average 12″, max 3 feet
fish, small mammals, insects, crustaceans
Family: Centrarchidae (sunfishes)
Distinguishing features: Very large toothless jaw that extends past eye. They often have a dark, blotchy stripe along side. There are two dorsal fins, located close together on the back.
Range, habitat and behavior: Laregemouth bass occupy nearly all freshwater habitats in Florida – lakes, streams, rivers, and swamps. Native to eastern North America, now widely introduced across the continent and the world.
Diet: Whatever they can fit it their mouth – fish, small mammals, insects, crustaceans.
Florida’s state freshwater fish, and one of the most popular sportfish in the US. In Florida, these fish often attain weights of ten pounds or more, attracting sportfishermen from across the country.
Largemouth bass were one of only two species observed at 100% of the 12 major springs sampled in a 2010 survey of fish species in Florida springs (Mosquitofish were the other).
Largemouth Bass begin spawning in Florida in March; the male fish creates a bowl shaped depression in the substrate, often near logs or plant roots. After the female lays the eggs, the male fertilizes them and guards them until they hatch and mature to free-swimming fry.