The Guadalupe Bass (Micropterus treculii) is a member of the Centrarchidae family and is very similar to the spotted bass. Micropterus is Greek for small fin while the Greek word treculi refers to Trecul, the French compatriot of Vaillant and Bocourt. It was not until 1963 that the Guadalupe Bass was recognised as a separate species of Bass.
The Guadalupe Bass is currently considered a rare species, and until recently was classified as vulnerable. We highly recommend practising a catch and release program with this species until sufficient numbers have removed their status from rare.
In the 1970s, the smallmouth bass was introduced into the sam distribution as the Guadalupe Bass. Shortly thereafter they began to breed together and hybridisation occurred as much as 50 percent of the population. The state has since created a program to protect them from hybridisation through various breeding situations.
Above: Smallmouth bass
The appearance of the Guadalupe Bass is similar in appearance to the Spotted Bass. It has around 11 dark bars along its sides that become less visible as they get older. This is not at all a large game fish with the record all-tackle record being three pounds, 11 ounces.
Above: Spotted bass
The Guadalupe Bass is also not a very popular fish as it is restricted to the Edwards Plateau, Guadalupe, San Antonio and the upper Nueces river drainages found in southern Texas. All these streams are rather small, which is the main reason why the bass don't grow large - there simply is not enough of an ecosystem to support a larger fish. When it comes to Texas bass fishing, the largemouth is king with the Guadalupe bass take a distanct third. However, while they are small, they put up a great fight and are a desirable sport fish in southern Texas.
Preferred environments are small still water environments commonly found in flowing water, which may sound contradictory, but they stay out of the fast moving water in pools and raffles or by hiding behind rocks and they do this all day where they congregate and wait to ambush prey fish. The Guadalupe Bass is not afraid of rapids and when found there, they are often found near eddies. They can also be found in turbid downstream sections of rivers that have gravel riffles and at heads of deep pools that often have a silt substrate.
They seek out and are found in flowing waters of streams around large rocks, cypress knees, stumps and similar types of cover for refugia. Water temperatures in their habitat range from 39F (4C) degrees in the winter to as much as 95F (35C) degrees in the summer.
The Guadalupe Bass is the state fish of Texas and there is a good sport fishing tourism market built around this fish. Being a small fish, they make up for their lack of size with a good fight.
Compared to the Peacocks and Niugini Bass, the Guadalupe Bass hit hard and don't give up easy. Heavy tackle is not required for this fish, nor is a heavy line. The cost to fish for the Guadalupe Bass is not significant and perfect for the weekend angler. While Peacocks and the Niugini Bass are great fighting fish and offer an incredible fight, the costs are much greater as they are often located in remote areas, require heavy gear as well as spare gear and take some planning to land.
For children and those just interested in fishing the odd weekend, this is an excellent bass to learn to fish. We recommend no more than an 8lb test line and a simple baitcaster rod and reel combination will work well. Try a Cardinal reel with a graphite combination rod.
The Guadalupe Bass is similar in appearance to the Spotted Bass (see below). It is moderately compressed, having an elongate body and a large mouth. The body depth is usually three to five times in standard length. It has ten to 12 dark bars along its sides, which are less distinct in older fish. It usually has 16 pectoral rays between 26 and 27 scales around the caudal peduncle.
Above: Spotted Bass
The shortest dorsal fin spine contained 1.1 to 2.5 times in longest dorsal spine. It has 22-28 scales around caudle peduncle; seven to ten scales above lateral line; 14-19 scales below lateral line and more than 55 lateral line scales. It has three anal spines; 6-13 dorsal fin spines and six or seven brachiostegals.
It has 10-12 dark bars on side and they are more pronounced and dark when they are young, but fade as they get older. Small spots are visible on the scales and extend to near dorsal; a dark lateral stripe is obscured by barring; the caudal spot is indistinct and even more so in the adult Guadalupe Bass and the maximum depth of bars on body contained one and one-half to two times in maximum body depth.
In it's river habitat, the Guadalupe Bass grows at a slow pace reaching no more than a maximum of 111mm (4.3 inches) and as little as 58mm (2.2 inches). By the following year they reach a size of about 150mm (5.9 inches) on the low side or 200mm (8.8 inches) on the large size. After year three, the growth rate increase at about 30mm a year (1.2 inches) to a maximum of 38.1cm (15 inches).
Well, that's enough of the boring science stuff. To boil it all down, the Guadalupe bass is almost a dead ringer for the Spotted Bass. All the Guadalupe Bass look pretty much the same with the exception of those found in the Perdernales river in Texas.
The Guadalupe Bass is not a large fish with the record three pounds, 11 ounces that was caught in Lake Travis in 1983. It measured 15 inches long. Not as large as the Peacocks of South America or the Niugini Bass for Papua New Guinea, the Guadalupe Bass is found in small rivers, stream and lakes that do not have the resources to support a larger fish.
Some anglers have reported Guadalupe Bass as large as five pounds. However, after looking at the pictures submitted, these were actually offspring of mating between the Smallmouth Bass and the Guadalupe Bass.
Above: Peacock Bass