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Guide To Bass Fishing Success

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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.

Largemouth bass caught by Dan Westfall
Dan Westfall's nice fish.

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.

Largemouth Bass

Micropterus salmoides

Largemouth Bass

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.

Smallmouth Bass

Micropterus dolomieu

Smallmouth Bass

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.

Spotted Bass

Micropterus punctulatus

Spotted Bass

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.

Shoal Bass

Micropterus cataractae

Shoal Bass

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.

Redeye Bass

Micropterus coosae

Redeye Bass

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.

AL Bass Fishing AR Bass Fishing AZ Bass Fishing CA Bass Fishing CO Bass Fishing CT Bass Fishing DC Bass Fishing DE Bass Fishing FL Bass Fishing GA Bass Fishing HI Bass Fishing IA Bass Fishing ID Bass Fishing
IL Bass Fishing IN Bass Fishing KS Bass Fishing KY Bass Fishing LA Bass Fishing MA Bass Fishing MD Bass Fishing ME Bass Fishing MI Bass Fishing MN Bass Fishing MO Bass Fishing MS Bass Fishing MT Bass Fishing
NC Bass Fishing ND Bass Fishing NE Bass Fishing NH Bass Fishing NJ Bass Fishing NM Bass Fishing NV Bass Fishing NY Bass Fishing OH Bass Fishing OK Bass Fishing OR Bass Fishing PA Bass Fishing
RI Bass Fishing SC Bass Fishing SD Bass Fishing TN Bass Fishing TX Bass Fishing UT Bass Fishing VA Bass Fishing VT Bass Fishing WA Bass Fishing WI Bass Fishing WV Bass Fishing WY Fishing