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Smallie differences

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Tim Smith and I have been having an ongoing conversation regarding the possible differences in the 3 subspecies of smallmouth bass. I catch smallies of 2 different varieties. One has a stockier build with a rounded rear dorsal fin (Typical). The other has a longer build, a much larger tail and a sharply pointed rear dorsal fin. Same waters, often catching both kinds on the same outing. The normal smallies are jumpers. The spike smallies (as we call them) don't jump as much but instead choose to bulldog to no end.

It's NOT a product of river vs lake fish. These fish are caught in flowing and still waters.

It's NOT a trait of male/female. I've been pouring over pictures of both males and females on beds, and they both have the typical rounded fins.

I'm thinking these are possibly traits of the 3 known subspecies of smallmouth bass: The Ouachita strain of smallmouth bass, the Neosho strain of smallmouth bass, and our area's northern smallmouth bass.

I have several pictures on my site. Feel free to go have a look (it'd take me an hour to go thru them and put them here. Sorry.) Here's a couple :

( round fin smallies)


(spike smallie)





Anyone have a clear cut answer as to why these fish are so totally different?

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