7 Major Differences – Spotted Vs Largemouth Bass

By Last Updated: January 10th, 2023Categories: Fishing

The issue of spotted vs largemouth bass has been around for quite a long time now. For veteran anglers, it’s so easy for them to distinguish the two at a glance or two. However, most still find it difficult to spot the difference between the two. This is because spotted bass and largemouth bass (not to be confused with redeye bass) not only share the same habitat most of the time but they look similar as well. Not to mention, both are apex predators, which means they’re carnivores.

Sure! There are major differences. The spotted bass is of a much darker shade of scales and they have spots down to their stomach area, while the largemouth one possesses larger jaws and white belly parts. But there are still many who are still confused. If you’re one of them, stay tuned. In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about spotted vs largemouth bass.

1. Spotted vs Largemouth Bass – Size Difference

When you take a closer look at these two fish, you’d really see that one of them is larger than the other. Spotted bass has been recorded to grow at a maximum length of 25 inches and at a weight of 11 pounds. The largemouth bass, on the other hand, can be 29.5 inches long with 22 pounds of weight.

Spotted Bass

Comparing the sizes to the general population of both kinds of bass, it’s safe to assume that the largemouth tends to grow much longer and heavier than the spotted ones. In addition, the female spotted or largemouth bass is usually released back to the water, especially when they are longer and heavier than the others. This is because breeding females are the one to maintain the balance in the population.

2. Spotted vs Largemouth Bass – Color and Pattern Difference

One of the most confusing characteristics of spotted and largemouth bass is their color. Sometimes, they really appear the same. But despite that, you can still differentiate the two if you know some subtle details about their color and body patterns. The spotted bass is darker and brown to the green color scheme, while largemouths typically appear lighter green like olive.

Moreover, spotted bass has small spots that are darker, and these spots are the reason behind its name. Also, there are also darker line patterns on its lower sides. Largemouth bass on the other hand have lighter spots and there are no line patterns on their side.

3. Spotted vs Largemouth Bass – Jawline Difference

Besides the overall size and the color pattern, another difference that you should look out for is the size of their jawline. Largemouth bass, as stated by its name, has a larger jawline. Meanwhile, If you look closely and compare the two, you’d really notice this difference.

With spotted bass, its jawline is not that prominent. In fact, the jawline ends in the same line as its eyes. Largemouth bass has a jawline that doesn’t stop in the line with eyes but extends past it. And because it has a really wide jawline, it was later called largemouth.

4. Spotted vs Largemouth Bass – Habitat and Location Differences

Spotted bass and largemouth bass can be found in the eastern and central regions of the United States. They are basically native to the freshwater areas there. While both of them can be seen in the same bodies of water at times, the spotted ones are usually hanging out in rivers or streams that are moving quite fast. Meanwhile, the largemouths are more fond of rivers or lakes that have slower currents.

Largemouth Bass

So, the water current can really tell you what kind of bass you’re going to find. If you fish in fast-moving water, you can expect spotted ones. And if you fish in slow-moving water, largemouths are pretty likely to be present.

5. Spotted vs Largemouth Bass – Scales Difference

Another difference to see is the scales on both of them. They are slightly different. For spotted bass, the size of the scales may vary depending on whether they’re on the upper or lower cheeks. The ones in the upper part are much bigger as compared to those in the lower part. Largemouths have the same size of scales regardless of their position. In fact, the size of the scales is larger than the largest ones you can find on the spotted bass.

6. Spotted vs. Largemouth Bass – Dorsal Fin Difference

When it comes to their dorsal fins, both spotted bass and largemouth bass are quite similar. The fins are quite soft and spiny, and they look too similar when you have both fish lay flat. But that’s only the case if you don’t raise the fins yourself.

The spotted bass has a kind of membrane that forms a connection between the two fins, while the largemouth bass doesn’t have any type of connecting membrane. With that, a largemouth’s fin appears separate.

7. Spotted vs Largemouth – Lifespan Difference

If you have either of the two in your lake or pond and you don’t know which one it is, their lifespan can help you. Spotted bass has a maximum lifespan of 6 years, and that is when it’s in the wild. However, rare cases reported that it can also live up to 7 years. On the other hand, largemouths live significantly longer in the wild. It’s been recorded to endure for at least 10 years, with some being able to live up to 16 years.

Spotted Bass Fish

However, this difference may not help you much when catching either bass. This can only apply if you already have one in your personal pond or lake, and it would take you years to know which one lived more.


The issue of spotted vs largemouth bass has been around for ages, and many are still confused about their differences. You see, if you are into catching either of the two, you must know the key differences to properly identify which one is the fish you are looking for. So, check out the ones we’ve discussed above. We hope they can help you with your fishing endeavors.


Yes! Even though their teeth are not as sharp as those you can find in sharks, you still need to be careful when approaching one with your bare hands. Their teeth can be quite sharp, and they can cut your fingers if they happen to bite you.

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the spotted bass and the largemouth bass are classified as the least-concern species. This means that their population is widespread and abundant and is unlikely to get endangered or extinct anytime soon. This is because most anglers are responsible enough to return the pregnant ones to the water.