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Commonly Asked Questions

Appears in Georgia Aquarium's:
  • Overhead River Habitat (River Scout)

Range / Habitat

  • Occurs in the Ohio-Mississippi drainage from Ohio south to the Gulf States and west to Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas and east to western Florida.
  • Found in freshwater in medium-sized to large streams. In the north, this bass is found in deep, slow-current streams over silty bottoms. In the south, it is found in cool, clear, gravel-bottom streams.
  • When living in a suitable environment, this species has a small home range seldom moving away more than 197 to 394 feet (60 -120 m).

Physical Characteristics

  • Olive green on its back with many dark, diamond-shaped blotches. The spots are found below the lateral line.
  • Can be distinguished from the largemouth bass because its mouth does not extend past the eye.
  • Identified from the smallmouth bass by vertical barring on its sides, as compared to the irregular horizontal stripe on the sides of the smallmouth bass.

Diet / Feeding

  • Larval spotted bass feeds on plankton. As it grows, it consumes small crustaceans and midges. 
  • Adult bass preys on larger insects, fishes, crayfishes, frogs, worms and grubs.

Reproduction / Growth

  • The reproductive behavior of the spotted bass parallels that of the smallmouth bass.
  • Spawning occurs in April and May when water temperatures reach between 55o to 59F (13o - 15C).
  • Nests may be on a variety of substrates, including sand and gravel, flat rocks, and compact soil.

Conservation Status

  • “Not Evaluated” on the IUCN Red List.


Fishes of Alabama. Boschung, H. T. and Maudren, R. L., pgs. 468-469
Peterson Field Guides - Fresh Water Fishes. Page, L.M. and Burr, B.M., pg. 264
McClane’s Field Guide to Freshwater Fishes of North America.  McClane, A.J., 
pgs. 147-149