The Largemouth Bass, Micropterus salmoides
Overall green in color, varying from light green to almost black. Often wears a dark stripe or interrupted stripe from gill cover to tail. Jaw (maxillary) extends beyond the eye. Note notch separating two sections of dorsal fin.
SIZE: Caught in all sizes from three or four inches long to 15 pounds or more. Usual maximum is 8-10 pounds. World record 22 pounds, 4 ounces; Florida record 17.27 pounds.
FOOD VALUE: Excellent in smaller fish. Large bass are more coarse and should be released anyway.
GAME QUALITIES: Aggressive striker; strong and acro- batic fighter.The Largemouth may not be the “gamest fish that swims”—as the old quotation goes—but it ranks among the best battlers in fresh water.
TACKLE AND BAITS: The most popular tackle for good-size bass in or near cover is a heavy baitcasting outfit with line ranging from 15-pound test to 30. Much lighter tackle can be used successfully in open water. Baits include weedless plastic worms, spinner- baits, weedless spoons, topwater plugs and, in open water, swimming plugs. King of natural baits is the Golden Shiner, preferably native-bred and large. Chubs, Bream and Shad are also productive, as are large earthworms. Fly fishermen depend on large popping bugs and big streamer flies, often tied long and snaky to resemble worms or eels.
FISHING SYSTEMS: Casting;Trolling; Drifting.
HABITAT: Varies with season and water temperature, but Largemouths of all sizes love cover—pads, grass, snags, docks, whatever.Younger, active fish often school in open water, chasing baitfish.