The largemouth bass is a member of the sunfish family (Centrarchidae) and is native to the southeast. It is undoubtedly the most popular freshwater gamefish and a common pond species. Largemouth bass spawn in the spring when the water temperature reaches 60-70 degrees. Largemouth bass are opportunistic predators and actively consume bluegill, minnows, shad, and numerous other prey items. In ponds, largemouth bass perform best when presented with a variety of forage species. To maximize the grouth of largemouth bass in ponds, an abundance of forage of the appropriate sizes must be available to the bass at all times.
The largemouth bass is represented by two distinct subspecies: the Northern largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides salmoides) and the Florida subspecies (Micropterus salmoides floridanus). Florida strain largemouth can display excellent growth up to 20+ pounds. However, they are much more difficult to catch than Northern largemouth bass; particularly at larger sizes. Northern (native) largemouth bass can reach 10+ pounds and they are much easier to catch than Florida largemouth bass. In fact, many of our clients have experienced great results by stocking feed-trained northern largemouth bass into ponds that had suffered from poor catch rates due to a predominance of Florida bass.
As a word of caution, you should first have your pond evaluated by a professional fisheries biologist before introducing more bass into an existing bass population.
The F1 largemouth bass (often refered to as the "Tiger" bass) is a product of the aquaculture industry and is defined as the first generation cross between a Florida and Northern bass. The F1 largemouth bass is typically the strain of choice for stocking new ponds because it displays favorable characteristics of both parental strains: the growth potential of the Florida strain and the aggressiveness of the Northern strain. Depending upon how the pond will ultimately be managed, largemouth bass should be stocked into a new pond at a rate of 50-100 fingerlings per acre. Please consult one of our fisheries biologists to determine the appropriate strain and stocking rate to best meet the objectives you have for your pond.