A heavy-bodied black bass that seldom exceeds 12 inches long. Mature Suwannee bass have bright turquoise coloring on the cheeks, breast, and belly. The upper jaw does not extend beyond the eye, and there is only a shallow notch between the dorsal fins. A distinct dark blotch where the lateral line meets the caudal fin and scales on bases of dorsal, anal and caudal fins further identify Suwannee bass.
Suwannee bass can be caught in the Ichetucknee, Santa Fe, St. Marks, Suwannee, Wacissa, and Wakulla rivers of Florida, as well as the Alapaha, Ochlockonee, and Withlacoochee rivers of Florida and Georgia. A riverine fish, Suwannee bass are often found in moderate to swift currents near limestone or woody structure.
Spawning occurs from February to June. Crayfish are a major food item for Suwannees.
State Record: 3.89 lbs.
Big Catch minimum: 14 inches or 1.5 lbs.
Fishing Tips and Facts: Although mostly taken while fishing for other species, popular lures and baits include small crayfish-colored spinnerbaits, crankbaits, plastic worms, jigs and crayfish.
Image Credit: © Duane Raver, Jr.