Redeye bass, sometimes known as shoal, are notable for their red eyes with a deep bronze back and green or brown bars on the sides. They also have a blue tone underneath but the fish colors can vary according to where the fish is spotted. The young bass have a brick red dorsal and anal fin.
These are freshwater fish belonging to the sunfish species and come from the family of Micropterus coosae.
Most frequently the redeye can be found in Michigan, Tennessee, Colorado, Alabama, Georgia, North and South Carolina. The Apalachicola River runs through Georgia and this may be where the Redeye Shoal got its name.
These fish will jump hooks and fight aggressively when captured which makes them often difficult to catch and great sport among seasoned bass fishermen.
Fly fishing for the redeye is possible in the larger streams where you have enough room to cast. They will eagerly hit dry flies and bugs.
Although they mainly feed on surface insects, they are also attracted to crayfish, worms, surface lures, minnows, and small spinners. But the crayfish seems to be the most popular by far.
They usually live in small rocky streams and can be found near headwaters and areas where 65 degree water temperatures are pretty constant. They are not usually found in natural lakes or ponds.
The largest redeye bass are a little over 8 pounds, although they are actually the smallest in the bass family. The average weight is usually much less than 5 pounds, about 1 pound is considered a good catch. They are very slow growing, taking up to 10 years to reach full maturity.
Anything that jerks and splashes will attract these bass as they hunt mostly by sight and sound. If it moves they consider it food. They are very sharp predators and will especially attack a bass bug which imitates a living creature that is struggling on the water’s surface. Flies that make themselves appear vulnerable will usually be very successful.
When you are planning a bass fishing trip you can find good guides online. The guides can take you on tours around the lakes where your particular type of fish swims. If you are just looking to catch the redeye, then a good fishing guide would be your best bet and will know just where to catch them.
Redeye bass can be good eating with white, flaky meat, however, it is better to usually catch and release as they grow very slowly and the chances of ever catching a full grown one would diminish as their numbers would dwindle. If you can catch some that are over a pound, you might want to keep a few. Over a pound would be a good catch for the redeye.
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