Smallmouth Bass
  (Micropterus dolomieui)
Smallmouth bass are generally smaller than largemouth, but their fighting spirit and  acrobatics when hooked more  than make up for any deficiency in size.  They rarely exceed  5 pounds in  New York,  and any  fish over 3 pounds is  quite large.  The New York  record smallmouth was  taken from Lake Erie  in 1995  and weighed  8.04lbs.  The body of  the smallmouth is described  as elongate robust, and similar in shape to the largemouth. The mouth of the smallmouth ends below the middle of the eye, while the mouth of the  largemouth extends  to below the back of the eye or  farther. The smallmouth is  a greenish  bronze to brown in  color, and shading  to dirty white on the  belly.  The sides  usually have  two rows of  narrow  vertical lines.

The smallmouth bass lives in streams with slow to moderate current and in lakes  and  ponds  where  it  prefers  rocky  or  gravelly  substrate  and abundant  shelter.  The smallmouth will  tolerate a wide range of habitats, but  generally  prefers  cooler, clearer water than  the largemouth.  They are  widely  distributed  throughout  New  York State  and  Long  Island.

The smallmouth  spawns in late spring when  water temperatures reach 62 to  65 degrees Fahrenheit.  Nests are constructed in  gravelly areas along the  shore where  the water is  2 to 20 feet deep, with the average  being about  3 feet. The males construct the nest similar to the largemouth. The eggs hatch in 7-16 days depending on temperature. The newly hatched fry are  jet black and rise from the  nest in a dense school that is  herded  by the  male for a  short time.  Fingerling  smallmouth  will have  orange  and black  bands  across  the  base  of  the  tail.

Ponds  that  are  larger,  deeper,  and  cooler  will  provide  satisfactory conditions for  smallmouth bass.  Ponds ½ acre  and larger  with a minimum depth of ten  feet are suitable. If gravel does not occur naturally in your pond,  it can  be   added  to provide  spawning  areas  for  the smallmouth.

As with all predatory fish, your pond must be well stocked with minnows and crayfish BEFORE smallmouth bass fingerlings are introduced.
We  recommend  a  stocking  rate  of 100  fingerlings  per  surface acre. Yellow perch  can be successfully  stocked with  smallmouth bass.  After they  reach  spawning  age, the  young  perch  produced  will  provide  an excellent  food  supply for your smallmouth.  It will  also add variety  to your  pond.


Finger Lakes Aquaculture 7627 County Rd. 36
Naples, NY 14512
(585) 374-2974
Phil Faber - Owner

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