Project Description


It has a stout, deep body similar to other panfish. A red eye and large mouth are conspicuous field marks. Three or four dark stripes radiating back from the eye across the cheek and gill cover like war paint confirm the identity.


Warmouths inhabit swamps, marshes, shallow lakes, slow-moving streams and canals with soft, muddy bottoms. They stay around aquatic vegetation, stumps and snags and under the banks of streams and ponds. They have more tolerance for muddy water than most species.


Warmouths are solitary nesters that prefer to nest adjacent to a submerged object. Nests are found over a wide range of water depths. They often spawn more than once a year usually between April and August. Crayfish, shrimp, insects and small fishes make up the bulk of their diet. Most feeding is done in the morning, as it appears to sleep at night.

State Record:

2.44 lbs. Big Catch: 10 inches or 0.75 lbs.

Additional Information:

The adult warmouth is dark, with a mottled brown coloration. Its belly is generally golden, and the male has a bright-orange spot at the base of the dorsal fin. Three to five reddish-brown streaks radiate from the eyes, and the gill flaps are often red. It has three spines in the anal fin, 10 spines in the dorsal fin, and small teeth are present on the tongue. These fish range in size from 4 to 10 inches (10.2 to 25 cm), but can grow to over 12 inches (31 cm) in length, and weigh up to 2.25 pounds (1 kg). The warmouth is occasionally confused with the rock bass or green sunfish, both of which share its relatively large mouth and heavy body, though the warmouth tends to be a bit larger in size. A common myth is that the warmouth is a hybrid of largemouth bass and bluegill sunfish. The warmouth is a native sunfish species.