State Fish of Kentucky

State Fish of Kentucky

Kentucky Spotted Bass Is The Official State Fish of Kentucky. The Kentucky Bass is a species of Micropterus Punctulatus. Kentucky Spotted Bass (Micropterus Punctulatus) was designated as the official Kentucky State Fish of in 1956. It Is also Called just “Kentucky Bass,” though it is one of four species of black bass swimming in Kentucky waters. The Kentucky Spotted Bass is acclaimed for its gameness and fighting qualities. Spotted Bass also a prized dish to eat.

One of four black bass species found in Kentucky waters, the State Fish of Kentucky Is primarily a stream fish. One of the black basses, it is native to the Mississippi River basin and across the Gulf states, from central Texas through the Florida panhandle. Its native range extends into the western Mid-Atlantic states and it has been introduced into western North Carolina and Virginia. Kentucky State Fish has also been introduced to southern Africa, where it has become established in some isolated waters. It is often mistaken for the similar and more common largemouth bass.


“Kentucky Spotted Bass”


Also called:  Spotted Bass, Spot, lineside, Redeye

Distribution:  Common in most major lakes and stream drainages throughout the state, but prefers clear streams.

Description:  Often confused with largemouth bass because both species have a dark horizontal stripe on the sides. Kentucky State Fish Kentucky bass has definite spots below the stripe and a patch of teeth on the base of the tongue.  The notch in the dorsal fin is not as deep as the notch that appears on the largemouth bass and a narrow membrane generally connects the two top fins. The jaw bone does not extend beyond the rear margin of the eye but stops near the center. Kentucky bass seldom exceeds four or five pounds.

Habits: These fish tend to school more than any other member of the black bass family and are often encountered chasing shad in open water in lakes. They are also more common in areas near the dam (lower lake) in Kentucky lakes. General habits are more similar to smallmouth bass than largemouth bass but the growth rates of Kentucky bass are intermediate between the two.

Fishing: Readily caught by the same methods used for smallmouth bass and largemouth bass. Casting live minnows with a small split-shot sinker along rocky points is a popular method on lakes in the fall.