It all started on June 2, 1932 by a man named George W. Perry on Montgomery Lake, in Georgia. Using a shared rod (because they only had one) it was his turn to cast the $1.35 lure and with some 25lbs test silk line he made his cast from the row boat built from .75 cents of scrap lumber.
The Largemouth Bass weighed in at 22 lbs 4 oz and it took Perry and his family 2 days to eat the giant. The rest is history.
Know for its explosive strikes and amazing aerial displays, largemouth bass are by far the most pursued freshwater game fish in the United States. They are located through out most of the continental United States, all over Mexico, and even in some parts of Canada.
Largemouth Bass Facts
- Scientific Name – Micropterus salmoides
- Current World Record – 22.4 lbs
- Preferred water temp – 77 to 86 degrees
- Common names – Bass, Florida Bass, Black or Green Bass, Bucket mouth, Largemouth
Where to find Largemouth Bass
Originally found south of the great lakes and east of the Mississippi, they have spread throughout the United States, Hawaii, Southern Canada, and most of Mexico. They have also been introduced into Europe, Africa, South America, and Asia. Largemouths occupy most freshwater rivers, lakes, streams, ponds, pits & quarries, and even some drainage ditches in neighborhoods. If you know of some freshwater nearby, there is a good chance that there is a Largemouth Bass in it.
One of the hardest things about fishing for Largemouth is finding them. Everything from water temperature, air temperature, weather season, the wind, angle of the sun’s rays, time of day, and even the moon phase play important roles in the location of Largemouth. Then when you think you have located some fish getting them to bite can be another challenge.
Your best bet is to start very early in the day or late in the afternoon. Largemouth Bass tend to avoid direct bright sunlight and most fish are caught when the light is low or when the sky is overcast. Look for man-made or natural structure. Look for a dock, a tree, a branch, a rock, a point of land on a mostly straight bank. Anything that stands out as something different will usually hold fish. If you are fishing a cow pasture look for the place where the cows come down to drink or get in the water. A lot of times that area will hold a few fish. Docks are also a great place to find bass. Just look for anything that will give small baitfish a place to hide or that will provide some shade for the bass to rest in and you will be off to a good start.
If you are fishing from a boat out in the open water look for submerged structure with your fishfinder. Watch for stumps, ledges, submerged rock piles, quick drop off’s, or even schools of baitfish. Watch the surface for bass chasing minnows or shad, watch for birds diving into the water, this could mean that there is some bait around and the bass might be underneath the bait chasing them up to the surface. If you fishfinder has a temperature gauge look for changes in the normal water temp (a thermo cline). This can also produce some fish at certain times. Bridge pilings are usually a good place to check for a few bass also.
How to catch Largemouth Bass
Patterns – When you hear the term pattern used by bass fishermen they are not talking about the design of the lure that they are using. They are referring to the set of conditions that is putting fish in the boat. This is usually 2 things; the location of the bass and the technique used to get them to bite. The pattern will change from day to day and sometimes several times during a single day. If you have good luck on a stretch of bank that has lily pads and tree branches sticking up through them and the fish suddenly stop biting, chances are good that if you find some similar conditions else where you will find active fish again. This is a pattern.
When looking for feeding bass most anglers use some type of fast moving lure like a crankbait or a spinnerbait. Work the bait thoroughly but keep moving till you find some feeding fish. When you get a bass to hit slow down and keep as quiet as possible. Bass are pretty sensitive to noise and you don’t want to spook them before you have some fun catching a few.
If the bite stops after you get a few fish to the boat change lures according to the situation and give them something else to look at. If the bite is over, note the exact location and the structure conditions in that area. Then try to find another area with similar conditions and chances are good that the fish will be there also. It is not a foolproof way of finding bass, but it does work quite often. Also remember that the pattern will probably work the following day around the same time if the weather has not changed too much.
Some last minute tips
If you have more that one rod – rig up a few different baits on extra rods. That way you don’t have to keep retying when the action is on.
Keep a logbook of your fishing. Note the season, times, weather, location, bait used, water temp and height. Then repeat your successful pattern next year and see if you get the same good results…I bet you will.
Be courteous to other fishermen. If you see someone in a boat working a bank, don’t pull your boat in front of them and start fishing. Pull in where they have already been and start your fishing there and follow them at a polite distance. You would want the same done to you.
Please practice catch and release whenever possible and remember the large fish don’t taste any better than an average medium or small one. Take a picture and let the trophies live to catch and enjoy again later. Be safe and have fun!
Thanks for reading!