Largemouth Bass

Largemouth
Bass

World Record: 22 lbs 4 oz
Lake Biwa, Shiga, Japan
July 2nd 2009
Length: 10-24 inches
Found in: Lakes
Warm Waters 27C

Identification

Largemouth Bass have a robust body, which is less laterally compressed than the smallmouth bass. They have a large, long, head with a deep wide dorsal surface and a long, blunt snout. A large, wide lower jaw is slightly longer than the upper jaw along with two joined dorsal fins. The back and top of the head are bright green to olive and the sides are almost as dark in the largest fish to lighter green or golden green. The sides of the head are olive to golden green with some scattered black pigment and the underside is milk-white to yellow. The dorsal and caudal fins are opaque, green to olive; the anal and pelvic fins are green to olive with some white; and the pectoral fins are amber and clear.

Habitat

Largemouth bass stay in the upper levels of warm watered small shallow lakes and shallow bays of larger lakes. It is almost always found close to soft bottoms, stumps, and extensive growths of a variety of emergent and sub-emergent vegetation, especially water lilies, cattails, and other pond weeds. The largemouth bass spawns from late spring to mid- summer. Spawning grounds vary from gravelly sand to marl and soft mud in reeds, bulrushes or water lilies. The male sweeps clean an area (2 – 3 feet) in diameter. Often the bottom of the nest includes the exposed roots of emergent vegetation. The eggs are laid over the bottom and lip of the nest. After spawning, the male guards the nest and fans the eggs. The eggs hatch in approximately 3 – 5 days and the young are about 3 mm in length. After 6 or 7 days, the young begin to leave the nest.

Diet

Adult largemouth bass are largely fish-eating predators, but food type changes as they grow from plankton, to insects, to fish, crayfish and frogs. The largemouth bass is a sight feeder and takes food from the surface, in the water column, and off the bottom. It often feeds in schools near shore, close to vegetation.