Different Bass Fish Types Explained
Bass is a shared name of many species of fish that compass both freshwater and marine species in the Perciformes order. Generally, the Black Bass that belong to the Sunfish family, Centrarchidae, include the Alabama, Choctaw, Guadalupe, Largemouth, Smallmouth, Spotted, Shoal, Suwannee and Redeye.
While, Temperate Bass belong to the Moronidae family and include the European, Striped, Hybrid Striped and White. Further, there are Asian Sea Bass that belong to the Lateolabracidae family and include the Japanese Seabass and Blackfin Seabass. While, another group, the Rock Basses exist out of the Rock, Ozark, Shadow and Roanoke. Furthermore, there are still other fish that form part of the family, including Austalian, Black Sea, Giant Sea, Butterfly Peacock and Tallapoosa Bass.
Therefore, various categories exist.
The Alabama Bass (Micropterus henshalli) is a medium sized freshwater fish forming part of the Black Bass Genus. Generally, not a targeted species but may be caught when catching other species, especially the largemouth. Further, is an uncommon species occurring only in the Chattahoochee River in Georgia and the western Mississippi.
However, feel free to click and read more on our site about the Alabama.
The Choctaw Bass (Micropterus sp. cf. punctualus) is a species found in the upper Florida panhandle. Very similar looking to most Black Bass. However, the best possible method to identify this species is by counting the number of scales on the fish in various places. Namely, the fin ray count and gill rakers.
While, their range extends from the eastern Gulf coastal rivers in western Florida panhandle to south east Alabama. As well as, the Yellow River, Blackwater River, Choctawhatchee River, Escambia River and Perdido Rivers. Meanwhile, they avoid fast moving water from streams and rivers and are often found close to the coastline.
The Guadalupe Bass (Micropterus treculii) is a rare species of fish endemic to Texas, United States, where it is the state fish. Further, restricted to the creeks and rivers including the Guadalupe River.
While, a Near Threatened fish difficult to distinguish from the smallmouth or spotted. Meanwhile, anglers tend to practice catch and release techniques to improve the fish populations. Generally, and lime to olive green fish with a lateral line mostly covered in separate diamond shaped or circular spots.
Similar to the spotted bass in many physical traits except that the green coloring tends to extend lower on the body past the lateral line. While, having almost no predators the fish have a real threat of hybridization with smallmouth.
Further, their habitats include streams and reservoirs preferring flowing waters of streams with ample cover such as large rocks, cypress trees or stumps for refuge. Furthermore, their diets consist mostly of insects and small fish such as shad and bluegill.
Largemouth or Big Mouth
The Largemouth Bass (Micropterus salmoides) is a carnivorous species of freshwater game fish. Has an olive green to greenish grey body with dark, sometimes black blotches forming a jagged horizontal stripe along each flank.
Meanwhile, the upper jaw extends beyond the rear margin of the orbit. Reach lengths of 29.5 inches weighing around 25 pounds. Feed on snails, crawfish, crayfish, frogs, snakes, salamanders, bats, shrimps, insects, small water birds, mammals, baby alligators and small fish.
Including bluegill, banded killifish, shad, yellow perch, ciscoes, shiners, sunfish, catfish, walleye, white bass, striped and trout. Larger bass occupy deeper water and prey items may be as large as 50% of the bass’s body length or larger.
While, they prefer open areas with little or no cover. Meanwhile, in areas with overhead cover such as overhanging banks, brush or submerged structures, they use their sense of hearing, sight, vibration and smell to attack and seize their prey.
Generally, spawning occurs in spring from March until early July, when the water temperature first holds steady above 60°F. The largemouth is sought after by anglers for their exciting fight Often caught on Spinnerbait, plastic worms, jigs, crankbaits and live baits such as worms, frogs, crawfish, shiners and minnows.
While, there is a strong cultural pressure among largemouth anglers encouraging catch and release practices of larger specimens, especially as these are breeding females that contribute largely to the future of sport fishing stocks.
Furthermore, bass have a white, slightly mushy meat which is of a lower quality than that of the smallmouth, bluegill, yellow perch, walleye or crappie. The world record largemouth weighed in at 22 pounds 4 ounces.
However, feel free to click and read more on our site about the Largemouth.
The Smallmouth Bass (Micropterus dolomieu) is a species of freshwater fish in the Centrarchidae (Sunfish) family. A Black Bass sought throughout the temperate zones of North America as a game fish. While, native to the Mississippi River Basin, Saint Lawrence River and Great Lake Systems.
Some other names include Bronzeback, Brown Bass, Brownie, Smallie and Bareback Bass. Generally, brown in color but may appear black or green with red eyes and dark brown vertical bands down their sides. While, they have 13 – 15 soft rays in the dorsal fin. Further, the upper jaw extends to the middle of the eye.
While, males tend to small than females, they range from two pounds. Furthermore, are torpedo-shaped making for more efficient feeding. Generally, live in sandy areas where they feed on tadpoles, fish, aquatic insects and crayfish.
While, occurring in clear water of streams, rivers, lakes and reservoirs with rocky areas and stumps. Meanwhile, is intolerant of pollution. Generally, when water temperatures drop, the smallmouth migrates to deeper pools and enter a semi-hibernation state.
However, feel free to click and read more on our site about the Smallmouth.
Spotted Bass (Micropterus punctulatus) is a freshwater fish in the Centrarchidae family of the Perciformes order. Other names include Spotty, Spots. While, it may be mistaken for the largemouth bass.
However, the distinguishing characteristics is the size of the mouth, with the spotted bass having a small mouth. As well as, having rows of dark spots below the lateral line.
Meanwhile, has scales on the base portion of the second dorsal fin. While, the first and second dorsal fins are clearly connected, and the upper jawbone does not extend back to or beyond the rear edge of the eye.
Furthermore, may be mistaken with the smallmouth. However, it does not have vertical bars on the sides of the body like the smallmouths. Generally, reaching lengths of 25 inches weighing up to 11 pounds.
Prefers cool waters with rocky bottoms. While, their diets consist of insects, crustaceans, frogs, annelid worms and smaller fish. Generally, occur around aquatic vegetation, submerged logs, rocks or rip rap walls. While, spawning from April to May. A highly prized gamefish with a current record of 10.27 pounds.
However, feel free to click and read more on our site about the Spotted.
The Shoal Bass (Micropterus Cataractae) is a species of freshwater fish in the Centrarchidae family. A Black Bass native to subtropical waters in Florida, Georgia and Alabama. Further, an endangered species that may not be kept by any anglers.
Often confused with the Redeye and the Smallmouth due to its faint vertical stripes along the side of the body. However, more closely related to the Spotted. Olive green in color to nearly black with a dusky dark blotch on the back edge of the gill cover. Further, three diagonal black lines radiate along the side of the head like war paint.
Furthermore, ten to fifteen vertical blotches appear along the sides with tiger stripes between them. While, having a creamy or white belly with wavy lines. Meanwhile, the dorsal, anal and caudal fins are olive green to grey black in color and the pelvic fins are cream with dark spots.
Furthermore, the Shoal Bass has scales on the base portion of the soft-rayed dorsal fins with the first and second dorsal fins clearly connected. Furthermore, the upper jawbone does not extend beyond the eyes.
While, feeding on larval insects, crayfish and fish. Generally, spawning in coarse gravel from April and May to early June. Furthermore, world record fish may be caught on worms, minnows, crayfish, small spinners and other small surface lures.
However, feel free to click and read more on our site about the Shoal.
The Suwannee Bass (Micropterus notius) is a freshwater fish in the Centrarchidae family. One of the Black Bass species native to the Suwannee and Ochlockonee River Drainages in Florida and Georgia.
However, farther introduced to Sante Fe, Ichetuckness, St Marks, Aucilla and Wacissa systems. A small bass, reaching a maximum of 16 inches. While, inhabiting shallow, rocky streams, springs and pools.
The Redeye Bass (Micropterus coosae) is a freshwater fish in the Centrarchidae family. A small Black Bass reaching 19 inches, native to the Coosa River system of Georgia and Alabama.
Generally, found in cool streams and rivers in the foothills of mountains. An elongated, slender fish with a red eye. While, the large mouth extends to the back of the eye, extending slightly behind the rear margin of the eye.
Generally, the dorsal fin contains nine to 11 spines and 11 – 13 rays and is slightly notched. While, the back and sides are olive to brown with darker brown mottling and several horizontal rows of dark spots on the lower sides and venter.
Meanwhile, breeding males high a blue green color on the lower head and throat. Generally, the lower margins of the caudal fin are edged in white, a feature separating the Redeye from the Smallmouth and Shoal Bass.
The European Bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) is primarily and ocean-going fish found in water off Europe’s western and southern coasts and the African northern coast. Further, are found in shallow coastal waters and river mouths during the summer months.
While, most commonly known by their Italian name, Branzino, in North America. A very slow growing species taking several years to reach adulthood. Generally, growing to around 26 pounds. While, they have a silver grey color the backs may display a dark blue color. Further, juveniles form schools and feed on invertebrates.
Inhabit littoral zones near the banks of rivers, lagoons and estuaries in summer migrating offshore during the winter. Generally, spawn from March to June in inshore waters with fry being pelagic and developing in estuaries for a year or two.
The Yellow Bass (Morone mississippiensis) is a freshwater fish in the Mononidae family. A deep bodied olive-green fish with five to seven dark lateral stripes along the sides. Similar to the White and Striped Bass but distinguishable by the offset of lateral stripes above the anal fin. Further, has no tooth patch on the tongue.
Generally, found in clear water of the Mississippi River from Minnesota to Louisiana. As well as, the Trinity River and Tennessee River. Their diets consist of small invertebrates including copepods, crustaceans, aquatic insects and small fish.
While, spawning occurs in spring in moderately shallow water tributaries. Further, not a popular game fish due to its small size. However, they may be caught with crappie jigs or minnows due to their large populations. Furthermore, an edible fish commonly eaten in its range.
The Striped Bass (Morone saxatilis) is an anadromous perciform fish in the Moronidae family. Primarily found along the Atlantic coast of North America though widely introduced into inland recreational fisheries across the United States.
Other names for the fish include Atlantic Striped Bass, Striper, Linesider, Rock or Rockfish. Meanwhile, the state fish of Maryland, Rhode Island and South Carolina. As well as, the state saltwater fishes of New York, New Jersey, Virginia and New Hampshire.
Travel and spawn up most rivers in the coastal North East. They have streamlined, silvery body marking with longitudinal dark stripes running from behind the gills to the base of the tail. Generally, grow to between 20 to 40 pounds. With record weights of 124 pounds. Further, these fish live up to 30 years.
Stripe bass spawn in freshwater. While, adults spend their lives in saltwater. However, there are some specimens that have had to adapt to landlocked lives. The Striper has significant value for sport fishing and have been introduced to many waterways.
Some angling methods include trolling, surf casting with topwater lures and bait casting with live and dead bait. These baits include bunker, clams, eels, sandworms, herring, bloodworms, mackerel, shad, bluegills, worms, crayfish, bucktail jigs, silver spoons and sassy shad baits.
Striped bass have a white meat with a mild flavor and a medium texture. While, being extremely versatile in that it can be pan-seared, grilled, steamed, poached, roasted, broiled, sautéed or deep fried. The current world record for Striped Bass is 81 pounds 14 ounces.
However, feel free to click and read more on our site about the Striped.
The Hybrid Striped Bass is a hybrid between the Striped Bass (Morone saxatilis) and the White Bass (Morone chrysops). Also known as the Wiper or Whiterock Bass.
Further, distinguished from the Striped Bass by broken rather than solid horizontal stripes on the body. While, resilient to extremes of temperature and to low dissolved oxygen. However, both a game fish and a food fish.
Moreover, the Hybrid Striped Bass has aggressive feeding habits which makes them a highly sought-after fish for anglers. Reproduce in two ways, either taking the white bass eggs and fertilizing with the striped bass sperm or using the striped bass’ eggs and fertilizing with the white bass sperm.
While, the preferred method is using the female striper eggs and fertilizing with the white bass sperm creating the palmetto bass. Therefore, increasing the amount of offspring.
While, schooling by the thousands, including in Cedar Creek Lake. Generally, these stocked fish surface feed on bait fish such as shad, bluegill, sunfish, fathead minnows, white and black crappie.
Moreover, their surface feeding habits make the fish visible and easy to catch on a wide array of lures and baits including casting spoons, buck-tail jigs, soft-body plastic fish replicas and inline spinners.
Meanwhile, their quality as a high-fighting game fish is closely followed by their delicious firm, white and flake meat. Generally, these fish are used to control bait fish populations and provide sport for anglers.
However, feel free to click and read more on our site about the Hybrid Striped.
The White Bass (Morone chrysops) is a freshwater fish in the Moronidae family of temperate basses. While, the state fish of Oklahoma. Meanwhile, other names include the Silver Bass or Sand Bass.
Further, the fish is silver white to pale green in color. While, the back is dark, and the sides and belly are white with narrow dark stripes running lengthwise on the sides. Furthermore, has large rough scales and two dorsal fins.
While, the more anterior dorsal fin is much harder and appears to have spines on them. Meanwhile, the more posterior dorsal fin is much softer. While, the body is deep and laterally compressed.
Moreover, the bass tends to grow to 10 – 12 inches but may reach up to 17 inches in length. Furthermore, ass the vertebrae do not extend into the tail, the white bass has a homocercal tail. While, the dorsal and ventral portion of the tail angle inward toward a point, creating a clear angle.
Furthermore, has a notched tail. While, a carnivorous fish eating calanoida, cyclopoida, daphnia and leptodora. However, when not frightened, they will easily bite at live bait such as worms and minnows.
While, larger fish may feed on other fish. Generally, spawning occurs from mid-March to late May when water temperatures are 54°F to 68°F. Furthermore, young fish live in the shallows as adults move to deeper waters. Generally, the current world record on fishing tackle for the White Bass is 6 pounds 13 ounces.
However, feel free to click and read more on our site about the White.
The Japanese Sea Bass (Lateolabrax japonicus) is an Asian Sea Bass native to the Pacific Ocean from Japan to the South China Sea. Also known as Suzuki. Generally, inhabit fresh, brackish or marine waters of inshore rocky reefs and estuaries at depths at least 16 feet.
A catadromous species with the young ascending rivers and returning to sea to breed. While, the tail is slightly forked, the mouth is large and the lower jaw projects beyond the upper. The small fish have small black spots on the back and dorsal which disappear with age. An important game fish that reaches up to 40 inches in length.
Their diets consist of zooplankton, cyclopoids, copepods, sardines, anchovies, shrimp and other small fish and crustaceans. Generally, spawn in coastal waters around Japan from October to late January. An important food source and delicacy served as sushi.
The Blackfin Seabass (Lateolabrax latus) is a Perciform fish found in shallow waters of the Pacific coast in Asia including Japan and South Korea. Among the largest order of fish in the ocean. However, they prefer to live in shallow, tidal or rocky surf zones.
A perch like fish with a long, silver, elongated body and a slightly forked tail. While, they have a lower jaw that protrudes over the upper jaw. However, lacks the stripes running along their sides. Further, have spines along their dorsal and anal fins and pectoral fins along the sides of the body for defense against predation.
An anadromous fish occurring along the coast of Japan, South Korea and Vietnam, spawning in intertidal zones, eelsbeds and mouths of rivers. Fishing for Blackfin seabass plays a primary and important position in commercial and recreational fishing on the coast of Japan, where they are consumed widespread in sushi bars and restaurants.
The Rock Bass (Ambloplites rupestris) is a freshwater fish in the Centrarchidae family. Native to east central North America including St Lawrence River, Great Lakes System, Mississippi River Basin, Quebec and Saskatchewan down to Missouri, Arkansas and the Savannah River.
As well as, New York, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Florida and the Nueces River System in Texas. Other names include Rock Perch, Goggle-Eye and Red Eye. Similar but a bit smaller than the Smallmouth.
Some distinct characteristics including their two dorsal fins that have spinous and soft-rayed portions united, a large mouth, six anal spines, red eyes and dark dots on their sides. Further, the mouth is located in a terminal position, below the snout and has small conical teeth.
A golden brown to olive fish with a white to silver belly. However, can change their color to match their surroundings. Generally, prefer clear, rocky and vegetated stream pools and lake margins with warm waters.
Feeding on Insects, crustaceans and small fish like Yellow Perch and Minnows. While, they are preyed on by large bass, Northern Pike, Muskellunge and Walleye. Polygynandrous, having multiple mates during a breeding season which lasts from April to June. While, they are a sought-after game fish.
The Ozark Bass (Ambloplites constellatus) is a freshwater fish in the Centrarchidae family. Native to the White River, Sac River, James River and Pomme de Terra River Drainages of Arkansas and Missouri. However, prefers clear, rocky stream pools and creeks. A small fish reaching up to 11 inches in length.
The Shadow Bass (Ambloplites ariommus) is a freshwater fish in the Centrarchidae family. Native to South Eastern United States including Mississippi, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Florida, Alabama and Georgia. Generally, reaching a maximum of 12 inches.
A Rock Bass that inhabits small to medium sized rivers and streams with permanents water flow in cool water temperatures. Further, habitats including vegetated or bushy cover with substrates of gravel, mud and sand. Generally, feeding on small fish such as darters, madtoms and minnows.
The Roanoke Bass (Ambloplites cavifrons) is a freshwater fish in the Centrarchidae family. Native to a few rivers in Virginia and North Carolina, including the Eno River and Roanoke River. Generally, a small fish reaching 14 inches in length. While, preferring clear, rocky creeks and pools.
The Australian Bass (Macquaria novemaculeata) is a freshwater fish in the Percichthyidae family. A small to medium sized fish native to Australia. A popular angling fish similar in appearance to the estuary perch.
While, having a moderately deep, elongated body that is laterally compressed and a forked caudal fin, angular anal and soft dorsal fins. Further, the dorsal fins are high, strong and sharp.
Furthermore, has a medium-sized mouth and large eyes that appear dark in low light and red in bright light. While, the gill covers have sharp flat spines. Generally, the Australian is metallic gold in clear sandy streams and more bronze or bronze-green in streams with darker substrates.
While, primarily a freshwater riverine species they need estuarine waters to breed. Therefore, they generally migrate throughout the year. Further, required reasonable quality, unsilted habitats with adequate native riparian vegetation.
Day time find the bass hiding in cover or under sunken timber, undercut banks, boulders, shade trees and bushes. While, strong swimmers able to easily transverse rapids and fast-flowing water but often avoid sitting directly in currents to conserve energy.
Generally, hunt near the surface in shallow waters at night feeding on terrestrial insects like cicadas, aquatic macro-invertebrates, crustaceans, small fish, mice, lizards and frogs. A slow growing fish spawning from July to August. An outstanding sport fish with extraordinarily fast and powerful fights.
That Black Sea Bass (Centropristis striata) is a marine grouper found in northern and southern ranges, including the coasts from Maine to north east Florida and the eastern Gulf of Mexico. Generally, found in inshore waters and offshore waters up to depths of 430 feet.
While, spending much of their time close to the sea floor and congregating around bottom formations such as rocks, reefs, wrecks, jetties, piers and bridge pilings. Meanwhile, spawn when mature at around 7.5 inches from May to June. Eggs are buoyant and develop in 1.6 days. While, the maximum size of the seabass is around 20 inches.
Further, are protogynous hermaphrodites, maturing as females and becoming male. Furthermore, some distinguishing characteristics include a rounded caudal fin and pectoral fins with a short and high anal fin.
Further, is a stout-bodies fish three time longer than tall with a high back and a flat-topped head with a moderately pointed snout, large, oblique mouth and high set eye. As well as, a sharp, flat spine near the caudal end of the operculum. Furthermore, a highly sought-after fish by both recreational and commercial anglers.
The Giant Sea Bass (Stereolepsis gigas) is a North Pacific Ocean fish in the Polyprionidae family. A wreckfish reaching 8.2 feet in length. While, the fish is large, it may live up to 75 years.
Occurs in the eastern North Pacific from Humboldt Bay in California to the Gulf of California and Mexico southwards. Inhabiting relatively shallow water near kelp forests, drop-offs or rocky bottoms and sand or mudflats. Generally, feeding on crustaceans, crabs and fish including Mackerel, Sheephead, Whitefish and Sand Bass.
The Butterfly Peacock Bass (Cichla ocellaris) is a species of freshwater cichlid, a predatory fish native to the Amazon and Orinoco Basins. Despite the name, they are not closely related to other bass like the North American Largemouth.
Further, an important food fish and game fish. Generally, widespread as a result of accidental or deliberate introductions. Furthermore, where the fish becomes established, they tend to become an invasive species damaging ecosystems and out competing native fish with their high predatory behavior and extensive feeding habits.
While, the larges species is the Speckled Peacock, reaching up to 29 pounds. Most display a color pattern based on a theme of three wide vertical stripes on their bodies, sometimes smaller intermediate bands with a grey, brown, yellow or green background. While, their tail fins resemble the eyes on a Peacock’s Tail feathers.
However, feel free to click and read more on our site about Butterfly Peacock Bass.
The Tallapoosa Bass (Micropterus tallapoosae) is a freshwater fish in the Centrarchidae family. Native to the Tallapoosa River System and Mobile Basin in Alabama and Georgia.
Further, found in small upland streams with cover. Generally, have a green or brown body with dusky bards or blotches along their sides and red eyes. Only recently discovered as a separate species.
In short, the Bass Species is divided into Black, Temperate, Asian Seabass, Rock and Other. We have looked at them all briefly, but follow us in articles to follow with a complex breakdown of each. While, including biology, description, habitat, diet, distribution and fishing methods. However, please also follow us to find out how to catch them. Regardless of whether you are a professional or a novice, you may find the articles interesting and even possibly learn something.