In Oregon, warmouth are present in a few coastal lakes and widely distributed in the Columbia basin, but are not commonly caught by anglers. They rarely get longer than 10 inches, but are good eating.
Features: Warmouth have more of a bass-shaped body and a larger mouth than the other sunfishes, other than the green sunfish. Warmouth are yellowish brown in color with three or four brownish bars radiating back from the eye over the gill cover. They can be distinguished from the green sunfish by the absence of turquoise mottling on the gill cover and the lack of a dark spot at the rear base of the dorsal fin.
Habitat: In Oregon, warmouth are present in a few coastal lakes and widely distributed in the Columbia basin, but are not commonly caught by anglers. However, they are unusually abundant in Tahkenitch Lake on the central coast. Warmouth are almost always found in shallow, slow-moving or still water where the bottom is soft and there is abundant aquatic vegetation and cover. Young feed on plankton and insects, while adults feed on insects, crayfish and fish.
Technique: Warmouth are best targeted during the late spring when they are spawning and can be found in shallow water. Look for them in ½- to 6-feet of water in wind-protected areas such as the back ends of coves. Warmouth will often be over sand or gravel bottoms where these are available. Spawning begins when the temperature approaches 68 degreesF. At other times of the year find them near weed beds, along drop-offs or around submerged woody debris. Use a bobber rig and size 8, 10, or 12 hook baited with worms, meal worm, crickets, piece of nightcrawler or other natural bait. Worms work best. Warmouth rarely get more than 10-inches long, but are good eating.