The largemouth bass…….is not a bass

Someone told me that the Largemouth Bass really isn’t a Bass – is that true?

Surprising to some it may be but the Largemouth bass, even though it is called a bass and looks like a bass is not a member of the Bass family.

The Largemouth Bass is a member of the Sunfish family, which surprises people more than the fact that it is not a bass as it does not look anything like its other Sunfish cousins.

If you think about the Ocean Sunfish which is the cousin of the Largemouth you will understand peoples surprise as the Ocean Sunfish grows to over 3.3 metres (130 inches) in length and a staggering 5,100 pounds (2,300 kg) in weight.

The reason why the Largemouth Bass is called a bass is because it looks very similar to other bass in the temperate bass family.

Otherwise known as the Green Trout, Black Bass, Lineside Bass and Bigmouth Bass, the Largemouth Bass is dark green to brown in colouring on its top half and a yellow to white colour on its belly. In between these contrasting colours there is a group of blotchy black marks that form a horizontal stripe down both sides, these stripes are very jagged in form.

The name of Largemouth is given to the Largemouth Bass because it has an upper jaw that extends far behind the eye giving it the ability to open its mouth very wide. 

The average Largemouth weighs around two pounds (one kilogram) and around fifteen inches in length (forty three centimetres). There are records to show they can grow up to over twenty nine pounds in weight (over ten kilograms) and up to one metre in length (over thirty eight inches).


Dan Eggertsen is a fellow bass fishing enthusiast to the point of obsession. :) He's been providing solid advice on bass fishing since 2004.

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