Smallmouth vs. Largemouth Bass

Updated on July 27, 2022

Do you know the difference between smallmouth bass and largemouth bass? If not, don't worry - you're not alone! These two types of bass are often confused for one another. In this blog post, we will discuss everything you need to know about smallmouth and largemouth bass. We will cover their physical differences, where they are found, what they eat, how big they get, and more!

What's a Smallmouth Bass

Smallmouth bass are a type of freshwater fish that is native to North America. They get their name from their small mouths, which are significantly smaller than those of largemouth bass. Smallmouth bass can be brown, olive green, or bronze in coloration, and they have dark vertical stripes running down their sides. These fish typically grow to be between 12 and 18 inches long, but they can reach lengths of up to 24 inches. Smallmouth bass are typically found in rivers and streams with rocky bottoms. They prefer cold water and can be found in lakes and reservoirs as well. In the United States, smallmouth bass are most commonly found east of the Rocky Mountains.

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Captain Jason's trips outside Knoxville, TN are a great opportunity for young anglers to catch smallmouth bass

Smallmouth bass are opportunistic feeders, which means they will eat whatever food is available to them.Their typical diet consists of small fish, crayfish, insects, and other small aquatic animals. Both live bait and artificial lures work for catching these freshwater predators, as well as a multitude of fishing techniques. You can use sight casting, deep dropping, kayak fishing, or really any technique. Smallmouth bass are popular among anglers because they put up a good fight when they are hooked, and also taste delicious. If you want to try your hand at smallmouth bass fishing, check out some of our great guides available!

What's a Largemouth Bass

Largemouth bass are the largest member of the sunfish family. They get their name from their large mouths, which can extend past their eyes. Largemouth bass are generally darker than smallmouth bass. They can be green, brown, or black in coloration, except the dark stripes along their sides can appear horizontal. These fish are much larger than smallmouth bass, and can typically grow to be between 16 and 24 inches long. Some even grow to 3 inches or more! Largemouth bass are typically found in lakes and ponds with soft bottoms and vegetation. They can range from the bottom depths to the surface of lakes, depending on the temperature and where their prey is located.

captain ander largemouth bass

A pair of massive largemouth bass caught on Captain Ander's trip outside Austin, TX

Like smallmouth bass, largemouth bass eat small fish, crayfish, insects, and other small aquatic animals. They are popular among anglers because they are aggressive predators and are quick to bite. Once on the hook, they put up a ferocious fight. Artificial lures and live bait both work well for whacking largemouth bass, and they can be caught from kayaks, docks, boats, and even the shore. Check out some of our incredible guides and get started booking your largemouth bass adventure!

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