Mississippi State Fish

Largemouth Bass

Mississippi State Fish - Largemouth Bass

(Micropterus salmoides)

Adopted on April 12, 1974 .

The Largemouth or Black Bass, (Micropterus salmoides, )was designated the State Fish of Mississippi, Chapter 551, General Laws of Mississippi of 1974. They have a black to green back with lighter sides and a pale belly. They have a dark wavy band running the length of their sides. Their mouth extends beyond their eyes.

Did you know that: Largemouth Bass has been proclaimed the official State Freshwater Fish in each of the following states

 Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, and Tennessee (Old).

Mississippi State Fish: Largemouth Bass

Mississippi State Fish - Largemouth Bass

The largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) is a freshwater gamefish in the sunfish family, a species of black bass native to North America. It is also known by a variety of regional names, such as the brown bass, widemouth bass, bigmouth bass, black bass, bucketmouth, Potter's fish, Florida bass, Florida largemouth, green bass, green trout, gilsdorf bass, linesides, Oswego bass, southern largemouth and (paradoxically) northern largemouth; however, it is not a member of the bass family but actually a member of the Sunfish family.

They are sexually mature at just over 2 years of age (52cm in length). Largemouth bass have a black to green back with lighter sides and a pale belly. They have a dark wavy band running the length of their sides. Their mouth extends beyond their eyes. Most have a black non-defined line running laterally along their body, but in some individuals the line becomes more like a series of blotches. The fins and tail are generally pale brown. Male Largemouth bass are usually more slender and darker in color than females.

Other Common Names

Black Bass, Green Bass, Bigmouth, Linesides, Bucketmouth

Characteristics of the Largemouth Bass

Micropterus is Greek, meaning "small fin". Salmoides is from the Greek salmo, meaning "trout", and refers to the fact that largemouth bass have been called "trout" in some southern states.


Largemouth bass are greedy predators and become territorial during their spawning season. They practice brood care and build a shallow pit about 1m in diameter, which they clean and line with leaves. They spawn into the pit and the eggs are then guarded alternately by the male and female. The young take about one week to hatch, and after hatching brood care terminates. Preferred Water Temperature: 63-68 °F


Largemouth bass are native to North America. They can be found at St. Lawrence, Great Lakes, Hudson Bay (Red River), and Mississippi River Basins, the Atlantic drainages from North Carolina to Florida and to northern Mexico. The species has been widely introduced as a game fish and is now cosmopolitan.


Largemouth bass are freshwater fish and generally inhabit clear, vegetated lakes, ponds and swamps. They prefer quiet, clear water and often hide in dense vegetation along the edges of a water body. The preferred temperature is 68-78 °F.


Largemouth bass have a voracious appetite. Adults feed on fishes, crayfish and frogs, while juveniles feed on crustaceans, insects and small fishes. These fish can become cannibalistic. They do not eat during spawning or when the water temperature is below 5 degrees or above 37 degrees.

Age and Growth:

Largemouth bass grow up to 97cm and 10kg and can live as long as 11 years.

Length: Up to 21 inches
Weight: Up to 10 pounds
Life span: Up to 15 years

Mississippi Law

The law designating the largemouth bass as the official Mississippi state fish is Section 3-3-21 (State fish) of the Mississippi Code, specifically Title 3 (STATE SOVEREIGNTY, JURISDICTION AND HOLIDAYS) Chapter 3 (STATE BOUNDARIES, HOLIDAYS, AND STATE EMBLEMS) Section 3-3-21.

SECTION 3-3-21.

? 3-3-21. State fish.

The largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) is hereby designated the state fish of Mississippi.

Sources: Laws, 1974, ch. 551, ? 3, eff from and after passage (approved April 12, 1974).

Taxonomic Hierarchy: Largemouth Bass

Kingdom: Animalia - animals
Phylum: Chordata - chordates
    Subphylum: Vertebrata - vertebrates
Class: Actinopterygii - ray-finned and spiny rayed fishes
    Subclass: Neopterygii
Order: Perciformes, perch-like fishes
    Suborder: Percoidei
Genus: Micropterus
Species: Micropterus salmoides

State Fishes
State Fish