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I just realized that TN record for coosa bass is 1 pound 15 ounces. I have caught a couple here on the big south fork that I believe would have came very close to that. I could be wrong with what i'm calling a coosa bass though, in the pictures on TWRA they look more like smallmouth. The ones that I have caught kinda look more like a bright colored spotted bass with red eyes. There is very few places in TN that have coosa bass, the cumberland platue was stocked with them in the 50's which means the big south fork. I catch a bunch of them in the more slack water here on the river. Seem like they get more big around than they do length wise. Is this a coosa bass or are there some spotted bass with red eyes? As soon as I catch one this year I will post it on here.
 

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I don't think Coosa bass are in BigSouth Fork. In Fishes of Tennessee by Etnier and Starnes, they don't show Coosa bass in any of the tributaries to the Big South Fork. My guess is you just had a spot with red eyes. All of the plateau introduced areas are west and south of the Obed/Emory/Clear/Daddy's creek. Most of the plateau Coosa have some degree of hybridization going on.
 

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that book you mentioned is the best book ever written. I had etnier as a professor at UT a couple years ago and he is a true genius. I think it comes from all the beer he drinks. Anyway, that book was written in 93 i think so the fish could have expanded their range since then. My buddy casey caught a couple in otter creek, but i cant remember what river system he was on, i thought it was obed. The best way to tell em is there is a thin line all the way down their side. Its not a line of color, its just a think white looking line just above where a lateral line on a laremouth would be. They do have red eyes, but so do spots and smallies sometimes.
 

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its just a think white looking line just above where a lateral line on a laremouth would be. They do have red eyes, but so do spots and smallies sometimes.
It is the lateral line, and your right it is more highly visible on Coosa (and more arched), however all black bass have it (and it can appear white on all of them). IMO not really the best key. The coosa should not be expanding range, unless people are introducing them on their own. Etneir only listed locations where it could be positively documented. Most of the old fish records are not specific, so it could very well be in other places.



Did you every play Euchre (card game) with Dr. E?
 

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I have caught literally hundreds of Coosa bass over the years,including several fish big enough to break the Tennessee record. That being said,I am hesitant to share the locations I fish for them. Just so there is no confusion,this is one of the 2 red-eye bass I currently keep in my aquariums.
1553
 
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