Largemouth Bass are one of the most popular and exciting game fishes to catch for the largemouth bass puts up a rather aggressive fight making it hard to catch which makes the entire fishing experience an adrenaline-pumped and fun experience.
It is no surprise that the Largemouth Bass is a trophy catch attracting the attention of thousands of anglers, having entire tournaments, reality TV shows, podcasts, YouTube channels dedicated exclusively to the Largemouth bass.
In this article we’ll discuss further about the facts,features,How, Do’s and Don’t Do’s while one’s catching the Largemouth Bass.
About the Largemouth Bass
Largemouth Bass( Micropterus salmoides) belongs to Centrarchidae family,with a striking complexion . they are solitary, carnivorous fish making them the top predators in the aquatic ecosystem forming the apex of the aquatic-life food chain. They are found in rivers, lakes, ponds , streams and reservoirs.
The Largemouth Bass with it its greenish-gray complexion and horizontal dark lines running down on each side is a stunning aquatic creature and also happens to be the biggest of the black bass species. The most striking feature of the Largemouth Bass is its mouth where the upper jaw extends past its eye and lower jaw juts out past the upper jaw making them possess such enormous mouths.
They feed on a variety of smaller fish such as small baitfish, small shrimp, insects, and scuds, they grow they move on to fish such as bluegill, crawfish, frogs, snakes, snails, shad, little water birds, bats, and even baby alligators. The adult Largemouth Bass feed on shad, yellow perch, shiners, sunfish and younger members of larger fish such as catfish, trout, walleye, etc which are found in deep waters in reservoirs and ponds.
Where to find Largemouth Bass?
Largemouth Bass are most commonly seen in quiet, calm and warm water, hidden between rocks, under roots and limbs of sunken trees, among water vegetation. They are indigenous to eastern and central United States, Northern Mexico. They are found in other locations as well.
Average size of Largemouth Bass and trophy Largemouth Bass
Ideally a typical Largemouth Bass grow as much as 2 pounds in their first year, followed by 0.5 pounds every year, varies according to the conditions, food supply and type of habitat they grow in. Any bass which weighs 8-20 pounds would be considered a trophy bass. Northern largemouth typically top out at about 10 pounds, while in the South, a female largemouth bass can grow as large as 20 pounds.
Best live and artificial baits for Largemouth bass
Live baits such as shiners, minnows, shad,crawfish are some excellent baits that attract the Largemouth Bass.
The artificial baits used to catch Largemouth Bass are designed to mimic those of their prey. Each bait has a specific feature so designed so as to lure the bass, such as reflective, flashing in the light baits.
Some popular artificial baits for bass include:
Jigs: used in shallow and deep waters, has a skirt like feature which pulses in water and attracts bass. Suitable in all weathers ranging from 50 degree to 70 degree temperatures in a variety of environments, including everything steep underwater banks to shoreline grasses.
Crankbaits: resemble small fish or crayfish. Wobble underwater due to their lip-like feature in the front, causing them to dive underwater, can be used in almost all types of weather and water depths.
Jerkbaits: as the name suggest, by virtue of their jerking motion, give a life-like action making them a best choice to use in clear, cold water, any weather conditions. They sit on top of the water.
Rubber worms: used in deep and shallow water, works well in a variety of conditions. Conventional methods of rigging rubber worms include the Carolina rig, Texas rig, drop shot, and weightless. One of the most popularly used baits.
Rubber Prey Baits: includes rubber crawfish, rubber salamanders, and rubber frogs, van be rigged in a variety of ways, used I almost all weather conditions.
Spinnerbaits: made up of metal blades, rubber skirts which are used to rotate and pull through water and to flutter in water, making them more attractive to lure the bass fish. Used in deep, shallow waters and under a variety of weather conditions.
Swimbait: with their life-like action is one of the most srt after baits. Their natural rolling motion, create vibrations and attract bass. Used under a variety of conditions and environments.
How does one catch a Largemouth Bass?
No fishing expedition is a cakewalk, more less a one to catch the hyper, aggressive Largemouth Bass. As with catching any fish, the first and foremost point to keep in mind is to examine and study the current conditions.
The weather, environment, season, part of the water body, time of the day should all be taken into consideration before formulating an action plan to catch the Largemouth Bass.
If it’s the spring or spawning season, summer mornings and winter afternoons one would most likely find the bass closer to the shore. during most other days the bass are found in the deep waters, away from the shore. They might be seen caught around vegetation, fallen trees, roots of aquatic trees , docks, etc.
Catching the Largemouth Bass in cold water
Durig the winter season, when the water is cold, the bass tend to be more lethargic and found in deeper waters. In such times, they can be caught using a slow retrieve.
When the water warms up, bass are more active and are more apt to bite a lure moving more quickly.
Bass are more likely to be found under a thick vegetation or any tye of structure where the bass lodges itself.
Hence throwing a lure in areas where you find some sort of vegetation, docks is more likely to improve your chances of finding a Largemouth Bass in cold water. Because of this, you’ll need to select lures that are easily fished in cover.
The key is always to analyse the environmental and water conditions and then apply your fishing technique appropriately.
Best time to catch a Largemouth Bass
Warmer the water, more active the bass would be. Warm temperatures equal more energy spent on finding prey and faster metabolisms. The bass tend to be keener to find their prey,eat more to make up for the energy lost in hot temperatures.
When they’re feeding, they’re easier to catch. Variations in the seasons and temperature play a significant role in how active bass are and where they can be found. Spring and early summer, bass tend to be active and seen in shallow water, nearer to the shore.
As it gets hotter during the summer, they move on to the deeper water. As fall approaches and the water begins to cool, largemouth bass can again be found in shallower waters. During the winters, they become lethargic, seen back in the deep waters.
The best time of day to fish for largemouth bass is usually early morning (dawn until 8:00 AM) and evening (5:30 PM until dusk), although this certainly isn’t a hard and fast rule. Since the largemouth bass depend on their eyesight to identify an attack their prey, daytime is preferred to catch them since they can be lured with shiny baits.Bass can ambush their prey without first being spotted.
Spawning season of Largemouth Bass
Largemouth bath typically spawn during the spring/early summer time when the water temperature is between 55 and 65 degrees. As mentioned earlier this is the time frame when most bass move from deep to shallow waters which is often within 10 feet of the shore in depths of 1 to 6 feet. Spawning mostly takes place in areas which receive direct sunlight.
When choosing a spawning bed, male bass often look for areas that are easy to defend, such as next to a rock, sunken log, or group of bulrushes. Typically Largemouth bass prefer gravel, sand, or muck bottoms for their spawning beds.
The nests are usually twice the size of male bass, which guard the fertilized eggs until they hatch or even at time guard until they can swim out on their own although this depends on the water temperature.
Largemouth Bass fishing tips:
- Always take into account the fishing conditions (weather,season,time of the day)before you start out on your bass fishing expedition.
- largemouth bass are more active early and late in the day.
Early spring time is a preferred season to catch largemouth bass as they move towards the shore.
- Find the correct fishing reel that you feel most comfortable using. The spin cast reel is the easiest to use for a beginner.
- Bass are opportunist foragers, so experiment with different types of bait and lures.
Largemouth bass are most attracted to the color red.
- Some good baits for Largemouth bass include nightcrawlers,small shad, crayfish, jigs, crankbaits,rubber worms.
- Bass are known for being tough fighters when reeling them in.
To correctly hold a bass, put its bottom lip between your thumb and bended pointer finger. Be sure to maintain a tight grip.
Largemouth bass is of one those fishes that surely make it to the bucket-list of all anglers. T is indeed a rewarding experience to catch an aggressive,fighting big bass which is nowhere as easy as it sounds. That being said, with proper fishing conditions, quality equipment and suitable lures, catching your first largemouth bass might fruit earlier than you’d expect!