The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission found, through a series of surveys and research that the largest concentrations of Suwannee Bass were found near steep banks by shallow, silt-covered bottoms with lily pads in December.

Habitat & Distribution

The Suwannee Bass in a small section of the United States split between two states along a single river drainage basin. The Suwannee river and its tributaries start off in Georgia and Flow into Florida where it later meets up with the sea.

The Suwannee bass has the most limited distribution of all the freshwater bass, including the Roanoke bass. The Suwannee river is about 420km long/270 miles, and is rich in minerals, which has resulted in an abundance of both animal and plant life. The Santa Fe and the Withlacoochee are major tributaries of the Suwannee to the north. Other tributaries with the Suwannee bass include the Picturesque river and the Ochlockonee river. While the Suwannee river is brackish where it flows into the sea, the Suwannee bass is a freshwater fish only. Unlike the Australian Bass, the Suwannee does not head to the sea to spawn.

Not Found in Lakes

Nowhere has the Suwannee Bass been found in lakes or reservoirs. While some have made attempts to bring the Suwannee to lakes and reservoirs, none have yet to be successful. As a result, there are no know techniques for catching Suwannee in Lakes.

Likelihood of Introduction

The Suwannee Bass is a very small fish. While the largest fish ever caught is around three pounds, they rarely reach over one pound. Stocking programs focus on those fish that contribute well to tourism. These fish are large and offer a great fight. And while the Suwannee is a feisty fish, it is hardly lunker grade.

Food Preferences

The Suwannee bass favours crayfish, fathead minnows, golden shiners, and gizzard shad as it’s top food preferences. Using these two major baits types (crayfish and baitfish) will prove successful time after time. Other baits that work include leeches, small worms, insects like dragon flies, especially in the Spring and Summer when a multitude of insects fall off the trees into the water by the riverbanks.

Bait Casting

When fishing the upper portions of the Suwannee river for Suwannee Bass, use a light tackle with an 8 pound test monofilament line. Whichever bait you select, make sure it is sized small or you may end up getting a lunker largemouth bass to strike and snap your line. Cast your line towards the shoreline where there is cover and shade. They can also be found around lily pads.

Fly Fishing

While the Suwannee bass is not found in lakes, they are often found in lagoons or off shots of the Suwannee that offer slack water. These areas that are not overly covered with lily pads or floating weeds offer a great opportunity to fly fish.

You won’t need anything more than a 3-weight rod of about 7 feet long. As far as a spool goes, a good drag is all that is required.