The Largemouth Bass-Most Fishermen are after it

Now, here is a good-sized fish. It makes fine eating, it puts up a good fight when caught, and it is very prolific. Not much wonder that this is the most popular game fish in the U.S.
The Largemouth is bigger than its close relative, the Smallmouth Bass. In fact, at one time they were thought to be varieties of the same species. Its overall colour depends on the kind of water it lives in. In clear water, it is often quite bright green, with a silver belly, while those from darker waters tend to range from olive-brown to almost black, with yellowish-grey bellies. The sides of this fish often have a line of irregular black blotches, which can make a fairly distinct line in some cases. The main feature by which folk tell whether it is a Largemouth or not, is by its mouth. The mouth ends behind the eye, quite different from the Smallmouth.
This fish was originally found mainly in the Great Lakes system, and in the major part of the Mississippi basin, way down to the southern states. In Ontario, it was, and still is, most numerous in the Kawartha and Rideau systems. It has been introduced to many places in North America, and has been transferred to countries in both Europe and Asia.
Like the Smallmouth, the male takes over most of the duties regarding reproduction. He makes a nest, but not nearly as nice a one as the Smallmouth. He may just clean up a small piece of bottom, which can be muddy or even weedy. He does, however, act as a ferocious guardian of the eggs and fry till they go off by themselves. The female’s duties are finished when she lays her eggs.
Largemouth Bass are voracious eaters. They eat crayfish, frogs, worms, small birds and other fish, including each other. Apparently, they can be caught by all sorts of means. They will take surface plugs, poppers, and other man-made lures. They can also be caught by still fishing with worms, frogs, minnows and so on. It is a vigorous feeder, and when it is in the mood, will go for just about anything which comes close.
The Largemouth is a stay-at-home fish. It doesn’t migrate, or even move very far from where it was hatched–maybe five miles at the most. It prefers warm water lakes, or warm, shallow bays on big lakes. Fishermen say to try for it along the borders of weedpatches, cattails or water lilies, or maybe where there are stumps. Sometimes it can be found in slow-moving streams. The habits of the two major basses don’t usually overlap.
The Largemouth is a fair-sized fish–maybe about two or three pounds in general. Prize fish may go as high as six to eight pounds, but they are not very common anymore. The Ontario record of 14 pounds two oz. was caught in Stoney Lake in the Kawarthas. But the world record, caught in Georgia, was 22 pounds four oz.
The scientific name of the Largemouth is Micropterus salmoides. That last word means ‘trout-like.’ One of these fish was sent from South Carolina to France in 1802, to be classified. The French biologist thought that it looked a lot like a trout, so that’s what he named it. And in the southern states, the common name is still ‘green trout.’ It is also called the green bass. By any name, it is the most sought-after game fish in North America.

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