Smallmouth Bass (Micropterus dolomieui)
Being prized by anglers for its passionate fight on the end of the line and by some foodies for a tasty bite on the end of the fork does not mean this fish doesn't have a life before the pole and plate. The smallmouth bass resides in Great Lakes bays, where cool, clear waters supplement a rocky floor. This floor, which contains building supplies for the spawning season, also serves as cover for the smallmouth when harm comes a-calling. Of course, yummy bait or a tempting lure doesn't look like harm, leading to this fish's reputation for a tough fight and a tasty bite. But before you go giving credit to "largemouth" after you pull it ashore, look at the mouth: if it doesn't extend past the eye, you've got a "small" guy.