Largemouth Bass | The ultimate guide

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Largemouth bass: AKA Black bass is one of the most prized catches for anglers. Besides, It represents one of the top predators in the natural ecosystem. The Largemouth Bass is an astonishing aquatic animal. These are some of the reasons that made it the most popular bass in the United States.

After Spending days of researching and writing, I managed to put together an article that gathers all the information you need about it. Keep reading to learn more.

Other names of Largemouth Bass

  • Black Bass, Green Trout, Florida bass, 
  • Big Mouth Bass, Lineside Bass, Trophy Bass, 
  • Mossback, Bucket Mouth, Bayou Bass, green trout,
  • Southern largemouth and northern largemouth.


Largemouth Bass

Micropterus salmoides

The largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) is known to be a member of the sunfish family (Centrarchidae) along with breams (Lepomis spp.), crappies (Pomoxis spp.), and several other genera.

This species is considered the United States’ most popular game fish. It has great reasons to be that famous! This green fish provides an action-packed fight. It can grow to healthy sizes, especially in the state of Florida. As a result, Largemouth bass fishing tournaments have become very popular in recent years. 

There are two identified subspecies of largemouth bass, the Florida and the Northern. These subspecies overlap genetically,but they can be positively identified by genetic analysis, or by scale counts.

Here’s a quick comparison : 


It’s more popular in sticking efforts across the U.S., thanks to its ability to grow faster and reach larger sizes.

Its scales are a little bit smaller if compared to the northern largemouth bass in relation to the size of its body. It has almost 69 to 73 scales along the lateral line,


Less popular and has only 59 to 65 scales.


Interestingly  the growth rate of largemouth bass extremely varies. It depends on multiple factors like food supply and environmental conditions. Largemouth can grow up to more than 2 pounds (4-8 inches) their first year under ideal conditions, but practically about 0.5 pounds is normal. On the contrary of other organisms, Females are normally larger than males.

A large female Florida largemouth may reach 20 pounds which is really big compared to only 10 pounds as  The maximum size of the Northern largemouth.

Typically speaking, according to Texas ponds, They can grow up to 8 pounds in the 1st year, 11 to 12 in the second, 15 in the third and 17 in the fourth.

How to distinguish Largemouth bass ?

Here are some features to recognize it easily : 

  • The lower jaw extends past the back edge of the eye with their upper jaw also reaching far beyond the rear margin of the eye.
  • The dorsal fin is divided with the anterior portion and contains 9 spines and the posterior portion containing 12 to 13 soft rays.
  • A large, slightly upward sloping mouth. Slender, but robust body (especially when young). The slightly flattened body from side to side produces an oval appearance in the cross section.
  • In general, It’s characterized with a light to dark (olive) green color above with silvery sides and belly and a dark stripe across its body. Dark blotches formulate in a horizontal line striping along the middle on both sides of the fish. The underside (underbelly) ranges in color from light green to almost white.

A note: Its color can appear as light or “washed out” grey as its color varies (and changes) based upon water clarity, light exposure, and temperature.


Largemouth bass are found in all waters from freshwater to brackish waters. You can found them in rivers, lakes, ponds, reservoirs, and streams. But to be specific, They prefer large, slow-moving, soft bottomed rivers or streams. Non-flowing calm, warm and clear water is their ideal environment,but it  will survive quite well in a variety of habitats. This is due to their adaptability to various conditions.

Brackish water:  a mix of fresh and saltwater.

Adult largemouth bass are solitary fish, although immature largemouth bass may tend to congregate in schools. Sometimes several basses will gather in a very small area with abundant food supplies, but they do not interact. Largemouth bass seek protective covers such as logs, rock ledges.They also like vegetation,under roots and limbs of sunken trees, and man-made structures. It strikes at their prey from the shadows. 


Historically, Largemouth bass were originally distributed throughout the United States: 

  • East of the Rockies.
  • Many rivers and lakes in Texas, with limited populations in southeastern Canada 
  • Nearly all of Mexico and south into Central and South America.
  • St. Lawrence, Great Lakes, Hudson Bay (Red River)
  • Mississippi River basins; Atlantic drainages from North Carolina to Florida 
  • The largemouth bass is important as a game fish. That’s why the species has been introduced into many other areas worldwide and is now cosmopolitan.


Largemouth bass prefers spring to spawn when water temperatures reach about 60°F… This could occur as early as February or as late as May depending on the state.. Males usually fan out a nest to protect the eggs during fertilization

This nest is usually 2 to 8 feet offshore, about 20 inches in diameter and 6 inches deep (also deeper if the water is clearer). Males spread out the nests to be 20 feet apart. In addition they prefer the nest to be in quieter, more vegetated water compared to other black bass. 

After the eggs hatch, fry remains in the nest for protection. When their length reaches 1.5 to 2 inches (3.7 to 5 cm), They become active predators and begin to eat insect larvae and smaller fish for feeding.

Large or small circles with white centers are indicative of a spawning bed. They are highly noticeable. You can recognize that the bed is not active if it is empty. Active and inactive areas of bedding may be found during the peak of the year.

Spawning for largemouth bass can occur multiple times a year especially if weather conditions are ideal.

Note: maintain a conservation angling mind frame when looking to target bedding fish.


Being one of the top recreational fish species in the United States. Largemouth bass has been stocked throughout the U.S. This way it provides recreational fishing opportunities outside of their native range. 

Recreational fishing regulations manage Largemouth bass by delineating fishing seasons. It uses creel limits, and size limits.


Ponds larger than 1 acre and suitable for largemouth bass. Ponds less than 1 acre makes population management difficult, as bass can easily become overharvested or stunted populations can develop.

Normally Largemouth bass is stocked at a 1:10 ratio with bluegill and sunfish. And at 50 2-4″ largemouth bass to 500 2-4″ bluegills or 400 bluegills and 100 redear sunfish in new or renovated unfertilized ponds. For new or renovated fertilized ponds or ponds ( supplemental feeding is used), largemouth bass can be stocked at 100 2-4″ largemouth bass to 1000 2-4″ bluegill or 800 bluegills and 200 redear sunfish.

Although both largemouth bass subspecies are suitable for stocking in parts of Texas, You should be careful when managing your goals before stocking them. Although Florida largemouth bass grows larger, it’s more affected by cold temperature, besides being proved to be more difficult to catch. It’s perfect if your goal is to catch the biggest fish out there without regard to the catch rate. Florida largemouth bass should not be stocked in the northern 1/3 portion of Texas, and it is strongly discouraged in the Texas panhandle, due to its cold sensitivity.

To gain some of the advantages of both parent subspecies, sometimes Northern largemouth bass and Florida largemouth bass are crossbred to produce an F1, or first-generation, hybrid.  Various trade names are used to refer to their hybrids.

What Do Largemouth Bass Eat?

Largemouth bass eating
  • Fry feeds primarily on zooplankton and insect larvae. they become active predators at approximately 2 inches in length. 
  • Juvenile largemouth bass Go for small insects, scuds, bait-fish, and shrimp 
  • Adult largemouth bass use shad, bluegill, crawfish, snails, snakes, frogs, small water birds, baby alligators, and lizards as their food. They also consume near water plants in shallow waters.

Note: Adult largemouth bass is the top predator in the aquatic ecosystem, but can be preyed upon when younger!.

  • In larger lakes and reservoirs with deeper water, largemouths enjoy a diet of mainly younger fish. These fish include shad, yellow perch, sunfish, shiners, and more. They will even consume trout, walleye, striped bass, and also catfish.
  • This type of bass uses vibration, smell, sight, and hearing in order to seize its prey. 

Where can you fish for bass ? 

As you probably know, Florida and Texas rank as the Best Destinations to go and catch prize-guaranteed largemouth bass in the United States!


If you’re a freshwater angler, Florida is the home to some of the best bass fishing! Search for largemouth there in rivers and lakes near underwater structures and vegetation(their preferred habitat). Bass in Florida are famous for their trophy proportions and are caught year-round. A trophy largemouth bass is usually in the range of above 8 pounds.


The Micropterus salmoides (native) and the Micropterus salmoides floridanus (Florida strain) are the 2 popular strains in Texas. Just like Florida bass, it is highly sought after in Texas and their conservation efforts certainly support it. 


Known as the BEST destination to catch prize-proportion largemouth bass. This state has benefited economically and recreationally by Fishing for bass. California is characterized by a wide variety of species of bass including Spotted and Smallmouth Bass!


lakes stocked with Florida-strain bass produce trophy largemouth bass. Largemouth bass is called Lobina Negra (a spanish name). A member of the Centrarchidae family or sunfish known as lobinas in Mexico.

Is it good to eat largemouth bass ?  

Of Course you can eat largemouth bass, though it’s not the most delicious one! It’s accessible throughout the world and provides tasty table food you’ll not forget considering its white flaky meat with a tender texture.

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