Suwannee bass (micropterus notius) are another very rare black bass that is only native to a relatively small area of the world. Similar to shoal bass and redeye bass they are strictly a river fish. They don’t get very big and anything over 2lbs is considered a very nice sized Suwannee.
What Do They Look Like?
They are more similar in shape to a smallmouth, in that they are taller than a largemouth, spotted, redeye or shoal bass. I once heard this referred to as a heavy-bodies bass and feel like that term suits them well. In color they unlike any other black bass because they are more of an actual blackish green color instead of an actual green or brown. They often will have an almost turquoise tone to them as well, especially on their bellies and around their cheeks. They really are a beautiful and rare fish to pursue. The upper jaw does not extend beyond the eye and there is a shallow dip between the dorsal fins with a distinct connection between the spiny and soft-rayed dorsal fins. A pattern of dark vertical spots can be found along their lateral line.
Do They Have Any Other Names/Nicknames?
Nope, just call ‘em Suwanees.
So, Where Can I Catch ‘Em?
Suwannee bass are mostly found in various north Florida rivers and a few very southern Georgia rivers that flow south into Florida – most notably the Suwannee, of which they get their name, and the Withalacoochee. They are found throughout the Suwannee River drainage, including the previously mentioned Withlacoochee, Ochlocknee, Little, and Sante Fe rivers. They were introduced into the Wakulla and Wacissa Rivers in northern Florida, and have thrived in those systems as well. The Aucilla River flows into the Wacissa just before they reach the ocean and the Suwannee bass have no doubt began their assault on that river to populate it upstream as well.
What Goes In Their Bellies?
They feed more on craw fish than anything else, but will eat other small fish and insects.
Why I Like Bassin’ For Them:
I have caught them in three of the above mentioned rivers and even though they don’t get as big as other species, the environments in which you catch them and their tremendous color and strength for their size make them a very sporting gamefish. Suwanees are a species of special concern and we should do everything we can to help see these scrappy fighters habitat’s taken care of. Similar to redeyes, guadalupe and shoal bass there is just something about catching a fish that only exists in a very small portion of our world. They are truly worth pursuing, especially on lite tackle and the fly rod.