Largemouth Bass

Micropterous salmoides


Image of largemouth bass
Joseph R. Tomelleri. Used with permission.

Centrarchidae (sunfishes) in the order Perciformes (perch-like fishes)


Upper parts are greenish; the lower sides and belly are white without dark spots or with spots that are irregularly arranged. Midside has a broad, dark continuous stripe.  Large, elongated fish with a very large mouth. Upper jaw reaches far beyond the rear margin of the eye, except in small young.  Smooth tongue. Dorsal fins not well connected. Cheek scales same size as rest of body scales.


Total length: 10 to 20 inches; weight: 0.5 to 4.5 pounds; maximum about 24 inches and 15 pounds.

Habitat and conservation

Lowland lakes, artificial impoundments of all sizes, permanent pools of streams, and quiet backwaters of large rivers. Thrives in warm, moderately clear waters with little or no current. Most active at dawn and dusk. Most closely related to smallmouth and spotted bass.


Carnivorous, feeding on fish, crayfish, large insects and occasionally frogs, mice, snakes or other small animals that fall into the water.

image of Largemouth Bass distribution map
Distribution in Missouri



This game fish is also called "lineside bass" and "bigmouth bass."

Life cycle

Individuals can live for 10 to 15 years.

Human connections

Most popular freshwater game fish in North America.