A possible new North Carolina spotted bass state record from Lake Norman was disqualified after it was determined that the fish was a hybrid. Genetic testing indicated that the fish was the offspring of a largemouth bass female and spotted bass male. The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission’s Freshwater Fishing State Record Program does not recognize hybrid fish, with the exception of hybrid striped bass.
An inspection of the fish by state biologists determined that most of the fish’s characteristics were consistent with a hybrid between a largemouth bass and a spotted bass. To confirm their identification, a small piece of the fish’s fin was sent to the Marine Science Program and Biological Sciences at the University of South Carolina, for testing. The fish currently swims in Bass Pro Shops’ 23,000-gallon freshwater tank in Concord, N.C.
Spotted x Largemouth Hybrid bass are becoming increasingly common, particularly in larger reservoirs where spotted bass have been introduced.