Most bass are sexually maturity within one to two year. However, spotted bass found in spawning areas are typically three years or older. Preferred spawning sites are rock and gravel where the males build nest once the water temperatures are in 57-74°F range. Egg numbers vary from a 1,000 to over 40,000. As with other black bass males guard the nest for several weeks.
Fry have a diet of zooplankton that shift to insects then to fish and crayfish and the bass matures.
Fish can comprise as much as 50% of spotted bass’s diet, but typically consume about one-half as much fish as largemouth. Spotted bass seem to occupy habitat between the preferences of largemouth and smallmouth bass, taking up residence in more current than largemouth bass, yet too warm, turbid, and sluggish for smallmouth bass. Spots can be found around aquatic vegetation, submerged logs, and rock.
Spotted Bass are also know as Kentucky Spotted Bass, or simply Spots. This black bass is native to the Mississippi River basin and the Gulf States, from central Texas through Northern Florida. This smaller cousin of the largemouth is often mistaken for it. The spotted bass is a slender fish with black blotches along the middle of the body; with age, these join to form an irregular band.
While spots are similar in coloring, their mouth is smaller and the lower jaw does not extend past the often reddish eye. While Kentucky Spotted Bass grow to 25 inches and weights of 10 lb, their typical size is in the 12 to 17 inch range. They are known to live seven years or more.
Spotted Bass in Florida
The following is courtesy of Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission:
Appearance: Spotted bass are similar to largemouth bass, but unlike the largemouth, the spotted bass has scales on the base portion of the second dorsal fin; their first and second dorsal fins are clearly connected, and its upper jaw does not extend past the eye.
Habitat: They prefer small to medium streams and rivers with clear, slow-moving water, and gravel or rock bottoms. Seldom found in natural lakes, and they do not enter brackish water.
Behavior: Grow slower than largemouth bass and do not attain as large a size as other black bass.