HomeTips & TricksFishermans Guide To Largemouth Bass

Fishermans Guide To Largemouth Bass

Largemouth bass are one of the most exciting species of fish to catch especially on artificial fishing lures. They strike aggressively, fight hard, and will often leap out of the water in stunning displays of acrobatics. 

They are one of the most popular gamefish in the world, attracting the attention of millions of anglers every year. There are tournaments, television shows, podcasts, and even video games dedicated to bass fishing. Every year, millions of dollars and hours spent on largemouth bass fishing.  

Largemouth Bass
Chuck Pippin, Lake Toho Charter & Guide

In this article, we’re going to lay out the what, why, and how of largemouth bass. You’ll learn about the species itself, as well as great methods for catching bass. 

Ready? Let’s dive in. 

What is a Largemouth Bass?

The largemouth bass is a freshwater gamefish that is part of the Centrarchidae family. It is a carnivorous fish that is indigenous to the eastern and central United States, as well as northern Mexico, although it can be found in many other locations as well. The largemouth bass is the largest of the black bass species. Georgia and Mississippi have named the largemouth the state fish, and Florida and Alabama have called it the state freshwater fish. 

Largemouth Bass

In terms of color, it is greenish-gray. Dark blotches form a horizontal line that runs down each side of the fish. The top jaw extends past eye of the bass, and the bottom jaw juts out further than the top jaw. In other words, they have an enormous mouth, from whence they get their name. 

What are some nicknames for a largemouth bass?

Bigmouth bass, Black bass, Widemouth bass, Largies, Bucketmouth bass, Florida largemouth, Potter’s fish, Green trout, Gilsdorf bass, Southern largemouth, Oswego bass, and other regional names.

How long do largemouth bass live?

The growth rate of the largemouth bass depends on a variety of conditions, including the food supply and the surrounding environment. Under ideal conditions, they will grow as much as two pounds in their first year. The average rate of growth is approximately 0.5 pounds per year.

What is considered a trophy largemouth bass?

In some ways, this depends on where the fish are caught. Northern largemouth typically top out at about 10 pounds, while in the South, a female largemouth bass can grow as large as 20 pounds. Usually, anything between 8-20 pounds would be considered a trophy bass.

19.20 lb Bass Caught on Lake Kissimmee

There is an argument that to be considered a trophy largemouth bass, the fish must be at least 51% of the world record. This idea would mean that a bass would need to weigh at least 11 pounds, 3 ounces to be considered a trophy. However, this is not an agreed-upon definition. You could say that a trophy bass is in the eyes of the beholder.

What is the current world record largemouth bass?

The current world record for the giant largemouth is a two-way tie. In 1932, George Perry caught a bass that weighed in at 22 pounds, 4 ounces. In 2009, Manabu Kurita caught a largemouth bass in Japan that weighed the same amount.

What do largemouth bass eat?

Largemouth bass are carnivorous fish, and they feed on a wide variety of prey. When they’re smaller, they feed on things like small baitfish, small shrimp, insects, and scuds. As they grow, they begin to consume smaller fish (like bluegill), crawfish, frogs, snakes, snails, shad, little water birds, bats, and even baby alligators.

Adult bass that live in larger lakes and reservoirs tend to occupy deeper water than younger bass, and their diet reflects this. They primarily eat small fish (shad, yellow perch, shiners, sunfish, etc.) and the younger members of larger species of fish (catfish, trout, walleye, etc.). Amazingly, bass can consume prey that are greater than 50% of their length.

Largemouth bass tend to grow slower in weedy waters because it’s more difficult for them to find and catch food. However, if there is no cover at all, bass can completely wipe out the population of prey, and thus effectively starve themselves.

What is the best bait for largemouth bass?

In terms of live bait, fish (like shiners, minnows, or shad) and crawfish work very well since these are what bass usually eat. 

Because largemouth bass are carnivorous, the best artificial baits tend to be those that mimic their prey in some way. 

Bass are aggressive predators and will also attack a wide variety of artificial baits. If you look at the most used lures, you’ll notice that they don’t all look precisely like the natural prey of the bass. The key is that each bait has some specific feature that attracts bass, such as flashing in the light. 

What are the best artificial baits for bass?

Some popular artificial baits for bass:

Jigs

Jig – Jigs are weighted lures that usually have some skirt that pulses in the water and attracts the bass. They can be used year-round, able to catch bass in everything from 50-degree weather to 90-degree weather. They can be used in shallow or deep water and are useful in a variety of environments, including everything steep underwater banks to shoreline grasses. 

Crankbaits

Crankbait – Crankbaits often look like small fish or crayfish. They have a lip on the front that causes them to dive underwater and wobble as they are retrieved. They work in almost all types of weather and can be used in a variety of depths of water. 

Jerkbaits

Jerkbaits – Jerkbaits sit on top of the water. By jerking the rod, anglers can give the jerkbait a lifelike action, making it attractive to the bass. They tend to work well in clear water, cold water, or when bass are actively feeding on baitfish. They are useful in a variety of weather and conditions. 

Rubber Worms

Rubber worm – Rubber worms can be used in a wide variety of conditions, making them enormously popular with anglers. They can be rigged in various ways, allowing them to be used in both deep and shallow water. Conventional methods of rigging rubber worms include the Carolina rig, Texas rig, drop shot, and weightless.

Rubber Prey Baits

Rubber Prey Baits – In addition to the rubber worm, anglers also use rubber baits that accurately mimic the prey of the largemouth bass. This includes rubber crawfish, rubber salamanders, and rubber frogs. Like worms, rubber prey can be rigged in a huge variety of ways, making them useful in many different environments. 

Spinnerbaits

Spinnerbait – Spinnerbaits have metal blades on them that rotate when pulled through the water. The rotating blades catch and reflect the light, which makes them look like baitfish to largemouth bass. They also have rubber skirts which flutter in the water, further attracting bass. They can be used in deep or shallow water, as well as in a variety of environments. 

Swimbaits

Swimbait – Swimbaits are known for having particularly lifelike action. Their tail shakes when retrieved, and they also have a natural rolling motion. This is a deadly combination; these two actions create vibrations in the water that attract bass. They can be fished in a variety of depths of water. ‘

Within each of the above categories, there are dozens, if not hundreds, of lures available.

How do you catch a largemouth bass?

Largemouth bass can be caught in a wide variety of ways, and the “best” way usually depends on the current conditions. The best way to catch a largemouth bass is to carefully examine the current conditions and then adapt your tackle and fishing style to those conditions.

For example, during the spring (spawning season), as well as during summer mornings and winter afternoons, bass can often be found closer to the shore. They are caught around different types of structure, such as vegetation, docks, fallen trees, etc. During other periods, larger bass tend to hang out in deeper water.

How do you catch a largemouth bass in cold water?

In colder water, bass are more lethargic and are usually caught using a slower retrieve. When the water warms up, bass are more active and are more apt to bite a lure moving more quickly.

Usually, bass favor areas that offer some form of cover, like vegetation, fallen trees, or brush. They can occasionally be found in open water, but this isn’t the norm. Catching bass often requires throwing a lure or live bait near or into cover. Because of this, you’ll need to select lures that are easily fished in cover.

Thankfully, there is no single right way to catch largemouth bass. Because they’re aggressive, they’ll often strike at lures even if they’re not actively feeding. The key is always to be analyzing the environmental and water conditions and then adjust appropriately.

When do largemouth bass spawn?

Largemouth bath typically spawn when the water temperature is between 55 and 65 degrees. Usually, this is in spring to early summer, depending on the location. When the water temperature moves above 45 degrees, they’ll start moving from deep water into shallower waters. Spawning happens in shallower water in areas that receive direct sunlight. This is often within 10 feet of the shore in depths of 1 to 6 feet.

When choosing a spawning bed, male bass often look for areas that are easy to defend, such as next to a rock, sunken log, or group of bulrushes. Nests are usually about twice the length of the male bass and look like black or white patches, depending on what the bottom of the lake looks like. Largemouth bass typically prefer gravel, sand, or muck bottoms for their spawning beds.

After the fertilized eggs are in the nest, the male bass will guard the nest until the eggs hatch. It also may stay with the nest until the baby bass are ready to swim out on their own, although this depends on the water temperature.

When are largemouth bass most active?

Because bass are cold-blooded, they are most active in warm water. In warm water, bass metabolisms are faster, meaning they use more energy and must eat more. When they’re feeding, they’re easier to catch.

Variations in the seasons and temperature play a significant role in how active bass are and where they can be found. During spring and early summer, as the water is warming, they become much more active and can be caught in shallower water.

During the hot temperatures of summer, bass are still active, but they usually move toward deeper water. As fall approaches and the water begins to cool, largemouth bass can again be found in shallower waters. During winter months, when the water is coldest, bass are less active, although they can certainly still be caught.

When is the best time to fish for largemouth bass?

The best time of day to fish for largemouth bass is usually early morning (dawn until 8:00 AM) and evening (5:30 PM until dusk), although this certainly isn’t a hard and fast rule.

Bass are visual predators, relying on their keen sense of eyesight to help them identify and attack prey. They can see better in low-light conditions than most of the prey they hunt, which is one reason why early morning and evening tend to be particularly good times for fishing. Bass can ambush their prey without first being spotted.

Get out there and get fishing!

Bass fishing is rewarding for every type of fisherman, from the new angler to the seasoned expert. They’re aggressive enough that even inexperienced anglers can have great success catching them. Yet they’re also smart enough to give professional anglers a challenge.

Don’t wait any longer. Get out there and catch some largemouth bass! If you don’t know how to catch a bass book with one of our freshwater guides.

What are some nicknames for a largemouth bass? 

Bigmouth bass, Black bass, Widemouth bass, Largies, Bucketmouth bass, Florida largemouth, Potter’s fish, Green trout, Gilsdorf bass, Southern largemouth, Oswego bass, and other regional names.

What are some nicknames for big largemouth bass?

Toad, bucket, pig, mule, hawg, fatty, stud, hoss, big momma, tank, and lunker to name a few.

How long do largemouth bass live?

On average, the largemouth bass lives between 5 to 10 years. The maximum age of a bass is between 16 to 20 years. Bass in colder areas tend to live longer than those in warmer regions. 

How fast do largemouth bass grow?

The growth rate of the largemouth bass depends on a variety of conditions, including the food supply and the surrounding environment. Under ideal conditions, they will grow as much as two pounds in their first year. The average rate of growth is approximately 0.5 pounds per year.

What is considered a trophy largemouth bass?

In some ways, this depends on where the fish are caught. Northern largemouth typically top out at about 10 pounds, while in the South, a female largemouth bass can grow as large as 20 pounds. Usually, anything between 8-20 pounds would be considered a trophy bass.

There is an argument that to be considered a trophy largemouth bass, the fish must be at least 51% of the world record. This idea would mean that a bass would need to weigh at least 11 pounds, 3 ounces to be considered a trophy. However, this is not an agreed-upon definition. You could say that a trophy bass is in the eyes of the beholder.

What is the current world record largemouth bass?

The current world record for the giant largemouth is a two-way tie. In 1932, George Perry caught a bass that weighed in at 22 pounds, 4 ounces. In 2009, Manabu Kurita caught a largemouth bass in Japan that weighed the same amount.

What do largemouth bass eat?

Largemouth bass are carnivorous fish, and they feed on a wide variety of prey. When they’re smaller, they feed on things like small baitfish, small shrimp, insects, and scuds. As they grow, they begin to consume smaller fish (like bluegill), crawfish, frogs, snakes, snails, shad, little water birds, bats, and even baby alligators.

Adult bass that live in larger lakes and reservoirs tend to occupy deeper water than younger bass, and their diet reflects this. They primarily eat small fish (shad, yellow perch, shiners, sunfish, etc.) and the younger members of larger species of fish (catfish, trout, walleye, etc.). Amazingly, bass can consume prey that are greater than 50% of their length.

Largemouth bass tend to grow slower in weedy waters because it’s more difficult for them to find and catch food. However, if there is no cover at all, bass can completely wipe out the population of prey, and thus effectively starve themselves.

How do you catch a largemouth bass? 

Largemouth bass can be caught in a wide variety of ways, and the “best” way usually depends on the current conditions. The best way to catch a largemouth bass is to carefully examine the current conditions and then adapt your tackle and fishing style to those conditions.

For example, during the spring (spawning season), as well as during summer mornings and winter afternoons, bass can often be found closer to the shore. They are caught around different types of structure, such as vegetation, docks, fallen trees, etc. During other periods, larger bass tend to hang out in deeper water.

In colder water, bass are more lethargic and are usually caught using a slower retrieve. When the water warms up, bass are more active and are more apt to bite a lure moving more quickly.

Usually, bass favor areas that offer some form of cover, like vegetation, fallen trees, or brush. They can occasionally be found in open water, but this isn’t the norm. Catching bass often requires throwing a lure or live bait near or into cover. Because of this, you’ll need to select lures that are easily fished in cover.

Thankfully, there is no single right way to catch largemouth bass. Because they’re aggressive, they’ll often strike at lures even if they’re not actively feeding. The key is always to be analyzing the environmental and water conditions and then adjust appropriately.

When do largemouth bass spawn?

Largemouth bath typically spawn when the water temperature is between 55 and 65 degrees. Usually, this is in spring to early summer, depending on the location. When the water temperature moves above 45 degrees, they’ll start moving from deep water into shallower waters. Spawning happens in shallower water in areas that receive direct sunlight. This is often within 10 feet of the shore in depths of 1 to 6 feet.

When choosing a spawning bed, male bass often look for areas that are easy to defend, such as next to a rock, sunken log, or group of bulrushes. Nests are usually about twice the length of the male bass and look like black or white patches, depending on what the bottom of the lake looks like. Largemouth bass typically prefer gravel, sand, or muck bottoms for their spawning beds.

After the fertilized eggs are in the nest, the male bass will guard the nest until the eggs hatch. It also may stay with the nest until the baby bass are ready to swim out on their own, although this depends on the water temperature.

When are largemouth bass most active?

Because bass are cold-blooded, they are most active in warm water. In warm water, bass metabolisms are faster, meaning they use more energy and must eat more. When they’re feeding, they’re easier to catch.

Variations in the seasons and temperature play a significant role in how active bass are and where they can be found. During spring and early summer, as the water is warming, they become much more active and can be caught in shallower water.

During the hot temperatures of summer, bass are still active, but they usually move toward deeper water. As fall approaches and the water begins to cool, largemouth bass can again be found in shallower waters. During winter months, when the water is coldest, bass are less active, although they can certainly still be caught.

When is the best time to fish for largemouth bass?

The best time of day to fish for largemouth bass is usually early morning (dawn until 8:00 AM) and evening (5:30 PM until dusk), although this certainly isn’t a hard and fast rule.

Bass are visual predators, relying on their keen sense of eyesight to help them identify and attack prey. They can see better in low-light conditions than most of the prey they hunt, which is one reason why early morning and evening tend to be particularly good times for fishing. Bass can ambush their prey without first being spotted.

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Stephen Altrogge
Stephen Altroggehttps://www.authoritycontent.us/
Stephen Altrogge is located in Tallahassee, Florida, where it may be hot but at least they have crushing allergies. His writing has been featured on Forbes, Entrepreneur, Lifehack, Zapier, SUCCESS, SEMRush, Pagely, and many, many more.
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