Florida Largemouth Bass Features and Size
The Florida bass have a large mouth and a high ratio of fin surface to body size. While this observation may appear overly simplistic, many angler fail to realize the size of prey they can go after. This large fin helps the fish fight aggressively and manoeuvre well.
Color: Florida Largemouth bass have light greenish to dark green and brownish, sometimes almost black bodies with lighter grey bellies.
Bass has a rather large, slightly sloping mouth and a slightly compressed body laterally, though it appears oval in cross section.
One way of recognizing this fish is from their jaw, which extends significantly beyond the rear of the eye.
The Florida Largemouth Bass is a member of the sunfish family and differs only in size from the northern subspecies.
Differences between Florida Largemouth bass and Largemouth
There are 2 subspecies of the largemouth bass and they are generally referred to as the northern largemouth and the Florida largemouth. There is very little difference in appearance between the two, however, there is a different in size.
1.Growth: The Florida grows much bigger and faster making it the preferred bass for anglers. This fact has led to its popularity in stocking efforts across the United States.
2. Scales: The Florida Largemouth Bass has slightly smaller scales than the northern Largemouth Bass in relation to the size of its body. Measured from gill to tail It has 69 to 73 scales along the lateral line, compared to 59 to 68 on the northern largemouth.
Being similar in appearance, it’s often confused with the Spotted Bass (Micropterus punctulatus), which is itself mistaken for the Kentucky bass. The spotted bass has its spiny and soft dorsal fins fused. Also, its upper jaw is noticeably smaller than that of the Florida Largemouth bass and does not extend beyond the eye.
Generally you can consider a 6 lb largemouth to be a trophy fish in the north and a 12lb/5.4 kilograms largemouth in the south would not be uncommon.
The average length is 18 inches/46 cm but the Florida Largemouth Bass may grow to a length of 24 inches/61 cm or more. The world record Florida Largemouth bass was caught in Montgomery Lake, Georgia in 1932 at a whopping 22 pounds, 4 ounces/10 kilograms.
There are a few fish stories about a 20 pound, or 9.1 kilograms Florida Largemouth Bass being caught in Florida in recent years. Go figure, an exaggerated fish story! The largest bass ever caught in Florida is actually 17.125 pounds/7.77 kilograms. Still a respectable fish.
The average life-span is 7.5 years. The females have a maximum life-span of 9 years, while the males only have a maximum of 6 years.
Now let’s look at the size of the Florida Largemouth you are likely to catch. Don’t expect to land a 17 or even a 15 lb largemouth bass. The average size is somewhere around 5 to 7 lbs, though they are caught above 10 pounds.