Differences between species

What is the difference between a Smallmouth and a Largemouth Bass?

For starters I will address the physical differences between Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass.  The most obvious difference is the size of the mouth. Largemouth Bass have noticeably larger mouths than the Smallmouth Bass.  Largemouth Bass also grow to approximately twice the size of the Smallmouth Bass.  Largemouth Bass have a green color to their bodies. Smallmouth Bass are bronze in color.


These two species have noticeable differences in behavior as well. Smallmouth Bass are much better fighters that feed closer to the bottom.  Smallmouth Bass also prefer colder water and are more likely to be found near rocks. Largemouth Bass prefer weeds and feed much closer to the top of the water than the Smallmouth Bass does.   


When you fish rivers you really notice the difference between the two species.  The Smallmouth Bass is very similar to the Walleye.  You find them near rocks and in the faster moving area of the river.  Largemouth Bass are often found in the same areas as Northern Pike.  They enjoy weedy areas and often are found in slower moving backwater areas.


In fishing for the two species you need to consider these differences.  I prefer using deep diving crankbaits for Smallmouth Bass.  For Largemouth Bass I generally use spinnerbaits and other baits I can retrieve high in the water.


Feeding time is the last difference I will discuss.  I find the Largemouth Bass to be primarily an early morning and late afternoon/nighttime feeder.  Smallmouth Bass are more apt to feed throughout the day.

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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