What he has learned about them and the success that he enjoys pursuing them might convince you to target them as well. And in ways that you've never considered. "What most people fail to realize is that the aggressiveness of a spotted bass is twice that of a largemouth and it's the same with curiosity," said Bucca, who has learned about spots from assisting with electrofishing surveys as well as catching them.
"Those are the No. 1 aspects that any angler can capitalize on and turn to his advantage." Where are they? In lakes that they share, spotted bass often can be found in the same places as largemouth. But they are decidedly different fish. "The biggest difference between the two species is habitat," said guide Mike Bucca. "Largemouth are basically shallow-water fish that love wood. Spots are much more adaptive, as they can be just as happy in shallow woody environment as they are in deep, clear environment with absolutely no cover or structure." Look for spots, he advised, around points — especially main lake points — bluff walls and rocky shorelines. And don't forget that they often suspend. In general, spotted bass will be deeper than largemouth, added Norm Klayman, a former tournament angler and guide who has been catching both species on Bull Shoals for nearly 40 years.
"Once they get past the spawn, they will move deeper faster than largemouth," he said. "Sometimes, they will run open water over channels and you can catch them on top." While largemouth like flats, Klayman said, spots tend to prefer larger rocks and hang out more along channels, especially at the ends of bluffs and chunk-rock banks.