Bass (Spotted) (Micropterus punctulatus)

Bass (Spotted)

  • Size 1-9 lbs
  • Food Value Good
  • Game Qualities Good
  • Habitats Lake, River

The Spotted Bass is similar to its cousins in the Black Bass family in that it's fun to catch and good to eat. It's similar in appearance, too. So much so, in fact, that it's quite likely that the largest Spotted Bass ever caught hasn't been recorded but was dismissed as a smaller Largemouth Bass! Learn to distinugish them, and this could be your next chance for a record.

How to catch a Spotted Bass

It may not have the angling prestige of its cousin the Largemouth, but Spotted Bass fishing is no less exciting than angling for other types of Black Bass. Light tackle is the name of the game here if you want to appreciate the strength of this fish relative to its size. Spinning and baitcasting gear are both popular options, while fly fishing can be also successful, especially in streams.

In terms of bait, the Spotted can be targetted with similar lures as the Smallmouth Bass. Spinnerbaits and smaller crankbaits are effectve in the shallows and rivers, while jigs are an obvious solution in deeper waters. Worms, crawfish, salamanders, and hellgramites are just a few popular natural baits to use for this species. 

Look for them in clear streams and cool reservoirs and lakes. They tend to head deeper than other Bass, often being caught at depths of 100 ft or more. 

Largemouth, Smallmouth, Spotted? How to tell the difference

The main difference between a Spotted Bass and Largemouth Bass is quite predictable: the Spotted Bass's mouth is not so big (it doesn't extend as far as the back of the fish's eye) and the stripe along its side is more broken up (spotty). 

But the easiest way to tell them apart is the fact that the Spotted Bass's two dorsal fins are connected, whereas the Largemouth has a distinct drop between them, which goes almost all the way down to their back. 

Smallmouth Bass has longer stripes (vertical bars) on its sides, and is usually less green in color. What really doesn't help matters, though, is the fact that the Spotted Bass tends to interbreed with the Smallmouth. Well, nothing is ever simple.

That said, even though these fish may be hard to identify, you can't fault them for their energy on the end of a line!

Fish Species Similar to Bass (Spotted)

Bass (Largemouth)

Bass (Smallmouth)


Top Bass (Spotted) Fishing Charters