Monday, November 1, 2010
That Fish is Still on my Mind*********
Spotted Bass Fishing
Don’t forget the Spotted Bass! Thousands of Alabama anglers seek the popular largemouth bass as their primary target, although many say that catching a spotted gives them a better fight. Both species live in many Alabama lakes, explaining why you can catch the occasional “spot” while fishing for largemouth bass. The bass are well known for their aggressiveness once hooked; however there are many other distinct differences between these two black bass species.
Spotted prefer cooler water. This is why you don't find them in farm ponds where summer surface water temperatures can reach 90 degrees. They also favor areas low in turbidity, which excludes sites that receive excessive runoff. Spotted tend to stay in rocky areas and avoid those with mud bottoms and dense vegetation. Two Alabama reservoirs that have excellent populations of the bass include Smith Lake and Lake Martin, both of which are deep, clear water systems with abundant steep rock ledges.
The bass reach sexual maturity when they are one to two years old or about 10 inches long. The normal spawning period in Alabama lakes occurs from mid-April to late May, depending on geographical location. The spawning period typically lasts around 30-45 days. This is much shorter than the largemouth, which can last over 65 days. Spotted generally spawn deeper than largemouth bass and nest sites can be at depths from 3 to 21 feet.
Adult bass primarily eat crawfish, fish and insects, with a strong preference to crawfish. In one study, stomach analysis revealed that crawfish made up 73 percent of the total diet of the bass.
You will find two types of spotted in Alabama. The Kentucky Spotted is found in the Tennessee River drainage in North Alabama, while the Alabama version of the spotted is restricted to the upper Mobile Basin. The Alabama bass usually grows bigger than the Kentucky.
The current Alabama record for spotted is 8 pounds 15 ounces and was caught from Smith Lake in the late 1970s. This fish once held the world record and still remains one of the largest spots ever caught. Spotted do not achieve weights as heavy as the largemouth bass but, pound for pound, many anglers feel the spotted bass is second to none.
Don’t forget the spotted bass while fishing in Alabama. We all love the largemouth, but there is something to be said about a feisty spotted on the end of your line.