The spotted bass is one of the lesser known black bass. Adults are usually 10-15 inches in length. Trophy fish can reach 21 inches and weigh 5 pounds or more.
Spotted bass are similar in coloration to largemouth bass. Both species have a broken or mottled stripe that extends laterally down the side of the body. However, spotted bass have rows of spots on their lower sides unlike largemouth bass.
Spotted bass can be distinguished from largemouth bass by their fairly large mouth that extends to the eye but not beyond the rear edge when the mouth is closed.
In largemouth bass, the back of the mouth does extend past the eye. Spotted bass also have a rough patch of small teeth on the center of their tongue which is lacking in largemouth bass.
Spotted bass are found in lakes, most often along deep drop offs. They also inhabit rivers and creeks, preferring deep pools. They usually avoid habitats that are preferred by largemouth bass and smallmouth bass.
Like other black bass, the species has been introduced outside its native range. Spotted bass are also called Kentucky bass, spot, and black bass.
Kentucky recognizes the “Kentucky spotted bass” (Micropterus punctulatus) as its state fish.