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Largemouth Bass

Micropterus salmoides


Note: Florida bass has now been designated a separate species from largemouth bass. Florida bass and largemouth bass will be considered within the same species for regulations since they are visually indistinguishable. Watch this and related pages for updates.

The largemouth bass is the best known and most popular game fish in North America. It is distinguished from other black bass because the upper jaw extends beyond the rear edge of the eye, and the first and second dorsal (back) fins are separated by an obvious deep dip.


The Florida largemouth bass is the state freshwater fish. Found statewide in lakes and rivers, they are commonly found along vegetation, or underwater structure, but schooling bass are also found in the middle of lakes.


Black bass spawn in spring, when males fan out a bed and then protect the eggs and fry. The baby fish eat zooplankton (microscopic animals that drift in the water column), and when about an inch long begin eating other small fish. Adults eat a wide variety of fish, crustaceans and larger insects.

State Record

17.27 lbs. (Note several larger fish have been documented but not certified.) Participate in TrophyCatch, FWC’s citizen-science program that rewards anglers for documenting and releasing trophy bass 8 lbs or larger!

Big Catch minimum:  24 inches or 8.0 lbs.

Image Credit: © Duane Raver, Jr.