The largemouth bass is widely known as one of the best freshwater game fish in the world and unparalleled by any other bass species. They sport a green body and an oversized mouth, making them difficult to see. They are stealthy and are one of the best hunters.
This bass species is one of the most exciting catches in freshwater fishing. They deliver the best anglers an action-packed fight almost every time. They are best known for their dazzling display of acrobatics, their ability to spit a hook, and their hard-hitting appetite. Landing a few of these can leave you with a trophy fish.
Profile – (Micropterus Salmonids)
What is a Largemouth Bass?
This subspecies of the black bass is the largest of this group and the most popular to catch. To many anglers, it is king, not just because of its size but because of the alluring display of acrobatics they can perform while hunting and the fight they put up once hooked.
What does Largemouth Eat?
Although they have little to no actual brainpower, their instincts are one of a kind. Largemouth in their youth will prefer smaller prey such as worms, small insects, and shrimp. But with a growth rate of over a half of a pound a year, they will soon be eating with the adults and can consume things as large as small alligators, frogs, snakes, and small baitfish.
Where can they be found?
Large Mouths can be found in almost any pond, puddle, or river due to their diversity and ability to survive. They are native to the central and the eastern half of the United States but have been displaced all over the world for sport fishing and to control other invasive fish species. The Large Mouth can live an impressive fifteen years and can in extreme cases grow up to three feet.
In the winters these fish will stay low and slow in the deepest parts of the lake. When the water has reached a steady fifty degrees the bass will begin the annual journey towards the shallower water. Here they will jump-start their metabolism. As the water continues its steady increase towards its summer temps, the Largemouth bass will begin to look for shallow areas. These sandy to rocky areas are used to pair with a breeding partner, where they will build a loose nest of fertilized eggs. The male will stay and defend the nest until the newbies are born.
The Large Mouth will then move out into different parts of the lake and rivers in search of food. The sports fishing world takes notice and will start to make their move.
How do We Catch Them?
Now that we know what these fish like to eat, we can start to fill our tack boxes with their favorites. Bass fishing requires a good mix of bait such as Jigs, Crankbaits, Jerk baits, Rubber bait, Spin bait, Live bait, and swimbait. Each one of these baits has its own special appeal to our target fish and all for different reasons. Let’s start with some of the most successful.
- Jigs – Jigs are a weighted lure of different types that can be used in almost all bass environments. They should stay at the top of your tack box, especially during the hotter parts of the day. A favorite of top anglers is a swim jig. Swim jigs support a skirt that covers the hooks and can be manipulated in many ways in the shallows and the deeper waters.
- Crank Baits – These baits can be a ton of fun mastering the swim technique. Crankbaits have a plastic bill on the front which helps the bait mimic small baitfish but also can be set to swim at shallow depths too deep depths depending on the lure. This can be especially beneficial when you have a fishing area that has a lake bottom that varies in depth. I always reach for my favorite Rapala and usually stick to shallow swimmers so I can keep an eye on my swimming technique and speed.
- Jerk Baits – These fun guys are a morning favorite and are best for catching largemouth. Yup, you guessed it, topwater jigs. These exciting jigs stay right on the surface of the water and are meant to make a splash right off a dock or a lily pad if your aim is good enough. Early morning Largemouth can’t help but display their ability to jump from the water chasing after these fun baits. One of the favorites among fishermen is frog and crayfish jerk bait.
- Rubber Worms – Rubber worms are another popular jig because they are easy, cheap, and can be used in a variety of different environments. These baits can be made from about every color under the sun but are common in Black, White, Yellow, Orange, and Green. The heads can often be interchangeable as well. These types of jigs can also be used in the shallows or can be weighted for use down deeper.
- Spinner Bait – Like Crankbaits, these lures can support skirts of different types. They can be commonly referred to as Bass Lures. The difference is, that these baits are topped with different types of spoons and spinners that reflect the sunlight catching the eye of predatory fish.
- Swim Bait – These double action lures are often jointed giving them the true lifelike swimming action tricking bass into thinking they are natural prey. These lures must be as fun to make as they are to reel back in. There are endless styles of these lures which you can pick from. This is another lure to keep in the tack box.
- Live Bait – A favorite among old-timers, live bait such as eat worms, minnows, crawdads, and shad will make fishing more natural. Some will swear that it’s the only way to catch the big ones. Furthermore, these types of baits can complement artificial baits as well. creating a lethal combo.
Choosing a Rod and Reel
You could go down to the local Walmart and pick up a cheap Shakespeare pole that probably isn’t the right size for you and your goals. This won’t get the job done very well and let’s face it, you get what you pay for.
If you are looking for a tough, durable brush pole for the days that you want to fish in heavy vegetation but don’t want to sacrifice the sensitivity pick up an Ugly Stik. They are one of the best ways to get the job done. They last forever and are virtually impossible to break. They are simple to use as well.
Without question one of the most sought-out poles for largemouth bass is the Phenix Maxim Casting rod. This rod will set you back about one hundred dollars and will be a huge aid in your bass-catching arsenal.
Something to consider is if you plan to catch these with a fly fishing rod. Make sure you choose wisely.
Top anglers have voted PowerPro Spectra Fiber Braided Line as the best fishing line for this species. Added to the best bass fishing reel will make everything great. Your local bait shop may not carry this, so be sure to grab a name-brand line with a six-to-eight-pound test. If you go too light or too heavy it cause you to have a very frustrating day.
What to look for?
We find ourselves changing lures one after the other, casting madly in every which way just hoping the fish will magically find our lure and bite. It’s just not that simple. To catch fish of any kind you need to know what they are looking for so you can know what to look for as well.
The largemouth is typically one of the easiest fish to catch after you understand where to find them. Their voracious appetite and consistency make them abundant.
Early morning lily pads are the best places to start. As the day progresses and the water and air temp rises these predators will find themselves under docks and fallen trees. They will retreat to the depths in search of cooler water. This would be a good time to snap on deep-diving swimbaits and other crankbaits.
Although this can be the most challenging time of the day it can also be the time when you begin to catch other fish species. No matter the weather or time of the day, remember don’t give up. Keep a full tackle box of ammunition and remember bass are opportunists and if given the right one they will bite.