The scientific name for Smallmouth Bass is Micropterus Dolomieu. They are also called Smallies & Bronzebacks. They evolved from Sunfish and their natural range is the Great Lakes, St. Lawrence River and the Mississippi River basin and all their tributaries. Over the last 100 years people have been illegally introducing them into other waterways or their eggs have become stuck to duck feathers and flown to new waterways. They have been spreading like wildfire.
Even though bass are an extremely popular game fish in Ontario they have done some major damage to smaller Ontario trout lakes. Bass in low population densities generally stay close to shore and don't harm anything but when the population gets high the bigger Bass will head out to deep open water and go down 40 to 50 feet to feed on Lake Herring, Chad and Cisco, which means they are directly competing for food with trout. There are lakes in Ontario's Algonquin Park and the Haliburton Highlands that have had their trout populations totally decimated by bass. They are found right across Northern Ontario and have now reached the Arctic Watershed.
The Smallmouth feed on everything like bugs, minnows and snails. Their favorite food is crayfish (crawdads), which are illegal to use as bait in Ontario. Smallmouth Bass actually smell like male Crayfish and that prompts the males to come out from under their rocks to defend their territory but they end up getting eaten by the bass. If you are new to Smallmouth Bass fishing, then I can say that all the fishing stories you have heard about their legendary fight are true. They are a very fun fish to catch, taste awesome and are a major attraction of Ontario's fishery. Most people cannot taste the difference between Smallmouth meat and Walleye meat.
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