Fun Smallmouth Bass Facts For Kids

Oluniyi Akande
Nov 22, 2022 By Oluniyi Akande
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Monisha Kochhar
Fact-checked by Shray Sharma
Smallmouth Bass facts that'll surprise you
Age: 3-18
Read time: 8.2 Min

The smallmouth bass is found in the following states- Missouri, Wisconsin, Maine, Tennessee, Kentucky, Minnesota, Michigan, and New York. Their natural habitat comprises lakes, streams, and rivers. There are many species of Bass.

The most common are the large and smallmouth Bass. However, there are many differences between the two. So, let's take a look at the largemouth vs. smallmouth Bass.

The largemouth Bass (Micropterus salmoides) has a large mouth, and its upper jaw crosses the eyes. Their dorsal fin separates in-between. They have a greenish body with a horizontal line.

In comparison, the smallie or brown bass has a small mouth that extends to the middle of the eyes. The dorsal fins are not separated, and they have a brownish body with vertical lines. You can catch a s

mallie with different fishing baits like blade baits, small soft plastics, jigs, jerk baits, crankbaits, spinnerbaits, and topwater lures. The hook's sizes to catch them are 1/0, 2/0, 3/0, 4/0, 5/0, 6/0, 4, 2, and 1.

Read these exciting facts about the Micropterus dolomieu.Also, find out facts about Piranha fish and Chinese paddlefish.

Smallmouth Bass Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a smallmouth bass?

The smallmouth bass, Micropterus dolomieu, is a popular game fish among fish anglers known for its fight back nature when caught on the hook and  reeled in. You can see the Smallmouth Bass jumping when caught on the hook.

They are easy to find and are found in large numbers. It is one of the most aggressive fish and falls prey to all sorts of angling tempts and baits.

The Micropterus dolomieu is one of the top predators in their ecosystem and can threaten other fish species. However, Largemouth Bass, Northern pike, and muskellunge are predators of the rivers and streams.

What class of animal does a smallmouth bass belong to?

The smallmouth bass is a fish. It belongs to the class-Actinopterygii and the family Centrarchidae. Its scientific name is Micropterus dolomieu.

How many smallmouth bass are there in the world?

The smallmouth bass is abundant in the upper part of the Mississippi and St. Croix rivers and their tributaries. However, the exact number is not mentioned in any research papers.

Where does a smallmouth bass live?

The Micropterus dolomieu are found to live in streams, rivers, and lakes. It originally belongs to the Mississippi's upper and middle river basin, the Great Lakes, Hudson Bay, and St. Lawrence River. The Smallmouth Bass extends from the Mississippi River to the Great Lakes in North America.

What is a smallmouth bass' habitat?

The smallmouth bass Micropterus dolomieu is attracted to clear water with rocky bottoms and cold water temperature. It hides well in the deep rocky bottoms or vegetation or under the lakes and rivers' roots and hollow trees. It can survive strong water currents.

They enjoy water temperatures between 66-72 F (16.9-22.2 C). Though it can adjust itself to water conditions, it cannot tolerate pollution or rise in water temperatures. The smallie is good at monitoring a healthy environment for its habitat.

An essential feature of the Micropterus dolomieu is that it usually moves to the shallow surface of the lakes, rivers, and streams after dark. Here, they prey on nocturnal creatures.

The Bass, Smallmouth, is also found on the river's rocky banks with a 45-degree slope with deep water nearby. If you want to find the Smallmouth, locate them near the point of access with deep-water, channel break, and off-shore humps.

Who do smallmouth bass live with?

The smallmouth bass, Micropterus dolomieu, lives in packs of their kind.

How long does a smallmouth bass live?

The Smallmouth Bass, Micropterus dolomieu, has an average lifespan of 5-10 years. However, some Smallmouth Bass are believed to live for 16-20 years.

How do they reproduce?

The Micropterus dolomieu reproduces by the process of spawning. The males and females species release gametes simultaneously. In Smallmouth Bass, spawning occurs between March to May when the water temperature rises more than 50 F (10 C).

The male Smallmouth Bass selects the nesting site for spawning and sweeps a nest with its tail up to a diameter of 3 ft (1 m). The nest is usually located on the small rock fragments next to a boulder or log or any other obstruction. The male defends its nests aggressively after it is built.

The females who are ready to spawn should be patient and diligent. A slight change of color in her body appears. Her body's dark spots become more visible, and the background color fades.

The fading body color also acts to communicate to the male that the female is ready to spawn. When in the nesting site territory, both rub their body against each other and release their eggs and sperm. The spawning usually occurs between 30 seconds and 2 hours.

After the females are done laying eggs, she leaves their nest, but the males stay back to guard them so that their predators do not eat them. Both the males and females are known to spawn with more than one.

It is estimated that a large female can lay up to 2000-21,100 eggs.

The eggs hatch within one week depending on the water temperature, and they continue to grow and develop within the nesting site for another one week. The young ones remain on the nest till they are ready to leave the nest.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of smallmouth bass, Micropterus dolomieu, is Least Concern.

Smallmouth Bass Fun Facts

What do smallmouth bass look like?

The Micropterus dolomieu is brown, but its color varies according to the environment from dark brown to greenish-brown. It tends to change its color to greenish-brown when it stays in the darker brown water.

The Smallmouth has dark brown vertical bands. It has brown or red radiating eyes. The red eyes of Bass are believed to be due to pigment variation. The dorsal fin is divided into two parts- the frontal dorsal fin has 9-11 spines, while the back dorsal fin consists of 13-15 soft rays.

As the name suggests, they are known as Smallmouth because their mouth is small, and the upper jaw only extends till the middle of the eyes. Its shape depends on the habitat. Those living in the rivers have muscular torpedo shape body while those living in the lakes have deeper and rounder bodies.

Smallmouth  bass have unique traits.

How cute are they?

The smallmouth or brown bass is an average looking fish with dark brown vertical bands and a small mouth. The upper jaws extend to the middle of the eyes. 

Many anglers love fishing this fish in the rivers. Fishing them in their natural habitat is a lot more fun.

How do they communicate?

The Smallmouth are highly active and visual predators. It requires clear water to be effective. Its reactive ability to recognize its prey decreases in opaque water, reducing its prey consumption. However, if a prey makes any movement, the water's opaqueness does not matter to capture its prey.

How big is a smallmouth bass?

The Smallmouth Bass size is 10-27 in (25.4-68.6 cm) long. The male Bass are usually smaller than the females. The Micropterus dolomieu is two times smaller than the Micropterus salmoides.

How fast can a smallmouth bass swim?

The bass can swim at a speed of 20 mph (32.2 kph). It can swim 2.5 times faster per second than its body length. A small fish swims at 2 mph (3.2 kph), while a large fish can swim at 12 mph (19.3 kph). A largemouth Bass can swim two times faster than a smallmouth Bass.

How much does a smallmouth bass weigh?

The average weight of the Micropterus dolomieu is 6.6 lb (3 kg). The world record Bass was 11.9 lb (5.4 kg) caught by David Hayes in 1955 in Dale Hollow Reservoir.

What are their male and female names of the species?

The male species is known as male Smallmouth Bass, and the female species is known as female Smallmouth Bass.

What would you call a baby smallmouth bass?

The juvenile Smallmouth Bass is known as a fry.

What do they eat?

The diets of Smallmouth differ according to size and age. The Smallmouth Bass diet comprises crayfish, insects, amphibians, and smaller fish. The young ones feed on water fleas, copepods, and other small floating animals  known as zooplankton.

When they are about 1.5 in (38.1mm) they feed on insect larvae and some other small fish species. When they are 3 in (80 mm) they include crayfish in their diet. From one year on, the Bass feed on minnows, sunfishes, yellow perch, darters, and crayfish.

Are they eaten by humans?

Yes, they are eaten by humans. The Smallmouth is a famous hunting fish and a popular food fish like the Largemouth Bass. The Smallmouth tastes good. It has a preferable flavor and is tastier than the Largemouth Bass. It depends on the personal flavor and how the fish is cooked.

Trout tends to taste better than Bass. But the Bass is more fun to catch because of its aggressive and jumping nature when caught in the hook, and you reel them in. Both the trout and Bass use their own techniques to fight back when trying to catch them in their habitat.

Fishing without a permit is not allowed. Do get a fishing permit if you are planning to go fishing.

Would they make a good pet?

Yes, the Smallmouth would make a great pet. You can keep them in your aquarium.

You can get the Bass from a licensed dealer. However, you need to check with the authorities whether it is legal to remove the Bass from the public waters and keep them in your aquarium. The majority of the Smallmouth fish species populations are used for fishing purposes.

Did you know...

There are a total of nine species of bass- smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, spotted bass, redeye bass, Alabama bass, Florida bass, Guadalupe bass, Shoal bass, and Suwannee bass.

The female smallmouth bass are larger than the males.

As the Micropterus dolomieu ages, the lines on the side of its body fades.

The Bass usually like to live in the water near the fallen trees or debris.

What is the world record smallmouth bass?

According to the International Game Fish Association, the biggest smallmouth bass ever caught was found in 1955 by David Hayes', weighing 11.9 lb (5.4 kg).

What are some other names for smallmouth bass?

The common names or other names of smallmouth bass are smallie, red eye, brown bass, bronzeback, bareback bass, and green trout.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other fish including tetra, or yellow bass.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Smallmouth Bass coloring pages.

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Written by Oluniyi Akande

Doctorate specializing in Veterinary Medicine

Oluniyi Akande picture

Oluniyi AkandeDoctorate specializing in Veterinary Medicine

With an accomplished background as a Veterinarian, SEO content writer, and public speaker, Oluniyi brings a wealth of skills and experience to his work. Holding a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Ibadan, he provides exceptional consulting services to pet owners, animal farms, and agricultural establishments. Oluniyi's impressive writing career spans over five years, during which he has produced over 5000 high-quality short- and long-form pieces of content. His versatility shines through as he tackles a diverse array of topics, including pets, real estate, sports, games, technology, landscaping, healthcare, cosmetics, personal loans, debt management, construction, and agriculture.

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Fact-checked by Shray Sharma

Bachelor of Technology specializing in Computer Science Engineering

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Shray SharmaBachelor of Technology specializing in Computer Science Engineering

As an aspiring web and app developer, Shray has a passion for working with promising startups. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science from Maharaja Surajmal Institute Of Technology while gaining experience in digital marketing. Shray has already earned a Google Analytics Certification and is well-equipped to handle analytics and data management tasks. He has also served as a marketing manager at Parallax Virtual Arts, where he oversaw the company's social media, content, and SEO strategies. Shray's goal is to create engaging content that resonates with audiences and offers valuable insights.

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