Species image (Illustration Credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

What it looks like

  • medium-sized, deep-bodied fish
  • back and sides are green to olive
  • belly is yellow to white
  • broken horizontal stripe along body
  • 9 to 11 dorsal fin spines
  • deep notch between dorsal fins
  • upper jaw extends beyond eye


  • length: 25-55 centimetres (10-22 inches)
  • weight: 0.7-1.8 kilograms (1.5-4 pounds)
  • Ontario record: 4.7 kilograms (10.4 pounds)

Similar fish

Where it is found

Range of the Largemouth Bass in Ontario

Species distribution map (modified from Mandrak and Crossman, 1992)


  • southern Ontario through the lower Great Lakes
  • some populations in Northwestern Ontario
  • use Fish ON-Line, an interactive mapping tool, to find specific lakes and rivers


  • warm, weedy water
  • clear, rocky lakes
  • shallow muddy ponds
  • slow-moving rivers

Find a fishing spot with Fish ON-Line

Angling tips

  • often found in thick weeds and near sunken wood
  • overhanging trees and docks are good largemouth hideouts
  • best times to fish are early morning and late evening – they tend to take shelter during the day
  • when fish aren’t biting, change your lure and your tactic
  • strong-fighting fish, eager to strike most artificial lures
  • keen sense of smell – can be fooled by adding scent to artificial bait
  • bass season opens the 4th Saturday in June in most of Ontario

Common baits

  • spinnerbaits, buzzbaits, crankbaits
  • topwater plugs
  • jigs
  • a variety of soft plastic baits
  • minnows and crayfish