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Bass Fishing

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Bass. The most sought after of all the game fish. Its appeal spans cultures, age groups and genders to tap on the heart strings of anglers everywhere.

Largemouth bass caught by Dan Westfall
Dan Westfall with a nice bass.

Bass are very aggressive feeders and agile enough to easily chase down and catch most of their favorite foods. They 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. If it moves and they can get it into their big mouth, bass will attempt to eat it. The most popular bass are largemouth and smallmouth. In certain areas of the country there are other species of bass including spotted (or Kentucky) bass, redeye bass and shoal bass.

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: 24 pounds, 4 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, it is much bigger than it's cousin the smallmouth bass.

Click here for details on fishing for largemouth bass.

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.

Click here for details on fishing for smallmouth bass.

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

Spotted bass are often called Kentucky bass, Kentucky spotted bass, Alabama spotted bass 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 shoal bass as you would most bass 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 bass 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 is often confused with the shoal bass, because of the red eye. Fish for the redeye with conventional bass tackle favoring smaller baits and lighter tackle. If you like to fly fish, try fly fishing for redeye bass.

Bass fishing information by state.

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8 lb 6oz bass This 8 lb 6 oz largemouth bass
ate a deep-diving crankbait.

The purpose of the page is to provide specific, detailed information about fishing for largemouth bass and smallmouth bass, plus information other bass including spotted bass, redeye bass and shoal bass. Our goal is to help you make your bass fishing trips more successful. Use the state navigation on this page to locate specific information about bass fishing in your local waters.

If you have information, articles or photos related to bass which you would like to see published here, please submit them for consideration. We will gladly give you credit for your contribution. Bass articles can be listed under the general bass category on the primary fishing article page, or can be listed under bass articles in a specific state.

Bass Fishing Book For Sale

Bass Fishing - All About Fishing for Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass.