Shoal Bass


The Shoal Bass (Micropterus cataractae) is a species belonging to the black bass family, Centrarchidae.

Conservation Status

Shoal Bass is currently listed as Vulnerable according to the Georgia‌ Department⁣ of Natural Resources. Conservation efforts are in place to protect⁢ the species⁤ from‌ the impacts of habitat ‍alteration due to development and pollution.


Length (Average) Length (Range) Weight (Average) Weight (Range) Average Lifespan
15 – 16⁣ inches 12 – ⁢22 inches 2 -​ 3 pounds 1 – 8 pounds 5 – 8 years


Shoal Bass are native to the ⁢southeastern United⁤ States, ⁣predominantly in the Chattahoochee ⁤and Flint River basins in Georgia, Alabama‌ and‍ Florida. They do ⁢not typically perform long-distance migrations; rather, they generally ‌stay within a relatively small home range.


They inhabit clear, warm, rocky-bottomed​ rivers⁣ and reservoirs. The ideal temperature range ‌for‌ Shoal Bass is between 65 and 85⁢ degrees ‍Fahrenheit.

When and Where to See

Shoal Bass are most⁢ active during the spring and ​fall. They are daytime ‌feeders, most active during early ​morning and late afternoon.

Best Fishing Locations

  1. Chattahoochee River,⁢ Georgia
  2. Flint ‌River, ⁢Georgia
  3. Apalachicola River, Florida
  4. Chipola River, Florida
  5. Choctawhatchee River, Florida
  6. Tallapoosa River, Alabama
  7. Conecuh River, Alabama
  8. Coosa River, Alabama
  9. Alabama River, Alabama
  10. Mobile River, Alabama

General Tips: Look for areas with rocky‌ bottoms and​ fast-moving currents.

How ‍to‍ Catch

Shoal Bass‍ are voracious predators, taking⁢ a keen liking to minnow and crayfish ⁤imitations. Fly fishing and spin fishing ‌are notably effective. The best‍ time⁤ for fishing is during ⁣their active hours, ⁣early morning and late afternoon.

Identification Guide

Shoal Bass are green to olive ⁣dorsally, grading to lighter hues ‌on the sides. There is⁣ a ⁤dark lateral band‍ present. Their jaw‍ extends to, but not beyond, the rear margin of⁤ the eye. Shoal Bass are often mistaken with Smallmouth Bass, but Shoal Bass ‍have a more pointed snout.


Shoal⁣ Bass are ​known for their firmer,‍ flaky and mildly flavored meat. They can be fried, grilled,​ or ​made into​ a delectable fish soup.
A simple⁤ recipe includes ​seasoning the fillets with ‌salt, pepper, ​and your ⁢choice of herbs,⁢ then grilling them to perfection. ​Shoal Bass‌ is a good source of protein and contains⁣ healthy ⁢amounts of Omega-3 fatty‍ acids.

Additional ⁢Information

Shoal Bass are avid⁣ predators, feeding mostly ​on smaller fish species. During‍ the mating season, males‍ prepare nests in rocky or gravelly bottoms, where females deposit ‍their ⁣eggs. Their natural predators include⁤ larger‌ fish species and birds of ⁤prey. Threats to Shoal⁣ Bass populations largely ⁤are habitat‌ destruction and⁤ degradation, due to pollution and water withdrawal.

References and Further Reading

1. Georgia Department of Natural Resources – Fish Identification

2. Florida ​Fish ⁢and Wildlife⁢ Conservation Commission – Shoal Bass Forecast

3. Rivers⁣ of Alabama