Difference Between Spotted Bass Vs Largemouth With Picture

Understanding Spotted and Largemouth Bass are not accessible if you don’t know about their features and characteristics. It is essential to acknowledge the key differences as there will often be different limits for various species. These two are the most popular freshwater gamefish.

Not only, the two species share the same water, but they also have similarities in appearance, which make it challenging to differentiate. However, fishing regulation varies from state to state, so it is dame serious for anglers to know everything and be proficient in comparing the various Bass species.

Ahead of discussing the diversities between the two, let’s talk about some common facts of both Bass species.

Spotted Bass and Largemouth Bass both are endemic to the eastern and central United States, and freshwater fishes belong to the sunfish family. They are widely introduced throughout the nation because of their popularity in games and tournaments. Spotty and Largemouth are both excellent at eating fish as food for humans. You can commonly find these two on the water from Georgia to Virginia besides the Gulf States.

After spending decades on the water adventurous and enough online exploration, I’ve compiled the quick guide that helps you distinguish between Spotted and Largemouth Bass.

Spotted Bass vs. Largemouth Bass: Key Differences In Appearance

In my observation, several unique factors make the Spotty divergent from the Largemouth Bass. These are jawbones, scales, dorsal fin, the tongue, lateral line, and the dark spots on the belly.

Spotted Bass vs Largemouth Bass


The jawbones and the difference in the mouth size is a convenient way to distinguish between Spotted and Largemouth Bass. The name of Largemouth comes out with large jaws; when it is close, the upper jawbone extends back to the rear edge of the eyes. Contrary, the Spotted Bass has a small mouth, and the upper jaw does not open back to the rear edge of the eye.


The Spotty has slightly smaller scales on its cheeks and around the face compared to its whole body. Unlike the Largemouth, Spotty also has scales on the base of its rear dorsal fins. On the other hand, Largemouth has the same size of scales throughout the body.

Dorsal Fin

One of the most significant features of both species is its variation in the dorsal fin. We notice that Largemouth have a separate dorsal fin. However, it does not appear always be distinctly different, but they often have a deep notch between the fins. On the other hand, Spotty has clearly connected dorsal fins with a gentle slope between the two sections.

The Tongue

The Spotted Bass has a roughly rectangular-shaped tooth patch present on its tongue. Comparably, the Largemouth does not have any patch on its tongue.

Lateral Lines

 Spotted bass has the prominent dark black spot that makes a horizontal lateral line that starts from the side and ends on the tail, but this line is not distinguished in Largemouth bass.

Dark Spots

Several black patches are present and seen on the upper sider of Largemouth Bass, and these patches make a horizontal line, not as much prominent in brackish water. On the contrary, the dark spots are preeminent and go from the side to the end of the tail, making the line and expanding to the belly of spotted bass. It’s evident that Spotted Bass got his name due to the presence of dark spots, and also call as Spotty and Spots.


Spotted Bass and Largemouth Bass are very similar in coloration, but the slight differences in patches pattern and color shades allow the trained eye to differentiate the two. Largemouth Bass looks olive-green, contrast Spotty appears in brownish green in coloration.

Sometimes you won’t be able to recognize the Spotty and Largemouth by their difference in features. Even the notch of the dorsal fin can also be confusing to recognize. So, the convenient way to check diversity betwixt Spotted and Largemouth bass is to look at its spots, jaws, or any feature we mentioned.

Other Contradistinctions

Both species of Bass communities (Spotted and Largemouth) are mainly different in life span, size and weight, and behavior

Life Span

The Largemouth Bass average entity in the wild is 16 years. On the other hand, Spots survive approximately six to seven decades.

Size and Weight

 Average Spotted Bass grows up to 25 inches long and weighs up to 11 pounds. In contrast, the biggest Largemouth increases a maximum size of 29.5 inches long, and its weight is about 25 pounds. The longest Largemouth fish is a breeding female that anglers release after catches to maintain a local population.


In the case of behavior, both are fighters and exciting game fishes. The Largemouth Bass is noticeable for the excitement of their fight. Its jumps over the water, trying to get rid of the hook and resist breaking the line. Alternatively, the Spotty tend to dive more profound into the water.

Angling for Spotted Bass vs. Largemouth Bass

 According to our expert’s observation, both species congregate in separate water bodies. Spotted Bass are generally found on clear water like flowing streams, rivers, and reservoirs. You can catch these guys 30 feet deep underwater. In contrast, the Largemouth Bass find on big patches of weeds and other shallow water and don’t care about the water clarity. It is the world’s most tolerant fish of freshwater. Spots remain active, but Largemouth bass tends to slow down when the water temperature slows down.

You will be proficient at hunting both Spotted and Largemouth Bass by using various bait and lures. But still, it is more suitable to pursue the Largemouth bass by utilizing larger bait and lures than Spotty due to its vigorous behavior.

Largemouth bass and spotted bass are often be found in the same water bodies and make the variation in fishing trips. Both are equally exciting game fish fighters and become airborne in their effort to throw the hook. Both families are powerful and put a challenging condition for anglers to test their skills. That is not enough!  Spots and Largemouth are both neighbors and provide good eating, too. I am glad to share our observations and guide on Spotted vs. Largemouth Bass, which help distinguish between Bass species.

Frequently Asked Questions

At first, glance spotted looks very similar to the largemouth bass, but there are some differences. The jaw length of the Spotty is small and can’t reach the rear edge of the eye.  Unlike largemouth bass, it has a connected dorsal fin, and the spot’s scars are very prominent, making a horizontal line under the lateral line. The rough tooth patch on the tongue is an essential feature that makes spotted bass divergent from the largemouth bass.

The largemouth bass is named for having large jaws and ends on the rear edge of the eye. Unlike the spotty, Largemouth have a separate dorsal fin, and the appearance of black spots is not as prominent as spotty. The lateral line is not distinguishable in a Largemouth, as we are mentioned above.

The Spotted bass is also called Spotty or spots in various fishing communities (for having dark spots). Nowadays, it is a well-known bass species that belong to the sunfish family.  Spots are the combination of the best features of both fish (Largemouth and Smallmouth bass). Indeed, many attributes are in-between Largemouth and smallmouth bass. As a result, ichthyologists regarded spotted bass as the hybrid species or the type of smallmouth bass until the 1930s.

Absolutely yes, like other eating fishes, Bass species (Largemouth, Spotty, and many others) also provides healthy flesh. Some species of bass fish have firm white flesh and a delightful delicate flavor. Bass is a delicious fish, and after proper grilling, the meat becomes flaky and causes a mouth-watering situation.

Like any other bass, the spotted bass is a devious creature that eats any other moving objects. Adult Spots prefer to eat small fishes, crayfishes, aquatic insects, and lizards. On the other hand, younger Spotty feed on small crustaceans, copepods, and small insects. The Spotted bass is not too aggressive and predatory compared to Largemouth.

Spots and Largemouth bass both are gamefishes and good fighters. Both are well known for their vigorous behavior and create challenging conditions for anglers. So it is essential to use suitable baits to handle both species. For hunting spotted bass, it is necessary to use jigs, the Senko, and another plastic chunk or craws baits are best to use. In contrast, we have to use small-sized medium bait fishes like shiners, shad, worms, and crawfishes, which are live baits and are utilized to catch Largemouth bass.

I’m excited to know about your fishing trips and your experiences of angling. Leave your comment in the comment box.

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