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Florida Bass Species

Largemouth Bass grow to impressive large sizes. The Largemouth Bass is the largest member of the Sunfish family. The record is 22 pounds, 4 ounces, caught by George Perry in 1932 from Montgomery Lake. The Florida Largemouth Bass is the main target for the majority of anglers who fish the waters here. Many Largemouth in the 10 -12 pound range are caught in the local waters each year. Common Names are Black Bass, Florida Bass, Southern Largemouth, Green Bass, Bigmouth, Bucketmouth, Linesides, Oswego and Green Trout.

Suwannee Bass appear in the Suwannee and Ochlockonee River systems of Florida and adjacent Georgia. They are also abundant in the spring-fed lower reaches of the Santa Fe River, a tributary of the Suwannee River. Most Suwannee Bass are small. The record is a 3 lb, 14.25 oz. fish caught in Florida's Suwannee River in March 1985. No other common names are known, but it is sometimes incorrectly identified as a Smallmouth Bass, Redeye Bass or a Spotted Bass.

Redeye Bass is a bass species primarily occurring in Alabama and Georgia and occasionally in the Apalachicola River. This species is not considered a Florida resident fish. Common Names for Redeye Bass are Coosa Bass, Shoal Bass, Flint River Smallmouth, Chipola Bass, Black Bass.

The Spotted Bass is widely distributed in the eastern regions of the United States, and as far north as Ohio and westward to Texas. They thrive in deep, clear lakes with lots of rock and gravel. The Alabama Spotted Bass has been introduced to California. In Florida, the Spotted Bass is restricted to streams of the Panhandle Region from the Perdido River to the Apalachicola River. Abundance of the fish is limited in this area and primarily occurs in and west of the Choctawhatchee River. It is similar in appearance to the Largemouth Bass. Common Names are Kentucky Bass, Kentucky Spotted Bass, Northern Spotted Bass, Alabama Spotted Bass, Wichita Spotted Bass, Black Bass, Smallmouth Bass and Spot.

Shoal Bass represent a low density species of Black Bass and are closely related to the Redeye Bass. This strikingly marked fish occurs only in Florida’s Apalachicola River watershed and is very abundant in the spring-fed Chipola River. Shoal Bass rarely exceed two pounds (in Florida.) Until October 1999, this species was variously considered to be a redeye bass or subspecies of the redeye bass. James Williams and George Burgess published the official description of the new species in Volume 42, No. 2 of the "Bulletin of the Florida Museum of Natural History.” It has no other common name.

The Smallmouth Bass is a highly sought-after game fish, but it does not occur in Florida. It ranges from Georgia and Alabama, north into Canada and to the northwestern states. Suwannee, Redeye, Shoal and Spotted Bass are "small-mouthed", but none of these are the actual, true Smallmouth. The Smallmouth habitat is very similar to the Spotted Bass and it has much more speed and stamina than the Largemouth family.


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