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Spotted Bass Fishing in Florida

Written by Capt. Noah on Tuesday, 23 April 2013. Posted in Fish Info

Spotted Bass belong to the order Perciformes in the sunfish family of the Centrarchidae. It is a freshwater fish popular in sports fishing communities and is also called “Spotty”, “Leeman” or “Spots”. Among the black basses, Spotted Bass are natives of the Mississippi River and across the Gulf States – from the Florida panhandle through to Texas and into the western Mid-Atlantic States of North Carolina and Virginia. It has been introduced into South Africa and has established good populations in some isolated waters there.

Spotted Bass are frequently mistaken for Largemouth Bass but there is an easy way to distinguish the difference. Although they have similar coloration, Spotted Bass have smaller mouths. An adult individual can measure nearly 64cm and weigh up to 10lbs. There are rows of dark spots below the lateral line which are responsible for their name, and they live for around seven years. Preferring rocky bottoms of rivers, lakes and streams, Spotted Bass feed on various insects, crustaceans, frogs, worms and smaller fish.

Although Spotted Bass are members of the bass family and have similar physical characteristics, they are very different in their behavior. It is not uncommon for regular lake anglers to claim they have never seen these fish, even though they are found in every major conservation lake. This is simply because these fish prefer to feed at the bottom of the deepest parts, in waters ranging from 50ft to 90ft in depth. Very few black bass anglers ever venture into their territory and therefore never see them. If you want to be successful with Spotted Bass fishing in Florida, then here is some useful information to help you catch them:

Bait for Spotted Bass

Lures such as crankbaits, spinnerbaits, topbaits and jigs work extremely well. Insects, worms, crustaceans and smaller fish work extremely well when they venture out of the deepest parts of the lake.

Tackle for Spotted Bass

A light tackle outfit works wonderfully. A high quality spinning reel and rod with 8lbs monofilament line for reduced visibility is ideal.

Techniques for Spotted Bass

  • In order to fish deep, you will need large lipped crankbaits that can reach the extreme depths where Spotted Bass live. A conservation map of the lake will help you to locate the deepest parts. Throw your crankbaits into the middle of the deep areas and let them settle down low before reeling them back in.
  • When the weather is cold, it is perfect for Spotted Bass. They live in the cold waters of the deep throughout the year and outside temperature does not affect them. They are active when it is cold, where other bass tend to slow down. On days such as these, head to the middle of the lake and throw for Spotted Bass.
  • Weather conditions do not bother Spotted Bass at all. They make excellent sport on the nastiest days when it is raining, sleeting, the wind is rough or there are cold fronts on their way. They will simply continue to feed deep down where their conditions remain the same. If you can brave this type of weather, then Spotted Bass are a fantastic option.
  • The most popular way to catch Spotted Bass is to use large bass jigs. Ideally one with a large oval-shaped head and a colorful skirt is best. Once you have reached the deepest waters of the lake, drop the lure straight down off the side of your boat. When the line stops peeling out then you will know you have hit the bottom and you can crank the jig up a few feet. Drag the jig along the bottom with your trolling motor and do not hesitate to explore up and down deep channels.
  • Occasionally, Spotted Bass will become hungry enough to venture into shallower waters and you can use a topbait to catch them there. Any large trees or other forms of cover are great places to search for them. Cast into the limbs of the tree and drag the lure along the line of the tree trunk and back towards shore.
  • Other places to find Spotted Bass are where running water such as creeks, springs or streams empty into the lake. These fish will rise from the extreme depths occasionally to hunt in these places. Spinnerbaits with neon-colored skirts are fantastic for these places. Cast into these creek mouths and retrieve repetitively.

Call to book your Spotted Bass Fishing Charter in Florida and uncover their mystery.

About the Author

Capt. Noah

Capt. Noah

Noah is a United States Coast Guard licensed captain and PADI divemaster. He grew up in South Florida and has a passion for all things involving water. He is one of the rare bread of boaters who loves sailing and power boating. Noah sails competitvely and enjoys travelling, photography, and cooking. 


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