You want to look at their stomach. Juveniles have dark band at the edge of the caudal fin, but lack the 3-colored pattern of Smallmouth and Spotted Bass. Spotted bass also remain active all year, but largemouth slow down during the winter months. Smallmouth are often known as “Brown Bass,” while Largemouth are nicknamed “Green Bass.” In reality, though, both fish can vary in color depending on their age, location, and a bunch of other factors. , Your email address will not be published. Though there are three recognized spotted bass subspecies – Northern, Alabama and Wichita – I’m told the spotted bass in Lake Norman are from the northern or “Kentucky” spotted bass lineage. You’ve got the Northern Largemouth and the Florida Largemouth. Your knowledge is not in the top tier, but still pretty dang good! Most experienced anglers can differentiate between Spotted Bass vs. Largemouth Bass just from the fishing season alone. Largemouth Bass have an average life span of around 16 years. Northern largemouth are likely what you’re used to seeing, and these are your standard largemouth bass that should fit the description of what we’ve been talking about so far throughout this article. The largemouth bass vs. spotted bass debate can go on all day, and we can pick out each little detail. Largemouth bass do not have these and generally just have a plain white stomach. Over time bass evolve to meet the needs of their new environments. The International Gamefish Association says spotted bass are a species of black bass like largemouth and smallmouth bass. The spotted bass has a top dorsal fin that is clearly connected while the largemouth bass has a separate or almost separate dorsal fin. This is a textbook example of a spotted bass! Knowing how to identify them is only a small portion of the battle, though. If you find that the water is heavily vegetated and there isn’t a lot of open area, you’ll want to target largemouth. Spotted bass tend to school more than largemouth bass. This time of year is when the fish hold out to their structure, stay in the same place for longer, and they will also dive a bit deeper so you’ll know where to find them. You have earned my trust. The only thing that matters is that you know and understand where to find them and how to identify them once you catch one. I don’t know if there’s any rhyme or reason behind some of these factors, it’s just behavioral. Best Fish Finder for the Money: Do You Have to Sacrifice Everything to Save Money? Understanding spotted bass vs largemouth is not always easy unless you know what features and characteristics to look for. It can reach an age of at least seven years. Both these bass species are a type of black bass. For Coty, he didn't love bass fishing at first cast. Your knowledge may be impressive to some, but ultimately it doesn't cut it. Another key indicator of the type of bass you have is the dorsal fin. It took a few (thousand) throws for him to become obsessed with mastering every possible fishing style, technique, and lure. This is a tricky one because the mouth is open, the dorsal fins aren't all the way up, and the stomach is covered. Differences between a Largemouth Bass and a Spotted Bass. The spotted bass has a small rectangular rough patch in the center of the tongue. Guadalupe bass (Micropterus treculii) First described in 1874. Many largemouth bass characteristics are hard to identify, but one thing that stands out is the fact that these bass rush to the top of the water when you get them on a hook. You’ll usually find spotted (Kentucky) bass in clear water that is more open without a lot of vegetation. While the fishing might be primarily the same, how you locate them, and where you find them is a bit different. Both Spotted Bass and Largemouth Bass can be found in central and eastern United States. Largemouth bass tend to jump and rush to the top when hooked while spotted bass will dive deep and behave more like a smallmouth on the line. We want every, We’re back to writing about our fishing experien, Redfish on a fiddler crab #fortfisher #carolina #i, Nice sheepshead #naples #bassgrab #kayakfishing, Name that fish! Spotted Bass have a moderately compressed elongated body with coloration and markings similar to those of the Largemouth Bass. If you live in a place with four seasons, then late Spring is a great time to go out and catch a lot of largemouth bass. Lastly, whenever I’m fishing for bass, I always bring along a few extra lures to help with certain scenarios. To improve their catch rate for the spotted bass, fishermen will typically wait until late spring and early summer. The oldest type of spotted bass is the Northern, and as they worked their way down towards the South is when we started to see adaptations. Differences Between Largemouth Bass and Spotted Bass, https://www.bassgrab.com/wp-content/uploads/Cheek-Scales-620x350.jpg, https://www.bassgrab.com/wp-content/uploads/Best-Inshore-Rods-620x350.jpg, https://www.bassgrab.com/wp-content/uploads/Shrimp-Fight-e1492634991339-620x350.jpg, https://www.bassgrab.com/wp-content/uploads/Inline-Spinnerbait-e1492631449689-620x350.jpg, Fishing from kayaks is our favorite. Two are recognized: the northern largemouth (M. s. salmoides) and the Florida largemouth (M. s. floridanus). Fishing on Kentucky lake, we were catching all 3 main species of bass. Handle a fish as little as possible using only wet hands or. At a high level they are jaw length, stomach markers, cheek scale size, dorsal fin attachment, tongue patch, and behavior. If I’m using braided, I always use a fluorocarbon leader. Spotted bass primarily relate to structure while largemouth bass primarily relate to cover. The cheek scales on a spotted bass are much smaller than the rest of the scales on their body. Overfishing, Conservation, Sustainability, and Farmed Fish. It’s this species of bass that most big-name tournaments focus on. Still, there are a few basics that every angler should understand. If the fish is gut hooked, cut the line as close to the hook as possible and leave it in the fish. In terms of overall location, yes, you can find spotted bass anywhere in the country you would find largemouth. A largemouth bass’s dorsal fin is altogether in one piece and doesn’t retreat down to the top of the fish. The Hinge of the Mouth Your email address will not be published. Your knowledge is just like catching a small catfish - it's just the worst and no one wants it. The largemouth bass lifespan is around 16 years, and they mostly live a solitary life. Don’t play the fish to exhaustion, ensure you’re using the proper weight tackle. Known maximum size in Texas exceeds 5.5 pounds. In general, you can find all three types of these fish throughout the country from Ohio down to the Gulf Coast. Largemouth bass are found in both but most commonly in murkier waters. You can tell because the dorsal fins are not connected, the stomach is white without obvious lines of dots, and the cheek scales are the same size as the rest of the body scales. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Smallmouth bass lack this horizontal line, but may have vertical bars instead. In this section, we’ll cover some of the details about their habitats and how you can find them. Spotted bass are usually caught much deeper than largemouth and are more inclined to school. Kentucky Spotted Bass, Spot, KY Largemouth Bass First, the art of the spot is a little more gray and less green than usual, but Spots are almost always more olive gray on top while Largemouth are almost always green. Spots have a more pronounced bright white lower half and belly, where Largemouths are pale shiny whitish green. Largemouth bass usually do not. In Kentucky, most adults are in the 12-20 in. Their metabolism slows much more, which makes it harder to catch them when the temperature drops. Spotted bass primarily relate to structure while largemouth bass primarily relate to cover. Very informative, thank you for this information. The jaw when closed does not extend past the rear of the eye on a spotted bass. We’ve talked about it a little, but it’s worth mentioning again. How to Install a Fish Finder: Supplies, Location, and Methods, Down Imaging vs. Side Imaging: Differences and Similarities. Your knowledge is the biggest and baddest there is, great job! If the bass jumps out of the water with a hook, you know you’ve got a largemouth bass. The cheek scales on a largemouth bass are the same size as the rest of their scales. What’s the difference in fishing for both of these species? According to Lindelien, as the dorsal spine aging technique is refined it might be employed on other black basses, common and otherwise: Guadalupe bass in Texas, spotted bass in Kentucky, Neosho smallmouth bass of Oklahoma or the rarer Choctaw bass of Alabama and … If you’ve fished largemouth bass before you know that you can pretty much find them anywhere. One of the primary differences between spotted bass and largemouth is that largemouth bass are generally bigger than spotties. On a largemouth bass, you’ll notice that they usually have a puffy white belly with very little coloring. You can know where to find them, but you should know how to tell the difference. Please note that the rough patch is very noticeable on a spotted bass, and you might feel “something” on the tongue of a largemouth. At this time, I would suggest using a soft plastic with a drop shot or split shot if you’re really looking to bring ‘em home. Spotted bass (and most smallmouth bass) have a rough patch on their tongues. Question: How do you tell the difference in a spotted bass and a largemouth bass?-Gary. Florida bass grow to trophy size more readily than northern largemouth in warm waters. The best season for largemouth is any time when the water is warm. In terms of behavior, Largemouth Bass are solitary fish, whereas Spotted Bass tend to school more often. Largemouth bass are known for their big jaw that extends past its eye on the top and sticks out further on the bottom. Spotters aren’t commonly larger than ten pounds, with that being one of the bigger sizes you’ll ever find. If the mouth were shut it would extend past the eye, and the top fins are not connected. This is completely false. Spotted bass have small cheek scales that differ in size compared to the rest of their body. You’re waiting until after spawn when the bass are active again and ready to feed at full throttle. Whenever I’m fishing somewhere I’ve never been before, I always try to bring my fish finder along. It is hard to tell in the pictures so be sure not to confuse pigmentation with texture. However, you can tell it is a spotted bass because the stomach does have spotted lines and the cheek scales are smaller than the body scales. Check for a tongue patch. Also check out that red ring around the eye! Lindelien is the first to confirm that removing dorsal spines is benign to largemouth bass. This one is a spotted bass. Some of which you’ll notice right away, some you might think I’m crazy for even pointing out. Identification: Also known as “Kentucky bass”, the Spotted Bass is most similar to the Largemouth Bass. I hope this guide helps you catch more bass regardless of which species you find. 3. On many lakes around the country, you have a choice to fish for either of these species (and sometimes another still), but they are very different bass species. 2019 Bassmaster Elite Series angler Matt Herren joined The Bass University in Gadsden, Alabama to talk about keying in on largemouth or spotted bass. It has a dark, lateral band like a largemouth, but the mouth extends only to the middle of the eye and a shallow notch connects the two dorsal fins. In my opinion, this is the number one indicator of what kind of bass I have. You can’t identify the fish based on coloration, stripes, or spots because they can change drastically depending on the water they inhabit. One of the best ways to tell the difference between largemouth and spotted bass is by looking at their scales. This is the best time to trap spotted bass fish as they tend to spawn around early June or late May. Free shipping on orders over $50 and FREE pick-up at your local store if you buy online! 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