Largemouth Bass
  • Side view adult.
  • Side view adult.
  • Side view adult.
  • Top view adult.
  • Bottom view adult.
  • Head-on view adult.
  • Close-up flank.
  • Close-up head.
  • Close-up mouth and snout.
  • Close-up tail.
  • Close-up dorsal fin.
  • Close-up anal fin.
  • Close-up pectoral fin.
  • Close-up pelvic fin.
  • The body is fusiform showing a distinct irregular (zig-zag) lateral stripe and 60-68 lateral line scales.
  • The back of the mouth extends to or beyond the back of the eye.
  • The body is fusiform showing a distinct irregular (zig-zag) lateral stripe and 60-68 lateral line scales.
  • The dorsal fin consists of two dorsal lobes being slightly connected, the shortest spine is less than half the length of the longest spine.
  • The back of the mouth extends to or beyond the back of the eye.
  • Side view of a young-of-year: Juveniles are similar to adult. The lateral stripe is distinct, the tail is more or less evenly pigmented.
  • Side view of a young-of-year: Juveniles are similar to adults. The lateral stripe is distinct, the tail is more or less evenly pigmented.
  • Side view of a young-of-year: Juveniles are similar to adults. The lateral stripe is distinct, the tail is more or less evenly pigmented.
  • Alternative side view.
  • Alternative side view.
DescriptionSimilar Species
Family
Sunfishes (Centrarchidae)
Body
Mouth and snout: Mouth terminal and slightly oblique, with pads of small teeth on the jaws. No barbels. Body patterning, color, and scales: Back greenish brown, sides lighter, belly cream or white. Sides with a thick, diffuse, irregular (zig-zag) dark lateral stripe. Fins dusky without distinctive markings. 60-68 ctenoid lateral scales. Body shape and size: Body fusiform, somewhat laterally compressed and moderately deep; oval in cross section. Typically 300-475 mm (12-19 in) TL; maximum in Wisconsin about 625 mm (25 in).
Fins
Tail, dorsal and other fins: Slightly forked or round tail. Dorsal fin with 2 lobes, slightly joined by a membrane, the first usually with 10 spines and the second with 12-14 rays. Pelvic fins thoracic. Adipose fin absent. Anal fin with 3 spines and 10-12 (usually 11) rays.
Distinguishing Characteristics
See similar species information.
Breeding Adults
Similar to non-breeders; may be darker and more conspicuously marked.
Juveniles
Similar to adults, but lateral stripe more prominent.
Hybrids
None known from Wisconsin.
Compare Similar Species
Lateral Scales
Bass, LargemouthExtends to or beyond back of eye
Bass, SmallmouthExtends to middle or back of eye but not beyond
Dorsal Fin Origin
Bass, LargemouthThick, diffuse, irregular (zig-zag) lateral stripe; faint in large adults, pronounced in juveniles; tail of young of year not distincly pigmented
Bass, SmallmouthSolid color, dark mottling, or 9-16 diffuse vertical bars in adults; distinct vertical bars with tail yellow-orange with dark margin in young of year
Color and Pigment Pattern
Bass, Largemouth60-68
Bass, Smallmouth69-80
Similarity Index
Bass, LargemouthSlightly connected, shortest spine less than half the length of the longest
Bass, SmallmouthModerately connected, shortest spine more than half the length of the longest
Comments
Bass, LargemouthN/A
Bass, SmallmouthModerately similar
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