A little bass education for you. Here's some of what I learned:
- How to tell a Northern Bass (Micropterus salmoides salmoides) from a Florida Largemouth (Micropterus salmoides floridanus)? (Micropterus salmoides floridanus)? Count scales on the lateral line. The floridanus has 69-73 scales compared to the salmoides salmoides 59-65.
- Research done by the ShareLunker program in Texas shows that it takes about 8-10 years for largemouth bass to reach 13lbs.
- Speed: the bigger the fish, the faster - according to the report by the Southern Regional Aquaculture Center (a government funded research center), the average speed is about 2.5 times their body length per second, meaning that smaller fish swim about 2mph, while big fish can haul ass at 12mph.
- Lifespan - about 15 years, but may be as low as 11 years. Females may live longer than males, but no one seems to be sure.
- And, from the ESPN article below, biologist John Odenkirk says life is tough for little bass, and a "baby bass has about a 10 percent chance of growing into an adult."
Here are the most imformative links I found on the subject:
Bass biology PDF - A 2 page PDF from Southern Regional Aquaculture Center (Note - this is a PDF download)
SRAC Bass Biology PDF
ESPN's article on bass diet from 2007
"What Bass Eat"
A short introduction to "Suction feeding" in bass from the Journal of Experimental Biology
"How Fish Hook Fish"
-Or you can read this one: Use of Sociomicrometry demonstrates the link between prey capture kinematics and suction pressure in largemouth bass, which is, uh, longer.
An article on bass biology from a site out of Birmingham, Arizona by Ed Majors
"Understanding the Predator"
Underwater photos showing smallmouth bass bedding and spawning behavior by Robert Michelson of Massachusetts
Here's a roundup of various bass biology articles, gathered and/or written by Dan Kimmel, a non-biologist bass enthusiast in Michigan
Seasonal habits of the largemouth bass by Ultimate Bass Resource
The 4 Seasons of Bass
And finally, here's a video from Bill Dance
Please let me know if I've missed a resource - put it in the comments or fire me off an email