Species Info

Largemouth bass

Type:  Black Bass

Appearance:  The largemouth bass is the best known and most popular game fish in North America. It is distinguished from other black bass because the upper jaw extends beyond the rear edge of the eye, and the first and second dorsal (back) fins are separated by an obvious deep dip.

State record:  17.27 lbs| Uncertified Record: 20.13 lbs

BigCatch:  To qualify your catch needs to exceed the listed weight OR length (not necessarily both).

Habitat:  The Florida largemouth bass is the state freshwater fish. Found statewide in lakes and rivers, they are commonly found along vegetation, or underwater structure, but schooling bass are also found in the middle of lakes.

Behavior:  Black bass spawn in spring, when males fan out a bed and then protect the eggs and fry. The baby fish eat zooplankton (microscopic animals that drift in the water column), and when about an inch long begin eating other small fish. Adults eat a wide variety of fish, crustaceans and larger insects.

Tips:  Florida is an outstanding destination to catch a trophy. A photo and measurements of your fish can be converted into lifelike fiberglass mounts. FWC encourages you to document and release lunker bass over 8 lbs to fight another day. (See TrophyCatchFlorida.com) The best live bait is a golden shiner, fished under a float or free-lined. Typically, the shiner is hooked through the lips or back with a large hook, 2/0 to 5/0. A medium to medium-heavy rod with 14- to 20-pound test line is preferred, particularly when fishing in areas with thick vegetation or cover. Plastic worms are the most dependable artificial bait for largemouth bass. A weedless Texas- or Carolina-rigged worm is especially effective with heavy plant cover. Checking MyFWC.com/fishing (select Freshwater then Fishing sites/forecasts) is a great way to learn about the full array of techniques available to bass anglers as well as specific details about different bass fisheries around the state.

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