Have you heard the term bass and wondered ‘What does bass stand for?’ I’ve often felt confused by the term so here’s a quick dive into the world of the bass fish. Fishing for bass is a competitive sport that will keep you absorbed for years as you develop your skill, knowledge and enthusiasm.
Bass fishing has changed over many years. It’s now a multimillion dollar industry. There’s an enormous amount of technical gear you can get into if you wish, from fishing rods, lines and instruments that will find the fish for you, and a whole lot more.
What Is A Bass?
In North America, bass fishing is the term used for catching black bass and this includes many different species. It includes both freshwater and marine fish. The most commonly landed fish are the largemouth bass and the smallmouth bass.
What Is A Largemouth Bass?
This is a freshwater gamefish. It’s a black bass which is native to North America. It has many regional names throughout America and is known as Florida bass, Potter’s fish, bigmouth bass and the bucketmouth to name a few.
The fish is olive-green in colour with the female of the species being larger than the male. It has blotches in a jagged horizontal line running along its side length. These are dark in colour and this line distinguishes it from other fish.
It is a large fish, which makes the challenge of landing it exciting. It can be up to 75cm long and can weigh in at over 20 pounds. It has a long life span and can live on average for 16 years. Commonly found in rivers, streams and lakes across America which means it’s a sport everyone can enjoy.
What Is A Smallmouth Bass?
The smallmouth fish in comparison weighs in at 14 pounds at the most and is found extensively throughout North America. Don’t you be fooled by their ‘smaller’ size though. These fish are a game-fish that fight back when you try to land them.
They are a beautiful golden-green with a bronze sheen to their scales which makes them a brownish colour overall. The familiar lateral line of a bass runs from the gills along the body length. The smallmouth is also distinguished by the bars running out away from its eyes.
This bass has red orange eyes and a hint of orange colouring on its tail fin. They prefer deeper water than the largemouth and clear, fast running streams. This website has a great database for where to fish for smallmouth bass.
What Is A Spotted Bass?
A spotted bass is a freshwater black bass native to America. It lives in fast slowing mountain streams or waters with a rocky bottom where it feeds on insects, worms and small fish. It prefers to swim in the aquatic edges of rivers around logs and vegetation and can swim to depths of 100ft.
This fish has the familiar lateral line markings of a bass. It has small dark spots which run below the lateral line from which it gets its name. These lateral spots distinguish it from the largemouth and the smallmouth. It can reach up to 64cm in length and weigh up to 11 pounds.
The spotted bass can be confused with the smallmouth due to its size but the smallmouth has those vertical bars along its length. The spotted bass can be confused with the largemouth too due to its colouring but the spotted bass has a smaller mouth.
Watch this video which shows you how to tell the difference between the largemouth and the smallmouth bass.
How Do I Start Fishing For Bass?
So, now you know about the bass fish and you’re eager to go out and fish for bass. So where do you start? Here I’ve included some videos to show you the excitement of bass fishing.
This video is ‘Bass fishing for Beginners: The Bass’ and is a guide for to start you off. It introduces you to the bass fish and what you need to know about the fish to get started.
And, this video with Ryan Swope shows you the excitement of fishing for bass on beautiful days. ‘Catching Huge Bass with Ryan Swope’
I hope this inspires you to get out there.
I have guided you through the largemouth, smallmouth and the spotted bass and shown you how to identify them. I have also given you starter videos to get you hooked into wanting to fish for them.