Well, what do you know? Largemouth bass do have big mouths! In fact, this species of fish is recognizable by its lower jaw that extends past the back edge of its eye. And itís not just its mouth thatís large. Largemouth bass have been known to reach weights of over 20 pounds!
And thatís good news for the sport fishermen. Largemouth bass are considered to be the most popular gamefish in the United States, and, in recent years, largemouth bass fishing tournaments have become increasingly popular.
But, watch out. Largemouth bass are known to be strong fighters when caught on light spinning tackle. Many anglers prefer fly-fishing, bait casting or bottom fishing and recommend using live minnows, night crawlers and worms as bait.
Largemouth bass can be found in all waters of Maryland from freshwater to brackish (a mixture of salt and freshwater). They prefer slow-moving rivers or streams with soft bottoms, and they especially like clear water. They are greedy carnivores that feed on minnows, sunfish, gizzard shad, insects, frogs and even snakes!
Each year largemouth bass spawn between March and June. They build saucer-shaped nests and the males guard the eggs until the fish hatch. A largemouth bass can live to be around 13 years old.
Fishing season is open and closed depending on the type of water and the time of year. Make sure you check before you fish! For updated Maryland size regulations and for open season dates, visit:
Illustration courtesy of Duane Raver, USFWS
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