Spotted bass (Micropterus punctulatus) and largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) are two species of fish that are often caught by anglers in freshwater rivers, lakes, and ponds. Although they are both members of the Micropterus genus, they have some differences in terms of physical characteristics, habitat, and behavior. Here are some of the key differences:
- Physical characteristics: Spotted bass are generally smaller and sleeker than largemouth bass, with a more pointed head and a rough patch on their tongue. They have a row of spots along their sides that are more distinct and uniform in size than the irregular blotches on the sides of largemouth bass. Largemouth bass have a larger mouth with a hinge that extends beyond their eyes, which allows them to swallow larger prey.
- Habitat: Spotted bass are native to the southeastern United States and can be found in clear, cool streams and reservoirs with rocky or gravel bottoms. They tend to inhabit deeper water than largemouth bass and are less tolerant of murky or turbid water. Largemouth bass, on the other hand, are found throughout North America and prefer shallow, weedy areas in warm water with plenty of cover.
- Behavior: Spotted bass are more aggressive feeders than largemouth bass and tend to chase their prey over open water. They also have a tendency to school together in deeper water. Largemouth bass are ambush predators and prefer to hide in cover before striking at their prey.
In summary, spotted bass are smaller, sleeker, and prefer deeper, cooler water with rocky or gravel bottoms. They are more aggressive feeders and tend to school together. Largemouth bass are larger, have a bigger mouth, and prefer shallow, weedy areas with plenty of cover. They are ambush predators and tend to strike from cover.