I don't know if this is a weird looking largemouth bass or a spotted bass. It was caught in southern Oklahoma. Please help! Thanks.

bass caught in southern Oklahoma

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    $\begingroup$ Where did you catch this? (state, body of water, type of water, etc.). If you can, please provide a map showing the general location of the body of water. Adding as much info as possible to a species identification question is a must. $\endgroup$ Feb 14 '17 at 0:16
  • $\begingroup$ Thank for the tips, I'll keep them in mind next time I need help identifying a species and thanks for your answer! $\endgroup$ Feb 14 '17 at 1:23

This looks like a spotted bass (Micropterus punctulatus).

Here's an image showing some quick differences between some common bass species:

How to differentiate Bass fish

Using the above photo and this source to guide our judgment we can see your specimen appears to:

  1. Have a jaw that does not go posterior to the eye (as it otherwise would in a largemouth).

  2. Have rows of pigment towards its ventral side (below the "lateral line").

  3. Not have the typical darker horizontal line of scales characteristic of the largemouth bass .

  4. Have smaller-sized cranial scales (those around the eye) characteristic of the spotted bass.

If you can provide additional pictures of the following, I can provide a more definitive ID:

  1. Both dorsal fins -- if the 2 dorsal fins are connected, it would further suggest a spotted bass (as largemouth bass dorsal fins are not typically connected)

  2. Tongue -- evidence of a tooth patch is more likely on the spotted bass.

According to the International Game Fish Association:

Spotted bass can be found throughout the central and lower Mississippi basin to the Gulf of Mexico (from Texas to the Florida panhandle), including Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky and other nearby states where it occurs naturally or has been introduced.

  • $\begingroup$ It was caught in southern Oklahoma $\endgroup$ Feb 14 '17 at 1:15
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    $\begingroup$ And I remember checking the tongue and it was rough, I just wasn't aware that this lake had spotted bass. Thanks for answering my question this is a new species for me! $\endgroup$ Feb 14 '17 at 1:17

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