Bass. The most sought after of all the game fish. Its appeal spans cultures, age groups and genders to tap on the heart strings of anglers everywhere.
World record: 24 pounds, 4 ounces
Also known as bucketmouth, this fish has a mouth that opens wide enough to swallow its own head. It will attempt to eat virtually anything it can catch and swallow. Growing to well over 20 pounds, it is much bigger than it's cousin the smallmouth bass.
Prefers rocky areas of clear to slightly stained water in depths from one foot to fifty feet, with or without current. Ideal water temperature: 58° to 72°
World record: 10 pounds, 14 ounces
While the smallmouth only grows to about half the size of the largemouth, it is much more agile, faster and powerful for its size. It eats pretty much the same foods, just smaller specimens. It is without argument one of the finest game fish an angler can pursue. The thrill of the frantic runs and jumps are the source of many a fisherman's dreams.
Spots, or Kentucky bass, are easily identified by the dominant, spots along the lateral lines. Ideal water temperature: 70° to 78°
World record: 9 pounds, 8 ounces
Spotted bass are often called Kentucky bass, Kentucky spotted bass, Alabama spotted bass and Kentucky spots. They have a smaller mouth than the largemouth, so use lure sizes similar to smallmouth tackle. They feed on smaller fish as well as insects, crustaceans, frogs and worms.
Found primarily in the warm waters of FL, GA and AL. They populate lakes, rivers and streams. Ideal water temperature: 65° to 72°
World record: 7 pounds, 8 ounces
Closely related to the spots, it is often misidentified as a redeye due to the red coloring in the eye. The coloring is brownish similar to smallmouth. Fish for shoal bass as you would most bass and, as the name implies, look for them to congregate on shoals and similar structure.
Native to the Coosa River system of GA and AL, redeyes are often found in cool streams and rivers. Ideal water temperature: 65° to 70°
World record: 8 pounds, 12 ounces
The redeye bass looks very much like a largemouth with a red eye and red coloration in the tail. Found in the southeast part of the US it is often confused with the shoal bass, because of the red eye. Fish for the redeye with conventional bass tackle favoring smaller baits and lighter tackle. If you like to fly fish, try fly fishing for redeye bass.