The dorsal fin on the smallmouth bass is distinctly separated and contains nine to 11 spines and 13 to 15 rays. The anal fin has three spines and 10 or 11 rays. The bases of the soft dorsal and anal fins are covered with scales. The complete lateral line has 68 to 80 scales. The mouth is relatively large, with the upper jaw almost reaching the rear margin of the eye. The eye may have a reddish tint. Smallmouth bass lack the characteristic black stripe or jointed, lateral black blotches found on largemouth bass and spotted bass. Instead, the back and sides are bronze to olive green, with many irregularly spaced dark spots. The venter is generally white in small individuals, becoming dusky with age. Young smallmouth bass have several vertically oriented dark blotches along their sides that usually fade with age. Adult size: 15 to 20 inches.