Doing business with DNREC during the coronavirus period. More Info

Delaware.gov logo

Smallmouth Bass


The Smallmouth Bass is generally brown with dark brown vertical bands and red eyes.

Smallmouth Bass Illustration by Duane Raver, Jr.
Season Open Year-Round
Size Limit None allowed between 12 and 17 inches (total length)

Any Smallmouth Bass taken which is greater than 12 inches and less than 17 inches must be immediately released.
Daily Limit / Person 6 (no more than 1 greater than 17 inches)
Delaware Range Brandywine Creek, lower White Clay Creek, lower Red Clay Creek, and Christina River
Abundance in Delaware Waters Uncommon
General Habitat and Food Preferences Smallmouth Bass lurk among woody debris, boulders, overhangs, and other structures in streams.

They feed on crayfish, amphibians, and fishes.
Did You Know? Smallmouth Bass are an introduced species to Delaware (meaning they are non-active).

Smallmouth Bass are considered to be the hardest fighting bass pound for pound and often strike a lure multiple times.
Common Lures and Baits Smallmouth Bass are caught on lures that imitate fish and crayfish. Spinnerbaits, jigs, tube lures, and topwater lures are often used.

Minnows and crayfish are favorite live baits.
Typical Sizes Caught Smallmouth Bass are commonly caught at lengths of less than 12 inches by Delaware anglers.
Citation Minimum Length and Weight Live Release Award
Adult: 17 inches minimum
Youth (age 15 and under): 17 inches minimum

Sport Fishing Tournament Award
Adult: 2* pounds minimum
Youth (age 15 and under): 2* pounds minimum
* Must be 17 inches or longer
Delaware State Record 4 pounds 15.5 ounces
Jerry Proffitt
1989



+