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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

Lake Greenwood Fishing Report October 20th 2023 - 10/20/2023 9:25:30 AM

Returning client Mr. Lee Beck and crew from right here in Greenwood SC had a table full! A nice mixed bag of stripers spotted bass and catfish. (View)

Lake Greenwood Fishing Report October 8th 2023 - 10/8/2023 1:13:13 AM

Don from Greenwood SC with a nice spotted bass. The fall feeding frenzy is here. Let’s get you out on the water too. By Fishing Guide Josh Wils (View)

Lake Greenwood Fishing Report August 20th 2023 - 8/20/2023 9:27:22 AM

August 20- Ashton Wilson from Laurens with a nice spotted bass. The cooler temperature at night have the fish schooling in the early morning ho (View)

“Bass Sense-ations: The Secrets to Baiting Bass Using Their Senses” - 7/7/2023 9:45:09 PM

Bass fish rely on their sensory experiences to navigate their environment and locate prey. Understanding how they perceive their surroundings c (View)

Lures that Imitate the Blueback Herring - 6/29/2023 12:09:21 PM

This article discusses how blueback herring have been introduced into various river systems in the Southeast. Spotted bass feed on these fast-m (View)

Guides for other species of fish on Lake Lanier? - 5/15/2023 8:08:38 AM

There are several species of fish on Lake Lanier for sport and recreation fishing. While Jimbo seeks spotted bass it certainly isn’t for everyo (View)

The Spotted Bass Guy - 6/12/2023 7:59:17 AM

Jimbo has spent thirteen years studying the art of catching spotted bass. Whether you’re a seasoned angler looking to dominate in tournaments o (View)

Smallmouth Bass vs. Spotted Bass - 6/16/2023 11:18:40 PM

Spotted bass and smallmouth bass are two different species of black bass that share many similarities but also have some notable differences. C (View)

What type of fishing do you specialize in and what kind of fish can I expect to catch on Lake Lanier? - 5/31/2023 1:34:21 PM

What can you catch while fishing in Lake Lanier? Although Jimbo specializes in catching Spotted Bass he also targets largemouth bass during spe (View)

What do Spotted Bass Eat? - 6/5/2023 9:32:59 AM

Spotted Bass the cunning predators they are boast a diverse diet. This variety stems from the abundance of prey within their habitats. Let’s ex (View)