Spotted Bass

Common Name - Spotted Bass

Category - Fish

ScientificName - Micropterus punctulatus

Kingdom - Animalia

Phylum - Chordata

Class - Osteichthyes

Order - Perciformes

Family - Centrarchidae

Genus - Micropterus

Species - punctulatus


Description - Olive green back; dark horizontal stripe on sides with definite spots below stripe; slightly notched dorsal, or upper, fin with first section of fin having a low profile; membrane connects two dorsal fins; jaw bone stops near center of eye; small patch of teeth located on base of tongue; often confused with largemouth bass because of dark horizontal stripe

Young spotted bass have spots on belly and large black spot on base of tail; tri-color tail is orange, white, and black

Size - 8 – 15 in. (20.32 – 38.1 cm) long; 0.5 - 2 lbs. (0.2268 – 0.9072 kg); state record 7 lb. 10 oz. (3.459 kg), caught in Nelson County

Ecological Role - The spotted bass is a carnivore, preying on insects, crayfish, and fish. It travels in schools and is often encountered chasing shad in open water in lakes.

Fun Facts - The spotted bass is also called Kentucky bass and was adopted as Kentucky’s state fish in 1956. It is a member of the black bass family. Its scientific name has Greek and Latin roots; that is, Micropterus is a Greek work meaning “small fin” and the Latin wordpunctulatus refers to being “dotted. ” Other common names for the spotted bass are spot, lineside, creek bass, diamond bass, and redeye. Spotted bass can be caught in the fall by casting live minnows along rocky points.

Food - Young: crustaceans and midge larvae; adults: insects, fish, crayfish, frogs, worms, grubs





Habitat - Rivers and streams

Kentucky Distribution - Common in most major lakes and stream drainages throughout the state; prefers clear streams

Life Cycle

Life Span - 11 years

Life Stage


Seasonal Changes

Spawning - April – mid-May; migrate upstream to shallow waters; nest is less than 15 inches in diameter; male provides protection and care for eggs and young; young leave nest in 8 – 9 days; young grow to be 1.5 – 4 in. (3.81 – 10.16 cm) in the first summer, maturity is reached at 7 inches

Status - Secure




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Diagnosis and Control

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