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Thread: Warmouth? Rock Bass or Roanoke Bass? Flathead?

  1. #1
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    Default Warmouth? Rock Bass or Roanoke Bass? Flathead?

    Hi Folks: This novice needs some fish ID help.

    Caught these three today just below Few's Ford in Eno River State Park.

    (A) Is this a warmouth? Three anal fin spines, three stripes radiating from eye area, bass-like mouth (but in sun fish family), seems to have face and fin plate scales, spotted scales are grouped in splotches rather than stripes.

    If it is not a warmouth, then what and why? (KEV2380 has recently asked about an Eno Warmouth he caught and it looks mighty similar.)

    (B) Has 6 anal fin spines (distinctive), spots on scales forming stripes, no scales on face-fin plate... but is it a ROCK BASS or a ROANOKE BASS? How to distinguish?

    (C) Is this guy a FLATHEAD CATFISH? If not, what and why. Is that a teeth plate visible in the bottom picture?

    ** I would caption the bottom half of picture 'C' as: Kiss me quick! :^)

    Attachment 16184Attachment 16185Attachment 16186

  2. #2

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    A. Is a warmouth.
    B. Is a Roanoke Bass
    C. Is a Brown Bullhead (As far as I know there are no flatheads in the Eno, bullheads and channel cats are the only native species in the Eno)

    Here is a good link for fish identification.
    North Carolina Sport Fish Profiles
    UncleSteveFishing likes this.


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    Somehow I missed the brown bullhead when I looked in the fish profiles. Anyway first time for me...and I see they are recommended for the table. :^)

    On the Roanoke Bass, can you say how to distinguish from Rock Bass? The reason I'm asking is that when I posted YouTube videos in the past with what I think are Eno Roanoke Bass, some people have said: ROCK BASS! :^)

    jlr gave this link today in another thread: Centrarchid Project, Mayden Lab .... but that key doesn't have Roanoke Bass as an endpoint ... so my fish keyed out as Rock Bass.

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    Uncle Steve,the differences between Rock bass are Roanokes are very small.Roanokes have scaled cheeks and a concave head profile(but it 's hardly noticeable on smaller fish).The key fact is that only Roanokes are present in the Eno.It's really hard ,sometimes even with a key,to tell them apart.
    UncleSteveFishing likes this.


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    If there were Flathead cats in the Eno there would be zero Bullheads as they taste like candy to a big Flathead........there would also likely not be much left of the Roanokes, sunfish, or largemouth bass either. But it's all a moot point as everyone knows the Eno is devoid of fish as are most, if not all, N.C. Piedmont flows. I've had to resign myself to only fishing rivers in northern S.C. to catch decent bass on a regular basis of many varieties. Outta state tags purchase ( read $$$ ) trumps Crappy fishing most ever single float.
    I follow my own Blog

  6. #6

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    what is a warmouth? A cross between what? Being from MN, I have never heard anything like that.

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    Robert Liles: I appreciate the detail. I caught the Roanoke and the Warmouth in succession from the same sweet spot yesterday...it really made my day.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat's Dad View Post
    If there were Flathead cats in the Eno there would be zero Bullheads as they taste like candy to a big Flathead........there would also likely not be much left of the Roanokes, sunfish, or largemouth bass either. But it's all a moot point as everyone knows the Eno is devoid of fish as are most, if not all, N.C. Piedmont flows. I've had to resign myself to only fishing rivers in northern S.C. to catch decent bass on a regular basis of many varieties. Outta state tags purchase ( read $$$ ) trumps Crappy fishing most ever single float.
    Eno devoid of fish?? The eno is an excellent fishery. As well as a lot of other Piedmont rivers. They must not like you style of fishing in NC :-P I've had many days where my best 5 would go 25 on Piedmont rivers
    froggy waters likes this.


  9. #9
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    Talking Rock Bass Explained!

    Warmouth is a separate species of sunfish MNBassman.

    You have three subspecies of rock bass, and a related species that used to be considered a subspecies. The Roanoke, ambloplites cavifrons, is native to a few drainages in Piedmont North Carolina and South Central Virginia -- the Nottoway River in Virginia is its most populous river. It is different in very small ways from your Minnesota rock bass, ambloplites rupestri, because that's is its closest relative. The other species of concern here also have the genus name AMBLOPLITES. The regular rock bass, rupestri, can be caught up and down the east coast and into the Midwest and deep south; the Ozark bass, ambloplites constellatus, lives in Arkansas and Missouri; the Shadow Bass, ambloplites ariommus, of Alabama and drainages south of the Tennessee River (go Army of the Tennessee). The Shadow Bass, is no longer considered a subspecies, but a totally different species of rock bass. It really looks the most different of the four fishes.
    Last edited by Rocdoctor; 10-10-2010 at 04:43 PM. Reason: Correcting some information

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by driver View Post
    Eno devoid of fish?? The eno is an excellent fishery. As well as a lot of other Piedmont rivers. They must not like you style of fishing in NC :-P I've had many days where my best 5 would go 25 on Piedmont rivers
    No No, the Eno doesn't have any fish. No one should fish there, everyone stay away.


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    my reading material say's a rock and a roanoke are very close to the point of counting anal spine' s and scales on gill plates with out seeing it in person i would say that A is a warmouth due to the coloration from the pick mor bloated then defined B would be roanoke's or most of the old folks i know generalize them as red eye bass ( sort of like all panfish are bream or bluegill ) the last the cat i guess is a bullhead yellow or brown probably brown like i said these are my choice's based off the pics and not first hand account's in a slight agrance with nats' dad flat heads would really thrive do to the amount of forage in the eno but they are not in the upper reaches to my knowledge but there are fish there and some people ( ) catch trophy's and they travel widely over a few state's to do it they are accomplish but a trophy for 1 isn't alwasy a trophy to the next i have seen 3 lb lm bass hanging on the wall and woundered why ?
    Last edited by froggy waters; 10-11-2010 at 12:42 PM. Reason: spelling
    RED X ANGLER

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    The day after my original fishing and report here, I returned to the same spot...

    YouTube - Uncle Steve Tests A Theory

    and caught another Roanoke and warmouth, but no cat, out of the same sweet spot.
    Kev2380 likes this.


  13. #13

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    Nice vids Steve.

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    another sort of ID for people that commonly wade the eno...


    I always see these small to mid sized fish swimming in schools of around 3 or 4 pretty much hugging the bottom. the most distinct thing about them is that they have ~3 dark blotches/stripes that gor down their sides, and the fish is of a light color aside from this. See them commonly wading the first part of west point at the common entrance to the river. They never bite anything and scoot away really quick kind of in circles and theyll rest again shortly thereafter.


    i think they are cool, i dont know if my description is very helpful ill have to take video next time im out there

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by BankFish'nFool View Post
    another sort of ID for people that commonly wade the eno...


    I always see these small to mid sized fish swimming in schools of around 3 or 4 pretty much hugging the bottom. the most distinct thing about them is that they have ~3 dark blotches/stripes that gor down their sides, and the fish is of a light color aside from this. See them commonly wading the first part of west point at the common entrance to the river. They never bite anything and scoot away really quick kind of in circles and theyll rest again shortly thereafter.


    i think they are cool, i dont know if my description is very helpful ill have to take video next time im out there
    Haven't fished the eno, but it sounds like they could be shad. They're filter feeders so won't generally bite on anything. Pretty sure I've seen something similar on crabtree creek below the Lassiter dam, in a small group of about 4 or 5. They seem to be relatively narrow fish, move pretty quickly, and the ones I saw jumped clear out of the water a few times.

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