Spotted Bass Vs. Largemouth Bass: Difference & Complete Guide

Whether you are an expert fisherman or a novice like me, there comes a time in your life when you are holding a fish, and you cannot tell which type it is. This dilemma is very common among learners as there are a few species of fish that have a massive resemblance, such as a Spotted Bass and a Largemouth Bass.

As both of these species are types of Black Bass fish, they are quite similar. However, after a few fishing sessions, I was able to find some differences between the two. In this article, I have shared all the differences that will help you identify your Bass.

Spotted Bass Vs. Largemouth Bass

Spotted Bass

The spotted bass is one of the best game fish in freshwater regions. They are edible, so if you do happen to catch a few, snap a few pictures and then pop them in the fryer. They are small in size; however, these little guys can put up a good fight, which makes catching them a fun sport. They are usually found in deep waters.

Spotted Bass
Spotted Bass

Largemouth Bass

Largemouth Bass are larger in size as compared to Spotted Bass. Moreover, they are found in shallow water. Similar to Spotted Bass, the difficulty that lies in catching a Largemouth Bass makes the activity of catching one an exciting sport for anglers. The delicious taste of a Largemouth Bass makes the whole job more fun.

Largemouth Bass
Largemouth Bass

Differences Between Spotted Bass vs Largemouth Bass

There are many similarities between Spotted Bass and Largemouth Bass, which can often be confusing for many people. However, there are a few differences between the two, so if you are planning a fishing trip, you need to know the physical differences that put the two apart.

Related Guide: Difference b/w smallmouth bass vs largemouth bass

Jaw Length

This is the first difference between the two that can help in identifying the fish. The upper jaw of a Largemouth Bass is longer and goes a little past the eyes of the fish. However, the length of the upper jaw of a Spotted Bass is much shorter, and it ends right under the eye.

Dorsal Fin

The dorsal fin is a second factor that will help you differentiate between Spotted Bass and Largemouth Bass. The dorsal fin is present on the top side of the fish. A Largemouth Bass comes with a dorsal fin that is almost separate with a notch between the two sections. On the other hand, in a Spotted Bass, the sections of the dorsal fin are connected, making it one large dorsal fin.

Cheek Scales

If you are still unsure how to tell a Spotted bass apart from a Largemouth Bass, then take a close look at the cheek scales. Spotted Bass have smaller scales around the cheek area as compared to the rest of the body. However, Largemouth Bass have cheek scales that are of the same size as the ones on the rest of their body.


It may not be easy to check this difference; however, if you have caught a Bass fish, then checking their tongue is a quick way to tell which type you have. A Spotted Bass has a rough rectangular patch right in the middle of its tongue. On the other hand, the tongue of a Largemouth Bass is even and smooth, without any patches.

Coloring And Pattern

The coloring and patterns on a fish are the best way to differentiate them from each other. Being a novice, the difference between patterns helped me identify my Bass fish.

A Spotted Bass has small spots on its skin, especially on the lower half area, around the stomach. Meanwhile, the skin of a Largemouth Bass is comparatively clear and does not have any prominent spots on the lower half.

If we talk about coloring, a Largemouth Bass is more leaned towards shades of dark green on the upper half of its body. However, a Spotted Bass is more inclined towards pale shades of green. Coloring is another factor that came to my assistant when I was fishing.

Other Differences

Apart from these major physical differences, there are few other minor differences between a Spotted Bass and a Largemouth Bass. Spotted Bass is comparatively smaller in size, and they only live for 6 years. If caught, they try to jump back into deep water.

On the other hand, Largemouth Bass are larger in size, live up to 16 years, and when caught, they will wrestle to free themselves while jumping out of water.

Catching A Spotted Bass Vs. Largemouth Bass

Every angler knows the importance of selecting the right bait to catch your desired fish. What worked best for me was that using smaller baits attracted more Spotted Bass. On the other hand, if you want to catch a Largemouth Bass, then using a small bait will not do the deed; you will need to use a larger bait and lure.

Where To Find A Spotted Bass vs Largemouth Bass?

You can catch both types of Bass, a Spotted Bass, and a Largemouth Bass, easily on the same fishing trip as both of these fish are practically neighbours. However, a Spotted Bass prefers living in more fresh and clear water that is free from mud.

You can find Spotted Bass all around the year. In contrast, a Largemouth Bass prefers slightly murky water over fresh water and is only around during the warmer season.


How big does a spotted bass get?

Spotted Bass are comparatively smaller fish that are found in fresh and clear water rather than murky water. Spotted Bass lives up to six years, and when fully grown, this fish gets as big as 25 inches (64 cm), with its maximum weight being 11 lbs.

Can largemouth and spotted bass breed?

Yes, a Spotted Bass and a Largemouth Bass can breed. The hybrid fish that these two species produce is known as a Mean Mouth Bass. However, a Mean Mouth Bass is quite rare to find as it births after the mating of a Spotted Bass and a Largemouth Bass.


Knowing which Bass fish you have caught is a bigger challenge than catching the fish. However, with the help of a few differences in their physical appearance, it is possible to identify between a Spotted Bass and a Largemouth Bass. I have shared all the information that I have about the two types in this article.

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