Freshwater Fish Species
The black bass family of the sunfish species
Saltwater Fish Species
Suwannee Bass Fish Identification, its habitats, characteristics, fishing methods.
The Suwannee Bass is one of the strongest fighters that fighting extremely hard. They also highly considered on the dinner table with their white, flaky meat with good flavor, better tasting than largemouth. Pole fishing is still the best and the most exciting method to catch bass. To do well in bass fishing, the best way is to study the creature, where it lives, what environment and water temperatures they prefer, what type of bait or lure better to use.
The Suwannee Bass feed on warms, crayfish, crustaceans, insects, zooplankton and smaller fish. It can be caught on all types of artificial baits, from under water spinners and spoons to top water lures. Bass loves rocks and wooded areas and heavy covers. More knowledge about the Suwannee Bass can surely help you to increase your catch. Better knowing and understanding the bass feeding and spawning habits will make you a more successful angler and will help to catch them considerably.
The Suwannee bass - Micropterus notius is a species of freshwater fish in the
Sunfish family. One of the
Black basses, it is native only to the Suwannee and Ochlockonee River systems in North Florida and southern Georgia. They were introduced into the spring-fed lower drainage of the Santa Fe and Ichetucknee rivers, tributaries of the Suwannee River and the St. Marks and Aucilla/Wacissa systems.
The Suwannee bass is a medium sized bass that have a heavy body and will grow to around 16 in. (40cm) in length, with a weight up to 4 lb (1.8 kg). They have bright and deep turquoise, blue coloring on the lower anterior section: cheeks, breast, and ventral parts that are their most unique characteristic. This color starts develop at Suwannee when they will begin their breeding cycle, at about 1 year old. They are more of a real blackish green color.
The upper jaw extends to a point just below the eye, while
Largemouth bass have upper jaw extends well past eye. Suwannee bass has teeth on the tongue, while largemouth bass and other members of the bass family usually do not. The Suwannee bass have a shallow dip between the dorsal fins with a distinct connection between the spiny and soft-rayed dorsal fins. They have dark vertical blotches on their sides near the lateral lines. There is a very distinct black blotch at the base of the tail where the lateral line meets the caudal fin. Scales are present on bases of dorsal, anal and caudal fins.
It is similar in coloration to the Largemouth bass but more similar in shape to a Smallmouth bass. They are taller than a largemouth, Spotted Bass,
Redeye Bass or
Male Suwannee bass are relatively smaller than the female and tend to grow to only about 1 pound. In comparison to a female which can grow to 16 inches and from 1 to 1 1/2 pounds and in rare circumstances even larger.
Habitat and Habits
Suwannee bass inhabits shallow, rocky streams, springs, and pools, quickly flowing water in rocky areas of the bank, but are not isolated to the areas. They prefer fast-moving shoal waters with a granite and sandy bottom but can be found in still waters. They also could be found in large running springs, overhanging banks and vegetation, fallen trees and underwater drop-offs. Found rarely in the lower, tidally influenced parts of the Suwannee River.
Rocks and wooded areas are good for Suwannee bass, a feisty subspecies that patrols the shoreline. They position themselves tight to those structures, feeding occasionally in the current. There are also crystal-clear springs where big bass go to spawn each year. Young fish feed on aquatic insects and small crustaceans. Larger fish feed heavily on crayfish, insects, zooplankton and smaller fish.
Spawning occurs in the spring between mid-April and mid-June, when water temperatures reach 57 to 74°F (usually 63 to 68°F) on a rocky or gravel areas. They will spawn in deeper, up to 40 feet water than the other black bass species. A large part reaches maturity within a year, length 7 in; spotted bass found in spawning areas are usually 3 to 4 years old. Sexually mature mates clean out and build saucer-shaped nests on a soft, clay bottom or on gravel bars normally near heavy cover like brush or logs. Nest depths may vary widely. Females may lie between 1,100 and 47,000 eggs. The eggs hatch in 4 to 5 days, yielding up to 3,000 fry per nest. Males guard the eggs for up to 4 weeks after they have hatched to ensure that nothing eats the young fry.
After spawning from 5 to 10 days, the male guards the nest and eggs. The female bass usually stays near the nest sometimes swim a short distance for food. After hatching, the fry swim in tight schools like largemouth. As young fish grow their diet shifts from zooplankton to insects, and finally to fish and crayfish.
Fishing Methods are spin-casting, still fishing, Bait-casting and pole fishing. For a small fish they are strong fighters when caught on light tackle. Like largemouth bass they will take live baits or artificial lures. Popular lures and baits include small crayfish-colored spinnerbaits, crankbaits, plastic worms, jigs and crayfish. Great eating quality with white, flaky meat with a good flavor and may be prepared like other freshwater bass.
The colder days seem to be the better days because the fish hold tighter to the cover. The best time to fish the Suwannee is from January through April. In shallow tributaries, where the tide’s moving, bass ambush baitfish from behind the wooden structure or lily pads. Bass congregate at the mouth of the creeks, where they are usually easy prey during a falling or incoming tide. The tide movement absolutely has an effect on the bass. Use a drop-shot or a split-shot rig or on jig worms to catch them. They like the redbug, the pumpkin-pepper and watermelon-seed bright colors, also the natural blue.
Fishing pole, Light to ultra-light rods, reels and lines should work fine for Suwannee bass. Good flies for bass include leeches, nymphs, crayfish and baitfish patterns, or terrestrials or poppers in the evenings when fish become active on the surface. They are great eating quality with white, flaky meat with good flavor, in general considered better eating than largemouth.
Great rods for Suwannee bass fishing are:
24ft Telescopic Fishing Pole
21ft Fishing Pole made of 99% Carbon
18ft Telescopic Carbon Pole
12ft Telescopic Fishing Hera Rod
18ft Telescopic Spinning Rod
12ft Telescopic Spinning Rod
12ft Telescopic Casting Light Rod