[QUOTE=4wt;83223]I live in central Alabama...[QUOTE]
4 wt, I didn't think that rock bass roamed that far south, so I checked Dr. Etnier's book (he literally wrote the book on the fish of TN), and you may be catching shadow bass (Ambloplites ariommus) instead of rockbass ((Ambloplites rupestris). Rock bass aren't found south of the TN river watershed according to his book. The two are almost identical, except the rock bass is generally larger, and they have different no.'s of spines in the dorsal and anal fins, scale counts, and length to width ratio. I wouldn't be able to tell them apart, except by their range.