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Smallmouth Bass

Micropterus dolomieu

Bass Family

Freshwater Fish Identification

Smallmouth Bass

Common Name(s):
Black bass, brown bass, bronzeback
Smallmouth bass are normally bronze to brownish green in color with dark vertical stripes or blotches on the body. It is easily distinguished from the closely related largemouth bass by noting the mouth that extends only to the middle of the eye and the very shallow notch connecting the dorsal fins. Dorsal fins have 10 spines and 13-15 soft rays.
Similar Fish:
Redeye bass, largemouth bass
Feeding Habits:
Young smallmouth feed on mostly zooplankton, waterfleas, and insect larvae. As they grow older, they begin to eat small fish. Adult fish feed mostly on crayfish, small fish, insects, and some small crustaceans. Where crayfish are abundant, it consists of the majority of the smallmouth’s diet.
They have been widely introduced and can now be found throughout the United States, minus Alaska, Florida, and Delaware. Also found in southern Canada.
Smallmouth bass tend to stay in deeper waters than largemouth bass, and therefore rarely dwell in small lakes or reservoirs that are less than 25 feet deep. They also live in swiftly flowing rivers and streams with gravel or rocky bottoms. They prefer cool, clear waters and gather towards rock out-croppings and boulders.
Typical Size:
Smallmouth bass can live about 7 years in the southern US and about 15 years in the north. The larger fish are therefore found in the north, where a typical trophy-sized fish is 3-4 pounds. Fish with weight of 6-7 pounds are uncommon, but can be found.
World Record:
10 pounds, 14 ounces (Source - IGFA)