Would like to know the difference between largemouth and spotted bass? Then read this article.
Largemouth and spotted bass are two fish belonging to the same family of fish, but the largemouth bass has some distinguishing features that the spotted bass does not have.
These are the distinguishing features that separate these two species from each other and from other fish in their family.
Difference between Largemouth and Spotted bass
The following guide explains the difference between these two kinds of fish so that you know exactly what to look for when going out on the water in order to catch your next meal.
Scientific Classifications, Families, Species
- Family: Centrarchidae
- Genus: Micropterus
- Species: M. punctulatus
- Common nicknames: Spotty, spots.
- Family: Centrarchidae
- Genus: Micropterus
- Species: M. salmoides
- Common nicknames: Green bass, bigmouth bass, largies, bucketmouth.
1st difference between largemouth and spotted bass is Appearance
The largemouth bass is typically green, brown, or black with dark vertical stripes running along their sides.
They have a large mouth that extends past their eyes, which is how they got their name.
On the other hand, the spotted bass is usually olive green or yellow-green with dark spots on their sides.
These spots often form a horizontal line along the fish’s midline. Their mouths are not as large as largemouth bass, but they have a protruding lower jaw.
2nd difference between largemouth and spotted bass is Scales
In addition to these two differences, their scales also vary.
The scales on a largemouth bass are larger than those of a spotted bass, giving them an advantage in defence against predators.
The scales on the back of a largemouth also point downward towards its tail whereas those on the back of a spotted bass point upward towards its head.
Finally, both types of bass can be found in most freshwater environments around North America and Europe; however, many people believe that if you see one type in the particular region it means there is another nearby too because they prefer different water temperatures.
3rd difference between largemouth and spotted bass is Behaviour
The largemouth bass is the largest member of the sunfish family. They’re known for their aggression, as they will strike at just about anything that enters their territory.
By contrast, the spotted bass is much shyer and reserved.
They tend to stay in deeper waters and aren’t as quick to attack. When it comes to feeding, largemouth bass are opportunistic eaters.
They will feast on just about anything, from insects to smaller fish.
Spotted bass, on the other hand, is more particular in their diet. They prefer crayfish and minnows.
4th difference between largemouth and spotted bass is Habitat
The largemouth bass is found in freshwater environments and prefers murky water and faster-moving rivers with a large sum of vegetation.
They do not like cold water; you will only find them in warm water.
They’re known to be aggressive predators. On the other hand, spotted bass tends to reside in fresh slow-moving waters like creeks, small rivers, and streams.
You’ll often find them around submerged objects like logs or rocks.
When it comes to hunting, the spotted bass is more methodical than their largemouth cousins – they wait for their prey to come to them rather than actively pursuing it.
5th difference between largemouth and spotted bass is LifeSpan
Largemouth usually have a longer lifespan of an average of 16 years whereas spotted bass has a shorter lifespan on average not more than 6 years.
6th difference between largemouth and spotted bass is Dorsal Fins
The most obvious difference between the largemouth and spotted bass is the number of rays on their dorsal (back) fins.
Largemouth bass have only one spine and 11 to 13 soft rays, while spotted bass have two spines and 12 to 14 soft rays.
7th difference between largemouth and spotted bass is Mouth
Another way to distinguish between the two species is by looking at the width of their mouths.
Largemouth bass have a much wider mouth, which can extend past their eyes, while spotted bass’ mouths only reach to about the middle of their eyes.
Finally, largemouth bass are generally a greenish brown colour with dark blotches, while spotted bass are more brown with lighter spots.
8th difference between largemouth and spotted bass is Tongue
The largemouth bass has a distinctively large mouth, which gives it its name, and this is the most defining feature that sets it apart from the spotted bass.
The upper jaw of a largemouth bass extends well past the back margin of the eye, while in comparison, the spotted bass’s maxilla only extends to the posterior edge of the eye.
Furthermore, the largemouth has a smooth tongue while the spotted bass’s tongue is serrated.
These are only a few anatomical differences between these two fish species.
9th difference between largemouth and spotted bass is Size & Weight
Largemouth bass are the larger fish, with an average length of 20-24 inches.
They can weigh up to 14 pounds, though most largemouth bass that are caught weigh between eight and ten pounds.
Spotted bass, on the other hand, only grow to be about 12-16 inches long. They rarely exceed three pounds in weight.
The largest spotted bass was 8.5 pounds and was 16 inches long.
Spotted bass have a greenish back and sides, a white belly, six spines along their dorsal fin rather than nine or 10 as is typical for a largemouth.
10th difference between largemouth and spotted bass is Diet
Diet of a Spotted Bass
- Other smaller fish
Diet of a Largemouth Bass
In contrast, Largemouth bass are carnivorous, meaning their diet consists mostly of other fish.
They use their large mouths to vacuum in smaller fish whole. Spotted bass, on the other hand, are omnivorous.
This means their diet is more varied and can include things like insects, small crustaceans, and minnows in addition to fish.
The spots on a spotted bass’s side help it camouflage itself among the rocks and plants where it likes to lurk, waiting to ambush its prey.
11th difference between largemouth and spotted bass is about Substitutes while cooking
Substitutes of Largemouth Bass while cooking
- Black Sea bass
- Mahi Mahi
Substitutes of a Spotted Bass while preparing them
- Freshwater trout
- Lake herring
12th difference between largemouth and spotted bass is
Tastes and Textures
Bass is a delicious, versatile fish that can be cooked in many different ways.
When it comes to taste and texture, there are two main types of bass: largemouth and spotted.
Largemouth bass is the more popular type of bass, but spotted bass is gaining popularity due to its delicate flavour.
Largemouth bass have a flaky texture and less tender meat than spotted bass; they also have a stronger flavour than their cousin.
Largemouth bass should always be eaten with caution as they often contain bones or spikes.
There’s also been an issue with mercury levels in this variety which must not be consumed by pregnant women or young children.
Spotted bass, on the other hand, has low mercury levels and is therefore much safer for those groups.
Both varieties require cooking before eating them raw or steamed so don’t forget your favourite recipe!
13th difference between largemouth and spotted bass is
cooking methods or ways being used for Largemouth and Spotted Bass
When it comes to cooking, both fish can be prepared in a variety of ways.
However, because of their different sizes, cooking times will vary. Larger largemouth bass will take longer to cook through than smaller spotted bass.
When in doubt, use a meat thermometer to ensure your fish is cooked through before serving.
Some recommended methods for cooking these two types of bass are: frying, baking, grilling or poaching them.
Spotted bass typically does not have as much fat content as largemouth bass, so when cooking this type of fish you may want to add extra oil or butter.
If you’re looking for some great recipes that feature either of these two species, try out the following!
Spotted Bass flavor pairings
- Black pepper
- Olive oil
Largemouth Bass flavor pairings
- Black pepper
- Olive oil
For something light and refreshing, there’s no better option than the trout with lemon and thyme recipe from The Kitchen.
For something a little more hearty, look no further than this blackened fish tacos recipe from Serious Eats.
Finally, if you’re feeling adventurous there’s always sushi!
14th difference between largemouth and spotted bass is Nutrients
(4 ounces, raw)
|Saturated fat||0.9 g|
15th difference between largemouth and spotted bass is Mercury Levels
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has concluded that all fish and shellfish contain trace amounts of mercury.
They have also found that the level of mercury in fish varies depending on the type of fish, where it was caught, and how it was prepared.
The EPA recommends that people limit their consumption of certain types of fish, including bass, to no more than two servings per week.
So, what is the difference between largemouth and spotted bass?
For one, largemouth bass tend to have higher levels of mercury than spotted bass.
This is due to the fact that largemouth bass are generally larger in size and therefore require more food.
As a result, they tend to bioaccumulate more mercury from their prey.
In contrast, the smaller spotted bass only need to eat less frequently in order to grow and do not consume as much mercury as largemouth bass.
What is the best bait for spotted bass?
Jerk baits, crank baits, and plastic worms are all great choices for bait when fishing for spotted bass.
Each type of bait has its own unique set of features that can attract fish.
For example, jerk baits tend to be very flashy and vibrant, which can attract fish from a distance.
Crankbaits emit a loud noise that can also attract fish from a distance, while plastic worms provide a more subtle presentation that can tempt fish that are closer to the bait.
Where did the spotted bass originate?
The spotted bass is a freshwater fish that is native to the Mississippi River basin.
Unlike its cousin, the largemouth bass, the spotted bass has a smaller mouth and a more slender body.
In terms of coloration, both fish are dark green on their backs and sides, but the spotted bass has distinct black spots on its sides, while the largemouth does not.
The spotted bass also has a horizontal stripe that runs from its gills to its tail, while the largemouth does not.
The main difference between these two fish, however, is in their habitat preferences.
Spotted bass prefer clear water with plenty of vegetation, while largemouth bass prefer murky water with less vegetation.
Where do spotted bass go in summer?
Spotted bass is a species of black bass that is closely related to largemouth bass.
They are found in rivers and streams throughout the southeastern United States.
Unlike largemouth bass, spotted bass prefer clear water with moderate currents.
In the summer, they can be found in deeper pools of rivers and streams due to the raise in the temperature of water.
They also like to congregate around submerged brush piles, logs, and rocks.
Conclusion about difference between largemouth and spotted bass
When you try to find out the difference between largemouth and spotted bass, you would notice that largemouth and spotted bass may look similar but there are a few key features that help to distinguish the two.
Largemouth bass have a broader mouth that extends past their eyes, while spotted bass has a smaller mouth that doesn’t extend past their eyes.
Another difference is that largemouth bass is more aggressive, while spotted bass is timider.
Knowing the differences between these two types of fish can help you to better target the one you’re after when out on a fishing trip.
So, next time you’re out fishing, keep an eye out for these differences to help you identify which type of fish you’ve caught.
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