Flatfishes, sunfishes, and perchlike fishes

Largemouth Bass Largemouth Bass
Micropterus salmoides


To 3'2" (97 cm); 22 1/4 lbs (10.1 kg). Moderately deep, robust; back olive to dark green, mottled; sides greenish yellow with dark midlateral stripe; head greenish gold. Mouth large, extends beyond posterior edge of eye. 14-15 pectoral soft rays; median fins olive; dorsal fins almost separate, 10 spines, 12-13 soft rays, 3 anal fin spines, 11 soft rays. Lateral line complete, 59-77 scales; 7-9 scale rows above lateral line, 14-17 below; no scales on bases of soft dorsal and anal fins; 24-28 caudal peduncle scale rows.


Quiet, clear to slightly turbid streams, ponds, lakes, and reservoirs, often with vegetation.


S. Ontario south through Great Lakes, Mississippi River system, and Coastal Plain from N. North Carolina to Texas and NE. Mexico. Also introduced throughout S. Canada and United States.


The Largemouth Bass, one of the most highly sought sport fishes in the United States, is caught with live and artificial bait. It is more tolerant of warm water than the Smallmouth Bass, but at higher temperatures it becomes less active. Adults feed primarily on other fishes. The average life span is about 16 years.