Yellow bass are native to the south and midwestern United States. Sometimes they are confused with white bass or striped bass, especially as juveniles. Their body is a golden-yellow with 5 to 7 horizontal lines. The lower lines appear broken and offset about midway. The dorsal fins are connected and the second and third anal spines similar in length. Unlike white bass, wiper and striped bass, yellows don’t have a tooth patches on the tongue. Most will be 6 to 13 inches in length, reaching maybe two pounds. Maximum age is 7 years.
Yellow bass prefer large rivers and their backwaters, impoundments, and sloughs. Spawning typically occurs in April and May when water temperatures around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. The species sexually matures at age 3. These broadcast spawners typically move into larger streams where a female will pair with one or more males.
Their diet consists primarily of invertebrates and small fishes.
Yellow Bass in Texas
The meaning of the word Morone is unknown. The species epithet mississippiensis refers to the Mississippi River from which the species was first described. Although yellow bass are sometimes confused with white bass or young striped bass, there are several distinguishing characteristics. First, the belly may take on a yellow color, from which the species derives its common name. Second, unlike other temperate bass, the two lowermost stripes are distinctively broken just posterior to the middle. Also, the second and third anal spines are approximately equal in length.
Yellow bass are often found in schools. Like white bass, they may be captured using spoons, spinners, or live minnows. Due to their small size, averaging only about half a pound, and slow growth rate they are not highly sought by most anglers (a trophy fish may weigh one pound or less).