(M. chrysops x M. saxatilis)
Subspecies - There are no recognized subspecies since the sunshine bass is an artificial hybrid. Some states including Florida produce a hybrid called palmetto bass which is a cross between a female striped bass with a male white bass.
Range - Sunshines are stocked throughout Florida. The largest fish are from northwest Florida, but sunshine bass have produced fisheries as far south as Lake Osborne in West Palm Beach.
Habitat - Sunshines appear to prefer areas within lakes and rivers
similar to striped bass and white bass. Older sunshine bass require cooler water
during summer months.
Feeding Habits - Like stripers, sunshines are voracious feeders and consume any kind of small fish including threadfin and gizzard shad. Young fish also feed on mayflies and crustaceans. Sunshines also travel and feed in schools with peak activity in the early morning or evening.
Age and Growth - Sunshines are probably best known for their rapid growth. They have attained weights of six to seven pounds by three years of age.
Sporting Quality - As a sport fish, sunshines are known for their good fighting ability. Live threadfin or other small shad and shrimp are by far the most effective bait for sunshine bass. Artificial lures such as crankbaits, bucktail or feathered jigs, spinners and spoons also do well. Topwater lures also are effective when fish are schooling near the surface. Trolling with artificial lures often helps locate fish when surface feeding is slow. As a sport fish, specific bag and size limit regulations apply, and you can register a qualifying catch as part of the Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission's "Big Catch" program.
Eating Quality - Similar to striped and white bass.
World Record- 24 pounds, 3 ounces, caught in Leesville Lake, Virginia, in 1989.
State Record - 16 pounds, 5 ounces, caught in Lake Seminole, in 1985.
(Please check link for updates)
July 11, 2009