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Spotted Bass

Species Information

Scientific Name:Micropterus punctulatus
Environment:Lake, River, Stream
Ideal Temp:70-78°F (21-26°C)
Technique:Casting, Fly, Jigging, Trolling
Lure Type:Crankbaits, Flies, Jigs, Plugs, Soft Plastics, Spinnerbaits, Spoons, Topwater, Trolling
World Record:4.71 kg (10 lb 6 oz) New Bullards Bar Reservoir, California, USA 12-Jan-2015
Other Names:spotted bass, Spotted Black Bass, Kentucky Bass, spots bass, spotty bass, spot bass

The spotted bass (Micropterus punctulatus), also called spotty, or spots in various fishing communities, is a species of freshwater fish of the sunfish family (Centrarchidae) of the order Perciformes. One of the black basses, it is native to the Mississippi River basin and across the Gulf states, from central Texas through the Florida panhandle. Its native range extends into the western Mid-Atlantic states and it has been introduced into western North Carolina and Virginia. It has also been introduced to southern Africa, where it has become established in some isolated waters. It is often mistaken for the similar and more common largemouth bass.

A convenient way to distinguish between a largemouth bass and a spotted bass is by the size of the mouth. A spotted bass will resemble a largemouth bass in coloration but will have a smaller mouth.

M. punctulatus can reach an overall length of almost 64 cm (25 in), reaching weights of up to 5.2 kg (11 lb). It can reach an age of at least seven years. It is noted for the rows of dark spots below the lateral line, which give it its common name.

Preferring cool and warm mountain streams and reservoirs with rocky bottoms, the spotted bass feeds on insects, crustaceans, frogs, annelid worms, and smaller fish.

In 2010, the scientific community officially recognized a separate subspecies of spotted bass, native to the Tallapoosa and Coosa Rivers, and their lakes. This species is commonly known as the "Alabama spotted bass" (M. henshalli) and known locally as the "Coosa spotted bass", not to be confused with the "red-eye Coosa bass" found in northeast Georgia.

The Alabama spotted is highly prized as a gamefish and average size is much larger than the more common Kentucky spotted bass. The current record spotted bass, caught in pine Flat Lake, California, weighed 10.27 lb.

Latest Spotted Bass Fishing Reports and Spots

January 28th Guntersville bass fishing report. - 1/28/2023 11:22:37 PM

2023 is looking like it's going to be a phenomenal year at guntersville. There is an abnormally large group of fish in the lake over 5 pou (View)

January 14th Guntersville fishing report - 1/14/2023 11:33:15 AM

This is the year we have been waiting on. Guntersville has been full of 3-5 pounders the last couple of years but early 2023 fish catches are (View)

January 7th Guntersville fishing report. - 1/7/2023 10:29:11 AM

Current is the key to excellent fishing on the tennesee river and we have plenty of it right now. As the week has progressed the fishing has g (View)

New Year’s Day guntersville fishing report - 1/1/2023 4:17:48 PM

Wow!!! If this is an indication of what to expect in 2023 guntersville is going to be spectacular. It was 72 degrees and we caught them on eve (View)

Christmas Eve Guntersville fishing report - 12/24/2022 9:24:39 AM

Wow!!! What a year it has been. We have averaged over 30 bass landed per day in 2022 compared to 18 a day in 2017. That illustrates how gunter (View)

November 30th Guntersville fishing report. - 11/30/2022 10:24:50 AM

The bass fishing at guntersville this November was as good as I have ever seen it. Guntersville is a huge and dynamic lake and it's not ea (View)

November 18th Guntersville bass fishing report - 11/18/2022 7:52:33 AM

Wintertime fishing at guntersville lake. This week we have seen the water temps drop into the 50s which has put these fish into their winter p (View)

November 4th Guntersville bass fishing report - 11/4/2022 2:17:42 PM

The unusually mild weather is yielding excellent fishing so far this month and I expect that to continue. The first day of the Toyota series c (View)

October 26th Guntersville bass fishing report - 10/26/2022 9:00:36 AM

October has been absolutely spectacular. We averaged around 40 fish caught per day and tons of big fish were caught including a 10.1. As the w (View)

October 12th Guntersville bass fishing report. - 10/13/2022 9:29:17 AM

The big fish showed up this week. Our numbers have been great for a while but this week our best 5 fish each day was over 20lbs. Our biggest f (View)