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Thread: Spotted vs Largemouth (picture)

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    Member NPhusker's Avatar
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    Default Spotted vs Largemouth (picture)

    how do you tell the difference between a spotted bass and largemouth bass?

    I read that spotted bass will have smaller mouths, but is this the only way to tell the difference?
    Last edited by NPhusker; 03-13-2009 at 12:30 PM.

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    Member lincangler's Avatar
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    Nebraska Game and Parks Commission - Fish Identification Guide

    this can be very helpfull

    Type in Bass in Common Name and go

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    1.Spots always have a tooth patch on their tongue, "most" LMB do not, keep in mind that a small percentage of LMB do have a tooth patch on their tongue so this is not always the best indicator.

    2.Another primary difference is the dorsal fin. On spots the spiny rays and soft rays are much more well connected, on LMB they are barely connected.

    3.The other difference is where the jaw line ends below the eye "when the mouth is closed". On a spot the jaw line ends right below the eye similar to a SMB. On a LMB the jaw line extends a further back behind the eye. Hope this helps.
    Last edited by Shorty; 03-13-2009 at 02:05 PM. Reason: added "when mouth is closed" to the jaw line comments
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    Member NPhusker's Avatar
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    I beleive this is a largemouth, but looking at the mouth joint it looks to end parallel with the eye, so it makes me wonder if it could be a spotted.


    So what do you guys think? spotted or largemouth?

    (I am especially curious because if this a spotted bass that would be the sate record)

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    There's a fish in that picture??? Oh, there it is, I was concentrating on something else. Just kidding. My guess is largemouth. Great fish.

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    I am going to say largemouth for sure. jmo

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    Looks like a LMB to me as it appears that the jaw line would extend behind the eye when the mouth is closed. You are right, if that's a spot it would likely be a state record.
    Sometimes it's fun to just sit back and watch the circus.....

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    Quote:
    I beleive this is a largemouth, but looking at the mouth joint it looks to end parallel with the eye, so it makes me wonder if it could be a spotted.




    So what do you guys think? spotted or largemouth?
    Largemouth. No doubt.

    Darned few spotted bass left anywhere in Nebraska. There are still some places where you might turn one up (e.g. Elwood Reservoir), but the fish in that picture ain't one of them.

    Daryl Bauer
    Lakes and Reservoirs Program Manager
    Nebraska Game & Parks Commission
    daryl.bauer@nebraska.gov

    P.S. Please feel free to share this message with others.
    Thanks Daryl!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shorty View Post
    Looks like a LMB to me as it appears that the jaw line would extend behind the eye when the mouth is closed. You are right, if that's a spot it would likely be a state record.
    I'd vote for largemouth all the way...
    some other 'indicators' in addition to the toothpatch (spots have them; largemouth don't...but in waters where they both exist, they do interbreed)...
    tail: thinner, more 'handle-like
    sliminess: spotted bass have a typically rougher scaled body than largemouth...they feel more like a walleye
    lines of spots below the lateral line dark 'stripe'
    Mottled back coloration: when viewed from the top down, they have a more mottled coloration...

    here's an excellent image ... the fish on 'your' left is a spot; on your right a largemouth...

    Note the general tail shape difference...the mottling on top portion of the back of the spot...the lines of spots below the lateral line...
    but keep in mind, these 'identifiers' can all fail at times...but they should get you pretty close most of the time...

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    Quote Originally Posted by bassinoutwest View Post
    I'd vote for largemouth all the way...
    some other 'indicators' in addition to the toothpatch (spots have them; largemouth don't...but in waters where they both exist, they do interbreed)...
    Actually a small number of LMB do have tooth patches without having been interbred, it's likely a recessive gene. In the private pond I helped stock and manage for 20 plus years about 30% or more of the LMB had a tooth patch on their tongue in varying sizes, some large, some small. There were never any spots in this pond and none of the LMB showed any of the other characteristics typical of a spotted bass. This topic came up on another forum (Pond Boss) several years ago and a taxidermist there said he occasionally had seen a tongue tooth patch on some of the 6 lb plus LMB that he had mounted in his home state of Indianna. Here is what the Georgia DNR says describing LMB.

    Largemouth bass

    Description: Upper jaw extends beyond the eye. Tongue normally smooth, tooth patch rare. Spiny & soft dorsal fin separate or nearly so.
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    I know the picture isn't that great...but is this a spot on the left and a LMB on the right?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrcold View Post


    I know the picture isn't that great...but is this a spot on the left and a LMB on the right?
    That's what it looks like to me.

    Nice Spot!
    Sometimes it's fun to just sit back and watch the circus.....

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    Whats been posted so far is good info, but as you see more and more of them, they become pretty easy to distinguish. The mouth size can be deceiving and I don't usually go by that, and the tooth patch can be inconsistent. The connected dorsal fin on the spot is good indicator, but I've caught largemouth that almost have as connected of dorsal fin. If the fish are of good color, the pattern on their back will easily distinguish them. Also I've noticed that spotted bass usually have a very distinct yellow or red eye, while largemouth often appear duller and almost blackish. In murkier water they can be tougher to distinguish if their color fades, but when you see enough of them you'll be able to just pick out a difference. Sometimes its just hard to explain, but there shape is just a little different.

    Here's a few from my collection as well.

    distinctly colored spotted bass

    distinctly colored largemouth


    Not so distinctly colored spotted bass


    Not so distincltly colored largemouth


    Here's a few other different looking spotted bass for comparison as well





    Heres a few more largemouth for comparison




    Hope this helps. Really after you see enough of them, they are really easy to tell apart.
    Also, spotted bass are more common in rivers that support them, than they would be in impounded water. If you are fishing rivers with both spotted and largemouth, typically spotted bass love strong current when they are active, and will feed below rapids. Largemouth usually prefer still water sections of a river, but you can find both in either or.

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