February 02, 2012
Florida's largemouth bass are a different breed, literally.
The same warm water that keeps smallmouth bass out of Florida's range allows bigmouth bass to grow long and fat. For anglers, that means double-digit bass that are hungry year-round. It's why Florida probably has more 20-pound bass swimming in its lakes, rivers, creeks and retention ponds than any other state.
And what about those other warm-climate states that have monster largemouth bass, such as Texas and California? Those fish are Florida-strain bass (Micropterus salmoides floridanus) too.
That's why anglers flock to Panhandle dark-water rivers, the St. Johns River, inland Central Florida lakes, Lake Okeechobee and even the Everglades every winter in search of bass. Heck, diehard bass anglers are on the water every weekend, no matter the season.
And for the “suburban” anglers, don't forget about neighborhood retention areas, ponds and manmade lakes. Chances are that pond in a shopping area near you holds largemough bass and bluegills. Recently, Florida Sportsman member mclovin posted his biggest bass to date. You could tell from the photo that he was casting and walking along a shoreline.
“I didn't have a scale, so I'm not sure how much this fish weighed,” he said. “I can tell you it was 19 inches because I measured my arm when I got home. I caught him on a Zoom Speed Craw (worm) in watermelon seed color.”
Join in the Florida Sportsman thread. Help mclovin guess the weight of his bass. Or even post photos of your own wintertime or retention pond largemouths.