Largemouth Bass Fishing in Florida
This freshwater fish belongs to the sunfish family and is native to North America. It is known by a large variety of names such as brown bass, black bass, widemouth bass, bigmouth, bucketmouth, green bass, green trout and others. The state fish for Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee and it is the state freshwater fish of Florida. Anglers keenly seek Largemouth Bass in lakes and rivers throughout Florida because they are tremendous fighters and are immensely thrilling to catch.
Olive green in color, a Largemouth Bass has a number of black blotches that form a jagged stripe along their flanks. The bottom jaw is much extended, creating the effect of a severe overbite. The female is bigger than the male, depending on age and this species is the largest of all the black basses. They can reach lengths of 29in and weigh as much as 25lbs.
An adult Largemouth Bass will feed on smaller fish such as bluegill, snails, crayfish, frogs, snakes, bats, salamanders, as well as small water birds, mammals and even baby alligators. These fish have voracious appetites and will eat anything that they can manage including younger predator species. The less weed cover and the easier it is to catch prey, the bigger these fish will grow. Known to devastate prey populations to the point of starving or stunting themselves, they have acute senses that help them to locate their prey. Devoured in large numbers when juvenile, Largemouth Bass become apex predators as they mature.
Highly aggressive ambush predators, Largemouth Bass can be caught on practically anything. There are so many techniques that can be used successfully to catch these fish. Sports fishermen prefer using lures and they use a variety of them. These awesome fish will literally pounce on your lure out of sheer aggressiveness, even if they are not hungry. Their sole aim is to show you that they are boss. Here is some information that you can use when Largemouth Bass fishing in Florida:
Where to find Largemouth Bass
In America, California, Texas and Florida are where the biggest Largemouth Bass are found. It is challenging to catch them as they are heavily targeted and have become wise, but you will certainly catch smaller ones throughout the lakes and rivers of North America. Your best chance of landing a trophy Largemouth Bass is in Mexico’s Lake Baccarac and El Salto.
Tackle for Largemouth Bass
The tackle varies according to the technique that you use and where you are. In Mexico, for example, Largemouth Bass seem to fight harder and 30lbs braid with a 20lbs leader works better than the 6lbs test usually used in California. A high quality baitcasting rod coupled with good quality baitcasting reels and braided line is ideal. Spinning reels and rods are also excellent.
Techniques for Largemouth Bass
Drop shotting, plastic worms and lizards, senkos, swimbaits and live baits are the more common techniques used to catch Largemouth Bass. It is impossible to list all the methods that one can use because these fish can be caught in so many different ways. Below are a few examples to help you catch these inspiring fish:
- Drop Shotting involves using the drop shot knot to suspend a small plastic lure above a weight. You can either cast it out or drop it down before jiggling it up and down and then laying it to rest. In order to feel the bite when it occurs, your line should remain taut. Although you do not usually catch huge fish with this technique, you do catch many of them.
- Plastic worms and lizards are among the oldest and most effective lures to use. Use the lightest weight possible because these lures often attract bites while sinking and need to sink slowly. Once it reaches the bottom, allow it to sit there for awhile before slithering them a couple of feet and allowing them to settle again. If you come across rocks then gently inch it over the edge before letting it fall vertically down, because this is often when you will get strikes. Due to the fact that worms and lizards are soft, a Largemouth Bass will hold on to them longer instead of spitting them out quickly as they do with hard lures. Sometimes when you are retrieving quickly after you have allowed your worm to crawl for awhile, you will see fish chasing it. This is an indication that they are feeling more aggressive and can hit a faster retrieve. Slower retrieves are safer and more consistent however.
- Senkos are possibly the easiest lures to use. There are a few ways to rig them and you can cast them out with weights where the water is deeper and none if shallow, and simply let them sink. If the line moves off then it means that a fish has taken it and you should reel in the slack and set the hook. Alternatively, you can lift it a few feet and let it sink again, repeating two or three times before reeling in. Largemouth Bass prefer senkos when they sink and sit, so resist the temptation to keep them too busy.
- Swimbaits are becoming increasingly popular among sports anglers. Used in lakes that are stocked with trout, they are designed to resemble trout and are usually between 6in and 12in. There is a large variety of swimbaits. Some sink fast, others float and there are those that suspend. These lures tend to catch big Largemouth Bass, as opposed to many smaller ones. It may be tempting to resort to drop shots or other techniques that produce quicker results when you have been casting them for hours without a bite.
- Live baits are readily eaten by Largemouth Bass, although many anglers prefer using artificial baits and lures. Big night crawlers, crayfish, crabs and shad work exceptionally well. Use as little weight as possible and set the hook immediately when you feel a bite. This will lessen the possibility of the hook getting stuck in the throat or stomach. Pinch the barbs on hooks to prevent damaging the fish too much if you wish to release them.
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