The Largemouth Bass is the state fish of Alabama (official freshwater fish), Florida (state freshwater fish), Georgia, Mississippi, and Tennessee (official sport fish).
In comparison to age, a female bass is larger than a male. The largemouth is the largest of the black basses, reaching a maximum recorded overall length of 29.5 in (75 cm) and a maximum unofficial weight of 25 pounds 1 ounce (11.4 kg). The fish lives 16 years on average.
Largemouth bass are keenly sought after by anglers and are noted for the excitement of their fight. The fish will often become airborne in their effort to throw the hook, but many say that their cousin species, the smallmouth bass, can beat them pound for pound. Anglers most often fish for largemouth bass with lures such as plastic worms (and other plastic baits), jigs, crankbaits and spinnerbaits. A recent trend is the use of large swimbaits to target trophy bass that often forage on juvenile rainbow trout in California. Live bait, such as nightcrawlers, minnows, frogs, or crawfish can also be productive. In fact, large golden shiners are a popular live bait used to catch trophy bass, especially when they are sluggish in the heat of summer or in the cold of winter.
Largemouth bass usually hang around big patches of weeds and other shallow water cover. The world record largemouth according to IGFA is shared by Manabu Kurita and George W. Perry, Kurita's bass was caught from Lake Biwa in Japan on July 2, 2009 and weighed 10.12 kg (22 lbs 4oz.) Perry's bass was caught June 2, 1932 from Montgomery Lake in Georgia and weighed 10.09 kg (22 lbs 4oz.) This record is shared because the IGFA states a new record must beat the old record by 2 ounces.
Strong cultural pressure among largemouth bass anglers encourages the practice of catch and release, especially the larger specimens, mainly because larger specimens are usually breeding females that contribute heavily to future sport fishing stocks. Largemouth bass, if handled with care, respond well to catch and release. They have a white, slightly mushy meat, lower quality than that of the smallmouth bass, bluegill, yellow perch, crappie or walleye. Small largemouth, 10-14 inches, can be quite delicious when the water temperature is low but the large fish should be released.
Although it is most popular in the southeastern states, many varieties of the largemouth bass can be found in the north and western regions. They are an invasive species in the Canadian province of New Brunswick, and are a danger to native fish fry.