Micropterus Salmoides

Centrarchidae

Perciformes

Lake, Pond, Rivers

5 - 22 pounds

15" - 38"

Largemouth Bass Game Fish Quality Very Good
Largemouth Bass Meal Quality Very Good
Largemouth Bass Fly Fishing Quality Decent

Largemouth Bass

Largemouth Bass
Also Known As: Green Trout, Black Bass

Largemouth Bass (Micropterus salmoides) 

It is the most famous and biggest member of the sunfish family and is a renowned game fish. Largemouth Bass has a green or olive-green color body and dark or black horizontal markings on its body giving it the nickname black bass. It has a slightly forked tail and the soft rays on dorsal fins are separated by deep points. 

The average adult Largemouth Bass averages 12 inches to 24 inches and weighing between 1 to 4.5 pounds. 

Interesting facts: 

  • They are appropriately named having an exceptionally large mouth and when opened, the upper jaw goes well beyond its eyes.
  • They are an angler's favorite as they give quite a fight when reeled out of water.
  • Largemouth can detect their prey’s vibrations using their sixth sense called lateral lines as well as their keen sense of smell.
  • Largemouth Bass are attracted to red color.

Habitat and Distribution

Largemouth Bass Fish United States Fishing Heatmap

The Largemouth Bass mostly live in ponds, lakes, and medium-sized water bodies, but can be found near ditches and creeks. They like a warm place abundant in weeds and shallow muddy waters. The Largemouth Bass is only native to North America and is densely populated in the eastern and southernmost states.  They now have been expanded to every state of America except Hawaii and Alaska. Due to its popularity as a game fish, the species has been introduced in many countries of Europe, Asia, Africa, South America, and Central America.

Spawning 

When matured, largemouth bass usually spawns from late winter to late spring. The eggs are guarded by the male. When hatched the school remains for about 3 to 4 weeks under their father’s protection before dispersing. The optimum temperature when the eggs are laid is a steady 60 ºF or higher. 

Food 

The Largemouth Bass's food consists of other fishes such as gizzard, shad, threadfin shad, golden shiners, bluegills, catfish, crayfish, and other smaller fishes. Snakes, salamanders, mice, bats, frogs, and other creatures are also victims. 

Fishing Techniques - How to Catch Largemouth Bass 

They are most abundantly found in places where it is easier to hide, such as sunken objects and thick weeds. Other spots include gradual shores, under bridges, open waters, and shorelines. 

  • Fishing with swim-baits is a highly successful way to catch these fish. There are both hard and soft varieties made out of wood or plastic rigged with hooks.
  • Dragging is mostly used to catch Largemouth. Use plastic baits and Carolina rig. Most effective to use in the hard bottom and non-vegetated areas.
  • In shallow water and grass-rich areas, try wacky fishing using straight worms and a variety of hooks.

You can use the jigs, crankbaits, jerk baits, hoppers, minnows, plugs, and live bait such as worms or minnows. These fish are abundant and you should be able to snag one with any of these on your hook.

For the fly fisherman, it’s important to have the right rig. An important thing to remember is that the Largemouth Bass does not spook easily and will put up a fight. With this in mind, it never hurts to pack heavy gear.  A 6-weight will get the job done for most bass, but if you're looking for the big one, be safe with your 8-weight, it will always do the job especially when fishing big lakes and rivers.

When choosing your reel, just match it to whichever rod you’re using weight-wise.  For bigger fish, we recommend using a disk drag as it will give you a more gradual resistance in the line with a sinking leader.

Use flies, primarily streamers, that are colorful and/or shiny.  You will catch their attention with brightly colored flies in the murky water where they dwell. Using poppers is extremely effective as they are made to copy the actions of topwater food such as frogs which are a big part of their diet.

Weighted flies are especially useful in the late summer when the fish are down in deeper water where it is cooler.