Guide To Bass Fishing Success
All about fishing for bass, in each state.
By Rick Seaman
Bass are the most sought after of all game fish. Its appeal spans cultures, age groups and genders to tap on the heart strings of anglers everywhere. These very aggressive feeders are agile enough to easily chase down and catch their favorite foods at will.
Bass are most easily caught during a feeding spree, but can be enticed into striking an anglers bait for reasons other than hunger. They are predatory by nature and at times will strike at anything that enters their world, particularly during the spawn. If it moves, and they can get it into their big mouth, they will most likely attempt to eat it. Visit the Bass Knowledge Center for insight on how bass live. The most popular bass species are largemouth and smallmouth. In certain areas of the country there are other species including spotted (or Kentucky), redeye and shoal bass. Click here to learn about the best bass fishing lures and when to use them.
Prefers slightly stained to murky water with cover and minimal current, in depths from one foot to sixty feet. Ideal water temperature: 60° to 80°
World record: 22 pounds, 5 ounces
Also known as bucketmouth, this fish has a mouth that opens wide enough to swallow its own head. It will attempt to eat virtually anything it can catch and swallow. Growing to well over 20 pounds in ideal conditions, it is much bigger than it's cousin the smallmouth.
Learn how to fish for largemouths.
Prefers rocky areas of clear to slightly stained water in depths from one foot to fifty feet, with or without current. Ideal water temperature: 58° to 72°
World record: 10 pounds, 14 ounces
While the smallmouth only grows to about half the size of the largemouth, it is much more agile, faster and powerful for its size. It eats pretty much the same foods, just smaller specimens. It is without argument one of the finest game fish an angler can pursue. The thrill of the frantic runs and jumps are the source of many a fisherman's dreams.
Learn how to fish for smallmouths.
Spots, or Kentucky bass, are easily identified by the dominant, spots along the lateral lines. Ideal water temperature: 70° to 78°
World record: 9 pounds, 8 ounces
Spots are often called Kentucky, Kentucky spotted, Alabama spotted and Kentucky spots. They have a smaller mouth than the largemouth, so use lure sizes similar to smallmouth tackle. They feed on smaller fish as well as insects, crustaceans, frogs and worms.
Found primarily in the warm waters of FL, GA and AL. They populate lakes, rivers and streams. Ideal water temperature: 65° to 72°
World record: 7 pounds, 8 ounces
Closely related to the spots, it is often misidentified as a redeye due to the red coloring in the eye. The coloring is brownish similar to smallmouth. Fish for them as you would for largemouth and, as the name implies, look for them to congregate on shoals and similar structure.
Native to the Coosa River system of GA and AL, redeyes are often found in cool streams and rivers. Ideal water temperature: 65° to 70°
World record: 8 pounds, 12 ounces
The redeye looks very much like a largemouth with a red eye and red coloration in the tail. Found in the southeast part of the US it can be caught with conventional bass tackle favoring smaller baits and lighter tackle.
Basic Bass Fishing
Instruction video on bass fishing basics.
Review this video to help you get started on your bass fishing journey. Learn about different bass fishing rods, reels, lures and more.
Shallow Crankbait Fishing Video.
Shallow running crankbaits can be a lethal weapon on schooling, shallow bass. Use shallow running crankbaits when summer bass are in schools suspended near the surface.
Catching big bass from Lake Okeechobee
Lake Okeechobee in Florida is known for quality largemouth bass fishing. This video shows 4 to 8 pound largemouths being caught, some on topwater. If you like big bass you'll love this video.
Drop Shot Fishing
This bass fishing video provides a good look into the technique of drop-shot fishing for bass. This technique allows you to fish a worm up off the bottom while keeping the weight connected to the bottom.
Bass information by state.
Contribute Articles & Photos
The purpose of the page is to provide specific, detailed information about catching largemouth, smallmouth, spotted, redeye and shoal bass. Our goal is to help you make your next trip to the lake more successful. Use the state navigation on this page to locate specific information about these species in your local waters.