A good-sized largemouth bass is anything over 17 inches or three pounds. Most adult bass are 12 to 18 inches long and weigh a few pounds. Depending on the region, a good-sized largemouth bass is going to change, but no angler will scoff at an 18-inch, four-pound fish.
My friends and I have always been competitive with the size of largemouth bass we catch. Now that we live all over the United States, a big largemouth bass looks different to each of us. Regardless, there are universal standards for a good-sized largemouth.
Good-Sized Largemouth Bass By United States Region
Certain areas of the United States have massive largemouth bass. Various factors go into what helps largemouth bass grow, and certain regions have better natural resources than others.
In the Northeast, an average fish will be in the 12- to 16-inch range and weigh one to three pounds. So, a good-sized fish is 18 to 22 inches and four to five pounds.
Due to the cold weather, bass grow far slower than bass in warmer regions, so an 18- to 22-inch fish is something to celebrate. Plus, the Northeast has large native largemouth bass that are a blast to catch.
United States anglers live the dream with their largemouth bass. States like Alabama and Florida have state records of nearly 20 pounds.
The warm weather, healthy fish populations, and plenty of food keep these fish growing. They can grow faster since they’re not battling the elements as much as fish in the northern regions.
Growing up in Minnesota, I was excited when I hooked into a three- or four-pound largemouth. Some states in the southern part of the region consider a four- to five-pound largemouth to be a good size, but most are happy with a three- to four-pound bass.
The temperatures are below freezing for at least a third of the year, so bass can’t get to those massive sizes as they do in the South and Southeast.
States like Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Missouri breed enormous bass. Each state has a record of over 15 pounds. Again, food and water conditions are ideal for bass fishing.
My mounted largemouth came from my first bass fishing trip in Texas. A good-sized largemouth bass is 18 to 20 inches and weighs four or five pounds.
The Northwest United States has underrated bass fishing. While most anglers spend time fishing for trout, steelhead, salmon, and other saltwater fish, plenty of lakes have massive largemouth.
A good-sized largemouth in the Northwest is 17 to 20 inches and weighs three to five pounds. Temperatures don’t get as cold in the Northwest, so fish have a chance to grow faster than in other parts of the country.
While most people think the Southwest is only covered in deserts, many phenomenal largemouth bass fisheries exist. States like Arizona and New Mexico have state records of 15 pounds.
So, a good-sized largemouth bass in the Southwest is 16 to 20 inches and four to five pounds. Reservoirs are the primary places anglers will find good-sized bass.
What Largemouth Bass Need to Grow
Largemouth bass need a few things to grow. They need fairly clear, oxygenated water with healthy vegetation, sandy or gravel bottoms, and plenty of small fish, crustaceans, amphibians, and small mammals to eat.
Another major factor in largemouth bass growth is temperature. Consistently warm air and water temperatures will help bass grow quickly. Water temperatures within 50 to 75 degrees will keep bass active year-round. If the water is any colder, bass retreat to deep water and stay within cover and structure to ensure they don’t burn too much energy.
Any temperatures over 80 degrees will also drive the bass to deep water. They’ll become lethargic and lack the energy they need to continue to feed.
For bass to grow, they must feed continually, so fluctuating water conditions and temperatures prevent this. The Southwest, South, and Southeast have perfect conditions for bass to grow. Bass are rarely driven into hiding due to poor conditions.
Record Size Largemouth Bass
The United States largemouth bass record is 22 pounds and four ounces. The angler caught it in Georgia’s Lake Montgomery. California had a 21-pound 12-ounce bass caught in Lake Castaic.
Most other states have records between nine and 16 pounds.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Rare is a 10lb Bass?
A ten-pound bass is extremely rare. The fish is likely old and took many years to reach that size. Plus, ten-pound fish are more challenging to catch. There’s a reason they’ve survived as long as they have.
Ten-pound bass don’t often fall for any type of lure or presentation. You have to catch them during the spawn or perfectly present your bait.
What is the Average Size of a Largemouth Bass?
An average-size largemouth bass is 12 to 16 inches and one to four pounds.
Regardless of the size, largemouth bass are fun to catch. They’re aggressive and put up a phenomenal fight. But largemouth bass fishing becomes the most fun when the bass reach the 17- to 20-plus-inch range. You’ll notice an immediate difference when you hook into one this size. Then, the obsession will truly begin.