Flatfishes, sunfishes, and perchlike fishes

Smallmouth Bass Smallmouth Bass
Micropterus dolomieu


To 24" (61 cm); 12 lbs (5.4 kg). Elongate, compressed; back dark olive to brown, sides greenish yellow with bronze reflections, diffuse midlateral bars form dark mottlings. Mouth extends to eye. 16-18 pectoral soft rays; median fins olive; dorsal fins joined, 10 spines, 13-14 soft rays; 3 anal fin spines, 11 soft rays. Lateral line complete, 67-79 scales; 11-13 scale rows above lateral line, 20-23 below; scales on bases of soft dorsal and anal fins; 29-31 caudal peduncle scale rows.

Related Species

Redeye Bass (M. coosae) rarely exceeds 16" (41 cm); has 12 dorsal fin rays; 7-10 scale rows above lateral line, 16-17 below; occurs in similar habitat from SW. North Carolina and W. South Carolina west to W. central Alabama.


Cool, clear streams with moderate to swift current over gravel or rocks; lakes and reservoirs.


SW. Quebec and SE. Ontario; New York west to Minnesota, south in Mississippi River system to N. Alabama, N. Arkansas, and E. Oklahoma. Widely introduced.


One of the most popular sport fishes in eastern North America, this species takes a variety of live bait, minnows, and crayfishes, as well as artificial lures. The Smallmouth Bass spawns earlier than other sunfishes in the same areas.