Smallmouth Bass

Common Name: SMALLMOUTH BASS

Other Names: SMALLIE, SMALLMOUTH BLACK BASS, BLACK BASS, BROWN BASS, GREEN BASS

Scientific Name: Micropterus dolomieu

Origin: Introduced

Adult Size: Smallmouth bass commonly live 5-7 years, with a few individuals reaching ages from 10-20 years. Most bass waters grow some adults to weights of 2-3 pounds. In Maine, only a few exceed 4 pounds, and bass heavier than 5 pounds are rare. The state record smallmouth bass is 8 pounds.

Identification:  Bass are members of the sunfish family. The upper jaw of smallmouth bass does not extend beyond the back of the eye. The notch between the spiny and the soft-rayed section of the dorsal fin is not deep.

  • Before the Civil War, there were no bass in Maine.  Records show that bass were first stocked in Maine in 1869.
  • The smallmouth is not actually a bass.  It’s a member of the sunfish family but, along with the largemouth, is called a black bass.
  • June is the peak of the spawning season in Maine.
  • Spawning will usually take place when the temperature is between 59º F and 65º F.
  • An average of 8,000 eggs per pound of body weight is carried by the female.
  • Males build the nest and guard the eggs and young.
  • The young smallmouth is more solitary, preferring to feed alone, while the young largemouth apparently prefers to remain in schools for at least a part of the first summer.
  • Favorite foods are smaller fish and crayfish.

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