So, just got back from an amazing trip from Watauga Res. After many successful trips and catching several bass between 4-6 pounds, probably 25+ bass total, and 10-12 small mouth and a lot of blue gill, we got a called Watauga Joe to get us some lake Trout. We were unsuccessful pulling any into the boat. Hooked three and lost them. Anyways. I showed Watauga Joe the LMB I caught and he was impressed. Then he told me one is a Spotted Bass. Then he told me it's a Trophy Fish, a spotted bass over 17 inches is a Trophy fish. So I was pretty excited and we compared the two and he convinced me it's a spotted bass. But some people I talk to say its a LMB, and not a spotted bass. It's pretty hard for me to tell the difference so I'd like to get some opinions before I keep bragging about getting a 21.5" Trophy Fish. My girlfriend hopes it's not a Spotted Bass so I shut up and quit bragging about catching a Trophy fish. Either way it's a nice catch. Anyways. It has a black spot on the back of its gill and it doesn't look like the jaw extends behind the eyeball. Can I get some help so I can rub it in my girlfriends face!!!
I fish the watauga regularly and seem to catch lots of these in the Elk river arm of the lake. Never really thought about them being hybrids. Their spots on their sides are not close to as dark as the spotted bass around LKN.
it does have an unusually small mouth to be a LMB. I'm hoping for Spotted. I didn't get a look at the inside of the mouth... He did tear the **** out of my thumb tho. Cut it, instead of the usual scratchy thumb
Hybrid was my initial thought as well.....and I agree with Jackson as to the spots not being as prominent as some....but with age and size some of the usual defining characteristics diminish with some fish....
There's nothing definitive that looks like a spot, except MAYBE a smaller than normal mouth. That's really hard to say based on the way you are holding it and wide angle phone camera lenses. If you took a picture with his mouth completely closed, you'd have a better idea, of where it extends to.
A very healthy largemouth will have a smaller than normal mouth, BTW.