Spotted Bass

Spotted bass live in fresh waters from Texas to Florida. They are also found in the Mississippi River. Anglers enjoy targeting these fish using various methods, including drift fishing, bait casting, fly fishing, and drift fishing.

Spotted Bass

Region: South
Habitat: Lake, Pond

How to identify Spotted Bass

Spotted bass have a propensity to interbreed with other bass species making identifying a pure-strain challenging. They are also often mistaken for other black bass species including largemouths and smallmouths due to similarities in appearance. There are several defining characteristics to look for when identifying spotted bass.

The most defining characteristic that identifies a spotted bass is a prominent row of black spots or blotches extending horizontally from the back of the gills to the caudal fin. Neither largemouth nor smallmouth bass have spots along the flank as pronounced as those on a spotted bass.

spotted bass identification diagram

Below the lateral line, along the lower flank, spotted bass typically have many spots. Largemouth bass have few or no spots below the lateral line, and smallmouth bass will often have striation or blotches reaching nearly to the belly.

The first and second dorsal fins on a spotted bass are clearly connected. This is a dead giveaway that you don’t have a largemouth bass. And where the mouth on a largemouth bass extends past the back of the eye, the mouth of the spotted bass extends to the middle of the eye.

Another feature unique to spotted bass is a dark tooth patch on the center of the tongue and rough patches on the teeth.

Average adult spotted bass are 10—15 inches long and weight 1—3 pounds, but they can grow up to 24 inches and weigh over 8 pounds.

  • Horizontal row of black spots along flank
  • Shallow notch between spiny and soft dorsal fins
  • Mouth does not extend beyond the rear of the eye
  • Dark tooth patch on center of the tongue
  • Dark lateral line extending from gills to tail fin

Spotted bass average 10—15 inches long and 1—3 pounds.

Where to catch Spotted Bass

The spotted bass is a freshwater fish that is native to the Mississippi River and along the Gulf of Mexico from Texas to Florida. They are found in basin and rivers, from Mississippi south to the Florida panhandle, and west to Texas. This includes the states of Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama. In Oklahoma, the Wichita spotted bass can be found only in West Cache creek.

Range: South
Spotted Bass

The following are habitats where you can catch Spotted Bass:

How to catch Spotted Bass

Spotted bass are usually in waters from 40-70 feet deep. They can be caught using several different methods, such as drift fishing, bait casting, fly fishing, and drift fishing. Anglers view this as an enjoyable fish to catch as it can put up a decent fight once it is hooked. Since these fish aren’t that heavy, a light-medium spinning rod is all that is required.

The following are effective fishing methods and techniques for catching Spotted Bass:

Best Lures, Bait & Tackle to catch Spotted Bass

Plastic worms are good artificial bait, as are crankbaits and jerk baits. Bass fishing rigs are also effective for catching Spotted bass.

The following are fishing lures, bait and tackle that can be used to catch Spotted Bass: