Hybrid Bass

Winters in Alabama are mild and make it an excellent time to fish for hybrid bass, which are more active this time of year than many other game fish.

Characteristics: The palmetto bass, also called hybrid bass, is not a naturally occurring species. Individuals are produced by artificially spawning a male white bass with a female striped bass. Offspring usually exhibit a wide variety of color patterns that can be confusing when trying to separate them from the young of either parent species. As they grow older, hybrid bass become thicker and deeper-bodied, giving them a distinctive short and stocky appearance.

Adult Size: 15 to 20 in (380 to 508 mm)

Distribution: The hybrid bass in probably the most wide-ranging and abundant member of the striped bass family in Alabama waters and have been found throughout the Mobile basin, in the Tennessee River and its larger tributaries, and in several coastal rivers.

Habitat and Biology: Each spring, biologists with the ADCNR collect white bass males and striped bass females and transport them to a state fish hatchery in Marion where they are spawned. Offspring are subsequently released into rivers, reservoirs, and public lakes. Hybrid bass feed heavily on shad and grow rapidly, often reaching total lengths of 18 inches or more in two years. Individuals migrate great distances in response to changing seasons and flow regimes and they congregate in tailwaters below dams in spring and during high discharge periods. Although they readily strike floating and sinking artificial lures, many fishes are taken with chicken livers and shad as cut bait.

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