stripe that extends laterally down the side of the body instead of the vertical bars of a smallmouth bass. Both spotted and largemouth bass are also lighter colored in comparison to the smallmouth bass with more of a green or silvery background color instead of the bronze or brown color of a smallmouth bass. The spotted bass have rows of spots on their lower sides below the dark lateral stripe, these are faint or absent on largemouth bass.

This type of fish can reach an overall length of about 25 inches (64 centimeters) and can reach a maximum weight of 10 lb (4.6 kg). Their life span is around 6 years but there are fish that can live up to 7-8 years. They have an irregular pattern of shaped dark spots on its upper body – this is where the fish got its name from. The spotted bass enjoys the warm and cool mountain streams as well as reservoirs with rocky bottoms and they prefer eating frogs, insects, smaller fish, annelid worms and crustaceans.

The vast majority reaches full maturity within a year; spotted bass located in spawning areas are usually three to four years old. Gravel and rock are in most cases chosen as suitable spawning areas at water temperatures of 54 up to 74 Fahrenheit degrees. The depths of the nests may vary widely upon location. The female spotted bass lay between 1,150 up to 47,000 eggs and the males guard them during the incubation period and four weeks after they have hatched.

While they are young, they enjoy eating zooplankton and then they switch to insects and at last, fish and crayfish. This type of fish can usually be found in areas with more current than largemouth bass and in most cases they inhabit within warm and turbid areas. Although in comparison with the largemouth bass they are not as large or numerous, they can prove to be quite excellent fighters making them very popular in the eastern part of Texas especially in the Cypress Rivers, Neches as well as Sabine.

Luring the spotted bass should not be that hard if the fishermen uses a light to ultra-light reels, rods as well as lines as they rarely get bigger than 3 pounds or so. Some efficient flies for catching spotted bass are leeches, baitfish patterns, nymphs or poppers/terrestrials in the evening when they become more active on the surface.

It is wise to know that the spotted bass have a remarkable sense of smell which is why professional fishermen recommend that using hand creams or soaps with odors should be avoided at all costs. Another important aspect to know is that the spotted bass spooks out very fast which is why extra attention should be given when approaching the water. Noises inside the boat should be brought down to a minimum because otherwise, the bass will swim for his life. Another important aspect which should be avoided is large shadows on the water. Fishermen recommend using the smallest line possible in order to reduce visibility, like an 8-lb test.

The spotted bass are more often caught in deeper waters in comparison to the largemouth bass and are more inclined to school. They usually are caught from streams, sharing stringers with green sunfish and smallmouth bass.