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River, Shallows, Streams
1 - 3 pounds
8" - 16"
The Suwanee Bass is a small native freshwater species that thrive in the rivers of Florida and Georgia. It is olive to brown in color with dark blotch stripes across its body. The adults also have a turquoise-blue coloring on their cheeks and around their belly. To identify a Suwannee Bass from other bass, the Suwanne has a distinguishing wide upper jaw that extends beyond the eye.
The average size for this fish is 8 inches and usually weighs slightly less than a pound. The females are about half a pound heavier than the males. The biggest Suwannee bass ever caught was 3.89 lbs and the longest was 16.5 inches long.
Suwannee Bass are native to the Suwannee River and Ochlockonee River of Georgia and Florida. Later on, they were introduced to other rivers, such as the St. Marks River, Ichitucknee, Aucilla River, and Wacissa River.
They prefer moderate moving currents with temperatures between 65-80°F. You will find them on the bottoms of rivers, tributaries, streams, pools, and drainages. They spawn in the spring in the cooler waters.
Bass are popular game fish for their strength and fight and the Suwannee is no different. Look for them in their favorite places; under fallen trees, deep sweeping bends, wood cover, and weedy vegetation. When fishing in smaller rivers, don’t be afraid to cast out in the middle. In tighter areas, they can be in any part of the channel.
The Suwannee is a small fish, but that doesn't stop him from fighting when caught on light tackle. Similar to their cousins, the Largemouth Bass, they will take live baits or artificial lures. Popular lures and baits include small crayfish-colored spinnerbaits, crankbaits, plastic worms and jigs. Live shiners can be cast into brush piles from upstream then let them float downstream. Suwannee will hit a fly or a small floater-diver fished along the bank.
An 8-foot 6-weight rod will be plenty for this fish, but you can also use a 9-foot 8-weight rod if you want to catch other big fishes. To avoid spooking the fish, use a fluorocarbon leader. Bass likes to hang around the deeper parts of the water, so it’s best to use a sinking tip line to get to the 12 to 20 feet sweet spot. The Suwannee bass, like other basses, has a pretty big mouth so use J hooks with sizes of 1/0 to 2/0.
Fly rod anglers can use a variety of lures. Effective lures are streamers, divers, or poppers if you see them in a bit more shallow areas. Use jigging flies if you think they are in deeper areas. You can also use replicas of baitfish such as a minnow. Recommended live baits are their favorite, crayfish (to hook crayfishes, hook them by the tail near the abdomen). You can also use live minnows, worms, and grasshoppers.