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Western U.S. Arizona, Utah, Idaho and Nevada. Post fishing reports, ask for information, discuss this area...

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Old 05-13-2014, 12:00 AM
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Default Verde River AZ "smallmouth"

As I was going to be in Phoenix last week and had plenty of free time, I asked here about fishing possibilities. The one answer I got mentioned Wet Beaver Creek, and that it was full of smallmouth. In fact, in researching the area on the internet, EVERY source said that the Verde River and tributaries held smallmouth.

Well, I waded and fished the Verde, Wet Beaver, and Oak Creek, and caught "smallmouth" in all of them. But I put that in quotation marks because...THESE FISH AREN'T SMALLMOUTH! Superficially, they look like smallmouth, with bronze colored backs and upper sides with darker bars and blotches, but their lower sides have horizontal rows of small dark spots like spotted bass, their cheeks have a blueish cast, and most diagnostic, their tails are somewhat orange, with white upper and lower margins.

I recognized them instantly, being a student of bass and bass coloration due to my profession. These bass are redeye bass, Micropterus coosae. The redeye is an obscure black bass species that is native only to a couple of river systems in Alabama and Georgia. But there is simply no doubt that the appearance of these fish matches redeye identifying characteristics exactly. How redeye bass got to the Verde River has to be a mystery, and why the AZ fish and game people, along with everybody else, says they are smallmouth is a mystery, too. I've seen videos of the smallmouth of Black River in eastern AZ, and those are true smallmouth, but NOT the Verde River fish; they are most definitely not smallmouth, at least not all the ones I caught.

By the way, none of the fish I caught were very big, maybe 12 inches at best, but they're pretty little fish. I did, however, catch some very nice largemouth, including a couple of 19 inchers on the Verde and a 17 incher on Oak Creek.
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Old 05-13-2014, 01:15 PM
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Default Re: Verde River AZ "smallmouth"

Pics? milt
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Old 05-13-2014, 10:52 PM
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Default Re: Verde River AZ "smallmouth"

I have yet to figure out an easy way to post pictures on this site.
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Old 05-14-2014, 12:12 AM
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Default Re: Verde River AZ "smallmouth"

Hi Al,

If you have a photo bucket account this is the easiest way to post. Read the page then you'll be pasting photos like an old hand

Posting Pictures with Photo Bucket

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Old 05-14-2014, 12:17 AM
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Default Re: Verde River AZ "smallmouth"

Hi AA, easiest way I've found is to upload pix straight to your personal album in UserCP. I would certainly like to see 'em! milt
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Old 05-14-2014, 01:23 AM
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Default Re: Verde River AZ "smallmouth"

There are Smallmouth in there, but there are also Redeye.
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