Fish Species Spotlight:Spotted BassSpotted bass can be found throughout the southeast, mid-Atlantic, and even in some western states where they have planted for recreational sport fishing. They are a fun fish to catch in lakes and streams. The spotted bass looks similar to the largemouth bass, but it acts more like a smallmouth bass in where it likes to spend it’s time, and it’s feeding habits. In this spotlight for Spotted Bass fishing, we describe what you need to know in order to locate and target these Spotted Bass. World Record Spotted BassThe biggest world record sized Spotted Bass ever caught, as per the International Game Fish Association, was caught in California, at Pine Flat Lake, in 2001, and it weighed in at 10 lb 4 oz. •Weight - 10 lb 4 oz•Location - Pine Flat Lake, California, USA•Catch Date - 21-Apr-2001•Angler - Bryan ShishidoState Record Big Fish can be found here.When to Find Spotted BassYou can catch spotted bass pretty much year round, especially when you are targeting them in deep lakes or reservoirs. There are a few things that help to locate where they are hiding during the different seasons. In the spring, the mature spotted bass will come into the shallow areas of the lake to spawn and during this time you can fish them by sight fishing them, or seeing them and then targeting them. During the summer and fall months they tend to go deeper where they can find cooler stable water and plenty of shad and other bait fish to chow down on. In the winter months they are in search of warmer water where they will be in deeper water, but will move into the shallow water during the days when the sun heats the water. •Spring Months: Shallow Water•Summer Months: Deep Water•Fall Months: Deep Water•Winter Months: Mostly Deep Water, Sunny Warmer Days Shallow Water Where to Catch Spotted BassSpotted bass typically hang out in areas with lots of structure, and they also like areas with current. It’s a good idea to look for rock piles, seawalls, bridge pilings, fallen trees, and bushes growing in the water. The structures can be deep or shallow, allowing you to target these areas during the seasons as mentioned in the section above. As for the current, they like a light but steady flow of water where they can stalk their prey behind the structure. Pay particular attention to areas where currents flow around structure such as big rocks or bridge pilings, and you are sure to find some good spotted bass action. •Structure - Rock Piles, Fallen Trees, Bushes, SeaWalls, Bridge Pilings•Current - Light but Steady FlowTackle for Spotted BassThe average large spotted bass will reach about ten pounds, but they do like to hang out in structures that can pull your lure behind. You need to keep this in mind when you are thinking about whether to use light line and small baits, or stronger line that will enable you to pull these fish out from those structures without breaking your line. •Light Line, Small Baits, Less Structures•Heavy Line, Larger Baits, More StructuresSpinning Tackle for Spotted BassMost anglers prefer to use spinning rods and reels due to how easy they are to use, but also because there are some definite advantages when it comes to fishing for spotted bass. Spinning combinations are good for working small lures with finesse to make your lure come alive, and entice the fish to bite. With a spinning rod it is easier to flip the small baits up under fallen trees or over hanging vegetation and tight structures to get to where the fish are hiding. •Spinning Tackle to work small lures with finesse to make your lure come aliveConventional Baitcasting Tackle for Spotted BassAnother more commonly used term for conventional tackle is baitcasting tackle. Baitcasting tackle is easier to use with live bait and small lures. Though spinning tackle works better for working small lures with finesse, baitcasting tackle makes it a bit harder to do so. Baitcasting tackle has a big advantage over spinning tackle in that it gives you greater leverage over fish. It allows you to rip the fish right out of the structures and heavy cover where spinning tackle may fail and cause you to lose the fish. When you master the casting techniques needed for using baitcasting tackle, you will be able to cast further than spinning tackle. •Baitcasting Tackle for more leverage to rip the fish right out of structures and heavy coverLines and Leader for Spotted BassFishing line is all about personal preference. Many anglers like to choose a lighter line so that it is more invisible to fish, but if your line is not strong enough to get the fish in and pull the fish out of structure, then you will catch less fish, and you may just lose that lunker of a lifetime. It’s happened to me. With advancements in fishing line technology, you can have the best of both worlds by buying good quality line that is designed to be invisible to fish. For spotted bass you should go with 6 to 10 pound test, and my recommendation is to head towards the top end of that range. You can always take it easy in pulling in any fish by setting your drag to ensure that you won’t break your line by the weight and fight of the fish, but the drag will do nothing for you as your line gets hit on some structure. I used 10 pound myself as I have lost a ten plus pounder in my early years of fishing and it’s just not something I want to happen again. I rarely break my line on a fish because I use good quality line and ten pound test to lessen the risk from structure breaks. You can spend the extra money and get fluorocarbon which is invisible to fish, or use a good quality Monofilament line, or a low diameter high pound test braided line, and add a thirty foot leader of fluorocarbon leader to tie your lure to, in order to still have the line invisible to fish. Braided line does work great in water with current as the lower diameter line will have less resistance and movement caused by the current. I like to use a good quality monofilament line so I have the stretch in my line. •Fluorocarbon Line for invisibility - Leader or Full Spool•Braided line for Strength, and less push back in current, with Fluorocarbon Leader•High Quality Monofilament with invisible qualities Baits and Lures for Spotted BassWhen thinking about what baits or lures to use for spotted bass, it’s important to think about what would look like natural prey to the fish. For most lakes, a shad type lure will be natural to the lake, and spotted bass will hit them hard. Many of the stickbait type lures work great. Other good choices would be rubber crayfish, rubber worms, real worms, and live minnows. A diving plug is also a good choice. When fishing around rocks when the fish are near the bottom the crayfish style lures or rubber worms would work best to be able to drop the lures down into the rocks or other structure where they are hiding and be able to slip the lure back out. •Live Bait - Live Minnows, Live Worms•Lures - Stickbaits, baitfish imitations, rubber worms, crayfish, diving plugsSee more fishing tackle in ourFishing Gear and Tackle store.Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Mendenhall Outdoors team. We highlight products and services that you might find interesting. We frequently receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. If you click a link on this page, then go on to make a purchase, we might receive a commission – at no extra cost to you, and does not impact the purchase price of any products that you may purchase.