The Redeye Bass
The Redeye Bass is another member of the group known as black bass. The Redeye bass is very rare except in Georgia, Alabama and parts of the Apalachicola River in Florida. Many anglers are unaware of their existence but those who do know respect this small but tough fish.
Although the Redeye is small, it is very willing to bite on most any offering and provides a big fight. Often this fish weights in at less then a pound but with a fly rod or ultra-light equipment it is considered a very sporty game fish.
The world record for the Redeye is 8 pounds and 12 ounces but any fish over 1 pound should be considered a trophy! It has affectionately been called “the brook trout of game fish” due to its feistiness.
The Redeye grows very strong but not nearly as large as the other members of the black bass family. In fact they hardly ever grow to over 1 pound but they have been known to grow to a maximum size of 9 pounds, although this is extremely rare.
The Redeye is a very colorful fish. It has green bands and a deep bronze back. The fins have a red tint and the eyes are a brown to deep red color. The jaw area along with the belly often display a bluish color. The jaw does not extend past the rear of the eye.
Redeye bass are commonly found in rocky areas, deeper pools in creeks and smaller sized rivers that are close to the main channels of larger ones. These fine fish are rarely if ever found in natural lakes or impoundments. They prefer a water temperature of roughly 65 degrees.
The Redeye’s prefer water that has a bit of current as compared to slow moving water. They feed mainly on insects that can be caught on the surface of the water. They will also feed on crayfish and other smaller fish.
Like other members of the black bass family, spawning usually happens from late May to early July or when water temperatures reach 62 to 69 degrees. The Redeye only seems to spawn in course gravel of creek pools. The female lays eggs in a nest prepared and guarded by the male.
Like many other fish, the Redeye is a carnivore. The eat insects when they are young but will feed on crayfish and other smaller fish as they mature. The growth rate of redeye bass is slow compared to other black bass. The growth rate is fast in the first year but decreases as the fish becomes older.
The Redeye Bass has also been known as the Coosa Bass, The Shoal Bass, Flint River Smallmouth and the Chipola Bass. With the gaminess and strength of this smaller member of the black bass group, they have become and will continue to gain popularity.
Although the Redeye is small, it is a very tough, strong and gamey sport fish that many people believe makes great table fare. I always practice and preach catch and release, hut if enjoy these fish in moderation, there is no reason not to take a few for your table.
One more cast………
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