The white bass, also called silver bass, has a stocky body and silvery sides with unbroken black stripes above the lateral line. The stripes below the lateral line or faint and irregular, the stripes usually stop short of the tail. The tongue has a single patch of teeth at the base. Whites usually travel in schools, cruising open water and preying on gizzard shad, their main prey source. They are an excellent sportfish, commonly reaching 1-3 pounds. In April, when water temperatures reach the low 50s, whites will swim up streams and rivers to spawn, and this is a great time to catch them. Later in the summer, schools of whites will chase shad on the surface, providing great topwater angling. Also called sand bass.
Striped bass have silvery sides with seven or eight dark horizontal stripes that are not broken. The stripes extend all the way to the tail. The body is more elongated than that of the White Bass, and there are two patches of the on the tongue, rather than one. The striped bass is also a saltwater native that was inadvertently trapped in a freshwater reservoir in South Carolina years ago. Learning that stripers could flourish in fresh water, biologists began stocking them in other impoundments. Striped bass are more temperature sensitive and fishing is usually best for them in winter, spring and early summer. Drifting live bait, trolling deep-running lures or fishing vertically are the most common fishing methods. Also called rock fish or stripers.
The largemouth, is arguably one of the most popular sportfish around. The largemouth thrives in shallow, turbid water and is fond of any vegetation or other structure. The largemouth have a light greenish to brownish sides with a dark lateral band that may come and go. The jaw extends well behind the rear of the eye and the first spine in the spiny dorsal is less than half the length of the longest spine. Florida bass have slightly smaller scales than northern largemouth's compared to the body size, the scale count along the lateral line for a Florida bass is 69 to 73, and 59 to 65 for a northern largemouth. Largemouths will eat just about anything that swims and are popular with anglers because they aggressively hit artificial lures. The largemouth is also known as black bass, bucketmouth, big mouth, green bass, and green trout.
The spotted bass, also known as the Kentucky bass. It resembles what one would think a cross between a largemouth and smallmouth alike. The upper jaw does not extend beyond the jaw, and the spotted has distinct dark-green or olive diamond-shaped blotches alcove upper half of the body. It also commonly has rows of dark spots along the lower belly. The first spine of the spiny dorsal is more than half as the longest spine. The spotted bass, while smaller than far-looking largemouth, is great fun to catch, especially in the streams where it fights extremely hard.
The smallmouth prefers clear water and rocky structure. They are generally found in deeper water than largemouth's. While less common than the largemouth, the smallmouth is a fantastic sportfish that fights hard, exhibiting spectacular aerial displays. Beautiful brown to olive green markings and an upper jaw that does not extend beyond the eye distinguish the smallmouth.
This little freshwater bass has silvery yellow sides and the lower stripes along them are broken and offset. it rarely exceeds a little over 2 lbs. and usually weighs 4 to 12 ozs., but despite its small size it offers good sport on light tackle.
The rock bass with its big ruby red eyes, is a favorite among those who fish panfish.
It prefers rocky or gravel bottoms It prefers rocky or gravel bottoms in lakes and rivers
throughout the eastern United States and the upper Mississippi Valley.
BEST BAITS: Insect Worms Insects larvae
LIFE SPAN AND SIZE: The life span of a rock bass is about four years, reaching an average size of 6 or 7 inches in length.
IDENTIFICATION: Brassy color with rows of darker spots on scales, Red eye and 6 anal spines
The female matures between one and two years of age and spawns in the late spring (May through June). Rock bass build nests by scooping out depressions in gravel or sand beds. They lay between 2,000 and 11,000 eggs. The eggs hatch in five to ten days.
OTHER NAMES: Goggle-eye, Red Eye Bass, Rock Sunfish, Red Eye, Mud Bass, We Bass, Wood Bass
The wiper is an exciting hybrid cross between the white bass and striped bass. Wipers grow fast, aggressively hit lures and fight like no other fish. While fertile, these hybrids cannot produce another hybrid. Their offspring would resemble one of the parent species. Therefore, populations are maintained through stocking wipers can be difficult to distinguish from white bass. However, they have distinct, broken horizontal stripes and will usually have Two rows of teeth on their tongue.
Hybrids have silvery sides with dark stripes that are broken both above and below the lateral line. The body depth is intermediate between that of the White Bass and striped bass, hybrids are infertile, they do not reproduce in nature and must be stocked.