About: Largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) is the most common and versatile black bass there is. There are two recognized subspecies, the northern largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) and the Florida largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides floridanus). The Florida version is known to reach bigger lengths and weights. The largemouth bass is considered the most versatile because it can live in any kind of water – calm, swift, ponds, lakes, high oxygen, low oxygen, muddy, clear, cold, warm, deep, shallow etc. It is this reason it has been transplanted around the world and has thrived in the numerous environments on this planet. Its name is very fitting because it has a very large mouth capable of eating anything that can fit inside it. Of all the black bass the largemouth is considered to be the ultimate ambush predator and is an expert at laying low, hiding out and staying camouflaged until an unsuspecting meal swims by!
Do They Have Any Other Names/Nicknames? Bucketmouth, BigMouth, Green Trout, Greenies, Black Bass
What Do They Look Like? As mentioned the largemouth have very big mouths and when they are closed their jaw line will extend to their eye or beyond it. Largemouth also have disconnected dorsal fins and are usually a very green color, but in muddy water can become very plain and have a washed out almost white look to them. Likewise in clear water they can be very green with numerous black splotches all over their bodies. They do not have a rough patch on their tongue like the redeye or spotted bass.
What Goes In Their Belly? Largemouth are opportunistic feeders who will eat anything that can fit in their mouth, literally. Whatever animal happens to be in that size range, in the ecosystem in which they live will become their prey. In the US they mostly eat other fish, crayfish, frogs, snakes, lizards and insects, but they have been known to eat mice and other rodents, baby ducks and squirrels.
So, Where Can I Catch ‘Em? Well, in a river you can catch them usually in the slower water where they like to hang out and be lazy while they wait for their meal to come by. However, they will also be found in the swifter rocky shoal and rapids areas. This is what makes them so versatile, the fact that they can adapt to whatever area the food is in. A lot of big largemouth will prefer the oxbow and backwater areas of rivers, which is exactly where George Perry’s world record came from in south Georgia.
Any Subspecies? As mentioned above there is the northern (Micropterus salmoides salmoides) and Florida strain (Micropterus salmoides floridanus) of the largemouth.
World Record: 22lb 4oz by George Perry on June 2nd 1932 (but is being challenged currently. Click here for more info).
What I Like Bassin’ For Them: I love the close quarters combat that a well hidden largemouth can provide. The fact that they do often bury themselves in the thickest brush, log jams, lily pads etc. means that you can actually get very close to them without them knowing it. Once there all that is needed is a short flip with a heavy jig or tube bait that can sink through the junk and down into their living room. When you do get bit by one in a situation like this it creates for an awesome battle trying to pull them out of the numerous obstacles, especially if they are big! Another reason they are a joy to fish for is that they are not shy about eating lures of gigantic proportions! Throwing these oversized lures is a fun because when you get a bite you are almost in shock that something actually bit your huge bait. They don’t fight as hard as a smallmouth, shoal bass or spotted bass but what they lack in fight they make up for in weight and short term power. No other black bass gets this big so it is fun to take on the biggest of the bunch in unique environments like the river. The last thing that makes largemouth great is the fact that they are not shy about hitting lures on the surface, which can make for some awesome explosions!