Micropterus dolomieu
Smallmouth bass

This exotic game fish was first introduced into the Republic in 1928 in the largemouth form and in 1937 in the smallmouth. Initially the bluegill sunfish was stocked with the bass to act as a fodder fish but this was subsequently stopped. Nowadays extensive use is made of indigenous fish like the canary blue and vlei kurper as fodder fish, depending on the temperature range of the area. This practice has proved very effective particularly in dams where these kurper have proved a nuisance and effective indigenous predatory fishes are absent. Unfortunately some ill-informed anglers cannot distinguish the difference between a small bass and canary kurper and needlessly kill small bass which they thought was the "canary". The bass has a 2 part dorsal fin and the canary a single one.

Being a gamefish, bass readily take surface lures, poppers, spinners, artificial worms and frogs as well as flies and natural baits. In fact as a fish for flyfishing the bass is proving more economically viable than the trout because it is self-recruiting.

Small mouth bass are proving unpopular because they are getting into rivers and “killing off” some of the indigenous species.

Dependent on the venue bass can be caught throughout the year. Best angling times are early morning and late afternoon. Their favourite haunts are where there are plenty of underwater snags, rocks and reed beds.

As an eating fish the bass rates very high.

says: "Man who kills bass in the spring when they are breeding is an idiot”.