Bass Fishing: Rock Bass

Rock Bass

Ambloplites rupestris

AKA: Redeye, redeye bass, goggle eye, rock sunfish

This species of freshwater fish is not truly a bass, however a member of the sunfish household, related to bass due to the fact that of its rocky environment.

Distinguishing Markings:

Bass Fishing

Rock bass have a really deep and laterally compressed body. They generally have red to orange eyes, big, terminal mouth, body coloring from golden brown to olive, with white to silver belly, and 5 to 7 spinal columns in the anal fin and 12 in the dorsal. Rock bass are less vibrant than the bluegill, however have the ability to quickly change its color to silver or blackish to match its environments.


About 6 to 8 inches and weighing less than a pound.


Rock bass can be discovered in all the Great Lakes and Saint Lawrence River system, Wisconsin, the upper and middle Mississippi River, and down to Missouri, northern Alabama and Georgia in the south, as well as from Québec to Saskatchewan in Canada.


Rock bass prefer clear, vegetated and rocky lake margins and stream pools. Their preferred environment is clear, cool to warm waters, with gravel or rocky bottoms, and some greenery. Rock Bass species are typically found near stone-armored coastlines and breakwaters.


Rock bass species are meat-eating, consuming pests, shellfishes and smaller fish and crayfish. Adult Rock bass might eat heavily, particularly in the evening and early in the morning. Younger types become food for larger predatory fish such as northern pike, muskellunge and large bass.


Rock bass mature in 3 years can live as long as 10 years. Spawning occurs from April to early June in warm waters varying from 55 to 60 degrees F., with females laying from 2,000 to 11,000 eggs. Males can become aggressive protecting their territory while they bring in and hold women.

Bass Fishing Tips:

Rock Bass is often seen in groups, particularly near other sunfishes. Anglers take them utilizing similar methods that work for other bluegill species. For more suggestions, checked out these bass fishing tricks composed by professional bass anglers.

Bass Boats:

If you’re new to bass fishing, or a skilled angler trying to find a brand-new bass boat, see our section on bass fishing boats.