How to Identify Suwannee Bass

How to Identify Suwannee Bass

The Suwannee bass (Micropterus notius) is another species that prefers the waters of small rivers. Suwannees inhabit low-gradient black-water streams in Florida and south Georgia, running the shorelines in search of food.

The bass is distinguished by a blue chin and throat, and a chunky body shape. It is commonly misidentified as a smallmouth or redeye bass.

The all-tackle record (3-pounds 14-ounces) was taken on the Suwannee River (isn’t that a little serendipity), Florida, in 1985. Florida restricts the harvest of Suwannee bass and considers them a species of interest, or special concern, due to their limited habitat.

Suwannee Bass Illustration

The upper jaw does not extend beyond the eye when the mouth is closed, and there is a shallow notch between the dorsal fins. There is often a distinct dark blotch where the lateral line meets the scales near the bases of the dorsal, anal and caudal fins. This helps further identify the fish.

Example of Coloring on a Suwannee Bass

While the Suwannee bass prefers the rocky shoal areas within faster running water, they are not isolated to just these areas. They can also be found in large springs, and spring runs.

Crayfish are a major food source for the Suwannee Bass. Baitfish as well.

In terms of spawning, this typically takes place between 65 and 68 degrees, and the process is similar to that of the largemouth bass – down to nest construction. In terms of size they are usually considerably smaller, rarely exceeding 10 to 12 inches. A two pound fish is considered a trophy.

Suwannee Bass Coloring Example

While the fish is rarely pursued due to it’s limited range and smaller stature, for those of us that are looking for a challenge – I think a road trip is in order…

Tight lines!

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