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Discussion Starter #1
Great day on the lake. Mid morning I caught a spot that had red eyes just like a smallie. Do these fish ever cross breed?

If you looked at it from the front more like a smallie, from the side a spot. Whatever it was, nice fish . The spots I caught today had such big bellies they almost looked deformed.

Water temp was 51-55. Tomorrow is a tournament (bass?) so you might want to go somewhere else-lots of guys pre-fishing today.
 

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Largemouth and smallies occasionally cross in the wild. "Meanmouth" bass. I've never seen one. So why not a spot and a smallmouth?
 

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Largemouth and smallies occasionally cross in the wild. "Meanmouth" bass. I've never seen one. So why not a spot and a smallmouth?
A Meanmouth is a Spot / Smallmouth cross. I have caught quite a few in northern Arkansas, Oklahoma and couple here in Colorado. The state of Ar has classified the Meanmouth as a sub species.
Early this week, I caught my first of what I suspect to be a LM/Smallie cross. Largemouth color pattern, jaw hinge was more that a half inch in front of the eye, red eye and a quite small mouth. It def was not a Spotted Bass

If any mods will, I can text a pic of this fish to put in this post. Photobucket pisses me off, I am done with it. ::)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Did a little internet searching on this-a meanmouth bass is either a cross between a largemouth and a smallie or between a spot and a smallie. They are known for their very agressive nature and have gone so far as to attack swimmers, hence the name meanmouth.
 

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Interesting read rom the Kentucky Wildlife Dept :
Angler interest in the naturally occurring smallmouth bass / spotted bass hybrid has heightened recently due to an article in BASSMASTER magazine concerning the documentation of a new state record in Missouri. The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources would like to address this hybrid and its implications to anglers.

A hybrid occurs when one fish species spawns with a different, but closely related species. Hybrids can occur naturally or can also be intentionally produced in a hatchery. Naturally occurring hybrids are common among sunfish species such as bluegill and green sunfish. A common hatchery produced hybrid is the hybrid striped bass (white bass / striped bass). Hybrids of black bass species have been documented in the United States for some time. Early research dealt with hatchery production of a largemouth bass / smallmouth bass hybrid. This was the original “mean-mouth” bass.

The largemouth / smallmouth bass hybrid is not common in nature due to differences in both habitat preferences and spawning times. However, smallmouth bass and spotted bass can overlap in habitat use and spawning times. Generally, there are subtle behavioral differences associated with spawning that prevent or minimize hybridization. Although the smallmouth bass / spotted bass hybrid is not the original “mean-mouth” bass, it has acquired this name over time.

The smallmouth / spotted bass hybrid has been found at very low densities in several states including Missouri, Arkansas and Georgia. Kentucky has not documented the presence of this hybrid. This does not mean it doesn’t exist; it just means the Department has not collected any specimens and genetically tested them.
The Department has now begun to examine for the presence of this fish in Kentucky.

A limited number of anglers have been asked to save some fish that they consider to be “mean-mouth” bass. We ask that only these selected anglers provide the fish so that we do not receive more fish than we can process. Collected fish will be sent to a lab for genetic testing.

By Jeff Ross Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Good read, thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Its all fun and games until one chomps down on your nut sack. :)
 

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Is this a mean mouth? Caught at P-lo
Just a good old spot as far as I can tell. Spots can have red eyes too. That lake you fished last weekend has spotted bass with red eyes.
 
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