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Hi, guys! This is my first post on here, and I suppose that's appropriate for this incredibly noob question. Haha. I feel that you guys are probably gonna totally facepalm on this one and point out something very stupid that I should have noticed. 

 

I am decent at identifying super common local sunfish and related species like bluegill, LMB, longear sunfish, etc, but I'm having difficulty here, as this guy isn't one of the super common ones.

 

I went out catching fry last night and I came across this guy. Since the area I found it in is a very small flood pond, mostly full of sunfish fry and mosquitofish, my first thought was warmouth when I got home and noticed the pattern on it. Body shape isn't dissimilar to the other sunfish that I've found. But now that I'm looking at pictures of smallmouth bass, this guy is starting to look more and more like that than a warmouth. 

 

What do you guys think? Is this a warmouth after all? Or is this a smallmouth? Or am I wrong on both and this is another species that I'm not thinking of?

 

Sorry for the bad pictures. It won't let me upload straight from my phone. I have to host it on imgur to meet the size requirements for the forum.

 

This guy was found in a small section of Schertz Creek in San Antonio, Tx, btw.

 

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Smallmouth. The warmouth looks like a sunfish or bluegill and have the same shape and also the warmouth has the distinctive black dot on the gill plate that you see on the panfish.

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Warmouth 

The male is bright colored 

The female is pale colored

 

 

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Thanks! 

 

12poundbass... These pictures suck. I'm trying to get a better one of it, but it went into hiding and hasn't come out again yet. I think it does have the spot, but it's smaller and blends in with the middle stripe on its head.

 

Catt... This one is still a baby. If it is, indeed, a warmouth, would the color variation between the sexes still be present?

 

Oh... Added info that may help to properly ID... There isn't anything for size comparison... This guy is tiny. Larger fry size. Probably about 1 1/2". I collected it with the other fry and didn't see the pattern until I got home.

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Looks like a warmouth to me.  

 

Description - The warmouth sunfish is commonly dark olive with mottled brown sides that often contain numerous yellow markings. The body is highly compressed and deep (similar to most other members of the Lepomis genus). Each side of the head possesses 5 distinct dark lines (often referred to as war-paint) that radiate out from the snout and eyes. They possess a tongue with a very small tooth patch. Unlike most other members of theLepomis genus, warmouth possess a rather large mouth. They are often confused and misidentified as rock bass, however, warmouth possess three spines in the anal fin, while the rock bass has five to six spines present in the anal fin.

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I vote warmouth. We have caught them while crappie fishing and that is what this appears to be.

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4 hours ago, Kevin Paul Baelish said:

 

Catt... This one is still a baby. If it is, indeed, a warmouth, would the color variation between the sexes still be present?

 

The only difference between immature & mature Warmouth is size. As with all fish the coloration will vary depending on water clarity, vegetation, & depth.

 

Warmouth's body is more perch like than bass like. Notice the fish in your picture the head shape & mouth shape (closed) is more bass like.

 

My guess based off coloration & location.

 

Guadalupe bass 😉

 

 

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6 minutes ago, Catt said:

 

The only difference between immature & mature Warmouth is size. As with all fish the coloration will vary depending on water clarity, vegetation, & depth.

 

Warmouth's body is more perch like than bass like. Notice the fish in your picture the head shape & mouth shape (closed) is more bass like.

 

My guess based off coloration & location.

 

Guadalupe bass 😉

 

Good call, I forgot about them. We used to catch them when we visited my wife's mom in New Braunfels. Since his location is San Antonio, I am going with Catt.

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2 hours ago, Catt said:

 

The only difference between immature & mature Warmouth is size. As with all fish the coloration will vary depending on water clarity, vegetation, & depth.

 

Warmouth's body is more perch like than bass like. Notice the fish in your picture the head shape & mouth shape (closed) is more bass like.

 

My guess based off coloration & location.

 

Guadalupe bass 😉

 

 

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Hmm... I see what you're saying on the head, but look at the first picture in my original post. The brindle patterning on mine is consistent from dorsal to ventral. It doesn't fade or stop.  It's even patterned on the actual ventral side. In Guadalupe bass, the pattern stops about halfway down the body and then goes to basic striated spots, like the striated spots on a striped bass. This abrupt pattern border is especially apparent in fry, from what I've been seeing.

 

This is not my picture, obviously.

 

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Oh... And Catt... The coloration on this guy is way different than any of the other fry that I caught. The pond is completely rock and sand bedded, no vegetation. Because of the substrate, it's cloudy, but not totally murky. And it's about 3' deep at the deepest point.

 

If those things determine coloration, then this guy is not from that pond, originally, if it's a warmouth. Which is totally feasible, since this is a flood pond.

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That looks like no fish I have ever seen before. Does anyone dump their aquariums in this flood pond? Haha

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@Kevin Paul Baelish Based strictly on the head shape & coloration it is not a Warmouth.

 

Keep in mind the coloration looks totally different underwater.

 

When you catch a Warmouth & hold it in your hand there's no doubt in your mind it's a perch. Even though a bass is in the "sunfish" family it doesn't look like a perch.

 

Send a picture to TPWD 😉

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p1337272015-1.jpg

 

in the south they are also called goggle eyes ... they will will take a plastic worm ... caught my first as a kid on a farm pond in sc ... taste good ...

 

https://www.louisianasportsman.com/fishing/freshwater-fishing/the-fish-is-a-glutton/

 

good fishing ... 

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On 3/9/2019 at 2:31 PM, Catt said:

My guess based off coloration & location.

 

Guadalupe bass 😉

 

 

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The top fish is a Guadalupe bass from Texas and the bottom fish is a Bartram's bass from South Carolina.

22 hours ago, Catt said:

 

Keep in mind the coloration looks totally different underwater.

Send a picture to TPWD 😉

I agree he needs to send the picture to TPWD to have a fisheries biologist identify his catch. 

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On 3/9/2019 at 11:39 PM, greentrout said:

p1337272015-1.jpg

 

in the south they are also called goggle eyes ... they will will take a plastic worm ... caught my first as a kid on a farm pond in sc ... taste good ...

 

https://www.louisianasportsman.com/fishing/freshwater-fishing/the-fish-is-a-glutton/

 

good fishing ... 

Which further confuses things because a Goggle Eye (Rock Bass) is a completely different fish from a Warmouth other places 😄 

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Its range does not officially extend to Texas, from what I can see, but it wouldn't be the first Florida species of something that I've found here...

 

What do you guys think about the shoal bass? Pattern looks almost right, save for the white belly.  The ones I'm seeing in pictures are a little more slender, but they're larger, so that may be why.

 

 

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8 hours ago, soflabasser said:

I agree he needs to send the picture to TPWD to have a fisheries biologist identify his catch. 

 

Yep. I'm gonna do that. The fish is still hiding in one of my aquariums that I keep fry in. I'm waiting for it to come out so that I can catch it and get better pictures of it. If it's a bass of pretty much any kind, I'm gonna have to put it back, anyway.

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I’m intrigued, I can’t wait to see what they have to say about what fish this is. I thought for sure @Team9nine would’ve had some input. 

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4 hours ago, Kevin Paul Baelish said:

If it's a bass of pretty much any kind, I'm gonna have to put it back, anyway.

 

It's definitely a bass, what kind is mystery!

 

41 minutes ago, 12poundbass said:

I’m intrigued, I can’t wait to see what they have to say about what fish this is. I thought for sure @Team9nine would’ve had some input. 

 

Exactly 😉

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The world of bass identification has gotten a little crazy these days with the advent of genetic testing. There are at least 17 different identified basses, and arguments over which ones are species and which ones are subspecies are constant. Then you have all the unique variations for any given species.

 

Here’s a chart for many of the agreed upon species. I definitely agree with it being a bass of some sort, but Guadalupe is the only unique Texas species I’m aware of, and that fish doesn’t look like much like one to me from the pics.

 

Agree that an email or call to TPWD is in order, and might try contacting one of the fisheries research groups at a local university as someone might be researching this very topic at the moment (Texas State might be good as they’ studied Guadalupe’s a bunch).

 

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6 hours ago, Kevin Paul Baelish said:

Its range does not officially extend to Texas, from what I can see, but it wouldn't be the first Florida species of something that I've found here...

 

What do you guys think about the shoal bass? Pattern looks almost right, save for the white belly.  The ones I'm seeing in pictures are a little more slender, but they're larger, so that may be why.

 

 

33AD069D-CAB8-4DC4-9B99-322433CF5302.jpeg

 

 

 

Yep. I'm gonna do that. The fish is still hiding in one of my aquariums that I keep fry in. I'm waiting for it to come out so that I can catch it and get better pictures of it. If it's a bass of pretty much any kind, I'm gonna have to put it back, anyway.

Use discretion when informing the game and fish Dept that you have kept a wild fish captive 

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Just now, TnRiver46 said:

Use discretion when informing the game and fish Dept that you have kept a wild fish captive 

I was thinking the same thing

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1 hour ago, TnRiver46 said:

Use discretion when informing the game and fish Dept that you have kept a wild fish captive 

 

As long as it isn't a regulated game fish or something endangered, they don't care. You're allowed to gather, and keep sunfish as much as you want, from everything I've seen and have been told. People do it all the time for bait purposes.  The ones they're really worried about, other than the obvious endangered fish, are LMB's and other fish that they have competitions with. In Texas, at least.

 

But, yeah. I wasn't gonna mention that it's in a tank. The pics I send them will be of it in my catch container 

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Success! Finally got it to come out and got it in another container to get a better picture.

 

 

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Now... Correct me if I'm wrong, but in this image, to me, two things give it away as a traditional sunfish of some kind, and not a bass.

 

First off, it has a definite ear spot. It's small, but it's there, clear as day.

 

Second, the spiny dorsal fin is much larger than a usual bass's. With sunfish, though, it's most commonly that large.

 

One thing that's odd, though, is that the description of a warmouth says that it has five lines on the head. I only see three definite and one faint one.

 

Could it maybe be a warmouth hybrid of some kind?

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For the sake of argument let’s say it’s a long nosed gar. 😂

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Wow that's a crazy fish, that newer pic shows it perfectly! I like it! No clue as to which species, looks like a mutt!

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