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New bass species

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Most bass fishermen are familiar with largemouth and smallmouth bass, and southern bass fishermen know about spotted bass, too. But there are other kinds of black bass out there even if not well known. Some of these species are restricted to a few streams but others are more widespread. Not all are recognized by the International Game Fish Association but biologists say they are distinct species. All are of the genus "Micropterus" and can interbreed, producing hybrids of the two species. Some, like the largemouth, have distinct subspecies.

Black bass are related to sunfish and are not true bass. True bass like stripers and white bass are in the genus Morone.

Largemouth Bass - Micropterus salmoides - World record - 22 pounds 4 ounces - Original habitat eastern United States and northern Mexico and southern Canada, has been transplanted by man to all 50 of the United States, all of Mexico and Central America and many other countries. Jaw extends past the rear edge of the eye when closed, dorsal fins are separate. Divided into Florida and Northern strains. Most popular game fish.

Smallmouth Bass - Micropterus dolomineu - World Record 11 pounds 15 ounces - Native to the eastern half of the United States and sotheastern Canada, has been widely transplanted to almost every US state and many countries. Jaw does not extend past the back of the eye, dorsal fins connected.

Spotted Bass - Micropterus punctulatus - World record 10 pounds 4 ounces - Original habitat central and lower Mississippi basin to the Gulf of Mexico, from Texas to Florida panhandle and in Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky and other nearby states. It has been introduced into other waters near those, too, as well as California. Jaw does not ex tend past the eye, has lines of spots on lower body and a rough patch of "teeth" on its tongue. Divided into Kentucky, or northern, Alabama, or Coosa, and Wichita subspecies, the Wichita is found only in West Cache Creek in Oklahoma.

Shoal Bass - Micropterus cataactae - World record 8 pounds, 12 ounces - Natural range is the Apalachicola, Chattahoochee and Flint River drainages of Alabama, Florida and Georgia, has been introduced to nearby waters expecially the Altamaha River in Georgia. Jaw does not extend past the eye, no teeth on the tongue.

Redeye Bass - Micropterus coosae - No world record, Alabama state record is 3 pounds, 2 ounces. Shoal bass were included under this species and all listed records were for shoal bass so they transfered when they were separated. Very similar to shoal and spotted bass and occur in many of the same areas, usually do not get over four pounds.

Suwannee Bass - Micropterus notius - No world record, seldom gets bigger than 12 inches long. Looks a lot like a spotted bass. Natural range is parts of the Suwannee and Ochlockonee Rivers in Florida and Georgia.

Guadalupe Bass- Micropterus treculi - No world record, Texas Parks and Wildlife says they grow to 3.5 pounds. Naturally found only in Texas in parts of the San Antonio, Guadalupe, Colorado, and Brazos River drainages. Some have been introduced outside these rivers.

Bartram's Bass - Micropterus bartrami - No world record - A bass very similar to the shoal bass but limited to the upper drainage of the Broad and Savannah Rivers in Georgia. There is still some question if it is a different species.

In Georgia I can catch seven of the eight subspecies. That would make quite a fishing trip, trying to take all seven.

How many of these have you heard of and how many have you caught? Do you think there are any more out there we have not discovered or classified yet?

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how many do we have in south-africa??
peace,love and bassing.
Thanks for that info.
Never knew smallies could grow that big. Epic!
Then again how in the world would we be able to "spot the difference" on the spoties, largies and smallies who all have sub-species?
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thanx for the info Smile
if I may ask, why do bass grow so big in those States? they don't get near that big over here in SA.
Always wanted to know the answer.
Mattyiboss I think it's got a lot to do with the bait species, In the US they've got all that shad, fresh water crayfish, trout, fresh water herring and so forth. I think those baitfish species are rich in nutrients for the bass. Those large lakes and river systems can allso play a big role. Just my thought.
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@ Breede: I couldnt agree more; I heard that a bass needs to eat 15 kgs of food to gain 1kg; the bass gurus can prove that for a fact or dismiss the statement.

We just dont have the baitfish in SA, or the management programmes.
Also in America Bass Fishing is money driven, the bigger the fish; average weight; bag sizes the more reward for everyone involved in the industry.

Also there is a few 100000 $ reward for the next lucky angler to break the world record;

the american fish and wildlife organization is also quite different to our Organizations here in SA and Bass is indigenous to the States so they enjoy greater protection.

Also in the states there are no Joemat Pietersons and
Absolutely I agree vlokenfluke, but I also think it has to do with a more stable climate, temperature fluctuations and wide variances. Look at the up and down weather pattern in the cape and differences in temps between winter and summer. Our biggest is 4, 8 kg then look at natal 6 kg and up, then look at Zimbabwe where very big fish are plentiful and the coldest it gets is aroung 17 deg in the day at the coldest times of the year.
Spot on Brenden; missed that one; that is ptobably one of the biggest reasons.

Luckily we have Smallies also in the Western Cape :blue-biggrin:

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