Can Largemouth and Spotted Bass Breed? Hybrid Bass Explained

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Spotted Bass near log in Fanning Springs, FL.

Largemouth and spotted bass live in the same water and are known to mate. The hybrid largemouth and spotted bass spawn around the same time, so it’s not uncommon for the two to mix with one another. Largemouth tend to be more aggressive and live longer. They make the first moves during the spawn.

Largemouth and spotted bass are found all over the United States and have become high priorities for freshwater anglers of all skill levels. Both fish fight hard, grow large, and have significant populations. Anywhere you fish freshwater, you have a chance at landing a spot or largemouth.

Largemouth And Spotted Bass Hybrid

Largemouth and spotted bass spawn around the same time of year and in similar places. They’ll spawn in shallow, clear water near cover and structure. 

Spotted bass start the spawn a bit earlier than largemouths. If they do breed, largemouths find spots at the end of their spawn. Timing is vital in the spawning process, so if the conditions don’t align, spotted bass and largemouths will never cross paths.

In a particularly warm year, spots and largemouths will interact more during the spawn. Females may drop their eggs on a spotted bass bed. Males follow their instincts and fertilize the eggs regardless.

Spotted bass and largemouths don’t seek one another out to spawn, but it happens. 


A hybrid spot and largemouth isn’t easy to identify. It’ll look like a spotted bass or a largemouth bass. The only distinct feature telling you it’s a hybrid is the larger mouth combined with the spots. If the mouth extends behind the eye and the fish has spots, it may be a hybrid. 

Also, if it shares features with both fish and is small, it may be a hybrid. It could have the large head and mouth of a largemouth, but only grow to the size of an adult spot. 

Also, look at the dorsal fin. If it’s fully connected, you know it has spotted bass blood. If it’s separate, then it has largemouth bass blood. 

They aren’t as easy to identify as a meanmouth bass, but an experienced angler won’t have trouble identifying the differences.

I’ve landed many spotted bass and largemouth hybrids in my day. Fishing in Missouri, Alabama, and Texas gives me access to spot and largemouth water. I find them if I’m fishing in an area with structure and deep water. 

Hybrid largemouth and spotted bass keep the aggression that runs in both of their DNAs.

Largemouth bass swim in the sea.

Largemouth Bass Features, Habits & Spawn

Largemouth bass are important freshwater fish native to the Eastern and Central United States. They’ve been introduced all over the United States, making millions for fishing stores, states, and lodges nationwide. 


Largemouth bass are olive green with a black stripe running horizontally down their sides. Their white bellies, dark eyes, and giant mouths make them some of the most recognizable fish in the world. 

They don’t have spots or other colors on their bodies that make them stand out from other fish.

Their mouths are large enough to reach past their eye line, and their dorsal fins are separated from their bodies. 

Largemouth bass grow to an average of 12-20 inches and weigh three or four pounds. They have the potential to grow to over ten pounds if the conditions align. Plus, they can live upwards of 16 years. Largemouth bodies have time to grow as long as food sources are plentiful. 


Largemouth don’t need deep, clear, cool water to survive. They’ll survive as long as the lake, river, or stream gets around 15 feet deep and has plenty of cover and structure. 

They need deeper water to hide in during cold or warm seasons. The cover and structure are necessary for them to hunt and survive.

Largemouth are lone rangers. They prefer to sit in hiding and wait for their prey. As soon as the prey gets close to their hiding place, they’ll swim out, swallow it, and return to hiding. 

Even though largemouth bass sit near the top of the food chain in freshwater, they don’t spend much time in open water hunting. They can grow so large because they’re smart with their movements. 

They’ll hunt during the mornings and evenings and use the low light to their advantage. They’re willing to move into shallow water to find crustaceans, smaller fish, insects, and amphibians. They’re fearless predators but make calculated decisions.


Largemouth bass spawn in the spring. As soon as the water nears 65 degrees, the spawn begins. 

During the pre-spawn, male bass move to shallow, clear water and start digging beds. These beds are holes in the sand for female bass to lay their eggs. 

When the females are ready to spawn, they swim around and find a bed that suits their needs. Females lay their eggs, males fertilize them, and females move on to the next bed. 

Females move out to deeper water to recover and feed when they finish laying their eggs. 

Males then spend the next few days protecting their eggs from predators. Once the eggs hatch, male bass move along and start recovering.

Largemouth bass and spotty sunfish swim by a cave at Ponce De Leon springs.

Spotted Bass Features, Habits & Spawn

Spotted bass have a similar native range to largemouth bass. The Southeast and Central United States have ideal conditions for spotted bass to thrive. Like largemouth, there are non-native populations all over the country. 


Spotted bass are green, olive, white, and black. Their bodies are a mix of green and olive, their bellies are white, and they have a black stripe running across their body. They get their name from the black spots on the lower part of their body.

They have big mouths like largemouth but don’t extend past the eye line.

Spotted bass have a lifespan of six years. They don’t grow as large as largemouth bass since they don’t live as long. On average, a spotted bass is 10-15 inches and two to three pounds. 


Spotted bass prefer clear, deep water. They live in rivers and streams with a moderately fast current. It’s common to find spotted bass in water that’s around 30 feet deep. Plus, they’re willing to swim in open water while they hunt for food. 

Spotted bass swim in schools. They use numbers to their advantage to protect themselves from predators. 

It’s common to find spotted bass in the main parts of lakes and rivers since these sections provide the most access to deep water. They want access to deep and shallow water. Don’t feel like you have to look for them in back coves like you would largemouth bass. 


Spotted bass also spawn in the spring. They prefer cooler water (around 55 degrees) than largemouths. Spots may start the spawn sooner than largemouths, but they do it in similar places.

Spotted bass spawn in shallow as well as open water. I find most of my spawning spots around docks near dropoffs. Spots want access to deep water. They don’t feel the need to find the back sections of lakes where they’re heavily protected. The docks act as enough protection.

Like largemouths, males build the nest in shallower water around two to four feet. It’s not uncommon to find their beds out in 12-15 feet of water. 

Females look for the ideal bed to lay their eggs. Once they do, the males fertilize them and protect the eggs until they hatch.


Spotted bass and largemouths share enough DNA that a hybrid isn’t in danger of being infertile or sick. If you’re fishing in the Central or Southern parts of the United States, you have a great chance of landing one. Pay close attention once it’s in the boat. You may have landed a hybrid.

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