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Freshwater Fish Identification

Rock Bass
Ambloplites rupestris

Common Name(s):

Goggle-eye, red-eye


Rock bass are thick, heavy bodied fish with a dark slate or olive-green color and also a bronze and coppery colored tone. The mouth is large and extends beyond the front edge of their red eyes. The rock bass have six anal fin spines which help distinguishes them from the warmouth, which has three. They also have rows of spots that form lateral lines on the sides.

Similar Fish:

Warmouth, green sunfish

Feeding Habits:

Rock bass eat primarily aquatic insects, but larger fish will prey on crayfish and minnows when the opportunity arises.


The original range of rock bass covered the eastern half of the United States and into southern Canada, with the exception of states along the Eastern Seaboard. Rock bass have been stocked in states both east and west of the native range.


The rock bass prefer clear streams and lakes of moderate size. They prefer streams with a medium level of flow. Bottom substrates with large boulders and coarse gravel are favored, or bed rock with drop-offs.

Typical Size:

A good size rock bass is about 10 inches in length and weighs 1 to 2 pounds and can live up to 13 years.

World Record:

3 pounds, 0 ounces (Source - IGFA)

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