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8 Bass Facts You Probably Didn’t Know
Largemouth bass were first discovered in 1562 by the French in Florida.
2. THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN DIVIDE
Black bass species are not native to areas west of the Rocky Mountains. Today, they are found throughout the continental United States, Hawaii and at least 75 other countries. Believe it or not, largemouth bass are considered an invasive species in many countries. This is due to their voracious appetites, aggressive feeding tendencies and ability to survive (and thrive) in many conditions.
3. FAMILY TIES
Largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass are in the Centrarchidae family, which also includes crappie and bluegill. Striped and white bass are actually not included in this family. Currently there are 9 species that make up the black bass family: Suwanee bass, Alabama bass, Florida bass, Guadalupe bass, largemouth bass, red eye bass, shoal bass, smallmouth bass and spotted bass.
4. DNA COMPARISON
Smallmouth bass are more closely related to spotted bass than largemouth are to Florida bass. The DNA difference is 1.2% compared to 3.89%.
The lifespan of bass species is strongly dictated by region.
- Smallmouths live between 6 and 12 years on average, with few reaching a 15-year maximum.
- Largemouth found in the northern United States typically live much longer lives (12 to 15 years) than largemouth in the southern portion of the country (10 to 12 years).
- The oldest known largemouth was 23 years old and lived in New York.
Female largemouth bass produce an average of 4,000 eggs per pound of body weight, but they typically do not drop them all at once. Instead, they will spawn with multiple males ensuring the best possible survival rate.
7. THE MALES’ SPAWNING DUTIES
Contrary to popular belief, males of all black bass species actually build the spawning nests each year. They then spend 2 to 6 days protecting the eggs before guarding the newly hatched fry from potential predators.
8. SWIM SPEED
Largemouth bass swim at 2 1/2 times their body length per second. That means a 15-inch bass can out-swim any lure you throw!