Bass - World Fishing Network


Posted by on Mar 13, 2000   6:21 AM  | Fishing Tips & Techniques
Smallmouth Bass Smallmouth Bass Eric Engbretson/USFWS


Bass are one of the most popular gamefishes in the world with many species inhabiting both fresh and saltwater environments. They belong to the Perciformes order, which contains 40 per cent of all bony fish in the world. They tend to prefer warmer water temperatures, ranging from tropical to temperate habitats. Some of the more popular bass groups are black bass (largemouth, rock, smallmouth), temperate bass (striped, white), and sea bass (black sea bass, European sea bass, giant sea bass). The term “bass” is sometimes used to describe fish that are not technically part of the bass family, like South America’s peacock bass, which is actually a cichlid.

Bass Species

Select a species from the list below for detailed information on common types of bass:

Largemouth BassLargemouth Bass

Black Bass

Temperate Bass

Other Kinds of Bass

Why Is Bass Fishing So Darn Popular?

Bass fishing is very popular because it is not overly difficult to pick up. The fish’s eagerness to bite and its strong fighting spirit make for an exciting fishing experience.

Big mouth bass fishing continuously attracts both novice and professional anglers across North America.

Bass Fishing World Records

  • Largemouth Bass – 22 pounds 4 ounces – Lake Biwa, Shiga, Japan and Montgomery Lake, Georgia, USA
  • Smallmouth Bass – 11 pounds 15 ounces – Dale Hollow Lake, Tennessee, USA
  • Striped Bass – 78 pounds 8 ounces – Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA
  • Black Sea Bass – 10 pounds 4 ounces – Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA
  • Spotted Bass – 10 pounds 4 ounces – Pine Flat Lake, California, USA
  • Shoal Bass – 8 pounds 12 ounces – Apalachicola River, Florida, USA
  • Guadalupe Bass – 3 pounds 11 ounces – Lake Travis, Austin, Texas, USA
  • Rock Bass- 3 pounds 0 ounces – Lake Erie, Pennsylvania, USA and York River, Ontario, Canada
  • White Bass – 6 pounds 13 ounces – Lake Orange, Orange, Virginia, USA and Amite River, Greenwell Springs, Louisiana, USA
  • Australian Bass – 8 pounds 4 ounces – Lake Wivenhoe, Queensland, Australia
  • Suwannee Bass – 3 pounds 14 ounces – Suwannee River, Florida, USA
  • Butterfly Peacock Bass – 12 pounds 9 ounces – Chiguao River, Bolivar State, Venezuela
  • Papuan Black Bass – 42 pounds 5 ounces – Fly River, Papua New Guinea
  • Redeye Bass – No official record
  • Bartram’s Bass – No official record

A Quick Cast To The Past: Bass Fishing History

Bass fishing in North America evolved independently of European influence. The more wealthy U.S. angler concentrated on going after trout and salmon, while the working-class folk went after bass using poles and live bait. This is a major reason why bass culture and literature were targeted more toward the commoners.

The first artificial flies used for bass fishing were borrowed from the already existing trout and salmon designs. Later, anglers began to develop flies that were specifically targeted for bass fishing.

With the expansion of the U.S. railroad system, there was a possibility to expand the presence of black bass around the country. The species proved able to adapt to new environments and populations started to grow throughout the country.

Even the U.S. Department of Agriculture started assisting farmers to spread the largemouth bass and raise its numbers.

Industrialization polluted and changed many of the ecological systems previously inhabited by other fish species like trout. In its place, smallmouth bass was often introduced and was able to survive these harsher environments. With time, however, even the smallmouth bass began to decline in numbers due to worsening conditions.

Recently, there has been more emphasis placed on cleaning up and preserving lakes and rivers. This action has brought about an increase in smallmouth numbers and a resurgent reputation among anglers.

Check out this video to see some of the most recent efforts to improve the fishing environment in Minnesota and around North America.

Bass Fishing Spots: Where To Plan Your Next Fishing Trip

There are several bass fishing locations that anglers can choose from based on their proximity and preference.

Bass Fishing In Ponds

Many weekend anglers fish for bass in ponds, even more so than in lakes. They often go out bass fishing with live bait, like creek chubs. This requires using a slightly larger hook to assure that a biting bass can be easily hooked. Using a hook that is too small will allow bass the opportunity to bite and slip away.

You can find bass fishing live bait in close proximity to many of the fishing spots. It is always best to use live bait that is local to the spot where you plan to fish because fish are familiar with it. .

Bass Fishing In Rivers

Bass fishing in rivers is very popular and opens the opportunity to use a variety of different baits and fishing styles. One of the more effective methods is to use live worms that do a great job of hiding the presence of a hook. A decent substitute for this is the bass worm, an artificial worm that allows an angler to avoid the use of live bait. Plastic bait comes in many varieties of shapes, sizes, and color.

Artificial lures like spinners and spoons are also very effective. Choosing the right one depends on the conditions and usually requires a bit of experimentation to get it right. Make sure to use spinners with the water flow, not against it. Cast your line upstream and allow it to float naturally downstream towards you. Bass like to face upstream and wait for their prey as it swims downstream.

It is often difficult to choose the best bass fishing hot spots along a river as even just a few yards upstream or downstream can make a huge difference. Look around: there may be excellent bass guides available in your area to make your experience a lot more productive and enjoyable.

Bass Fishing In Lakes

Bass lakes are readily available throughout North America and are excellent spots to develop and perfect your bass fishing strategies. Unlike ponds and even some rivers, a lake is a perfect body of water to take the boat our for a nice long day of bass fishing.

Many of the popular bass sport fishing competitions are held on lakes. For example, the Bassmaster Elite Series held tournaments on Pickwick Lake, Alabama and Lake Murray, South Carolina in the 2011 season.

The Bassmaster Classic, often dubbed the Super Bowl of bass fishing tournaments, has taken place on many different lakes in its history. $500,000 is awarded to the winner, and notoriety and many endorsements are often gained through a Classic victory.

Lakes are also conducive to night fishing for bass. Many anglers prefer to fish at night, especially in the summer when cooler temperatures and calmer environments often lead to greater bass activity than on a hot, sunny day.

Bass Fishing Demo Video

Check out the video below for a great introduction to largemouth bass fishing.