Largemouth Vs Smallmouth Bass

“Largemouth vs. smallmouth bass” is the most crucial question in the bass fishing industry. The bass fishing industry has earned millions of dollars each year from bass catching. But a large number of anglers have confused about identifying these two fish.

In North America, largemouth and smallmouth both are the most popular sports fish. First of all, they are living in the same water. Secondly, they seem similar to look. Most importantly, their shape and size are also identical. But what is the difference between them?

We are come out with this article and going to discuss it in deep. Reading the item, you will know about the fish, how to catch, where to catch, and their behaviors. So, if you want to develop your knowledge of these species, read the article till the end!

Smallmouth and largemouth bass are the most popular sport game fish in America, especially in the north. Nowadays, the fishing industry is getting around 60 billion dollars from these two species. Both largemouth and smallmouth are belonging to the Centrarchidae (sunfish).

So, these two close cousins have some similarities and dissimilarities as well. Besides, because of the possession limits, it is essential to distinguish between smallmouth and largemouth bass. Otherwise, you have to pay fine!

Smallmouth Bass Habitat

smallmouth Bass
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Generally, smallmouth bass inhabits higher clear water. Especially the fish has a preference for clear water lakes, streams, and rivers. It is reservoirs with stumps, rocky areas, and sandy bottoms. You may also find the smallmouth bass in the lake where has sustaining cooler water temperatures. So, a healthy smallmouth is indicating that the water is clean and fresh.

They also love to live in a fast-moving river. Besides, the fishes are changing their behavior according to the place. River smallmouth maintains a torpedo-shaped body while lake fish are oval.

Size of the Smallmouth Bass

Smallmouth bass comes with a more elongate body. But according to the fishing reports Of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Large are growing up to 12-16 inches. Their weight more comprehensive range is up to 1/2 -4lbs. If you find a smallmouth with a 5lb, then you are a trophy winner. The largest smallmouth caught ever is 11 lbs. 15 oz, which is a world record.

Smallmouth Bass Fishing Tips

You can fish smallmouth bass with any lure. Spinnerbaits, crankbaits, or vibrating jigs are the best smallmouth bass lures. Even on occasion, they come up to take open water plugs as well. Besides, the fishes are slightly quicker to take a smallmouth bass lure.

One important thing, they won't go for the lateral line. Significantly, the smallmouth can see it better than largemouth. If you in smallmouth fishing at the mid-time of the day, our suggestions are either to go light or go home.

Largemouth Bass Habitat

Largemouth Bass
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Largemouth bass can inhabit a pretty wider of habitats than smallmouth if you compare. Therefore, you will find almost everywhere in the continental United States. It loves to live wherein a large enough body of water.

The ponds, creeks, flowages, reservoirs, pools, swamps, backwaters, lakes are found. everywhere

Besides, they can survive in warmer water temperatures, and they keen to use shallow and thick vegetation for cover. These qualities make it better than smallmouth bass.

Size of the Longmouth Bass

Depending on the water population, adult largemouth bass grows up to 13-20 inches in length, and weight is 1-4.5 lbs. However, you can find 13 pounds of largemouth if you lucky enough. The largest fish ever caught is 22 lbs. 4 oz.

Largemouth Bass Fishing Tips

The most successful largemouth bass fishing tips is to catch fish by pitching and flipping into the grasses. Usually, they lurk in this area. Before going out for largemouth bass fishing, you should remember one thing. They will entirely ignore your lures if they are on their bed. Even the appeal comes right under their nose. In this condition, you may try bass fishing jigs and large plastics as these works well.

Battle of the Bass - Largemouth vs. Smallmouth

Large mouth

Small mouth


Micropterus salmoides

Micropterus doomieu


Its Upper jaw enlarges beyond the eye.

Dark blotches form a flat band.

The upper jaw increase to the centre of the eye.

Dark blotches form into vertical stripes.

Gender Identification

Female's bass is growing larger than males

Female's bass also grow larger than males


Look like Olive green bass

Seem Brown bass green (bronze)

Size & Lifespan

Grow up to 13-20 inches

Its Average weight 1- 4.5 lbs

But can live longer but Average life span of 10-16 years

Grow up to 12-16 inches

Weight range in Average 1/2 - 4 lbs

Live up to 10-12 years


Feeds in dim light

Mostly active in low light conditions

The same as largemouth bass


Generally, eat a variety of small fish, frogs, insects, larvae, and crayfish. They Can survive in most conditions due to their more massive mouth and predatory nature

Mainly eat crayfish. But they also eat worms, tadpoles, insects, and frogs


Spawn generally in Spring when water gets warms too low to mid 60s female leaves eggs, the male guards the eggs and young fish until they can fend for themselves.

Spawn in cooler exceptionally, when the water warms to the upper 50s to the low 60s. Spawn in the same way like largemouth


Mostly found in clear, cold water with little to no current.

Prefer smooth bottoms such as mud and sand.

Usually found in plenty of cover such as weeds, brush lily pads, and overhanging trees.

Prefer clear but slightly cooler water than largemouth with a fast current

Choose hard bottoms such as gravel bottoms or firm rock.

They like structure such as submerged brush piles, rocky areas, and sunken stumps.

Usually found in plenty of cover such as weeds, brush lily pads, and overhanging trees..

Largemouth vs. Smallmouth Bass Location in Fall

As a beginner, you should get knowledge about the location and the types of water where they live.

You will find largemouth all over the United States. You can find it eastern, native, and central as well as parts of Mexico. Hence, the fishes are often called different names like green trout, wide mouth, and buck mouth. The largemouth fish is incredibly common in Georgia, Alabama, Florida, and Mississippi. The reason behind it these regions offer warmer water, as I mention earlier. Besides, there have grass, rocks, weed piles that prefer largemouth fish.

Smallmouths are inhabitant to the river basins of the Hudson, Mississippi, and the Great Lakes. They are also found in the north of the US and parts of Canada. Like the largemouth, smallmouth was also known as a regional name like bronze, bronze back, and bareback. They tend to choose more transparent water over murky.

Besides, smallmouth bass enjoys hunting and feeding for prey in waters with challenging currents. When you want to catch smallmouth bass, you have to cast into fast-moving water. Additionally, you have to avoid dropping lure into deep cover.


Where to Find Smallmouth vs. Largemouth Bass?

Generally, smallmouth fish prefer cold water. So, they usually find in northern water like Lake Erie. Conversely, largemouth prefers slightly warmer water than smallmouth. So, they typically see in southern lakes like Okeechobee. Largemouth and smallmouth also live together at the same lake or river.

The ways to Tell the Difference between Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass?

In short, you can identify them according to their size and looks. largemouth have a large mouth with upper jaw extends past the eye. On the other side smallmouth's jaws are in line with it. Then, largemouth has a break between their dorsal fins while smallmouth doesn't have.

When to Fish for Smallmouth Bass?

During the April to June is the best time to catch smallmouth bass as it the spawning season. It is the perfect time before they move into deep water. But if you are in the south, you will find them a few feet from the bottom of the lake.

When to Fish for Largemouth Bass?

Summer is the perfect time to catch largemouth bass. The Cloudy and drizzly days are the best time for catching largemouth. Specially, the early morning and later evening is best time, you can easily catch largemouth bass. As under the bright light, it is hard to fish them.

Who wins in largemouth vs. smallmouth?

Bothe of the fish species have the best-selling points. The largemouth is easy to catch and grow bigger. Smallmouth is put up a better fight pound-for-pound and are much more acrobatic. Though angler loves to see both of them, largemouth bass always remains the tip of the fishing list.

How to Target Smallmouth and Largemouth?

Every angler has their favorite ways. So, it is tough to agree on which one is best. You can try smallmouth bass fishing in a dark light as they see the lure in bright sunlight. Besides, it would help if you targeted the lurk area to catch largemouth fish. In this case, Best Bait for Bass can help you out.

Which bass species is America's favorite?

Frankly, largemouth bass is America's fish. Despite what angler chasing catfish, crappies, or pinfish, the largemouth fish always win the popularity. About 10.6 million anglers in America cast for largemouth. That's why it is the most popular freshwater species among the fisherman.

Final word

I hope now you have a clear idea about largemouth vs. smallmouth bass after reading the article. Now it's time to make a decision. It would help if you fished according to your passion, as both are very stylish to catch. Compared to other species of fish, they look, behave, and breed in the same way. Even you will find these two species at the same lake and river. Following the best Bass Fishing Tips, you will able to get a great fishing experience.

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