The spotted bass is characterized by the many dark, diamond-shaped blotches on its back.
  • Diet

    Insects, fishes, crayfishes, frogs, worms, and grubs
  • Range

    North America
  • Habitat

    Freshwater in medium-sized to large streams

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.

Animal Fact

The spotted bass can be distinguished from the largemouth bass because its mouth does not extend past the eye.

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.

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).

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 59o F (13o – 15o C).
  • 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
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