Did you know that Florida boasts its own subspecies of largemouth bass, and that it’s the most aggressive and fast-growing of all the black basses?
I knew that much, but the other day Bob Wattendorf, TK of the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission, taught me something fascinating about these fish.
Florida-strain largemouths are genetically hard-wired to spawn in the late winter and spring, while northern largemouths spawn in the late spring and summer. The timing of the spawn is vitally important to ensure that what we call a “strong year class” of young fish finds the nutrition they need to grow quickly enough to avoid being bait themselves for too long. The spawns, which, barring severe weather events--occur like clockwork around the new and full moons. They also coincide with the shad spawn. That species of baitfish is rich in proteins and fatty acids which give young bass the upper hand in the growth and survival departments. Mother Nature is one clever lady.
You’ll find Florida-strain largemouths throughout the peninsula, and genetically mixed bass near the Georgia border and throughout Northwest Florida. So time your bass-fishing trips accordingly, around the respective spawns. Keep in mind that the fish have to feed voraciously head of and after reproducing, because it takes so much energy to do that. In other words, they’re biting in any number of Florida’s best bass lakes.