The Official State of Florida Freshwater Fish is the Largemouth Bass
species called Micropterus salmoides floridanus.
The species known as
Black Bass include two of the most sought after sporting fish in
North America….The Smallmouth and the Largemouth Bass.
The Largemouth got its
name because its upper jaw extends to behind its eye. Its coloring
ranges from a dark or black back to green or olive-colored sides to
a light belly. It has an uneven line of dark spots or bars that
extend along its flanks to its tail. The spiny first dorsal fin is
highest midway along its length and almost separated (forming a
notch) from its soft second dorsal.
Largemouth Bass range from Minnesota
to Quebec and south to the Gulf of Mexico. Originally a species of
the southeastern US, it has been widely introduced elsewhere.
The northern largemouth seldom
exceeds 10 pounds but the southern largemouth can exceed 20 pounds
in weight. The IGFA all tackle record is 22 pounds 4 ounces caught
in Georgia. Florida’s certified state record is 17.27 pounds.
Black Bass are the most sought after
freshwater fish because of their wide range and their aggressive
bone jarring strikes and the strength they exhibit during the fight.
Being active predators they feed on a large variety of creatures and
can be tempted to strike at practically any kind of bait or lure,
either natural or artificial. Artificials could include plastic
worms and grubs, spoons, spinners, crank baits and plugs. For bait
fishing you could use worms, crayfish, leeches or minnows. The fly
fisherman could use a variety of artificials such as bugs,
streamers, poppers and bucktails.
Tackle for fishing with lures could
include a 5-1/2’ to 7 ‘ spinning or baitcasting rod and reel
with 6 to 12 pound monofilament. Fly fishing tackle could include a
7’ to 9’ bass fly rod with fast taper fitted with a fly reel
fitted with a #7 to #9 floating line and a 6 to 8 pound leader.
Florida has some excellent bass
fishing in the St Johns River, Rodman Reservoir, Lake Okeechobee and
a list of many other lakes and rivers through out the state.