Bass species of the Mid-West

- Largemouth Bass -


Largemouth Bass

The Largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) is a species of fish. Also known as Black Bass, Green Trout, Bigmouth Bass, and Lineside Bass.

Physical Description

The largemouth bass is marked by a series of dark blotches forming a ragged horizontal stripe along the length of each side. It can also be totally black. The upper jaw of a largemouth bass extends beyond the back of the eye. The average largemouth bass weighs 1 to 2 pounds and between 8 and 18 inches long. The largest of the black basses, it has reached a maximum recorded overall length of 97 cm (38 in), and a maximum recorded weight of 22 lb, 4 oz (10 kg, 113 g). It can live as long as 23 years, and, along with the black crappie, is also known as the Oswego bass.

Drawing of a Largemouth Bass.


Largemouth usually spawn in shallow bays in the spring when the water temperatures reach about 60° F. Females can lay up to a million eggs during each spawn in a shallow depression in the ground formed by the male. The male will then guard the eggs and, after they hatch in five to ten days, the fry, driving away any predators that come too close to the nest site. The fry remain in a group for several days after hatching. When the fry reach about two inches in length, they disperse and begin to feed on plankton and insect larvae.

Interaction with humans

Largemouth put up a very respectable fight for the sport fisherman, though many say their cousin species the smallmouth bass can best them pound for pound. Largemouth, though preyed upon by larger animals or other fish when young, usually occupy the apex predator niche when older, which dignifies them with a level of sporting prestige as quarry. Largemouth are usually fished for with lures, and it is common amongst anglers to release them alive. Largemouth respond well to catch and release because of their hardiness, and the ability of their large mouth to withstand repeated hook injuries without compromising their ability to feed or damaging their gills.

The IGFA's officially recognized heaviest largemouth bass on record was caught by George Perry at Montgomery Lake in Telfair County, Georgia, on June 2, 1932, and it weighed 22 lb. 4 oz. (10.1 kg). This was surpassed in March 2006 when Mac Weakley, of Carlsbad, California, pulled a 25 lb. 1 oz. largemouth bass into his fishing boat. However, the bass was not hooked in the mouth, was weighed on an uncertified hand-held digital scale, and then released. This created a dispute about whether the bass should be counted as a record. This dispute was ended when Weakley decided not to enter the fish as a world record.

The largemouth bass is the state fish of Georgia and Mississippi.

Underwater picture of a Largemouth Bass.


A hooked Largemouth bass.

Underwater picture of a Largemouth Bass.









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