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.
Select a species from the list below for detailed information on common types of bass:
- Largemouth Bass
- Smallmouth Bass
- Spotted Bass
- Shoal Bass
- Redeye Bass
- Suwannee Bass
- Guadalupe Bass
- Bartram’s 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.
Bass Fishing Seasons To Mark On Your Calendar
When and where you go bass fishing will make a difference to your overall angling success.
Spring Bass Fishing
Early spring is bass spawning season and they begin to feed vigorously in preparation for the big event. Mature largemouth bass are best lured with small baitfish or imitations of baitfish that are flashy enough to catch their attention.
There may be some specific regulations in your region on bass fishing limits. Areas that are trying to expand their bass numbers may place special limits on fishing during the bass spawn season.
It is best to call or check your local online bass fishing home site for information on any special rules and regulations in your region.
Summer Bass Fishing
Summer bass fishing may be an excellent pastime on the weekends with family and friends. Bass feeds well in the summer so your fishing outlook is positive.
Although you may fish all day, experts seem to agree that early morning and late evening are the two times of day that produce the best results. The bass’s large eyes allow it to see other fish in low intensity light while keeping a stealthy profile during such times. This may be one of the reasons that bass have adapted to feeding during low light conditions. However, when there is no light at all, the feeding rates drop considerably.
The summer is also a perfect time to enjoy your boat and to try out bass trolling. Trolling is a fun way to combine riding your boat and fishing at the same time. The fishing line is dragged by the speed of the boat, providing a different type of fishing experience. Trolling is quite complex, as the speed of the boat, equipment used, and skill of the fisherman are huge factors to success.
It is always a wise idea to check your local bass reports when planning a trip to find the best times and spots to fish in the summer.
Fall Bass Fishing
The fall is also an excellent time for bass fishing. The cooling temperatures make bass more active and the fishing itself is similar to spring time. The fall usually brings many changes in conditions so the anglers must learn to adjust their technique quickly to these conditions.
The live bait or lures used during the fall season should normally be larger than ones used during the spring. The natural prey of the bass has had all spring and summer to grow, so by fall time it is much bigger. The fall also lends well to using different types of bait, but you should always try to match the types of bait used to the natural prey that the bass is accustomed to in the particular location.
You will often need to experiment with a few lures and techniques to fine-tune your fall bass fishing on any given day.
Winter Bass Fishing
For most anglers, winter and bass fishing do not mix very well. During the cold winter months, many recreational anglers pack it in until the next early spring fishing action. However, most does not mean all. Some brave souls do go out during the coldest winter months to continue bass fishing year round.
Winter bass fishing is of course much different than during the other seasons. An angler has to be determined and very patient. Bass does not feed as often during the winter months so the fishing really slows down. It does not, however, fully disappear. Fish can even be caught through ice or on partially frozen lakes. One simply needs the will power to handle the cold and the long waiting period that it may take to catch the fish.
The one special feature about winter bass fishing is the quality of fish that tend to bite. During winter, you may get a lot fewer bites, but on average they tend to be a lot larger fish.
Winter fishing is similar to summer fishing in that much of the action happens around sunset and sunrise. In addition, the bait or lures need to move a lot slower in the winter as the fish are not as aggressive. By moving the bait too quickly an angler may demotivate a slow moving fish from the chase.
Top 5 Bass Fishing Tips
- Always make sure that your hooks are sharp to maximize results.
- Stay aware of your surroundings – you can get a lot of clues about the fish’s location.
- Do not be afraid to experiment. It is a good idea to try out different things to see what is working best.
- Fish at a pace that allows the bass to discover and strike the bait. Going too fast does not allow the fish a chance to strike.
- Safety first. Always make sure you know the weather forecast and keep safety at the top of your list.
Bass Fishing Games
For the bass enthusiasts, there are many bass fishing games available to practice your skills even when you are not out on the water.
Top Five Bass Fishing Games
- Fishing Craze
- Trophy Bass 3D
- Flysim Fly Fishing Game
- Trophy bass 4
- Rapala Pro Fishing
If you want to play some free online games, check out our fishing games section.
Learn More About Bass
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