One of the most highly sought after gamefish in Ontario waters, the largemouth bass is one of the hardest fighting fish. Due to this, the largemouth bass is a favourite of almost every angler who has fished for it in the province.
Largemouth bass typically inhabit stream shallows, in weed beds or under lily pads, tree overhang and the vegetation structure. Easily spooked by motors, the largemouth is hard to target. However, it is not picky with what it eats. Partial to grubs, worms, small baitfish and the like, its large appetite can culminate in it inhaling a lure, exciting anglers. These fish will hide in water cabbage, weeds, drop offs, and other concealed areas in order to feed.
As a brother fish to the smallmouth bass, the largemouth is similar in colour. Recognizable by its large, bucket-like mouth, the larger species makes lure sets easy, resulting in minimal tissue damage when released back into the water. On average, two to three pound largemouth bass are expected. The Ontario record for weight, however, is 10.4 pounds.
When fishing for largemouth bass, many techniques can help reel one in. Texas Rigging a live or soft plastic worm and slowly retrieving it over a weed bed is popular. When trying in deeper waters, split or drop shots can work with Carolina Rigging. A 10 to 20 pound line is most common, as it provides a wide range of presentation options while being able to help you get past snags in heavier cover.
Crankbaits and inline spinners are also popular. Casting a Mepps#4 over a weed bed using a slow burn retrieval is also known to produce results.
As the fishing season is short check your local regulations and seasons to ensure that the population continues to thrive.