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Species Index Game and Fish Home

Smallmouth bass
Micropterus dolomieu
Identifying Characteristics

Mouth does not extend past eye
Body relatively slender
3 anal fin spines
Usually 10 dorsal spines
Distinguished from largemouth bass by having smaller mouth, not extending much behind the back of the eye and also by having spiny and soft dorsal fins that are well connected, a more uniform shading pattern without a lateral bar, and usually a more striking orange or reddish eye
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Other Information
The smallmouth bass is an introduced species in Wyoming. Smallmouth bass preferred habitat is cool, clear rivers and large cool, clear lakes. Strip-mine ponds are also an important habitat in northeastern Wyoming. Smallmouth spawn in the early summer when water temperatures approach sixty degrees Fahrenheit. Spawning takes place in streams or lakes over nest constructed by the male on rubble, gravel, or sand bottoms. The male guards the nest and newly hatched fry. Food of young smallmouth is plankton and aquatic insects. Larger smallmouth feed primarily on crayfish along rocky shorelines.
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Angling Tips
Casting spinners, rubber worms, and jigs along rocky shorelines most easily catches smallmouths.

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