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Spotted (Kentucky) Bass

Micropterus punctulatus

Bass Family

Freshwater Fish Identification

Spotted (Kentucky) Bass


Common Name(s):
Kentucky bass, lineside
Description:
The spotted bass appears to be a mix between a largemouth bass and a smallmouth bass. It has a dark, lateral band like a largemouth, but the mouth extends only to the middle of the eye and a shallow notch connects the two dorsal fins. Scales cover the base of second dorsal fin. Above the lateral line the fish has a greenish hue and has some dark markings. The belly is white with rows of dark spots that give the fish its name.
Similar Fish:
Largemouth bass, smallmouth bass
Feeding Habits:
The young begin with copepods and other small crustaceans and soon begin to eat insects. The adult’s main diet consists of crayfish, fish, and insects. But just as in physical appearance, the spotted bass’ diet seems to fall somewhere in between the largemouth and smallmouth. It isn’t nearly as predatory as the largemouth and only consumes about half the amount of fish.
Range:
These fish can be found in the mid to southern United States except for AZ, CO, FL, NM, SC, and UT.
Habitat:
They prefer many of the same waters as smallmouth bass, but seem to prefer slightly deeper waters where possible when found in lakes and reservoirs. They prefer slowly flowing small to medium streams and rivers with rock or gravel bottoms.
Typical Size:
Spotted bass grow at a slightly slower rate than a largemouth bass and don’t get as large. After a year or two, they’re about 4-8 inches long. After eight years, the average length is about 18 inches. Typical weight for an adult spotted bass is about 2-3 pounds.
World Record:
10 pounds, 4 ounces (Source - IGFA)