Nomenclature of the Spotted Bass

The Coosa Spot (micropterus henshalli, micropterus meaning “small fin”) was only recently distinguished from with the northern spotted bass (aka “Kentucky spot, micropterus punctulatus; punctulatus meaning “dotted”). In 2010, the scientific community officially recognized the Coosa Spotted Bass, native to the Coosawattee River drainage in north Georgia, as a separate and distinct sub-species of the black bass family.

Although native to Georgia, the name “Alabama Spotted Bass” was appended and somehow stuck. Unfortunate as it may be, Alabama also has an excellent population of the fish, so we can’t fault them for stealing the name! The “Alabama Spot” name is actually more common now, and you’ll probably only find the locals of north Georgia that refer to these fish as “Coosa Spots”.

As if it weren’t confusing enough, there is a red-eyed little green monster also native to Georgia called the “Coosa Bass” that is more closely related to the largemouth and lives primarily in the cool trout streams of north Georgia. So be careful not to confuse the “Coosa Spot” with the “Coosa Bass”.

The two varieties of spots are not nearly as prolific as the two varieties of largemouth (Florida F1’s and northern largemouth), and of all the spots in the US, the majority of them are the smaller Kentucky Spots. The big spots of Georgia and Alabama are a true jewel of the south, but unfortunately they often get confused with the more commonly known largemouth. See >Species ID< in this article for information on how to distinguish between spots and largemouth.

See also About Spots

And Characteristics of Spots