In North America, Black Bass comprise at least 14 species of bass, which are a part of the sunfish family. North Carolina is home to at least five species of Black Bass, including the invasive Alabama Bass, and native Bartram's Bass, Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass and Spotted Bass.
Largemouth Bass and Smallmouth Bass are usually larger than Alabama Bass and Spotted Bass. Alabama Bass and Spotted Bass usually weigh less than 1 pound while Largemouth Bass and Smallmouth Bass weighing 2-3 pounds are common. Bartram's Bass is the smallest of the five species, usually less than 1 pound. When handling, anglers may note the scales of Alabama Bass and Spotted Bass often have a rougher feel than those of Largemouth Bass.
Below is a comparison of the invasive Alabama Bass, native Bartram's Bass, Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, and Spotted Bass. Images courtesy of Black Bass iNaturalist.
Download a PDF.
N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) Inland Fisheries staff are conducting a black bass genetics survey to determine the influence of hybridization on traditional black bass fisheries and to prioritize black bass management objectives in North Carolina.
Expected Results and Benefits:
Experimental F1 Stocking Program
Black Bass Management Plan (PDF - opens in new tab)
Aquatic Nuisance Species - Learn more about aquatic nuisance species in North Carolina, how they got here, and what the NCWRC is doing to protect your waters.
N.C. Stream Conditions - a list of websites that provide information on current stream flow conditions and projected release schedules from hydro power stations.
North Carolina Fishing Records and Angler Recognition Program - North Carolina has four programs that officially recognize anglers who have caught large fish.
Where to Fish - Interactive map of publicly accessible fishing opportunities in western North Carolina streams, rivers, and reservoirs.
NC Fishes - more information and photos of fishes in North Carolina. (External website)
Protect Your Waters From Aquatic Hitchhikers - Learn how to prevent the spread of aquatic nuisance species through basic gear care procedures. (External website)
Lake Levels and Flow Releases Management Authorities - links to various agencies, managed lakes, and lake level information sites. (External website)
Bass Anglers Sportsman Society Conservation News – links to Keeping Bass Alive Guides, Bassmaster Conservation Directors, and aquatic conservation news (External website)
Major League Fishing Fish Management Division – links to the Fish Management Division of the Major League Fishing tournament circuit and more (External website)