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How to Catch Largemouth - the Main Differences

Apr 27, 2008
Largemouth Bass and Smallmouth Bass are two completely different species. An angler must have a completely different approach when fishing for each of them. A Largemouth Bass behaves similar to a Northern Pike while a Smallmouth Bass has much more in common with a Walleye in terms of behavior and preferred habitat.

For starters I will discuss the physical differences between the two species. Largemouth Bass are about twice as large as Smallmouth Bass. A five pound Smallmouth is considered a true trophy fish. A Largemouth bass needs to be twice that size to be considered for trophy status. Largemouth Bass are typically green in color, Smallmouth Bass are brown. The other obvious difference is the size of their mouths. The mouth on a Largemouth Bass extends beyond the eye socket when closed. This is not the case for a Smallmouth Bass.

The next different I will discuss is the preferred habitats of each species. In lakes you will find Largemouth Bass in much shallower water than Smallmouth Bass. A Largemouth Bass is very comfortable in water as shallow as three feet. Smallmouth Bass on the other hand prefer the colder water, often twelve to fifteen feet is their preferred handout zone. Largemouth Bass tend to congregate near weedy areas. They also drawn to wood like a magnet. It does not matter if it is standing or fallen timber, Largemouth Bass love wood. Smallmouth Bass on the other hand prefer gravel bottoms and are attracted to rocks in much the same way their larger cousins love trees.

You need therefore to select artificial lures that fit the surroundings. Spinnerbaits and other topwater style baits work much better for Largemouth Bass because they navigate weeds and tree lines successfully. These lures however are of little use to an angler fishing water fifteen feet deep for Smallmouth Bass holding near rocks. In these circumstances you need to have crankbaits and jig and pig combos in your arsenal to fish successfully.

In rivers you will notice another bunch of differences between these two fish. Largemouth Bass dislike fast water current. You will find this species in backwaters, creeks and other areas of the river without a fast current. They love to congregate above a dam where the water is less turbulent. As you may have guessed Smallmouth Bass behave quite differently. They enjoy a very fast current. You will find them often below a dam. They feed right in the middle of the white turbulent water created by the dam.
About the Author
Dan Eggertsen is a fishing researcher and enthusiast who is committed to providing the best bass fishing information possible. Get more information on largemouth bass here:
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