Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Centrarchidae
Genus: Micropterus
Species: Micropterus dolomieu (Lacépède, 1802) - smallmouth bass

Intro:
Smallies are exciting game fish. They are strong and will put up a greater fight than largemouth bass. Often the will rise to the surface to spit the lure. Pound for pound, these are one of the more formidable game fish.

 

Tips for Identifying: First the BAM then the FAD.

Body:
Fusiform. This fish is usually a shade of brown, sometimes with dark greens and yellows. A countershading exists, as the dorsal side is darker than the whitened belly.
Weighs up to 5.4 kg (~11.9 lb) (IGFA, 1991)
Length up to 69 cm (~2.3 ft) (Page & Burr, 1991)
Appearance:
The red eyes are distinct and alluring. Vertical, broken bands run alongside the body - often fading as the specimen ages. Sometimes there will be horizontal markings alongside the head.
Mouth:
Slightly subterminal.
Fins:
Spiny first dorsal fin continuous with the second soft-ray dorsal fin. Emarginated tail. 
Area (Habitat):
Freshwater. Concentrated in central United States. Prefer colder water than largemouth bass.
Demeanor:
Often found near rock, sand or gravel bottoms as this is where males will build nests. Often schooling with other smallmouths and even with other species such as walleye and largemouth.

Main reference for this page: K