The spotted bass is a large bass in the sunfish family, which ranges across the southeastern United States. Although it may look more similar to a largemouth bass, it acts more like a smallmouth bass in behavior. One thing that dictates how to fish for them is where they are located -- they act a bit differently when in their natural river habitat vs. when stocked in an enclosed lake or reservoir, so these tips will be diverse in nature.
Top 10 Things to Remember When Fishing for Spotted Bass:
1. Find moving water.Spotted bass love moving water such as streams and rivers with nice clean water. They are also often present within the reservoir systems across the state. Fish the areas of moving water in any body of water and you'll find the spotted bass.
2. Find hard structure.Besides current, there is one other thing that spotted bass love -- hard structure. Not so much soft vegetative cover, but hard structure. Whether it's a concrete seawall, rock rubble, or a bridge piling, if you find this sort of structure within their range, you will find plenty of spotted bass around.
3. Fish the summer shad run.When the deeper reservoirs get divided by warm waters near the surface, and colder waters below, large schools of shad will aggregate near the separating line, which is where the small zooplankton that shad eat will be. Fish this area using live shad or a shad-mimicking lure and you'll be sure to catch some big spotted bass. Spotted bass caught with natural bait.
4. Crayfish are gold.Spotted bass just can't resist a good crayfish. Crayfish can be suspended under a cork and floated downstream where the fish will see it for sure strikes. Many crayfish-mimicking lures are out there as well, and can be very effective.
5. Don't go too large on bait!Unlike largemouth bass, which will eat just about anything it can fit in their mouths, spotted bass prefer to eat small shad, crayfish, worms, and other little critters they can find. In other words, a bigger bait does not equal a bigger fish! Instead, use a lively crayfish and a good lure of a small but modest size.
6. Fish the natural flow of the current.With current-loving fish like spotted bass, they use the current to their advantage, hiding behind rocks and stumps for unsuspecting fish to pass downstream, which is when the ambush occurs. In other words, these fish are expecting their dinner to come from upstream, you want to allow your bait or lure to follow the same pattern to entice the strike. Inshore fishing for spotted bass.
7. Use light or medium tackle.At a maximum of about 10 pounds, spotted bass are not the largest fish in the lake. They are however incredibly strong, and can pull you into structures if your gear is too light. Anywhere between 6 to 10-pound test line is appropriate for all sizes.
8. Try a conventional rod and reel.A conventional, or baitcasting rod and reel combination will allow you to have greater leverage over the fish than a spinning combination of equal size. So when it comes to big spotted bass that want to run you under the rocks, this can really come in handy for landing fish.
9. Cast a few feet away from the structures, not on top of them.Remember, these fish act more like smallmouth -- aggressive and fast to strike. Casting a few feet away from structures and reeling past it will attract the big ones out from their hiding places. Spotted bass bridge fishing.
10. Use a fish finder.A common fish finder is really useful for finding schools of fish, and fortunately enough, spotted bass are schooling fish. Using a fish finder will help find the fish when they're out in deeper water in the summertime and fall.
There you have the Top 10 Tips for catching Spotted bass. If you're an avid smallmouth angler, some of these things may seem familiar to you, but to many largemouth enthusiasts that fish the same waters where Spotted bass reside, we hope that these tips help increase your success in catching this other fine species of bass.