Largemouth Bass: What Is Considered A Good Weight & Length?

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A good size largemouth bass varies from state to state. Generally, any bass that is larger than the legal keeping limit of the state you are fishing in would be considered a good size bass. 

Legal limits for keeping fish are not, however, made by weight! Each state sets a length limit, the length of the fish varies from state to state, but typically most states have a length of 14” as the legal size limit.

For most of the United States, most anglers would consider catching a largemouth bass of 3 pounds or more to be a good size.

In this article, I will cover the following:

  • What is Considered a Big Largemouth Bass?
  • What Is Considered A Good Length Bass?
  • How Big is a Trophy Bass?
  • What is the Biggest Bass Ever Caught?
  • Where To Catch Big Bass?
  • Resident Bass vs. Roamer Bass Comparison
  • Largest Bass Caught by State
  • Bass Weight vs. Length Chart
  • Final Thoughts

What Is Considered A Big Largemouth Bass?

Good size Largemouth bass
One of my good size 4lb Largemouth bass caught in Michigan

Any fish above 5 pounds is a big bass. This would be considered a huge bass in certain states, such as Minnesota or North Dakota (where the largest bass ever caught is below 9 pounds).  

Any angler catching a bass of this size would be happy, as this considerably exceeds the average bass size.

What Is Considered A Good Length Bass? 

Bass weight vs. bass length is somewhat difficult to get accurate. Typically, an 18” bass would weigh between 3 pounds to 5 pounds.

The wide range is due to fishery biologists calculating the 75th percentile so that the standard weight at a given length was an above-average or “ideal” target. A plump and healthy bass will be in the mid-range of the table. A slender bass will weigh less, and if the bass has a large girth, it will weigh more.

A young largemouth bass gains length fast and can be as large as 4 to 5 inches (around half a pound) by the end of its first summer. Some Largemouth bass of 20 inches has been known to exceed 7 pounds in some states where the water is colder.

You can check out the table for the bass weight vs. length chart at the end of this article. To measure the length of a bass, a bass ruler can be a useful tool to keep in your tackle box.

How Big Is A Trophy Bass?

What is considered a trophy bass will depend on your fishing state. Most anglers consider 10 pounds the benchmark for trophy bass.

However, states such as Montana, North Dakota, Hawaii, and Minnesota have a current record below 10 pounds. For these states, a trophy bass is around 7 pounds. 

Likewise, a Trophy bass size caught in California, Texas, Florida, and Georgia is around 12 pounds.

The best way of determining a trophy-size bass is to use 75% of the state record as a general rule of thumb. 

The states of Texas and Florida are the best states for catching trophy largemouth bass in the United States!

What Is The Biggest Bass Ever Caught?

Bass record Largest Japan
Equal world record bass – by Japanese angler Manabu Kurita
Record Largest bass ever
George Perry with his 22lb 4oz Bass

The world record bass is held jointly by a specimen bass of 22 pounds 5 ounces caught at Lake Biwa, Japan, and George Perry’s 22 pounds 4 ounces huge bass that was caught at lake Montgomery, Georgia, in 1932.

Although the Japanese bass is larger in weight than the US state record, the International Game Fish Association (IGFA) requires a new record to outweigh the current record holder by at least 2 ounces. 

Where To Catch Big Bass? 

California, Texas, Florida, and Georgia are the four states with the largest bass records. Bass tend to grow larger in warmer and clearer water that is around 70-85 degrees Fahrenheit. In the winter, they prefer to move closer to the lake bottom but are still quite active.

Big bass is more likely to be caught in waters around 8 feet to 15 feet. Typically, the largemouth bass is rarely found in water that is deeper than 20 feet.

Resident Bass vs. Roamer Bass Comparison

Resident bass tends to be lazy and stay in the same locations as docks and laydowns. Most anglers will come to the same spots, and because food is plentiful in these areas, the resident bass doesn’t have to go far from its comfort zone. 

In these locations, they will also spawn nearby. Bigger predators are typically not in these habitats, and they tend to school together. In reality, this is their “home,” and the habitat suits them.

Roamer bass are fish that live to eat and move around continuously without any fixed location in a lake. 

RoamIng bass are better fighters and are generally larger than resident bass. Whilst constantly moving on the hunt for food in the water gives them more exercise and means they tend to grow larger and weigh more.

All bass love to eat minnows and other small fish, but they also prey on crayfish, frogs, and terrestrial and aquatic insects.

Largest Bass Caught by State

StateWeightLocationAnglerYear Caught
Alabama16 lbs, 8 ozMountain View LakeThomas Burgin1987
Arizona16 lbs, 7 ozCanyon LakeRandall White1997
Arkansas16 lbs, 8 ozMallard LakeAnn Mardis1976
California21 lbs, 12 ozLake CastaicMicheal Arujo1991
Connecticut12 lbs, 14 ozMashapaug PondFrank Domurat1961
Delaware11 lbs, 10 ozWagamons PondAJ Klein2016
Florida17 lbs, 27 ozUnnamed LakeBilly O'Berry1986
Georgia22 lbs, 4 ozMontgomery LakeGeorge Perry1932
Hawaii9 lbs, 9.4 ozWaita ReservoirDickie Broyles1992
Idaho10 lbs, 15 ozAnderson LakeMrs. M.W. TaylorN/A
Illinois13 lbs, 1 ozStone Quarry Lake
Edward Walbel1976
Indiana14 lbs, 12 ozUnnamed LakeJenifer Schultz1991
Iowa10 lbs, 14 ozLake FisherPatricia Zaerr1984
Kansas11 lbs, 12.8 ozPrivate Pit LakeTyson Hallam2008
Kentucky14 lbs, 9.5 ozHighsplint LakeMark Ward2019
Louisiana15.97 lbsCaney LakeGreg Wiggins1994
Maine11 lbs, 10 ozMoose PondRodney Cockrell1968
Maryland11 lbs, 6 ozHuntington Farm PondColton Lambert2013
Massachusetts15 lbs, 8 ozSampson PondWalter Bolonis1975
Michigan11 lbs, 15.04 ozBig Pine Island LakeWilliam Maloney1934
Minnesota8 lbs, 15 ozAuburn LakeN/A2005
Mississippi18 lbs, 2.4 ozNatchez State Park LakeAnthony Denny1992
Missouri13 lbs, 14 ozBull Shoals LakeMarvin Bushong1961
Montana8 lbs, 12.8 ozNoxon Rapids ReservoirDarin Williams2009
Nebraska10 lbs, 11 ozSandpit Near ColumbusPaul Abegglen Sr.1965
Nevada12 lbs 0 ozLake MeadMicheal R. Geary1999
New Hampshire10 lbs, 8 ozLake PotanipoG. Bullpit1967
New Jersey10 lbs, 14 ozMenantico Sand Wash PondRobert Eisele1980
New Mexico15 lbs, 13 ozBill Evans LakeSteve Estrada1995
New York11 lbs, 4 ozBuckhorn LakeJohn L. Higbie1987
North Carolina15 lbs, 14 ozPrivate PondWilliam H. Wofford1991
North Dakota8 lbs, 7.5 ozNelson LakeLeon Rixen1983
Ohio13 lbs, 2 ozPrivate PondRoy Landsberger1976
Oklahoma14 lbs, 13.7 ozCedar LakeDale Miller2013
Oregon11 lbs, 1.6 ozBallenger PondB. Adam Hastings2002
Pennsylvania11 lbs, 3 ozBirch Run ReservoirDonald Shade1983
Rhode Island11 lbs, 3.2 ozJohnson's PondBrandon Migliore2016
South Carolina16 lbs, 2 ozLake MarionP.H. Flanagan1949
South Dakota9 lbs, 3 ozHudson Gravel PitRichard Vierick1999
Tennessee15 lbs, 3 ozChickamauga LakeGabe Keen2015
Texas18 lbs, 2.8 ozLake ForkBarry St.Clair1992
Utah10 lbs, 2 ozPowell LakeSam Lamanna1974
Vermont10 lbs, 4 ozLake DunmoreTony Gale1988
Virginia16 lbs, 4 ozConnor LakeRichard Tate1985
Washington12 lbs, 9 ozLake BosworthBill Evans2016
West Virginia9 lbs, 9.9 ozDog Run LakeEli Gain2001
Wisconsin11 lbs, 3 ozRipley LakeN/A1940
Wyoming11 lbs, 9 ozKleenburn PondsCaleb Salzman2018

Bass Weight vs. Length Chart

Bass LengthBass Weight In lbs
Lunker bass
A lunker bass – kids enjoy bass fishing

Final Thoughts

All anglers love to catch big fish, especially bass! Some states have the advantage of larger than average bass sizes, but every state has its fair share of good size bass.

Whether you get a trophy bass or not, always go fishing to enjoy yourself; that expectation of getting the bass of a lifetime fuels us anglers with excitement every time we take our rods out.

I hope that this was an informative article and an enjoyable read. You can read more on the best bass fishing lures and all the bass types in North America that you can catch here!

Steve Fitzjohn