Types of Bass Found in Freshwater

The arctic drainage of North America is home to some of the most aggressive types of freshwater bass in the world. As a result, when it comes to fishing, the vast majority of fishermen, both experienced and novice, prefer different types of bass fishing over other forms of fishing. Besides, One of the reasons why specific types of bass fishing is so popular, particularly in the northern part of the United States, is because the species of bass that are native to that region are naturally aggressive and can be easily lured by throwing artificial fishing baits that are readily available. 

But bass fishing is a different kind of game fishing because the species of bass that lives in the area can be found not only in freshwater lakes and rivers but also in large numbers in the deep sea. As a result, bass fishing is one of the most popular types of game fishing throughout the region. In this article, I will try to break down the classification of different types of bass found throughout North American territory and provide a detailed insight into where anglers have previously caught some of the biggest types of bass ever.

types of freshwater bass in North America
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Types of Freshwater (Black Bass)

  1. Largemouth Bass
  2. Smallmouth Bass
  3. Spotted Bass
  4. Guadalupe Bass

Largemouth Bass

The largemouth bass is the most popular type of bass in game fishing, and anglers always thrive on catching trophy-sized largemouth, no matter how much hardship they must put into searching for them. Hence, different types of largemouth bass are also known as bucket mouth, Potter’s fish, Oswego bass, northern largemouth, bigmouth bass, and black bass. Scientifically, largemouth bass are named “Micropterus salmoides,” and it was first formally described in 1802 as “Labrus salmoides” by a French naturalist named Bernard Germain de Lacépède.

Food Habit of Largemouth Bass

The largemouth bass is genetically carnivorous and survives by eating any small to medium species that live in the ecosystem where they live. Hence, you will be amazed to know that a largemouth bass also eats other largemouth bass that are smaller in size, so being a largemouth bass in the water is not an easy option for them. Also, they ambush other creatures like worms, shad fish, crew fish, different types of frogs that are not poisonous, and even baby ducks swimming in that water. Else, you may want to have a look at my article on the Top 5 Best Bait for Largemouth Bass for more information about the food habits of largemouth bass.

Where this Kinds of Bass are Found?

Many article have been indicated that different types of largemouth bass are densely found in the arctic drainage of North America, especially in the Great Lakes, Hudson Bay, and Mississippi River basins. The natural color of the body of the largemouth bass is greyish green, with sharp horizontal stripes on each of its flanks. Along with its bulky body shape, a largemouth bass has a wide mouth that allows it to easily ambush its target.

Which Types of Bass Fishing Baits are Best To Catch Largemouth Bass?

Largemouth bass can be caught using live bait, but most anglers prefer to use artificial fishing bait to lure them. To learn about the food habits and best fishing bait for largemouth bass, please check out our article, “Top 5 Best Bait for Largemouth Bass”.

Biggest Largemouth Bass Ever Caught

The biggest largemouth bass ever caught until now is from Lake Biwa, Japan. A Bass Forecast article says that in 2022, a very skilled fisherman named Manabu Kurita caught a species of largemouth bass that weighed about 22.311 pounds and was the biggest one ever caught in the world.

On the other hand, an angler named Robert Crupi caught a 22.063-pound largemouth bass at Castaic Lake in California in 1991, which remains the largest bass species ever caught in America.

Smallmouth Bass

Micropterus dolomieu, a species of smallmouth bass, is one of the most aggressive freshwater game fish in the world. The aggressiveness of the fish is the main reason that makes anglers thrive to hook up different species of smallmouth bass. Also, there are not as many species of smallmouth bass in North America as there are largemouth bass.

Where Smallmouth Basses are mainly Caught?

Before the construction of the Erie Canal in 1825, this species was only found in its native range, including the Mississippi River, the St. Lawrence River, and the Great Lakes. Correspondingly, in the first decades of the 19th century, smallmouth bass was transplanted to different lakes and water bodies in the western United States, along with different parts of California.

Food Habit of Smallmouth Bass

Like most of its related species, the smallmouth bass eats mostly crayfish, other small to medium-sized baitfish, and worms. Hence, a juvenile smallmouth bass initially survives by eating zooplankton, small insect larvae, and small fish fingerlings. On the other hand, when smallmouth bass reach maturity, they rely on small to large shad fish, other smallmouth bass, crew fish, large insects, small mice, non-poisonous frogs, and sometimes hunting small baby ducks.

Which Types of Bass fishing Baits are Best To catch Smallmouth Bass?

Most professional anglers discovered that different types of smallmouth bass could be quickly lured by throwing blade baits. So, if you can cast a blade bait near a smallmouth bass, you have a good chance of catching it. Also, different types of specific smallmouth bass fishing baits like ned rigs, jigs, and jerk baits are also very effective for catching smallmouth bass.

Biggest Smallmouth Bass Ever Caught

Information from an article written by D’Arcy Egan says that the largest smallmouth bass was caught at the Dale Hollow Reservoir in 1955. David Hayes, an experienced angler, was the luckiest person to catch the 11 pounds and 15 ounces of smallmouth bass, and no one has yet caught a smallmouth bass large enough to break his record.

Spotted Bass

When talking about different kinds of bass species, then the third name that you will hear from any bass angler is the spotted bass. These types of bass species are frequently found in freshwater ponds, lakes, and even rivers.

Where you can Find Different Types of Spotted Bass?

Again, the name of this kind of bass comes from the lateral line it exhibits surrounding its spine, and it is a common type of bass from the black bass family throughout the river basin of the Mississippi River, across the states of the Gulf, central Texas, and even in the panhandle of Florida.

The maximum length any specific type of spotted bass can reach is around 64 centimeters, along with an average maximum body weight of 11 pounds. Hence, from the family of black bass, these specific kinds of spotted bass are also found in different variants.

You will be amazed to know that, in 2010, the scientific community officially recognized a separate type of subspecies from the spotted bass family, which is now commonly known as the Alabama spotted bass. Besides, this new species of bass was discovered in the Tallapoosa and Coosa Rivers and their surrounding lakes, which are ideal for anglers looking for different types of bass.

Food Habit of Spotted Bass

The spotted bass is specifically trying to hang out near the rocky surface of a reservoir and near streams where water tends to flow fast. They usually ambush their targets near those places, as crustaceans, annelid worms, and small crawfish also live there. Besides, spotted bass is also fond of small baitfish, non-poisonous frogs, and even small to medium-sized mice.

Which Types of Bass Fishing Baits are Best to Catch Spotted Bass?

Many sources have confirmed that the spotted bass are fond of annelid worms, and if something like that is cast near it, I am pretty sure that it will ambush on the bait. Hence, professionals recommend using baits like tubes, straight-tail worms, jigs, and spooks for spotted bass, as these types of baits are most effective when searching for spotted bass.

Biggest Spotted Bass Ever Caught

Back in April of 2001, an angler named Shishido hooked up a 10.27-pound spotted bass during a Valley Team Tournament on California’s Pine Flat Lake. That bass is currently the largest spotted bass caught in freshwater.

Guadalupe Bass

The Guadalupe bass is one of the rarest kinds of spotted bass, and genetically, they are small enough to adapt themselves to fast-flowing water, and if you ever hooked up a Guadalupe, you can easily understand the fight it gave back only because of its adaptability to fast-flowing water. The Guadalupe is a medium-sized bass that can grow up to 3.5 pounds, and within 12 months, a Guadalupe male or female becomes mature enough to spawn her eggs for regeneration.

Where you can find this types of bass in North America?

Most of the time, this type of bass lives in fast-moving water near the San Antonio River, the Guadalupe River, the Colorado River, and any lakes or reservoirs nearby.

Food Habit of Guadalupe Bass

Like the largemouth bass, the Guadalupe are also fond of shad fish, and they usually attack shad fingerlings in the early stages of their lives. Hence, a mature Guadalupe can consume medium- to large-sized shad fish, crawfish, and even other small- to medium-sized bass. Therefore, the food habits of a Guadalupe are very similar to those of a largemouth bass and can be lured with the same fishing bait very effectively.

Which Types of Bass Fishing Baits are Best to Catch Guadalupe Bass?

Guadalupe bass eats small to medium-sized shad fish, worms, frogs, and even small mice. Therefore, throwing a crankbait is the best option for you to catch a Guadalupe bass. Besides, if you use baits like wacky worms, topwater frog bait, or tube jigs, you can also score a big Guadalupe bass.

Biggest Guadalupe Bass Ever Caught

We have found that there is no evidence identifying or indicating the name Guadalupe Bass when it comes to the world records, as this type of bass is considered a spotted bass. Hence, we have found that a report from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department featured an article on Guadalupe bass and indicated that the largest Guadalupe ever caught and landed so far was around 3.5 pounds. But the catch was not verified by the International Game Fish Association.

Top 10 Best Place to Catch Freshwater Bass in North America

No.PlaceState NameBest ForOther Species
1Lake ChamplainVermont, USASmallmouth and Largemouth BassSunfish, Crappie, Catfish
2Toledo Bend ReservoirTexas, USALargemouth BassStripped bass, Crappie, White Bass, Catfish
3Lake OkeechobeeFlorida, USALargemouth BassBlack Crappie, Blue Gill, Channel Catfish
4Falcon LakeBorder Area, Mexico-USALargemouth Bass and CatfishCrappie, Sunfish
5Lake ForkTexas, USALargemouth Bass, CatfishCrappie, Sunfish
6Sam Rayburn ReservoirTexas, USALargemouth Bass, Crappie, CatfishSunfish
7Guntersville LakeAlabama, USALargemouth, Smallmouth and Spotted BassRedear Sunfish, Bluegill, Sauger, Catfish
8Lake ErieCleveland, USASmallmouth BassWalleye, Yellow Perch, Steelhead
9Kentucky LakeTennessee, USALargemouth BassWhite Bass, Stripped Bass, Blue Catfish
10Clear LakeIowa, USALargemouth BassBluegill, Green Sunfish, Bullhead Catfish
Top 10 Best Place to Catch Black Bass in North America

Final Word

Freshwater bass are available in north American rivers, lakes, and surrounding arctic drainages, but bass are also found in other parts of the world. For example, according to the Game Fish Association, the biggest largemouth bass was caught in Japan. Hence, bass fishing is one of the most famous game fisheries, and hundreds of tournaments are organized in various parts of North America. Also, the bass fishing industry is a multimillion-dollar industry that has grown over the past year, and day by day, bass fishing is becoming more widely spread throughout the world.

If you are an angler just stepping into game fishing, then bass fishing is the best opportunity for you to develop your angling career. So, even though there are many different kinds of bass, professional anglers prefer the freshwater bass, which is also called the black bass.