One of the most popular warm water game fish in America is the black bass.
Native to North America, these scrappy fish have spread from the waters of the Mississippi River & tributaries to water-ways around the world!
4 Major Species
Largemouth Bass – largest species; grows larger as species goes further south. In Florida, they can reach 25 lbs.!
Smallmouth Bass – great scrappy, fighting fish and now distributed world-wide
Spotted Bass – small species of fish, they grow to between small and largemouth bass size
Redeye Bass– colorful fish that only grows in the streams of some southern states, small in size
Preferred Locale & Food
Largemouth Bass – He prefers to hide in warm, weedy shallow areas. Found in almost all US states and most Canadian provinces, he’s dark green (on the top), with the color washing out to an off-white stomach.
This fish likes to hide in the cover of leaves and weeds, waiting for a meal: minnows, frogs, tiny sunfish. This fish is notorious for being able to wrap lines around weeds, stumps and other submerged objects, while he moseys elsewhere!
This freshwater fish seems to prefer weedless spoons with pork rind or plastic worms. At dawn and dusk, however, he seems to have a yen for poppers, bugs and surface plugs.
If you use live bait, these fish seem to respond to frogs, minnows and worms. Largemouth can take the heat — they like water 85 degrees and above!
The Smallmouth Bass is a finicky eater. This minnow-muncher will eat an occasional frog or crawfish.
He prefers water no warmer than 60-65 degrees. Because he’s a cool-water enthusiast, he stays in rocky, deep water locales most of the year. In early spring and late fall, he will come to the surface, until things get too hot.
Also known as a ‘bronzeback,’ smallmouths offer a real fight to anglers! This species takes “we try harder” to heart! He may be smaller in size than the largemouth, but he offers a lot more fight.
During the spring spawning season, these fish like surface bugs. As things get warmer (and they are heading deeper), try small plugs and fly-and-spinner combinations.
Once they are in deeper, cooler waters, they seem to respond to diving plugs, wobbling spoons and bait (night crawlers, minnows and very small frogs).
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