The Large-mouthed Black Bass (Micropterus salmoides), is a member of the Sunfish Family. The angle of the jaw falls behind the eye. It has dark blotches which form a horizontal stripe along the length of each side. Weighs up to 2 pounds and can grow up to 18 inches long. It is very popular with anglers.
The juvenile largemouth bass consumes mostly small bait-fish, scuds,small shrimp, and insects. Adults consume smaller fish (bluegills), crawfish (crayfish), frogs, snakes, , bats and even small water birds, mammals. In larger lakes and reservoirs, adult bass occupy deeper water than younger fish, and shift to a diet consisting almost entirely of smaller fish like shad, trout, ciscoes, shiners, and sunfish. Prey items can be as large as 25 to 35% of the bass's body length. Studies of prey utilization by largemouths show that in weedy waters, bass grow more slowly due to difficulty in acquiring prey. Less weed cover allows bass to more easily find and catch prey, but this consists of more open-water baitfish. Paradoxically, with little or no cover, bass can devastate the prey population and starve or get stunted. Fisheries managers need to take all these factors into consideration when designing regulations for specific bodies of water. Under overhead cover such as overhanging banks, brush, or submerged structure such as weedbeds, points, humps, ridges, and drop-offs, the largemouth bass will use its senses of hearing, sight, vibration, and smell to attack and seize its prey. It can sometimes hold up to 5 sunfish in its mouth. Adult largemouth generally are apex predators within their habitat, but they are preyed upon by many animals while young.