You are hereBass Family / Spotted Bass

Spotted Bass

Spotted Bass
Scientific Name: 
Micropterus punctulatus

Is similar in appearance to the largemouth bass. Has green to olive-green hue; white, mottled belly; and a broad stripe of broken blotches, usually diamond-shaped, along the midline of the body.

Unlike the largemouth, the spotted bass has scales on the base portion of the second dorsal fin; its first and second dorsal fin are clearly connected, and its upper jaw does not extend past the eye. Above the lateral line there are dark markings, and below the lateral line the scales have dark bases that give rise to the linear rows of small spots which are responsible for the common name.

Fish Habitat: 

Prefers small to medium streams and rivers with clear, slow-moving water, gravel or rock bottoms. Spotted bass may occupy reservoirs, but are seldom found in natural lakes. They do not enter brackish water.

They tend to be found in areas with more current than largemouth bass, and they usually inhabit areas that are too warm, turbid, and sluggish for smallmouth bass.

Fish Habits: 

Although a large proportion reach maturity within a year, spotted bass found in spawning areas are usually three to four years old. Rock and gravel are usually chosen as suitable spawning areas at water temperatures of 57-74°F. Nest depths may vary widely. Females may lay between 1,150 and 47,000 eggs. Males guard the eggs during incubation and for up to four weeks after they have hatched.

As young fish grow their diet shifts from zooplankton to insects, and finally to fish and crayfish.

Adult Size: 

12-18 inches.

World Record: 

9 pounds, 4 ounces, caught in Lake Perris, California in 1987.

Fishing Tactics: 

Despite the fact that spotted bass are not nearly so large and numerous as largemouth bass they are excellent fighters. Spotted bass are very popular in the eastern US. Known maximum size exceeds 5.5 pounds.

Strong fighters when caught on light tackle. Popular lures and baits include jigs, crankbaits, spinners, small plastic worms and crayfish.


Spotted bass are distributed throughout the Ohio River basin as well as the central and lower Mississippi River basin. The species may be found in Gulf Coast states from Texas east to Florida. Spotted bass are native to portions of East Texas from the Guadalupe River to the Red River, exclusive of the Edwards Plateau region.

Hot Lakes