Bass, rock

(Ambloplites rupestris)

(Rafinesque, 1817); CENTRARCHIDAE FAMILY; also called black perch, goggle eye, red eye, rock sunfish

Native to the northeastern U.S.A. and southeastern Canada, from Ontario and Quebec southward through the Great Lakes region as far as Tennessee an possibly Alabama. Rock bass have also been introduced into other states including some western states. They prefer small, cool, weedy lakes and streams and the outer edges of larger lakes, always over rocky bottoms (hence the name “rock” bass) where no silt is present, turbidity is low and cover is extensive. They are scrappy fighters but tire quickly. The flesh is firm, white, and makes excellent eating.

This is a large and robust sunfish that looks like a cross between a bluegill and one of the black basses. Its body is less compressed than most sunfishes of the genus Lepomis, including the bluegill, and longer in profile. It has been known to reach 3 lb (1.36 kg) but the more common size is about 8 oz (226 g). There is a black spot at the edge of the gill cover. The mouth is larger and more “basslike” than in most small sunfishes, the upper jaw reaching beyond the beginning of the eye, but not to the back of the eye. The two dorsal fins are clearly connected. The eyes are red.

The rock bass is frequently confused with the warmouth (Lepomis gulosus), it can be distinguished by the number of spines in front of the soft rayed anal fin; 3 spines in the warmouth, but 6 in the rock bass. Also, the warmouth has teeth on the tongue unlike the rock bas

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Current All Tackle Record

3 lbs. 0 ounces.

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