Smallmouth Bass have a long and bluntly pointed snout. The lower jaw is slightly longer than the upper jaw. Smallmouth Bass vary in color with habitat, but are normally dark olive to brown on the back with the sides lighter and yellowish and the belly yellowish.
There are 8 to 15 (average 9) dark vertical bars on the sides which distinguishes them from the Largemouth Bass. The anterior dorsal fin has 10 spines, and is strongly joined to the soft dorsal. The anal fin has three spines. The eyes are often a reddish color, but this is not always the case.