Meet the most popular freshwater game fish in the US – Largemouth Bass, a state fish of Florida, Alabama, Georgia, and Mississippi. They are one of the top predators in the natural ecosystem and astonishing aquatic animals. Also known as black bass, widemouth bass, Florida largemouth, green trout, bigmouth bass, lineside bass, they strike aggressively, fight hard, and will often leap out of the water in stunning displays of acrobatics which takes every angler’s breath away.
Table of Contents
Where to find largemouth bass?
Largemouth bass can mostly be found in eastern and central North America: in Canada, the United States, and northern Mexico but can be found elsewhere. Bigmouth bass prefer calm, quiet, and warm water but are highly adaptable to other conditions. They are found in rivers, lakes, ponds, and streams. Largemouth like to hide between rocks, among water vegetation, or under sunken trees, striking at their prey from the shadows.
But you cannot find largemouth bass on the same spot during the whole year. Bass change locations as the season change. Finding Fall largemouth bass can be easy if you are looking shallow. Bait fish will be hanging out in the backs of creeks and the bass will not be far behind. Also check windblown shorelines, especially those with any kind of structure present or cover nearby. Tossing lures to isolated cover can be very productive. Another spot to focus on during the Fall bass fishing are flats that contain isolated cover. Working your lures from the shoreline back to the drop-off will spark the interest of any hungry nearby largemouth bass.
During winter, largemouth will retreat back to deeper water. Steep cliffs near creek beds are a popular place for largemouth to be found. Brush piles or tree stumps are a favorite hiding spot. This could be the key to finding big largemouth and have fantastic winter bass fishing.
Largemouth bass fishing in spring is again in shallow and flat areas in and around coves. Look for sandy areas rather than rocky or areas with thick vegetation. This is a spawn season and bass are looking for areas to make a nest. Spring bass fishing is for most of the anglers one of the most favorite seasons for fishing.
In summer, bass will once again go into deep water for most of the day. Only during early morning and late evening bass go to shallow water to feed. Of course, it takes time out on the water to learn where to find largemouth bass. When you follow these guidelines, you are on the right way to have a great summer bass fishing experience.
How long do largemouth bass live?
Depending on the conditions they live in, the average black bass lifespan is about 16 years, but have been known to live more than 20 years.
What is the biggest largemouth bass ever caught?
Largemouth is the largest species in the black bass family. Average bass catches are about 18” and up to 5lbs. Officially, the biggest Largemouth bass in the world was caught by George Perry on June 2nd, 1932. He caught the current largemouth bass world record out of Lake Montgomery, an oxbow lake off the Ocmulgee River in southern Georgia. The fish weighed 22 pounds, 4 ounces. In 2009, Manabu Kurita caught a largemouth bass in Japan with the same weight.
What Do largemouth Bass Eat?
Largemouth bass are very aggressive fish, and are known to strike at almost anything they consider alive. Knowing their diet might help you improve your chances of catching this wonderful game fish. They like to ambush, hunt and chase their prey. When we talk about their food, largemouth is not so picky. Adult largemouth bass mostly feeds on small fish like perch, sunfish, and minnows. But they don’t mind eating crayfish, insects, frogs, and even small aquatic birds. Actually, they will eat anything that looks like food. If it’s still moving and can fit in their mouth, it gets consumed. But what seems to be very interesting is that bass under two inches, known as a “fry,” are unlike their old ones, they are not predators but, instead feed on zooplankton and insect larvae.
What largemouth bass eat depends on the season, time of the day or night and whether they live in a pond, lake, river.
What Do Bass Eat in Spring and Summer?
This is a prespawn period. During this time, black bass feed heavily on shad and crayfish to gain nutrients in preparation for the period of fasting that occurs while they are guarding their nests. During summer days, after the spawn, bass regain their healthy appetites and start to feed heavily again. Everything is on the menu in spring and throughout the summer: shad, bluegills or frogs, it’s a buffet of bass’ favorite foods!
What Do Largemouth Bass Eat in Fall and Winter?
They keep eating after the temperature drops. Early fall brings a surge in hunting activity as they try to fatten up for winter as much as possible. It’s still a good time to fish for bass in shallow water where they continue to hunt for bluegills, crawfish, or frogs before it gets too cold.
Largemouth Bass Spawn
Largemouth bass begin spawning when water temperatures reach a constant 60F (about 15C ). It means that they spawn in late winter, January-February, in the southern parts of the U.S. and late spring, May-June, in the northern parts. Sand and gravel are top choices for spawning beds, and like many other species, expect the males to make the first moves from winter holding areas, followed by females a tad later. The entire process can take as little as 3 weeks in some spots! Bass find a sturdy, hard-bottomed place to build a nest to begin the spawn.
How to Catch Largemouth Bass?
Catching largemouth bass takes patience, knowledge, and a lot of luck. These extremely popular sport fish are excellent fighters when caught on light spinning tackle. Popular methods of fishing are fly-fishing, bait casting, or bottom fishing, and good baits include live minnows, night crawlers, and worms.
Always analyze environmental and water conditions and then adjust appropriately. It is easier now to use bass fishing tips when you already know where to find largemouth during each season and when you know what they eat. Now you just need an appropriate largemouth bass fishing tackle and you are ready for the most huge catch in your life.
Most often used baits are artificials, such as plastic lures, jigs, spinnerbaits and crankbaits; however, live small baits such as minnows, frogs, night crawlers or crawfish can be successful. An intelligent fish, the Largemouth Bass only takes one try to remember and avoid a type of bait.
Fishing can be divided in three stages: pre-spawn, spawn and post-spawn, with largemouth exhibiting different behaviors and holding in different locations through each stage of the spawning process.
Pre-spawn largemouth bass fishing
During the pre-spawn period, in early spring, it is easiest to hook a largemouth because they start moving closer to the surface. Use crankbaits, lipless crankbaits and jigs slowly dragged across the the bottom. Go with bright colors in stained water and natural patterns in clear water. The crankbait should go deep enough to bump bottom. Another good option to slowly explore an area is a jig tipped with a plastic craw. You should use black and blue in stained water and pumpkin or watermelon in clear wate
Largemouth Bass Fishing During the Spawn
If you choose to target bass during their spawning period, it can be very easy at times. The less you are seen by the bass, the easier it will be to get them. Low-light conditions and wind will help you camouflage. The most basic way to fish for bedding fish is throwing a 4- or 5-inch soft-plastic bait past the bed and slowly moving it into the bed.
Post-Spawn Largemouth Bass Fishing
After the bass spawn it is a great time to catch big bass. The best spots are shoreline points on either side of a spawning cove, shoreline pockets, the sides of a downed tree, dock, or any kind of large structure near the bluegill beds. Wakebaits in a bluegill pattern can take some huge fish for you.
Largemouth Bass Fishing Tackle Recommendation
It is very important to have adequate bass fishing equipment because you always have to be prepared for unexpected circumstances.
Largemouth bass fishing rods
There are so many different bass fishing rods you can take with you, but when it’s time to choose the right one, you have to see what lures you plan to use. Rods are usually made according to the type of lure, because each lure performs the best with the right rod. But one of the most important things is that the rod has to suits you and be according you your preferences and your needs.
There are two types for rods that are paired with different types of bass fishing reels. So, you have casting rods and spinning rods. In order to differentiate between these two is that casting rods have a trigger built in the handle. The best way to start angling is to use a spinning combo, but it is equally useful for professional fishermen. Spinning rods are better for handling lighter lures and lighter lines.
Spinning rods work perfectly well with lures of smaller sizes such as soft plastics, finesse jigs, poppers, walkers, jerkbaits or spinnerbaits.
Casting rods are a bit advances than spinning rods, they are, of course, paired with baitcasting reels and they require more skill to use. They are designed for heavier lures and lines that are more than ten-pound test with these reels.
Largemouth Bass Fishing Reels
Typical spinning reels for bass fishing these sizes: 2500, 3000, 4000. They hold the line in the range of two to fourteen pound test.
Largemouth Bass Fishing Lures
What are the Best Bass Baits?
The best live baits include the baitfish, crawfish, bluegills, frogs and mice. There are thousands of variations of lures that are made to mimic shad, bluegill, crawfish and everything else bass eat. One of the most common types of baitfish in lakes and rivers is shad, but it’s often hard to keep them alive for a long time. Largemouth love crawfish, so if you can catch them, they’re easy to keep alive after you hook them. bluegills are extremely attractive to hungry bass. Unlike shad, they will live in your boat or pond-side live well long enough without you needing to take extra steps.
Fly Fishing For Largemouth Bass
The interest in catching bass on the fly is rapidly growing. If you want to be successful, fish early and fish late, especially during the hot summer months. During the hot summer days bass goes deeper, and because of that hit the water during low-light hours, when largemouth bass are more apt to be cruising or feeding in shallow water, where it’ll easier to find success with your fly.
Whether you’re casting from the shore or a boat, aim to land your fly around large submerged structures. Drainage basins, downed trees, and even patches of weeds make a great target area. Bass spend most of their time around these submerged structures in order to stay protected from predators, out of the sun, and hidden from oncoming prey.
When you fish a surface bug, stop occasionally, giving tracking bass time to look at the fly. The moment you start the retrieve again is often when you get drilled. Once you’re hooked up on bass, know that the battle has only just begun. Bass are mean and do not wear out as quickly.
When fishing for bass, whether it is a shallow creek or deep pond, it’s important to have the right rig. The most important thing to remember, is that bass spook less easily, and tend to fight hard. When you know all that, it never hurts to pack heavy.