What is a Yellow Bass?

Worms can be used as bait to catch sea bass.

A yellow bass is a relatively small fish that is native to the Mississippi River in the United States. Its scientific name is Morone mississippiensis, which refers to its origin, and its common name is derived from the typical yellow hue of its belly. This freshwater fish can mate with other bass and is often mistaken for them due to their similar appearance. Their diet usually includes smaller fish, but they will also consume insects when given the chance. Unlike other species of bass, yellow bass travel in schools, which means they swim in groups.

Yellow sea bass meat is a favorite among some Americans.

This fish is very similar to other bass; it has the same shape and is also striped. The attentive observer will notice several differences, however. For example, the bottom stripes of the fish are always broken. Yellow bass also tend to have a yellow belly, but this is not always the case. Typically, this type of bass is about 6 to 12 inches (15 to 30 cm) long and weighs from 4 ounces to 2 pounds (113 grams to 0.9 kg). It is capable of living up to seven years if it is healthy and not caught by local fishermen.

Yellow bass were originally found in the Mississippi River; hence its scientific name. It has since been introduced to other freshwater bodies in the United States. In general, however, the fish are located in the central-eastern and southern regions of the country. It is especially plentiful in southern regions such as Texas and Alabama. Oklahoma, Minnesota and Arizona also have yellowfish populations, but they are generally considered vulnerable or even exotic.

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Typically, the mating season for yellow bass begins in March and ends when the water begins to warm up in May. Yellowfish prefer to lay their eggs on rocky places in fresh water. Once the eggs are fertilized, they fall off the females and stick to the gravel before hatching less than a week later. Occasionally, yellow bass mate with white bass and hybrid fish are born.

The firm, flaky texture of cooked yellow bass meat is a favorite among some Americans, so catching this fish is sometimes a hobby. Minnows and earthworms are some forms of live bait known to attract this fish. When using fake bait, spinners, jugs and spoons are typically used. Yellowfish are normally caught for food or fun, but rarely as trophy fish due to their small size.

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