‘Bucket Mouth‘, ‘Lunker‘, and ‘Hydrilla Gorilla‘ are just a few of the nicknames the mighty Bass has earned over the years…and why is that?
Why is Bass fishing so popular? If you are anything like me, you love to go fishing…but why does it seem that bass get all the attention and praise? And is it deserved?
In this article, I’ll give you my top 9 reasons why Bass fishing is so popular.
1. Bass Are One Of The Most Abundant Freshwater Fish In North America
Bass, (Largemouth Bass and their sub-species) are pretty dang common. In fact, They’re available widely and in huge numbers, with the range present in all the lower 48 states. Mississippi and Georgia have even gone ahead to declare largemouth their state fish!
This fish constitutes the largest share of all the fish found in North America. This means that for most Americans, bass fishing is available locally.
The easy availability minimizes travel costs, turning bass fishing into a convenient pastime.
The fish is also widely available in its natural habitat. Bass are referred to as stocked fish which means they’re also available in non-native fisheries or a wide array of different environments. So, you can find bass fish in nearly any water source both naturally, and stocked.
I have literally caught bass in retention ponds, canals, ditches, lakes, rivers, reservoirs- even old swimming pools!
Simply put- Bass are abundant and highly adaptive. If there is water…there is a chance it holds bass.
2. Bass Are Not Difficult To Catch (Or Are They…?)
Anglers love bass fishing because they are effortless to catch — compared to other fish species with roughly the same size. (Much easier said than done, right?)
What I really mean is that Bass can be caught on a wide variety of fishing reels, tackle, and baits. They are opportunistic feeders and known to eat…well, just about everything!
That means that anglers of all different backgrounds, and skill levels, can catch and land a bass with basic rod and reel combos or advanced custom specialty gear.
3. Bass Are Powerful, Aggressive And Excellent Fighters!
If you’ve ever seen a big bass explode on a topwater lure, you’ll agree that these fish are powerful, aggressive, and amazing fighters.
Largemouth Bass are capable of growing over 15 lbs in size…which is just huge! They are also known for extremely hard hits and absolutely smash live bait and lures.
Head shakes, powerful runs and acrobatic jumps make bass one of the most exciting fish to catch, which no doubt makes them a popular favorite among anglers.
4. Bass Come in a Variety of Sizes & Sub-Species
Don’t forget there are a number of other subspecies of bass such as White Bass, Redeye Bass, Shoal Bass, Spotted Bass, Striped Bass, etc…
But for the sake of this article, I am primarily referring to the largemouth bass and smallmouth bass, which are both very popular all over the country (and the world!)
Largemouth bass also goes by:
- Black bass
- Bigmouth bass
- Florida largemouth
- Widemouth bass
The fish is readily available in the southern states and is commonly found in ponds, swamps, lakes, and still water bodies with adequate vegetation. It favors mud, gravel, or sand-bottom lakes and ponds that feature other species.
Largemouth bass boasts an average length of about 15 to16 inches (38.1 to 40.6 cm). The largest largemouth bass in the US recorded 38.2 inches (97 cm), while the heaviest weight reported is 10.1 kg (22 lbs).
In general, female bass are typically larger than male bass. The most common bass species are largemouth bass and smallmouth bass.
These are common in colder water and around the Great Lakes area. Though most anglers prefer largemouth bass, smallmouth bass is also meaty, thus excellent for those fishing for consumption.
They average between 12 to 16 inches (30.4 to 40.6 cm) in size, with the largest smallmouth bass recording a length of 27 inches (68.6 cm).
5. Bass Are Ideal for Tournament Fishing
Tournament fishing is a big crowd puller, and bass fishing tournaments are no exception. It’s no wonder that competitive bass tournaments are wildly popular with both casual and professional anglers.
Several big tournaments take place in various locations all year round, thereby prompting bass fishing from the amateur to the professional level.
Many anglers look forward to competing with fellow fishing enthusiasts, showing off their skills while hoping to catch the biggest bass, and win big prize money!
The average bass tournament consists of live fish weigh-ins that attract massive audiences, while other fishing enthusiasts prefer the CWR system (catch-weigh-release system), advocating for bass health.
Today, recreational game fishing for largemouth bass is a multi-billion dollar industry. The sport has also led to the development of ultramodern ﬁshing gear designed to catch largemouth bass.
This includes drift boats, electronic depth ﬁnder instruments, fish finding instruments, special bass boats, ﬂoat tubes, specialty lures…and so much more.
6. Bass Fishing Is Relatively Inexpensive
Unlike some types of fishing that require you to use fancy fishing rods, costly lures, big boats, or expensive equipment, bass fishing is quite affordable.
The relatively low cost of bass fishing makes it easier for beginners to try out the activity. Many people are more willing to spend a few dollars to purchase basic fishing equipment than invest hundreds of dollars in pricier versions.
See Also: Is Fishing An Expensive Hobby?
7. There’s a Thriving Bass Fishing Community Around The World
According to industry statistics, there are approximately 30 million bass anglers in America, with Florida playing host to the largest number. The numbers keep growing as more and more people join the sport.
As a result, many fishing clubs and associations exist with members sharing a common interest in fishing bass.
The clubs and associations also offer members access to valuable information on bass fishing as well as opportunities to participate in the actual activity.
And nowadays with social media, bass anglers can connect all over the world any time of the year.
Just take a look at this list of Bass fishing Groups on Facebook:
8. Bass Fishing Is a Social Activity For All Ages
Bass fishing is an activity that allows people to make social connections. It’s easy to have a friend, neighbor, or co-worker with no fishing experience join you for a bass fishing trip.
Therefore, fishing for bass provides the perfect opportunity to get out and spend time with friends and family while engaging in a fun and exciting pursuit.
Bass fishing can be as hardcore or relaxing as you want it to be. Anchor up and fish with live shiners? Sure! No Problem.
Troll around all day and punch mats looking for 10 pounders? We can do that too!
The versatility and easy learning curve make bass the perfect fish for social fishing.
9. Bass Have Trophy Fish Status & Economic Incentives
Maybe no other freshwater fish has achieved the level of reverence as the Largemouth Bass. I think this is due to many of the reasons listed above, but also because of the trophy status and catch and release mentality the fish has achieved over the decades.
Most bass anglers practice catch and release (although, nothing wrong with keeping a few every now and then). Strict regulations are put in place on bass fisheries around the world to protect and enhance this fishery.
In fact, the entire freshwater fishing industry relies on the popularity of bass fishing to help with license sales, tackle innovation, travel to rural towns, and overall fishing interest.
State agencies, fisheries biologists, tournament organizers, and communities all over the world realize that bass is the gateway fish species to a successful and healthy industry.
And rightly so!
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is So Special About Bass Fishing?
Bass fishing is so special because it’s highly addictive, convenient, and capturing a big bass is a thrilling pursuit. Bass grow to a very large size and are excellent fighters on light tackle.
It attracts all kinds of people; beginners, professional anglers, and even weekend fishermen.
How Many People Fish for Bass?
About 30 million people actively fish for bass in the US. Interestingly, more than half of those who participate in fishing prefer bass fishing to any other type of fishing. Bass fishing is even more popular than tennis or golf.
How Big Is the Bass Fishing Industry?
The bass fishing industry is enormous and has become a mega-industry worth $60 billion. The sector has resulted in the manufacture of all sorts of fishing gear and boats designed specifically for bass fishing and contributed significantly to tourism, especially in rural areas.
With bass emerging as the most desired game fish in America, there are also tournaments that attract millions of anglers. Finally, there are even television shows, video games, and podcasts devoted to bass fishing.
When Did Bass Fishing Start?
Bass fishing has been a documented past-time since the late 1700s, but prehistoric cultures fished or pursued bass for thousands of years as a food source.
Modern-day bass fishing, from the standpoint of an organization and tournament, began in 1968, with the formation of the BASSMASTER club founded by Ray Scott.
Anglers are often lumped into different categories… “He loves to catch Panfish”, or “She’s a Carp Angler” or “He’s a Bass junkie”…. and there is nothing wrong with that.
But, if you really take the time to reflect on bass fishing, you’ll soon see why it is so popular.
The combination of size, strength, abundance, quality, social status, and industry reverence all contribute to making bass the most popular sportfish in North America.
I don’t see that changing any time soon. And, I am perfectly okay with that.
Thanks for reading!
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