Tallapoosa Bass

Tallapoosa bass are restricted to the Piedmont streams of the Tallapoosa River system. They have 10-13 vertical blotches along the lateral line that are evenly spaced all the way to the caudal peduncle. These are more numerous than other redeye bass species in Alabama, but do not coalesce into a solid stripe like those of largemouth bass and Alabama bass. These fish can have very vibrant blue coloration, especially from April to May, with shimmering green and blue scales present on the dorsal part of the body. The ventral areas are mostly white with rows or irregular areas of black-dotted scales. These fish have never been observed with red or orange pigmentation in their fins. Tallapoosa bass will have a tooth patch present.

Recent genetic surveys have shown that the mostly undeveloped nature of this river system has this species in good shape. Many streams contain mostly pure populations of Tallapoosa bass with only a handful experiencing significant hybridization with fellow native, Alabama bass. As the human population continues to grow and streams are developed in this region, these populations of Tallapoosa bass will need to be continually monitored for threats.

The Upper Tallapoosa River is the only large river in Alabama where you can reliably catch redeye bass in the main river system. Most other species of redeye bass in Alabama are restricted to the tributary streams of the main rivers.