The largemouth’s popularity is due in part to the species aggressive feeding nature. When on the prowl for food, largemouth will attack anything perceived as possible prey. This makes fishing artificial lures for the species a whole bunch of fun. When hooked, largemouth bass display short, powerful bursts of speed as well as aerial antics – although they are not as acrobatic as their smallmouth cousin.
In addition to being brash, the largemouth’s widespread availability also contributes to its popularity. Unlike some gamefish species with a limited range, thereby forcing fisherman to travel some distance to engage them, largemouth bass are everywhere. They inhabit diverse waterways in every state, except being absent from Alaska. It is truly the “gamefish next door”.
The largemouth’s ability to adapt to different environments, prey and sources, results in habitat options that includes everything, from the smallest farm pond to the largest reservoir. Largemouth can survive in shallow weedy environments on a diet of bluegills and frogs as well as in the open water of large lakes, feeding on pelagic shad schools. While not a lover of strong currents like smallmouth, largemouth do very well in mature rivers with ample backwater areas.Fisheries managers refer to largemouth bass as a “warmwater” species. However, that designation should not be interpreted as meaning that largemouth bass prefer the exceptionally warm water temperatures of summer. Yes, largemouth can survive in lakes that climb into the high 80s, even 90s – however, those high temperatures are stressful on the fish.
The largemouth’s prime temperature feeding range is from the low 50s to the mid 70s. At these cooler temperatures, expect a lot more “action” from this species. That’s why across the country, the fall season is regarded as optimal bass fishing. During autumn, water temperatures are dropping from the 70s to the upper 40 degree range and bass are on the feed.
In my next post, I’ll discuss where you’ll find largemouth bass while fishing in the fall.
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