Largemouth Bass Fishing Overview

Largemouths are ubiquitous across the states and are incredible fun to catch. They are the most popular freshwater gamefish and have a cult following (just head to the Bassmaster classic one year and you’ll see what I mean. The Super Bowl of fishing…).

Recent Reviews

Had the best time with Captain Carson. It was our first time bass fishing outside the Midwest and he was an excellent guide and great at teaching us some new techniques. He was very knowledgable about the area, and has experience with all sorts of fishing from river and lake to offshore. Shared some great stories, had an awesome experience, and plan to be going out again! Thanks again Carson!

Shawna S. with Carson Conklin of Austin, Texas

Captain Jake was great!!! We caught some good quality fish for Lake Travis!!! Highly recommended!!! Thank you for the experience!

Derik M. with Jake Kennamer of Austin, Texas

Had a great time and had very good fishing spots. Knew where to find the fish.

Gerardo A. with Jake Kennamer of Austin, Texas

Your motto stands true! We booked a damn good fishing adventure with Captain Skip on Lake Ida. He managed our fishing time well, searched and found the fish we were looking for and catered to all fishing levels in our group. He is a seasoned and knowledgeable guide. Finished the trip with Peacock Bass, Clown Knives, Strippers and native large mouth Bass. We are looking forward to another trip when we return to WPB.

Michael B. with Skip Stina of Delray Beach, Florida, Florida

Excellent day after catching a grand slam with each of our anglers today! Captain Skip was amazing and ensured each angler had a great experience! I would recommend Captain Skip for any level of fishing expertise!

Michael B. with Skip Stina of Delray Beach, Florida, Florida

Our trip was perfect Richard is very knowledgeable of the lake and the fish behaviors if you want to catch a limit of fish you won’t be disappointed

Otis W. with Richard Tatsch of Willis, Texas

I highly recommend Captain Experiences and Jake. The customer service was great from booking to confirming the trip. We had a wonderful experience with Jake. He is very knowledgeable, friendly and made sure we had a great time. His boat and set provided for a comfortable trip. Jake provided great instruction and encouragement for my 11 year old son. We got to fish in a lot of different spots ensuring that we caught fish. Jake also helped us take great photos.

Jonna B. with Jake Kennamer of Austin, Texas

We really enjoyed our trip with Jake. It was only supposed to be a half day (4 hours) but it ended up being a 5.5 hour trip! Jake really has a passion for fishing and that is obvious and makes the experience so great. It was just what we needed! We will definitely go with Jake again!

Karen H. with Jake Kennamer of Austin, Texas

Ive hired Jake seven times over the last year and a half. Every trip he is amazing. His boat is super nice and his gear is top notch. I always catch fish and have the best time ever. Jake is super friendly and charismatic. His knowledge of largemouth bass fishing and willingness to share is what keeps me hiring him again and again. You won't be sorry hiring Jake.

Dave M. with Jake Kennamer of Austin, Texas

As a beginner, I was nervous to go out on my first fly fishing trip, but Chris made the experience incredible! I was able to reel in 4 fish (my boyfriend reeled in another 5), including some rainbow and brown trout. However, the best part wasn't actually catching anything but learning the technique and patience that goes into fly fishing. Chris was a great instructor! Would absolutely book again or recommend to a friend!

Ansley W. with Chris Jackson of New Braunfels, Texas

Everything You Need to Know About Largemouth Bass Fishing

What is a Largemouth Bass?

Largemouth bass are iconic freshwater fish of the US.

To help you truly understand how ingrained this fish is in the culture of freshwater fishing, the sheer number of nicknames it has will give you an idea of how many people have lived their lives obsessed with this fish: widemouth bass, bigmouth bass, black bass, bayou bass, bucketmouth, largies, Potter's fish, lake bass, line side, marsh bass, slough bass, welchman, Florida bass, Florida largemouth, green bass, bucket mouth, chub, green trout, gilsdorf bass, oswego bass, LMB, southern largemouth, northern largemouth.

And then if you want to add slang for big mommas the list gets even longer: lunker, hog, pig, toad…the list goes on.

The largemouth bass is also the state fish of Georgia and Mississippi and the state freshwater fish of Florida and Alabama.

The largemouth is a carnivorous member of the sunfish family and is native to the eastern and central US, but has spread across the country by being introduced in just about every pond and lake you can find on a map. They are a deep olive-green with black splotches on their midside to flank, sometimes looking like a set of diamonds that form a lateral line. And of course, the largemouth has a jaw that extends back beyond its eye (on smallmouth the corner of their mouth will not extend past the eye).

There are two distinct subspecies of largemouth bass and both have been introduced broadly. The Florida largemouth is the larger of the two, and the northern largemouth is the smaller. The Florida largemouth will also grow faster, and thus is a more sought after fish to stock.

How big do Largemouth Bass get?

The largemouth bass is the largest of the black basses. They can live up to 10 years or so in the wild and a true lunker can reach over 25 inches and over 20 pounds (with bigger sizes rumored to be out there somewhere…), although this is far from common.

An average good largemouth bass might be closer to 15-18 inches and about 3-4 pounds.

Due to sexual dimorphism (when one gender is substantially different from the other), the females are much larger than the males and are much more sought as a gamefish.  

What's the biggest Largemouth Bass ever caught?

The largemouth bass all-tackle record is one of the most sought after of all fishing prizes. For almost 100 years the record stood still with a fish caught on a day of hooky in Montgomery Lake, GA in 1932. George Perry was trying to avoid work when he caught a 22 pound, 4 ounce largemouth, weighed it just because, and then took it home to eat it for dinner.

The IGFA certified in 2009 a co-record holder - Manabu Kurita, a fishing guide in Japan who caught an identical sized fish in Lake Biwa in Japan.

While Manabu’s bass was slightly bigger by weight, according to the IGFA a fish must be at least 2 ounces bigger by weight to break a record. 
 The hunt for a record largemouth bass has occupied the lives of many for years, and for an incredible read on the quest to beat the record (written in 2005, before Manabu caught his tying bass) check out Monte Burke’s Sowbelly which outlines a few lives that have been totally overtaken by the quest for a shot at a record bass.

Where is the best place to catch Largemouth Bass?###

Largemouth bass can be found in just about any freshwater body, from lakes and ponds, to creeks and rivers. They are found across the US, in Southeastern Canada, Mexico, in the Carribean (bass fishing in Cuba has become popular, and the fish loves the hot climate), and even in far-flung places such as South Africa and Japan, where the fish has taken on an almost cult quality.

If you want to catch a true beast of a bass, you have a few destinations which are the go-tos: Lake Champlain, Lake Okeechobee, Falcon Lake, Toledo Bend, Lake Sam Rayburn, and Lake Fork. California, Texas, and Florida are consistently where the big bass are held, and states like Texas have even started official lunker programs to breed large bass and release better offspring when stocking lakes in the state.

While these lakes are all notorious for big bass, this also means they have a lot of fishing pressure. This is why many think a new record will come from a smaller lake or even other countries like Mexico or Cuba.

Largemouth bass prefer tons of cover and structure, and will congregate to fallen trees and other debris when available unless they are spawning. As a warm-water fish it is seldom found deeper than 20 or so feet.

###When should I catch Largemouth Bass?

Largemouth generally run to deeper waters in the winter and come shallower in the summer, where they can be more easily sight-cast to.

In terms of time-of-day, largemouth bass can be caught often at daybreak and at dusk when they cruise shallower waters to feed and are not hiding under structure, although this is by no means a hard and fast rule.

Largemouth are also great to catch during their spawn, when big females will not only be more visible and available, but also protective of their patch of seabed (will attack anything that comes near, like a lure) and full of eggs (and therefore a heavier fish). The spawn will be earlier in warmer climates, often starting in March in the south and as late as May in the northern US.

###How do you catch Largemouth Bass?

With such an iconic fish you are bound to develop a whole world of dedicated gear and lures. Largemouth have entire industries dedicated to finding and catching them. Lures from worms to jigs to plugs to spinners have all been built and customized just for bass.

To this end, there are any number of interesting options to fish with which range not just from picking your lure to even how you rig it (try going wacky).

The most common strategy is trying to entice the fish to bite your lure, sometimes almost out of anger as much as desire. In colder water bass are more lethargic and will need a slower retrieve. Because they love cover, you’ll want to throw to brush and into structure and you’ll want to choose your gear accordingly. 
 Largemouth bass are fairly aggressive fish and there is no right way to fish them - everyone will tell you something different. The best strategy is to keep an eye on conditions and try a few methods to figure out what works in your area.

Are Largemouth Bass good to eat? What are the best Largemouth Bass recipes?

You can certainly eat largemouth bass, although they aren’t regarded as a particularly tasty freshwater option. Bass from stagnant ponds or lakes can have a muddy flavor that turns people off as well, and many people regard bass as more fun to catch than eat.

If you do decide you want to keep your catch, the flavor is generally mild, watery, and a little fishy, sometimes with a grassy taste. Try to keep fish from flowing, cleaner waters (as a rule of thumb, the better the water looks, the better your fish will taste) and grill or fry it fresh.