Key Distinguishing Markings: Largemouth bass can be recognized by the lower jaw which extends past the back edge of the eye. It is dark green above with silvery sides and belly. A dark stripe runs across its body.
Size: Largemouth bass have been known to reach weights of over 20 pounds.
Distribution: North America: St. Lawrence - Great Lakes, Hudson Bay (Red River), and Mississippi River basins; Atlantic drainages from North Carolina to Florida and to northern Mexico. The species has been introduced widely as a game fish and is now cosmopolitan. Largemouth bass are found in all waters of Maryland from freshwater to brackish (a mix of fresh and saltwater) waters.
Habitat: Largemouth bass are found in all waters of Maryland from freshwater to brackish (a mix of fresh and saltwater) waters. They like large, slow moving rivers or streams with soft bottoms. They especially like clear water.
Food Preference: Greedy carnivores (meat eating), largemouth bass feast on minnows, sunfish, gizzard shad, insects, frogs and occasionally snakes. Adult fish feed near water plants in shallow waters.
Spawning: Largemouth bass spawn as early as March or as late as June. The males build saucer shaped nests 20 - 30 inches in diameter. The male guards the nest and eggs from all intruders, until the fish hatch. Largemouth bass may live for 13 years.
Fishing Tips: These fish are an extremely popular sport fish. They are excellent fighters when caught on light spinning tackle. Good baits for catching largemouth bass include live minnows, night crawlers, and worms. Popular methods of fishing are fly-fishing, bait casting, or bottom fishing.
This species is considered the most popular gamefish in the United States. Largemouth bass fishing tournaments have become very popular in recent years.
Family: Centrarchidae (Sunfishes)
Order: Perciformes (perch-likes)
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)