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jaystraw

What kind of bass was it?

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I had a crazy fishing day today. The smallies were going nuts. It was awesome.

One of the first fish I caught fought like a smallie, but it looked like a largemouth when I got it near the boat. As it got closer I noticed it had others with it..smallies, but it did not look like a smallie.

This water was crystal clear, and this fish looked like either a spotted bass or an albino smallmouth. I know how that sounds, but it was not a largemouth because there was no decernible lateral line. At first I thought it must be a white perch or something(even though I've never seen one in this pond), but it was absolutely a white or silver smallie or a really pale green spotted bass.

I live in NH and have never seen nor caught a spotted here. I did not think they could even live up here. This lake had ice on it on Tuesday!

Of course, I reached for the camera before I got it in the boat and I lost her. If someone can help me out I'd appreciate it!

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This may not be the case but if the ice just left, and the fish was deep all winter and it was just coming up it would look the way you described; few markings and very shinny/silvery.  They tend to get their "traditional" marking as spawning and summer comes on.

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I wondered that, but all the other smallies I caught were very very dark...

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did the jaw extend past the eye? that's really your best bet to tell the difference.

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Hmm...

Step 1: Boat fish before reaching for camera.

I'm with alarcher, the fish just hadn't "colored-up" yet.

8-)

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yeah, I was SO stupid for going for the camera.  I think the fish would have gotten off anyway, but I would have at least seen it a bit longer.

Live and learn I guess.

I'm going to have to agree with you guys because I've never even seen a spotted in person, but it was one WEIRD looking smallie!  It was completely silver.

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as far as I know, smallmouth don't turn silverish. The previous posts were talking about largemouth, which do get silverish when in deep waters for extended periods of time.

Could it have been a large shad or shiner?

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I guess it may have been a smaller largemouth without a real dark lateral line. It had a mouth that looked much more like a smallie though. I was catching both species that day in the same area.

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Relying on colors, is the quickest but least reliable way to identify any fish. Same goes with the patterns of said colors, i.e. lateral lines or markings.

Smallies- closed jaw does not extend past eye, first dorsal fin (the spiny one) connects fully to the second dorsal fin (soft one). Largemouth have a notch between the two.

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I have caught smallies ranging from very light in color with very bold stripe patterns to a very deep brown almost blackish color with minimal striping. These have been caught in the same outing from the same area in very clear water. Some had red eyes some didn't. Largemouth n spots pretty much have vertical bars through their bodies while smallies have a tiger striped uneven pattern from their lip to the base of their tail.

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Honestly, up here, I cannot usually mistake the two species.  That's why I was/am so insistant it was not a largemouth.  It was in the water with a bunch of other fish so I went for the camera to show the contrast between the fish, and it came off.  It clearly looked like a silver bass with darker spots on it's body...no line.  I was alone, and I still said out loud "You're a spotted bass!"

I doubt they could live up here, but it was a weird fish either way.

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as far as I know, smallmouth don't turn silverish. The previous posts were talking about largemouth, which do get silverish when in deep waters for extended periods of time.

Could it have been a large shad or shiner?

Smallies do too.  I've caught a good number of them.

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