Smallmouth Bass

Smallmouth Bass

World Record: 11 lbs 15oz
Dale Hollow Lake, TN
July 9th 1955
Length: 10-24 inches
Found in: Lakes & Rivers
Warm Waters 25C

Identification

Smallmouth Bass have a robust, laterally compressed body with a large, long; head with dark bars which radiate back from the eyes. Their long, blunt snout has a slightly longer lower jaw. Two joined dorsal fins which appear as one and the back and top of the head are brown, golden brown through olive to green. The sides are lighter than the back, more golden with golden flecks on most scales and marked by 8 – 15 pronounced to vague, thin vertical bars. The underside is cream to milk-white; the pectoral fins are clear and the others are opaque, dark to amber with some black on rays, spines or membranes. The body color is variable with size, condition and habitat: in clear water they are darker with pronounced, contrasting markings; and, in turbid water they are lighter with vague markings.

Habitat

They are usually found in rocky and sandy areas of lakes and rivers in moderately shallow water and near rocks of shoals or submerged logs. The smallmouth bass spawns in late spring and early summer, usually from late May to early July. The male builds a nest (2 – 20 feet) of water on a sandy, gravel, or rocky bottom, of lakes and rivers, usually near the protection of rocks or logs. After spawning, the male guards the nest and fans the eggs. The eggs hatch in approximately 4 – 10 days. After 5 – 7 days, the young begin to leave the nest, but are guarded by the male for several days.

Diet

The food of the smallmouth bass is mainly composed of insects, crayfish and fishes. The smallmouth bass takes this variety of food from the surface, in the water column, and off the bottom.