Largemouth Bass Features and Size
The Largemouth bass, as the name implies, has a large mouth and a high ratio of fin surface to body size.
At first glance, the Largemouth appears identical to Smallmouth Bass. However the mouth of the Largemouth extends past the eye, which causes it to open further than the Smallmouth.
The large fin surface helps the fish fight aggressively and maneuver well.
How to recognise a Largemouth Bass
- A robust body, less laterally compressed than the Smallmouth bass with a large, long head with a deep wide dorsal surface
- A long, blunt snout although it’s not as deep as smallmouth
- It’s jaw is wide and large. The lower jaw slightly longer than the upper jaw
- 2 joined dorsal fins. The separation is more obvious than in smallmouth bass
- Back and top of the head are bright green to olive and the sides are almost as dark in the largest fish to lighter green or golden green
- The sides of the largemouth’s head are olive to golden green with some scattered black pigment and the underside is milk-white to yellow
- Dorsal and caudal fins are opaque, green to olive
- Anal and pelvic fins are green to olive with some white
- Pectoral fins are amber and clear
Those populations that are in clear, weedy water are darker and the black pigment is more obvious than those in darker, turbid water which are a pale green color overall.
While they can live as long as 15 years, the average life span is around 10 years.
There are 2 subspecies of the largemouth bass generally referred to as
- Northern largemouth
- Florida largemouth
What’s the difference between Largemouth and Florida Largemouth bass?
Very little difference in appearance between the two. However, the Florida largemouth tends to grow faster and larger.
The Largemouth is a member of the sunfish family and differs only in size from the southern subspecies, the Florida largemouth bass.
The northern largemouth has approximately 59 to 68 scales in the lateral line.
The southern largemouth has approximately 69 to 73 scales.
Trophy Largemouth Bass
These bass average about 13 inches in length and their size varies greatly.
Those that are caught in northern latitudes are rarely caught exceeding 5 lbs and considered a big bass. In southern latitudes largemouth can reach as much as 10 pounds. However, the average size caught is around 1.5 lbs.
In general, you could consider a 5lb largemouth to be a trophy fish in the north, whereas a 10lb largemouth in the south wouldn’t be uncommon.