About the Largemouth Bass
Of all North American sport fish, the largemouth bass is said to be the most adaptable fish, which makes it a popular species.Out of the 30 species of sunfish (the parent fish), the Black Bass is known as a common, yet, challenging game fish. Popular basses in this category include the Northern and Florida Largemouth Bass. These two species often share similar characteristics however, due to the warmer climate, the Florida largemouth bass have a faster growth rate and overall a larger figure. Species of largemouth bass can also be found in Europe, Mexico, Southern Canada, and in all states excluding Alaska. The largemouth bass is also called bigmouth, bucket mouth, and hawg.
Mouth to Tail
Adult largemouth can range from 15 to 18 inches (38 to 46 cm). Gender identity can be easily identified by the size and color. The female largemouth is larger which measure up to 24 inches (61 cm) long and tend to change their color. The largemouth bass is deemed a fierce predator that can reach up to 12 miles per hour in speed. Although it may seem like a highly active fish, they are often sluggish and stay stationary to their locations. Some characteristics to look for in a largemouth bass is a dark green back, silver body, long head, and a wide dorsal fin. A key indicator is an elongated horizontal black stripe that runs along each side of its body. The jaw is wide and large, with the lower jaw slightly longer than the upper jaw. The gills and bodies are covered with a protective slime coat (mucous) that helps them fight diseases. The bones are calcified which helps them swim extremely fast to catch prey. An important part of an all bony fish is the swim bladder- an air sac in the belly that allows the bass to control the depth and water temperature in which it floats.
Largemouth use all five senses to hunt their prey. Largemouth bass can see about 10 to 15 feet and can see objects all around them. The bass has color stimuli photoreceptors cells called cones and rods. Rods cells help with visual abilities under low light conditions such as during the night. The cone cells help with sensitive colors like red, greens and violets.
They are able to see colors up above the water’s surface which makes stick baits,and frogs so effective for Largemouth bass fishing. Sound vibrations strike the lateral line and travel into the ears and head of the Largemouth Bass.. During hot summer days the largemouth bass hang around shaded areas.Studies have shown that bass use their senses like sight, hearing, and touch to reason whether something is prey or danger.
A typical largemouth measures 15 to 18 inches(38 to 46 cm) in length. Female bass measure 24 inches(61 cm) long and males usually grow 15 inches(38 cm).. Males remain their colors as females tend to change their color. Northern Largemouth bass weighs about four to five pounds and six-pound largemouth bass is considered a trophy. The Florida Largemouth Bass grows faster in it warmer native waters which help the bass reach up to ten pounds.
The largemouth bass is not found in a fast-moving or swift river. They prefer calm, fresh waters like lakes, ponds, reservoirs, streams, and slow-moving rivers for their habitats. They prefer areas near docks, drop-offs, fallen trees, water lilies, cattails and bulrushes. These areas allow for good hiding places for the Bass. Many uneven lake bottoms contain many great locations for bass hideouts. Anglers call this ‘bass structure” or known as a hole. The fish enjoy the contour of the lake bottom where they prefer residing. Largemouth tends to move from morning to evening. They often move to shallow water as the sun sets down and stay until after downing for feeding., then retreat into deep water as the sun comes up. They are seldom found at a depth greater than the deepest water in which rooted aquatic plants grow. When the summer days get hot, largemouth bass tends to seek cooler deeper water.
The routine of the Bass is concrete throughout the day. In the morning the bass will swim in six to nine feet of deep water. By mid-afternoon, they rest near their bass structure. In the evening they start swimming into shallow water waiting to strike prey as they pass by. Their diet consists of insects, frogs, crayfish, minnows, bluegill, and worms. They will sometimes feed on small land animals such as mice. In their own habitat, largemouth bass is at the top of the food chain and rarely become prey to other fish.
Largemouth bass spawns only once a year during March in Southern water and May in Northern water. At the ideal water temperature of 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit, the male creates a nest. The male chooses a spot about 10 feet from the shore, anchors his nose, and uses his tale to create a circular hollow. The nest is twice the length of his body. The female largemouth will then come along to release her eggs into the nest where the male largemouth will fertilize them. The female then swims away, while the male stays and guards the eggs. He fans them, giving them oxygen, keeps silt off them, and strikes savagely at any fish that harms the nest. In seven to ten days the warm waters will cause the eggs to hatch. Once the bass is about one inch long, the baby bass leaves the nest. Northern Largemouth bass weigh about four to five pounds. However the Florida Largemouth Bass grows faster in it warmer native waters which can cause the bass to reach up to ten pounds. Largemouth Bass can live up to 13 years.