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WarmouthScientific Name

Lepomis gulosus

Other Common Names

Openmouth, warmouth bass, Indian fish


A large-mouthed, robust fish with mottled sides and wavy lines on its cheek. Basically dark brownish above, with mottled and barred sides, and mottled or spotted fins. Can be olive-brown colored with greenish cast. Seldom gets larger than 8 or 9 inches.

Best Fishing

Numerous small lakes, ponds such as lakes Orange, Lee Hall, and Airfield have warmouth. Slow-moving, swampy rivers and streams, such as Dragon Run and Nottoway River also host this species.

Fishing Techniques

Caught incidental to other fishing activities. Will take a variety of small artificials, as well as worms, and small crayfish and minnows.

Feeding Habits

Feeds on aquatic and terrestrial insects and insect larvae, snails, crayfish and small fishes.


Cannot tolerate saline waters, so it favors backwaters of slow-moving rivers, lakes and ponds, especially acidic, swampy waters. Can tolerate turbidity.

Spawning Habits

Spawns from mid-spring into late-summer, although not much is known about its habits. Probably fans out a nest in typical sunfish style, near some sort of cover. Hybridizes with almost all sunfishes.