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Rock bass we have a blotchy lookin one shadow bass, one with lines ozark rock bass

goggle eye is a catch all name for bass headed sunfishes

we have several strains of rock bass if you want a shadow bass hit elk river drainage and catch some neosho strain smallmouth while you’re at it

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MONKEYS? what monkeys?

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I'm changing to warmouth too.  It doesn't have the yellow/orange tipped fins that green sunfish typically have.

-- Jim

If people concentrated on the really important things in life, there'd be a shortage of fishing poles. -- Doug Larson

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15 hours ago, tjm said:

So what are the differentiating characteristics  ?  I've caught several completely black looking similar fish, some with red eyes and some without. Some I thought were green sunfish or shell-crackers,  made me think older makes darker or deeper water makes darker.

"Black perch" is what the old guys called them 60 years ago.

Green sunfish don't have red eyes, and I don't think warmouth have them either 

Green sunfish generally have that blue speckling along the cheeks as well as the body. That's really a giveaway. Notice in the pics of the warmouth there tends to be some black spots, but no blue speckling. Green sunfish can be very dark colored, but that blue speckling is normally present. 

Also that orange around the edges of the fins. Warmouth I've seen generally don't have much orange on the fins. Warmouth tend to be darker without as much yellow/green.   

 

If you look closely at the photos provided by mocarp and compare the rear-bottom of the dorsal fin, you'll also see a pattern on the warmouth that the green sunfish doesn't have.  That pattern is on your fish as well. 

 

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Once you have a green sunfish in hand, it's really easy to ID by the feel. They're way softer all over, with the dorsal being the only place to poke you, and even that's pretty tame compared to other sunnies. I suppose that's why flatheads prefer them, they'd be way easier to swallow whole.

I can't dance like I used to.

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3 hours ago, bfishn said:

Once you have a green sunfish in hand, it's really easy to ID by the feel. They're way softer all over, with the dorsal being the only place to poke you, and even that's pretty tame compared to other sunnies. I suppose that's why flatheads prefer them, they'd be way easier to swallow whole.

 

Largemouth bass will pound them, too.

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I was asking how to tell Northern Rock Bass, Ozark Bass, and Shadow Bass & Warmouth from each other if they are all in the black phase, I only mentioned the greens because they can be very black also, and so can blue gill,  I'm fairly sure you count scales or fin spines or teeth when there is doubt?  All the very dark fish I've caught were very large specimens as well, some red eyed and some not.

According to something I've read all those sunfish can hybridize, so green x bluegill x redear is possible, maybe?

Never heard a green sunfish called a black perch but have heard the others called that... just as always hearing long ears called pumpkin seeds.

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It's definitely a warmouth.  Quickest way to differentiate warmouth from the three rock bass species is to look at the spines at the front of the anal fin.  Warmouth have 3 spines, rock bass have 5 or 6 spines.  Other than that...I've never seen a rock bass that was colored like a warmouth no matter how dark they are.  They always have the black spots against a lighter background on their sides.  Also, they always have one dark stripe running almost vertically downwards from their eye.  Warmouth have three stripes radiating away from the eye, the top one horizontal and going back to the point of the gill cover.  Warmouth have a mingling of colors, with brass or lighter greenish irregular spots on their sides against a darker background, instead of the black spots against a lighter background of rock bass.  And the margin of the gill cover on warmouth is rounded like a bluegill or sunfish, while rock bass have a pointed back edge of their gill cover.

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