Scientific Name: Micropterus salmoides
Ideal Temp: 65-75°F (18-24°C)
Environment: Lake, River, Stream
Technique: Casting, Fly, Jigging, Trolling
Lure Type: Crankbaits, Flies, Jigs, Plugs, Soft Plastics, Spinnerbaits, Spoons, Topwater, Trolling
World Record: 10.12 kg (22 lb 4 oz) Lake Biwa, Shiga, Japan
The largemouth bass is a species of black bass in the sunfish family native to North America. It is also known as the widemouth bass, bigmouth, black bass, bucketmouth, Potter's fish, Florida bass, Florida largemouth, green bass, gilsdorf bass, linesides, Oswego bass, southern largemouth and northern largemouth. The largemouth bass is the state fish of Alabama (official freshwater fish), Georgia, Mississippi, Florida (state freshwater fish), and Tennessee (official sport fish).
The largemouth is an olive green fish, marked by a series of dark, sometimes black, blotches forming a jagged horizontal stripe along each flank. The upper jaw (maxilla) of a largemouth bass extends beyond the rear margin of the orbit. In comparison to age, a female bass is larger than a male. The largemouth is the largest of the black basses, reaching a maximum recorded overall length of 29.5 in (75 cm). The fish lives 16 years on average.
They prefer locations with lots of structure, such as submerged vegetation, brush piles, stumps, boat docks and standing timber. Underwater points, humps, drop-offs, bridge pilings and old road beds are also favored haunts, particularly in reservoirs.
Research indicates that the largemouth bass is also the most intelligent freshwater fish, able to distinguish and avoid a particular type of lure after only one encounter with it.
Largemouth are keenly sought after by anglers and are noted for the excitement of their fight. The fish will often become airborne in their effort to throw the hook, but many say that their cousin species, the smallmouth bass, can beat them pound for pound. Anglers most often fish for largemouth bass with lures such as plastic worms (and other plastic baits), jigs, crankbaits and spinnerbaits. A recent trend is the use of large swimbaits to target trophy bass that often forage on juvenile rainbow trout in California. Live bait, such as nightcrawlers, minnows, frogs, or crawfish can also be productive. In fact, large golden shiners are one of the best baits to use to catch trophy bass, especially when they are sluggish in the heat of summer or in the cold of winter. They are the most popular freshwater game fish. Casting lures and plugs during dawn and dusk hours around cattails and sunken logs will give you the best chance to land one of the lunkers.