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Largemouth Bass Biology: Learn What Makes Largemouth Bass Tick

As if you hadn’t had enough of bass already . . . .

Oh wait. Of course you haven’t! Since we just can’t get enough bass, we figured you couldn’t either. So, we’ve come out with the latest edition to our Bass Fishing Resource Center, and created an entire section focusing entirely on Largemouth Bass Biology!

In sticking with tradition, ANGLR Expert Jonathan Dietz gives you a close-up view of what makes this monster tick, why they do what they do, and how you can go about finding them.

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Largemouth Bass: Basic Description

Just in case you have yet to run into one of these fish, Dietz gives us a great introduction before getting into the meat and potatoes of things.

Largemouth Bass: Basic Biology

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If you’re going to be out on the water chasing down a fish, you had better know some basics about how that fish lives so you have some sense of where to start looking. Dietz starts off this section detailing some of the similarities and differences between largemouth bass in their different populations.

Understanding what these fish feed on helps you figure out where they may be at a given point in time and how to go after them.

When you know what they’re likely to go after, you can make educated choices about what sort of bait or jig to use. Dietz also goes into great detail about their anatomy and how they feed, information that’s relevant to how you’ll be attempting to catch them.

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Largemouth Bass: Seasonal Movements

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Breaking things down into chunks corresponding with the bass’ spawn cycle, Dietz goes through the different spawns, from Pre-Spawn, to Spawn, to Post-Spawn. There’s a lot to learn here, and you’ll get good insight into how the fish move throughout these various times.

Multiple factors go into where a bass chooses to spawn, and how he finds that location. You’ll walk away with a complete grasp on the entire spawning cycle, and exactly what the fish are doing (and why) at any given point in time.

Summertime is a whole other beast altogether.

The warmer weather causes the fish to head off in a different direction, so finding them may be just a little more challenging. Dietz gives you everything you need to know about tracking them through the water.

They move again on you in the fall, and once more in the winter, so you’ll need to know where they may be during these times, and how to tell.

Largemouth Bass: Life Cycle

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Now that you know where the fish will be spending most of their time throughout the year, it’s time to find out about their life cycle. When do they hatch, how long before they’re mature?

As one of the most popular freshwater sport fish, understanding what makes a largemouth bass tick, can mean all the difference the next time you head out on the water.

Bass Fishing Basics: Structure and Cover

Bass Fishing Basics for Approaching New Water: Structure and Cover

There are two main questions that people ask when they first approach a new body of water.

What baits should I use?

Where should I fish?

Let’s focus on where to start your search. When you first approach a new fishery there are many different types of questions that you should be asking yourself. Focusing on things like what time of year it is, which way the is wind blowing, what the fish are feeding on, and what the fish are relating to.

These key items will help guide you to what is referred to as high percentage areas.

These are the places where you have the highest likelihood of catching fish. All of the previously listed topics are going to vary depending on what type of fishery you are at and what time of the year it is. For simplicity sake, we will focus on four types of fisheries for now. Before we dive into that though, we need to discuss a few terms and ideas to better help you understand what to look for and when. We also need you to help you better understand what is being said. The terms laydown, structure, and cover are thrown around a lot, but what actually are they? 

Cover

Cover is a relative term that can virtually mean anything. It can be referring to rocks, underwater logs, sunken pipes, trees, bridge pilings, grass flats, cattails, and much more. It is what fish relate to as they are making their seasonal journeys that provide them with areas of rest and something different to relate to.

Cover is something fish can get around to hide in or around, it makes them feel safer and allows them to get out of “open water”.

However, bass often use deep water as cover. Fish feel most comfortable when they are out of sight of predators. This can be in a thick grass bed, or out in deep water cruising the bottom. This leads to an important concept, the fact that bass like to relate to irregularities or things that are different. This means if there is a large flat and there is one large boulder on that flat, then the fish are going to be relating to that boulder. Now this doesn’t mean they will be sitting on top of it, but they will be relating somewhere close to it.

Structure 

Structure is much simpler, it refers to concepts like bottom composition or changes in underwater elevation. It can also mean a steep drop off, or area going from really shallow to really deep over a short distance. These areas allow fish to slide up and feed in the shallower water when conditions are right, and then slide back into deeper water when they are being inactive.

These areas also act as a lane to help bass push bait against the steep wall, as well as a travel route that allows them to intercept traveling baitfish.

This structure provides fish with ambush points to have a better chance at catching their intended prey. Structure can also mean flats, points, humps, and channels. It is simply discussing the bottom contour and what the fish are relating to. This gives anglers term to help them break down water and help pinpoint the areas that fish are using at that particular time of year.


Your Seasonal Guide To Better Bass Fishing


 

List of Largemouth Bass Records for Each State

We all love to dream about what’s lurking below. Ever wonder what the biggest in each state have been? Now you can know!

We’re all after the record lunker.

With every breath we take. With every move we make. We’ll be . . . .

No. Never mind. Not that.

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But every chance we get, we’re doing whatever it takes to land the ultimate of ultimate giants. When we beat our personal best largemouth bass, it feels good for a few moments. But the very next day, we’re right back at it again, still angling towards that ever-elusive record to end all records. The one to make all the other fishermen drool. The state largemouth bass record.

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Just so you have something to work towards, here’s a complete listing of all the largemouth bass records for each and every state.

 

State Weight or

Length

Date Location Angler Angler’s Hometown (if available)
Alabama 16lbs 8oz 11/3/1987 Mtn. View Lake, Shelby Co. Thomas (T.M.) Burgin Birmingham
Alaska 7.5” 9/1-9/4 2018 Sand Lake, Anchorage *
Arizona 16lbs 7.68 oz 1997 Canyon Lake Randall White
Arkansas 16lbs 8 oz 3/2/1976 Mallard Lake Aaron Mardis Memphis TN
California 21lbs 12oz 3/5/1991 Lake Castaic Michael Arujo Los Angeles
Colorado 11lbs 6oz 1997 Echo Canyon Reservoir, Archuleta Co. Jarrett Edwards
Connecticut 12lbs 14oz 1961 Mashapaug Lake, Union Frank Dormurat
Delaware 11lbs 1.6oz 2/20/16 Wagamons Pond Andre Klein New Casle, DE
Florida 20.13lbs 5/19/1923 Big Fish Lake, Pasco Co. Frederick Friebel
Georgia 22lbs 4oz 6/2/1932 Montgomery Lake George Perry
Hawaii 9lbs 9.4oz 1/26/1992 Waita Res., Kaua’i Dickie Broyles
Idaho 10.94lbs N/A Anderson Lake Mrs. M.W. Taylor
Illinois 13lbs 1oz 1976 Stone Quarry Lake Edward J. Walbel
Indiana 14lbs 12oz 1991 (Unnamed) Lake, Harrison County Jenifer Schultz
Iowa 10lbs 12oz 5/1/1984 Lake Fisher Patricia Zar Davenport
Kansas 11.8lbs 5/3/2008 Private Pit Lake, Cherokee Co. Tyson Hallam Scammon
Kentucky 13lbs 10.4oz 4/14/84 Wood Creek Lake Dale Wilson London
Louisiana 15.97lbs 2/1994 Caney Lake Greg Wiggins
Maine 11lbs 10oz 1968 Moose Pond Robert Kamp
Maryland 11.18lbs 1/26/2008 N/A Justin Riley
Massachusetts 15lbs 8oz 1975 Sampson Pond, Carver Walter Bolonis
Michigan 11.94lbs 1934

1959

Big Pine Island Lake, Kent Co.

Alcona Dam Pond, Oscoda Co.

N/A

N/A

Minnesota 8lbs 15oz 10/3/2005 Auburn Lake, Carver Co. N/A
Mississippi 18.5lbs 12/31/1992 Natchez State Park Lake Anthony Denny
Missouri 13lbs 14oz 4/21/1961 Bull Shoals Lake Marvin Russel Bushong Gainesville
Montana 8.8lbs 5/2/2009 Noxon Rapids Reservoir Darin Williams
Nebraska 10lbs 11oz 10/2/1965 Sandpit near Columbus Paul Abegglen Sr. Columbus
Nevada 12lbs 3/8/1999 Lake Mead Michael R. Geary
New Hampshire 10lbs 8oz 5/1967 Potanipo Lake, Brookline G. Bullpit
New Jersey 10lbs 14oz 1980 Menantico Sand Wash Pond Robert Eisele
New Mexico 15lbs 13oz 3/24/1995 Bill Evans Lake Steve Estrada
New York 11lbs 4oz 9/11/1987 Buckhorn Lake John Higbie
North Carolina 15lbs 14oz 3/31/2012 Hiwassee Reservoir Tyler Shields
North Dakota 8lbs 8oz 2/11/1983 Elson Lake, Oliver Co. Leon Rixen Minot
Ohio 13.13lbs 5/26/1976 Farm Pond Roy Landsberger Kensington
Oklahoma 14lbs 13.7oz 3/13/2013 Cedar Lake Dale Miller
Oregon 12lbs 1.6oz 2002 Ballenger Pond, Springfield B. Adam Hastings
Pennsylvania 11lbs 3oz 1983 Birch Run Reservoir, Adams Co. Donald Shade Waynesboro
Rhode Island 11lbs 3.2oz 4/2016 Johnson’s Pond B. Migliore Sterling, CT
South Carolina 16lbs 2oz 1949 Lake Marion P.H. Flanagan Manning, SC
South Dakota 9lbs 3oz 11/14/1999 Hudson Gravel Pit Richard Viereck
Tennessee 15lbs 3oz 2/13/2015 Chickamauga Reservoir Gabe Keen
Texas 18.18lbs 1/24/1992 Lake Fork Barry StClair
Utah 10lbs 2oz 1974 Lake Powell Sam Lamanna
Vermont 10lbs 4oz 1/1/1988 Lake Dunmore Tony Gale
Virginia 16lbs 4oz 5/20/1985 Conner Lake Richard Tate
Washington 12.53lbs 8/8/2016 Lake Bosworth, Snohomish Co. Bill Evans
West Virginia 12.28lbs

25.75”

1994

2001

Pond, Grant Co.

Dog Run Lake

David W. Heeter

Eli Gain

Wisconsin 11lbs 3oz 10/12/1940 Lake Ripley, Jefferson Co. N/A
Wyoming 11.51lbs 5/10/2018 Kleenburn Ponds Caleb Salzman Meeteetse

 

* Alaska considers largemouth bass to be an invasive species that has historically not existed in their waters. The first of its kind was reported caught this past Labor Day weekend, making it the default record catch, though the state is not honoring the interloper with an official record.