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Parts of a Fish
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The largemouth bass is native to North America. It is actually
the state fish of the states of Alabama, Georgia, Florida,
Mississippi and Tennessee. It is a freshwater fish.
The largemouth bass is an olive green fish in color. It also has
a series of dark marks, black sometimes and blotches that form a
horizontal stripe that is jagged along each flank. The upper jaw
of the largemouth bass extends beyond the back margin of the
orbit. The male largemouth bass is usually smaller than the
female. The fish also is the biggest of the black basses. It
reaches 29.5 inches and can weigh 25 pounds and 1 ounce. On
average the fish lives to be 16 years old.
When a juvenile, the largemouth bass eats mainly small bait
fish, small shrimp and insects and scuds. The adult fish feeds
on smaller fish like the bluegill, crawfish, frogs, salamanders,
bats, snails, and sometimes even water birds and baby
alligators. When in larger lakes and reservoirs, adult bass go
to deeper waters than the younger fish. They then change their
diet to smaller fish like trout, shad, shiners and sunfish. The
largemouth bass will prey on fish or mammals as large as 25 to
35% of the fish’s body length.
The largemouth bass when young is preyed upon by many animals.
But as adults they can hold up to 5 sunfish in their mouth at
Anglers love to catch largemouth bass and they are keenly sought
out. They are known for their fight. The fish on a hook will
become airborne attempting to throw the hook. Many anglers say,
however, that the largemouth’s cousin, the smallmouth bass beats
the largemouth on the fight.
Most often anglers use lures, like plastic
worms, jigs, crankbaits and spinnerbaits. Live bait to catch
these fish consists of minnows, frogs, crawfish or nightcrawlers.
Golden shiners are one of the best bait to catch largemouth bass
with. Largemouth bass love anything they think is alive. The
fish is easier to catch in the heat of summer and the cold of
winter because they are more sluggish.
Currently there is a strong pressure among anglers to catch and
release the largemouth bass, especially the larger ones. If
handled with care, they respond well to catch and release.
Found in most of the lower 48 states of the United States, the
largemouth bass is most popular in the southeastern states. In
the Canadian Province of New Brunswick they are considered an
invasive species that is bringing in sea lice and eating native
The record for the biggest largemouth bass belongs to two people
in a tie. The first was caught in 1932 in Georgia and weighed 22
and ¼ pounds. In 2009 in Lake Biwa a Japan man caught a 22 pound
4 ounce largemouth bass. The International Game Fish Association
declared a tie for the record.
As in New Brunswick, Canada, largemouth bass have been brought
or introduced to other countries due to its popularity as a
tasty fish and a sporting fish. This introduction has caused the
decline and extinctions of species in certain habitats. It’s
important that this somehow be regulated or stopped. The
largemouth bass needs to stay where it can thrive and not where
it breaks down a habitat.
The largemouth bass although a fun fish to catch and used as
trophies on many anglers walls must be treated with respect. The
practice of catch and release that is being pressured on anglers
today is a good thing. It will keep the fish from being
overfished and it will preserve the fight for another angler.
When the water temperature reaches between 55 and 65 degrees,
largemouth bass will seek out a shallow protected area for
spawning. Bodies of water, particularly lakes don’t all warm up
at the same time. Thus not all largemouth bass spawn at the same
time. Usually the Northwest side of lakes and the upper areas of
reservoirs warm up first. The spawning area for the fish must
have direct access to the sun’s rays. Usually the fish spawns
within 10 feet from shore in a depth of 1 to 6 feet. The male
picks a spot that is easy to defend. Places like near a boulder
and such. Also, a male will not build a nest within 30 feet of
another visible spawning nest. For the most part, the bigger the
largemouth bass the deeper the water and the earlier they will