Suwannee Bass

Suwannee Bass




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 haveĀ 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.


Any Subspecies?


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.

One Response to “Suwannee Bass”

  1. Drew,

    Your website is really cool. Suwannee bass are one of my favorite fish. I worked on Suwannee Bass (Age and Growth) in graduate school at the University of Florida. See my linked-in public profile website. I am currently a fisheries biologist working on a flathead catfish removal project on the Satilla River, working out of the Waycross, Georgia area. In Georgia, Suwannee bass are found in really low abundances in the Alapaha, Ochlockonee and Withlacoochee River. Not that they don’t exist in the Suwannee River, we have never found them in the Suwannee River of Georgia due to PH limitations from the swamp, but they do exist in the Suwannee River in Florida.

    Despite their low abundances in Georgia, it is on my bucket list to go after some big Suwannee’s in Georgia. I think the state record can be broken (3-9), and maybe the world record (3-14.25). While in grad school at Florida, it was not uncommon to go out on the Santa Fe River and catch 10 to 25 Suwannee bass in a day’s fishing throwing plastic craw dad worms. I fished alot for these rascals in the Santa Fe and Wacissa Rivers. My largest fish on hook and line is a 16 incher that was 2-14 from the Wacissa. The introduced population in the Wacissa is tremendous. I have caught several suwannee bass that were over 2 lbs, but a 3 lber has evaded me, but the largest one that I have ever heard of being shocked (electrofishing) by the FLFWC came from the Ochlockonee (above lake talquin in Florida) and this fish was over 16 inches and weighed almost 3-8, but this back in the late 1980′s.

    Fellow-co-biologist, (Travis Ingram) says that you have gone shocking with him for shoal bass in the flint.

    Wonder if you ever want to fish the Withlacoochee in Georiga some time for Suwannee bass? River levels have to be right and you need a pretty long day to float, due to access limitations. I only have a canoe. Wish I had a kayak. Considering looking for a fishing kayak, can you recommend a few brands for me to price shop, so I can start pursuing these fish in Georgia?

    Should be a challenge because Travis has shocked (electrofished) the Ochlockonee and I have shocked the Alapaha down to the state line and catch rates are less than 2 fish per hour in both rivers. The Withlacoochee should be better, based on my work that I did in graduate school in Florida, just below the Georgia line (we averaged 5 to 10 fish per hour shocking, depending on river levels). It’s real rocky, but we have not been able to even shock it, but it is on our bucket list to shock eventually.


Leave a Reply

Become a fan of on Facebook! Become a Fan on! Follow RiverBassin on!

Help keep the lights on, make a donation!

$1.00, $2.00 every little bit helps! The ocean is made up of many small drops of water and we appreciate your contribution however small, which gets put toward our site operations cost as well as upgrades throughout the year.

Subscribe to the Newsletter!

Articles by Keyword

Archived Articles