A member of the sunfish family, the smallmouth bass has a robust and laterally compressed body. The smallmouth is typically brown, bronze, or tan in color with a creamy colored underside. Smallmouth bass spawn in the late spring-early summer. Male fish construct a nest and guard the eggs and swim-up fry after the female fish leaves. In the wild, the lifespan of smallmouth bass is 5-7 years, with very few living 10-20 years. They grow to weights of over 4 kg although most angled bass are less than 1 kg.
The distribution of the smallmouth bass includes the Great Lakes watershed, the St. Lawrence River and northward to north of Lake Nipissing and south of Lake Nipigon. In the northwest they can be found in the Lake of the Woods region. There are presently 2,421 Ontario lakes and numerous streams and rivers known to contain smallmouth bass.
Lakes and rivers that are clear enough and rocky enough to be suitable for trout, but in which the water temperature is too high for trout, are generally good smallmouth bass habitat. Bass concentrate around shoreline rocks and points as well as offshore shoals, often in deep water.
Smallmouth bass is considered to be one of the most popular recreational fish species in Ontario. Bass are highly sought by many anglers in Ontario and, in recent years, have become the focus of many organized competitive fishing events.
Conservation status in Ontario
Conservation status was not found, but there is evidence that there has been a decline in smallmouth bass in Lake Ontario. The species is of Least Concern internationally (IUCN).