An Introduction to Spotted Bass
The spotted bass can be caught with casting, trolling and fly fishing methods.
The Spotted Bass (Micropterus punctulatus) is also called Alabama Spotted Bass, Black Bass, Kentucky Bass, Kentucky Spotted Bass, Linside, Northern Spotted Bass and Redeye. It’s been known as the Kentucky bass for many years. The name was further reinforced in 1956 when Kentucky’s General Assembly passed a senate resolution establishing the spotted bass as Kentucky’s official game fish.
This fish is often mistaken for the largemouth bass, although it doesn’t grow nearly as big. It is a lesser known member of the black bass group, but this is a spunky and distinguished looking species that most anglers enjoy catching. While they jump less often as the Smallmouth bass, they fight just as well.
Spotted Bass reach maturity by the end of year 1, but will not spawn until year 4.
They can be caught with all traditional baits and lures that work with largemouth bass.
Although the size of the lures and hooks should be smaller as the record Kentucky bass is no more than about 7 pounds.
The smaller hooks will cause less damage which is key for catch and release in reducing the mortality rate. However if the fish is going to be lunch, this is likely not a big concern.
The spotted bass is broken down into three subspecies and named the northern spotted bass, the Alabama spotted bass and the Wichita spotted bass. For more details on the differences between these sub species, see our description section.
Juvenile Spotted Bass adults prefer crayfish, midgee larvae while the fry feed on insects and insect larvae.
The adults feed on the same food that other bass eat including worms, leeches, crayfish, fathead minnows, gizzard shad and golden shiners.
Use the same tackle as for catching largemouth bass, just be sure to right-size your lures for the smaller size. We recommend using smaller lures and stepping them up if required.
Like all freshwater fish, the Spotted Bass spawn in spring when the water temperature reaches 63°F/19°C. This can happen as early as February in the southern United States. The male clears a gravel bed where the female spotted bass comes to lay its eggs. Once she lays her eggs, she is chased off by the male who looks after the nest and then looks after the fry for a few weeks after they hatch. More on spawning in our reproduction section.
Catch Spotted Bass using casting, trolling and fly fishing methods. Fly fishing is recommended for more experienced anglers and requires a different set of tackle.
For beginners, you can get started with an Orvis 9′ fly rod outfit for a good price around $160.