Most anglers know a bass when they see one. When the warmer waters come back, feeding ramps up dramatically. Texas Fishing: All You Need to Know Before Yo... © 2019 FishingBooker.com. Anglers preferring a heavier catch might just edge toward the smallmouth too, given that they tend to be slightly heavier and longer on average. Dorsal fin connected. Adult smallmouth (growing anywhere between 12 and 16 inches) spawn and live out their lives very similarly to their largemouth cousins; namely in shallow waters. Spotted bass, which often hybridize with smallmouth bass (one of the reasons it can be hard to tell them apart), spawn around springtime in a very similar way to smallmouth. Regionally speaking, spotted bass are commonly found in the Ohio and Mississippi river basins but can also be seen in Gulf Coast states, particularly Texas. … Telling them apart, although tricky, can you teach you a lot more about the sport and how different species operate. Thanks again! This can still be difficult even for seasoned anglers. These are jaw length, cheek scales, the dorsal fin, the tongue, and belly markers. The side of a Spotted Bass usually has a dark, spotted lateral line. On a Largemouth, the dorsal fin is separate, or nearly separate. Today the name Mean Mouth Bass is more commonly referred to as the offspring of a Smallmouth Bass (Micropterus dolomieu) and a Spotted Bass (Micropterus punctulatus). Spotted Bass vs. Largemouth Bass. Apart from the Gulf states, you can often find the two species in waters from Georgia to Virginia. Your turn. They’re a lot quicker to take a lure when they’re bedding, too. One thing to bear in mind, however, is depth. We’ve corrected the first picture in the article now, so that the distinction is more clear. When hooked, Largemouth Bass tend to jump out of the water in an attempt to break free. It appears all the pics above are spotted. Nov 7, 2019. Both species’ upper jaws differ slightly where the smallmouth’s jaw fails to reach past its eye while the spotted runs up to the middle of the pupil. They are beautiful fish and fun to catch in the fall period! But now I do and will always have your article as back up, if I ever have trouble, figuring which bass I’ve landed!! Let us know in the comments below. They’re both great fighters, and are sure to put your angling skills to the test. Generally speaking, it’s a better idea to go for either species in the spring and summer months when spawning is underway and the metabolism of the fish is faster. Thanks!! Even the dorsal fins can be “neither here or there” on occasion. Spotted Bass have a coarse rectangular patch at the center of their tongue. There you have it – now you know how to tell if your catch is Spotted Bass vs. Largemouth Bass. Enjoying submerged obstacles like logs, rocks and vegetation, spotted tend to “hide” more from the surface than their smallmouth counterparts. Greater knowledge equals greater results. These spots fade gradually towards the belly. Imitating crayfish with your rig set-up is a good way to target both species as they make up a large part of either’s diet. Scientifically speaking, at a rung lower than their family classification, all bass species that anglers will come across are generally considered members of the black bass subgroup. Usually in gravel, sandy or rocky bottomed lakes and rivers. Largemouths have uniform scales across their body. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Both species have been known to compete for the same nesting areas. This helps them feed and catch prey in a multitude of conditions. Smallmouth Bass will go after pretty much any lure you send their way. Yes, the difference between Spotted and Largemouth Bass can be tricky to spot sometimes. On Largemouth Bass, the spots are not as pronounced, if at all. Classic features of this family are their color. As we’ve already seen, catching either species depends a lot on where you are in the world and what time of year it is. Silver and white in appearance, often with dark horizontal lines down their sides, bass stand out from other fish of a more colorful variety. Identifier C: The first and second dorsal fins on a largemouth bass are separated, while the first and second dorsal fins of a spotted bass are connected. This is probably the most significant distinction between the two species. If all this is somewhat headache-inducing, be aware that sometimes you can even distinguish bass without actually catching them. Because of this, it’s best to focus on the reliable differences like their jaw and dorsal fin. … A spinner over a baitcaster might be a good choice too, as a long cast probably won’t be too necessary and it might pay to be able to pitch with as little fuss as possible at close range. This article will help very much. When you mentioned the jumping, that’s when I knew it was definitely largemouth I was hooking because they all did this. In conclusion both these species, given their similar behavior and size, can be a lot of fun to catch for both beginners and the more experienced alike. It is less numerous in reservoirs than Largemouth Bass and far less common than Smallmouth Bass in cool, clear upland streams.