Where largemouth bass live and where the fish go, is a huge part in learning to catch them.
There are many body water types that you can catch the fish but I do have a personal favorite. I’ll get into that further down in this page, but just like there are many types of black bass species, the waters that contain these fish vary as. Therefore, the type of water, believe it or not, has an impact on the sizes of the fish.
On that note, it’s a good idea to know where the bass are if you want to slay them. This may require your attention to some details such as the type of gear you want to invest in, but the equipment isn’t that bad in terms of price.
Largemouth Bass Waters
The largemouth bass is an impressive fish based on its ability to adapt. They live in shallow waters, deep lakes, reedy creeks, stump riddled reservoirs and that’s just to name a few places.
The key to it all is the body water has to be located in a region where the water will eventually get warm. There are some stipulations when it comes to the bass being able to survive in nearly all bodies of water, but the largemouth can withstand some of the most rigorous environments.
The largemouth Bass is a warm water fish. It prefers warm waters between 68 degrees to 78 degrees, however, they can endure temperatures in the high 90’s. It’s almost a given that in the winter mouths the largemouth can survive nearly every North America waters, but even during the coldest season the fish is always looking for a warmer place to hang out.
This is a good explanation as to why the largemouth will migrate to lake waters located near power plants during the winter. And if given a choice, the largemouth will always move towards warmer parts of water.
The Florida largemouth are a little different when it comes to temperatures of water. Although the fish is very adaptive, when stocked in northern regions of the country they’ve died during studies because they could not handle the cold weather. That said, cold temperatures can have a serious negative impact on the Florida Largemouth. Something that directly correlates with this type of setting is that largemouth bass slow down their eating habits when the temperature of water drops below 50 and rises above 85.
Largemouth Bass require adequate levels of dissolved oxygen. When bass are held in waters of 77 degrees their is a significant change in their stress levels. As the water temperature rises their gills move more rapidly. At an oxygen level of five parts per million (ppm) the fish’s body begins to seek higher concentrations of dissolved oxygen. If the fish experiences anything more than 6 ppm, it starts to stress.
Stress in this situation, however, is a good thing!
Reason being; higher counts of dissolved oxygen are a doorway for bass growth. Think stimulant when we say stress here. Much like the weight lifter experiences when he adds more weight to the bar over the course of time. That said, the lifter gets bigger due to increased stress levels imposed on the body.
Research has proved that fish grow rapidly once dissolved oxygen levels reach about 9 ppm at 70 degrees farenhiet and or 8 ppm at 80 degrees.
Since the shallow regions of a body of water contain more oxygen, largemouth bass tend to visit these parts more frequently. Oxygen is more prominent in the top layers of water due to wind circulation.
It’s important to note, however, that the inverted equation, whereby temperatures drop and waters contain less oxygen, the fish are in danger. In lakes that are identified as winters kill lakes, oxygen levels are extremely low and the largemouth fish is one of the first fish to die.
It’s always good to know that the largemouth prefers shallow, weeded waters. This is because their is a perfect habitat for fish survival and growth. In shallow weedy beds of water the fish has a rich amount of oxygen near the surface, it has vegetation producing oxygen and in addition their is a high concentration of micro organism and other aquatic wildlife living in these areas to feed on.
The largemouth bass is unique mainly because it’s one of few fish that’s naturally inclined to seek cover. From the time they leave the nest they rely on covered bodies of water to survive and mature. If there are lilies in near reach, the largemouth fry will hang out there until they reach a more stable size. As they begin to grow, they tend to find more dense beds of weeded waters.
It’s important for young largemouth to hide in cover as well. Many aquatic predators and flying predators such as hawks are always looking for their next meal. On that note, bass are cunning creatures that tend to congregate in discrete areas for protection.
On the flip side, once largemouth get larger they require less protection. And they start to use cover less for protection purposes and more for points of ambush. The bass that make it to adulthood are become smart creatures too. Making use of all the structures around them they begin to adapt for survival.
- Standard cover zones includ: rocks, fallen timbers (my favorite), floating vegetation, logs, old Christmas trees thrown in the water and everything else set the son that rests in bodies of water.
As a side note, cover can be anything in the water used to denote a reference point. That said, research has shown that largemouth bass, when placed in a white tank, congregate to wherever a black stripe is painted on the wall. This is a study that simply tells us that bass feel more comfortable being near “something” Pretty cool if you ask me.
Bottoms vary. Has a lot to do with the largemouths food source. For example, bass like to find muddy bottoms during the spring months. Baitfish typically congregate towards muddy flats in the spring because there is a ton of organic microorganisms fluttering around in warm muddy water. This thereby calls in small baitfish. Then the bass follow suit.
Summertime however, the largemouth moves toward more rocky sub terrain. Bass love crayfish, and they’re usually tucked way in rock filled areas.
A lot of the time we think dense weed lines when talking about prime time bass zones, but in the hot summer bass generally focus on hard rock shelf’s to chill by if its available.
Since hard-body crustaceans usually prefer hard bottom surfaces, bait fish enjoy these parts too. As baitfish dine in hard bottoms, so does the largemouth. Hard bottom basins, therefore, often contain big largemouth bass.
The rule of is when water heats up in the spring, find mud. As the season progresses move toward rocks.
Levels of Salt
Do not be fooled. Although the bass is indeed a freshwater fish, these jokers are highly adaptive to their environment. With that said, they do sometimes dwell in brackish waters.
Research has proved that largemouth Bass can tolerate salinity up to 24.4 parts according to Dick Sternberg. This is significantly higher than any other breed of black bass. Spotted bass can tolerate 11.8 ppt and are rarely found in waters of 3.5 salinity.
The largemouth is a tough nose sumbish. Don’t be surprised if you ever catch a bass in a shoot of a bay.
Water acidity is measured in pH units. Acidity is also another term used to refer to a water’s alkalinity. A pH level of 7 is neutral cuount. Snythujng above a seven is noted to be alkaline. Below a 7 means acidic. The largemouth Bass can withstand the range of 6.1 to 9.5 acidic levels. The fish is a quick adapter to rapid changes in pH levels. That said, anglers that get pretty serious about the sport buy pH meters. It’s no nevcesssry, but hinjng in on ideal pH readings does help determine if the water you’re fishing is prime for largemouth living conditions.
As stated before, the real factor behind where youlll find largemouth bass is primarily hinged on food source. PH is just a good thing to think about because highly acidic waters are not very good bass zones.
The clarity of water is something that s lit if novices get hung up on. While clarity of water is not a huge factor in finding Bass, it dies have an impact on their growth rates. A simple study showed that clearer waters have bigger fish. Might have something to do with being able to see and hunt their food more easily. And as stated before in the main how to catch large mouth bass section, the fish relies heavily on its eyesight in terms of survival.
Believe it or not, the man-made lake produces more bass than any other type of water. Iften called reservoirs, this versatile category of waters holds more fish than all other bodies of water in total.
Natural lakes and man made lakes are different regarding the following attributes:
Water levels rise and decline much quicker due to run offs irrigation and flood control
Water levels that rise up and down dramatically restrict weed growth. This in turn makes your main cover locations more restricted as well. Man made lake cover is often associated with flooded tree landscapes and even man made structures that were left behind in a flooded lake construction.
Basins are created when a man-made lake is developed. Damming a river or stream creates long narrow, deep bodies of water.
Silt is channeled toward the upper end of the lake. Water clarity upstream is therefore not as good as it is downstream.
Since man made lake rise and fall in water constantly their levels of oxygen are higher than natural lakes. This also goes for winter months.
There are several different classes of man made lakes. Let’s define where you will find largemouth bass in each type.
Swamp resevoirs are created by damming a stream channeled through low level terrains. The bottom floors of a swamp resevoir is generally flat and there are disctinct Creeks that run off the main stream. Swamp can get as deep as 50 feet. The waters are extremely fertile in a swamp and they have a tannic stain.
Swamps contain various sunfish, catfish, crappies and pickerel too. This type of man made lake is a highly sought out area to fish because most of the time you will discover a huge amount of fallen timbers. The cover in a swamp is next to none and big bass grow large due a swamps abundant amount of micro organisms. Swamps support a dynamic food chain within their waters. The only draw back to a swamp is more times than often beavers will build damns within them, eat the baitfish and restrict oxygen from the lake. Not because the beavers are affecting the lake but because beaver damns prevent water flow which reduces oxygen level. In short, swamps that get stagnant run off largemouth Bass.
A flatland resevoir is not like a swamp for many reasons. The first reason is, flatland Resevoirs are created in higher elevations of terrain. Most depths of a highland resevoir are between 30-60 feet deep. The basins however are extremely deep usually reaching 100 feet deep. The typical location of a flatland resevoir is an agricultural zone and due to its wildlife run offs the waters are fertile. The water usually promotes a high count of baitfish because plankton is abundant in these waters.
Although man-made lakes fluctuate in water level more rapidly than natural lakes, that’s not necessarily the case for a flatland resevoir. Due to a more stable water level, flatland lakes give more room for plant growth. Weeds and other vegetation tend to take hold in flatland waters. So most of your oxygenated waters will filter through weed lines.
Unlike the swamp, fallen flooded timbers scarce sources of cover in a flatland resevoir. But they do have sunfish, crappie, white bass and Striper bass
A highland lake is pretty much located as you can guess, in mountain regions. They are extremely deep lakes with rapid drop off shorelines.
A mountain lake that’s man made is generally created for the purpose of flood control. The waters rise and fall quite steadily and have abundant amount of oxygen respective to their high land locations but they do not provide largemouth Bass with a lot of weeded cover. These lakes are rather rocky not just in bottom description but shores as well.
Mountain lakes are interesting. In my own opposition they are beautiful to look at, but not a favorite water type to largemouth fish. The waters are extremely deep and the lakes are long. This makes for a wild day because the habitat is prime real estate to also catch fish such as trout and walleye.