Fish Facts: Smallmouth Bass – Micropterus Dolomieu

Smallmouth Bass (Micropterus dolomieu) is a member of the sunfish family. The smallmouth as it is called is a very popular game fish. The smallmouth bass is a closely related to the largemouth bass but prefers cooler water temps although their ranges overlap significantly.

The smallmouth bass is generally brownish with red eyes, and darker brown vertical bands. The mouth of the smallmouth bass extends to the middle of the eye which is a little smaller than the largemouth bass.

Smallmouth bass spawn in the spring when water temperatures reach 60 degrees F. The male builds a nest in quiet water by fanning its tail on the bottom to form a small dish or on hard surfaces that don’t permit modification.

Key Notes and Tips:

  • Males are smaller than females.
  • Smallmouth bass prefer clearer water than the largemouth.
  • Diet is crayfish, insects, and smaller fish, the young feed on zooplankton.
  • Smallmouth bass mature at age three or four, and occasionally live to be 10 to 12 years old.