The Smallmouth Bass

By Trevor Arteaga and Nicolas Henderson


The smallmouth bass is generally brown (seldom yellow) with red eyes, and dark brown vertical bands, rather than a horizontal band along the side. There are 13–15 soft rays in the dorsal fin. The upper jaw of smallmouth bass extends to the middle of the eye. The fish's scientific name is Micropterus dolomieu.
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Fish Adaptations

The mouth of the small mouth bass makes it an open water feeder because of its size. Its eyes are medium which means that it doesn't specifically thrive in deep or shallow water, but is found more in the middle or near some type of cover. The small pelvic fins indicate that it is an open water swimmer. Small mouths are fast swimmers as indicated by their torpedo shaped body, river small mouths have more of a torpedo shape than lake small mouths. It's small scales also indicate that it is a fast swimmer. Also, the fish has two dorsal fins, the soft dorsal fin and the spiny dorsal fin. The spiny dorsal fin is for protection against predators, so when they are grabbed they "fin" the predator, which spikes them with the sharp spines on the fishes back.
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The smallmouth bass is found in clearer water than the largemouth, especially streams, rivers, and the rocky areas and stumps and also sandy bottoms of lakes and reservoirs. The smallmouth prefers cooler water temperatures than its cousin the Largemouth bass, and may be found in both still and moving water. Because it is intolerant of pollution, the smallmouth bass is a good natural indicator of a healthy environment, though it can better adjust to changes in water condition than most trout species.

Fun Facts

-Smallmouth that live in rivers tend to have darker coloration than those who live in lakes

-The world record small mouth bass is 11 lbs 5 oz and it was caught in Kentucky

-The average lifespan of the smallmouth bass is 6 to 14 years. It is possible in the right environment for these bass to live upwards of 20 years.