What is Considered a Good Size Bass?

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Nothing beats the thrill of landing a big bass after a long fight. The satisfaction only increases as the fish gets bigger! 

Don’t get me wrong. All bass are precious to me. But I must be honest. Catching a monster leaves you with a sense of fullness like no other. Plus, you get to brag about it with your fellow anglers! 

What is Considered a Good Size Bass

However, what is considered a good size bass? I consider everything above 16 inches as a good-sized bass. Keep in mind that some specimens can grow as large as 35 inches!

Bear in mind that the length of the fish is not only for bragging purposes. But to prevent fines and mercury intoxication as well! 

Make sure to stick around as we discover trophy-sized bass, regulations, and more!

Understanding the Importance of Size

As I said before, paying attention to bass size can save you some unpleasantries. The first is avoiding fines. 

You see. The fish has to meet some length requirements for harvesting it. The tricky part is that this threshold changes from state to state. Sometimes, it even changes from lake to lake. 

For example, any smallmouth or largemouth bass must be above 14 inches in Texas. There are no size limits for Guadalupe, spotted, or Alabama bass.

Things are widely different in Tennessee. There is no minimum size in Acorn Lake, Fall Creek, or Travis McNatt Lake. On the latter two, the bass must be smaller than 16 inches! Yes. Smaller. It is not a typo.

In California, however, largemouth bass must be at least 12 inches long. There is no size regulation for the rest of the bass family. 

Although confusing, the message of this section is the following: Check with the local Wildlife or Park and recreation authorities to get the most up-to-date information on regulations. 

Are Bass Tainted With Mercury?

One thing that surprises most people is discovering that most fish are contaminated with mercury. Some of them have more, while some others have little traces. It all depends on the age, body of water, and fish type. 

For example, predator fish, like bass, that eat other small fishes are prone to have greater mercury concentrations. Because fish can’t purge the substance like we humans do, they accumulate it in their bodies. 

Therefore, the older the bass gets, the more mercury it will have. 

Why? Well. Bass eats smaller fish with mercury, which gets accumulated in its body. Naturally, the older the bass gets, the more mercury it will have. 

In a nutshell, you should avoid eating large bass as these will be the ones with more mercury. This is another reason to check the local wildlife department, as they regularly update this information. 

What Is The Biggest Bass Ever Caught?

Bass is undoubtedly among the top five of the angling world. That’s why this record is so surprising. 

George Perry’s catch has been, since 1932, the world’s biggest bass. It weighed a whopping 22 pounds with 4 ounces! Perry extracted the beast from Lake Montgomery, Georgia. 

The IGFA didn’t exist at that time. Luckily the record fish didn’t slip through the cracks thanks to the pictures taken at the time. 

77 years later, Manabu Kurita, from Japan, managed to land a 22-pound and 5 ounces bass in Lake Biwa, Japan. I know. You might think that I’m insane, as 5 ounces is more than 4 ounces. 

However, the IGFA stays a margin of 2 ounces to beat a record. In other words, the next world record bass must be 22 pounds and 6 ounces, minimum. That’s the reason why Mister Manabu Kurita’s bass is tied in first place with George Perry’s. 

State Record Bass

Many anglers wonder what is considered a trophy-sized fish. This changes from one state to the next, as you will shortly. As of 2023, this is the list of record-sized bass by state:

AlabamaMountain View Lake198716 lb 8 oz1Thomas Burgin
ArizonaColorado River199616 lb 7.7 ozDale Uden
ArkansasMallard Lake197616 lb 8 ozAaron Mardis
CaliforniaCastaic Lake199121 lb 12 ozMichael Arujo
ColoradoEcho Canyon Reservoir199711 lb 6 ozJarrett Edwards
ConnecticutMashapaug Lake196112 lb 14 ozFrank Domurat
DelawareWagamons Pond201611 lb 1.6 ozAndrew Klein
FloridaPolk County198617 lb 27 oxBilly O’Berry
GeorgiaMontgomery Lake193222 lb 4 ozGeorge Perry
HawaiiWaita Reservoir19929 lb 9.4 ozDickie Broyles
IdahoAnderson LakeNot listed10 lb 15 ozM.W Taylor
IllinoisStone Quarry Lake197613 lb 1 ozEdward Walbel
KansasPrivate Lake200811 lb 12.8 oz Tyson Hallam
KentuckyHighsplint Lake 201911 lb 12.8 ozMark Ward
LouisianaCaney Lake199415 lb 15.5 ozGreg Wiggins
MaineMoose Pond196811 lb 10 ozRobert Kamp
MarylandHuntington Pond201311 lb 6.4 ozColton Lambert
MassachusettsSampson Pond197515 lb 8 ozWalter Bolonis
MichiganBig Pine Island193411 lb 15 ozWilliam Maloney
MinnesotaAuburn Lake20058 lb 15 ozNot listed
MississippiNatchez State Park Lake199218 lb 2.4 ozAnthony Denny
MissouriBull Shoals Lake196113 lb 14 ozMarvin Bushong
MontanaLake Elmo20219 lb 9 ozBrandon Wright
NebraskaSandpit Near200910 lb 11 ozDarin Williams
NevadaLake Mead199912 lbMichael Geary
New HampshirePotanipo Lake196710 lb 8 ozG. Bullpit
New JerseyMenantico Pond198010 lb 14 ozRobert Eisele
New MexicoBill Evans Lake199515 lb 13 ozSteve Estrada
New YorkBuckhorn Lake198714 lb 4 ozJohn Higbie
North CarolinaPrivate Pond199115 lb 14 ozWilliam Wofford
North DakotaNelson Lake19838 lb 8 ozLeon Rixen
OhioPrivate pond197613 lb 2 ozRoy Landsberger
OklahomaCedar Lake201314 lb 13.7 ozDale Miller
OregonBallenger Pond200211 lb 1.6 ozAdam Hastings
PennsylvaniaBirch Run Reservoir198311 lb 3 ozDonal Shade
Rhode IslandJohnson’s Pond201611 lb 3.2 ozBrandon Migliore
South CarolinaLake Marion/Aiken Co. Pond1949/199316 lb 2 ozP.H. Flanagan/Mason Cummings
South DakotaHudson Gravel Pit19949 lb 3 ozRichard Vierick
TennesseeChickamauga Reservoir201515 lb 3 ozGabe Keen
TexasLake Fork199218 lb 2.8ozBarry St. Clair
UtahPowell Lake197410 lb 2 ozSam Lamanna
VermontLake Dunmore198810 lb 4 ozTony Gale
VirginiaConnor Lake198516 lb 4 ozRichard Tate
WashingtonLake Bosworth201612 lb 9 ozBill Evans
West VirginiaDog Run Lake20019 lb 9.9 ozEli Gain
WisconsinRipley Lake194011 lb 3 ozNot listed
WyomingKleenburn Pond201811 lb 9 ozCaleb Salzman

For the sake of space, I only reported rod and reel largemouth bass records. However, there are also weights to beat for smallmouth bass! Just check the link I left on the above table.

The Curious Case of Alaska

The record bass in Alaska is just 7.5 inches long. Before you move to Alaska, you should know that Bass is not a native species here. Therefore, this is an actual concern rather than a cause of celebration

You see, a bass found its way to the freezing waters of Alaska. Needless to say, this altered the food chain structure, which might be harmful to the native fish of Alaska. 

What is The Best Rod for Catching a Trophy Bass?

Casting Rods are my favorite type of rod to catch big bass. I have a medium-heavy, fast-action 7 feet long St. Croix Mojo. It works like a charm and produces bass everywhere I go. 

Spinning rods are also suitable. Either way, I highly recommend using any of these lures. I’ve tested them all. The Strike King is my favorite. 

What is the Best Time to Fish for Bass?

You can catch bass all year long. However, spring is my favorite season as they are the most active during the pre-spawn season. Summer is also a good time to catch bass, especially with topwater lures. 

Here you can find an in-depth analysis of when to fish for bass, and how to adapt your tactics depending on the season. 

How Long is a 10 Pound Bass?

Typically, we only care about weight. The reason is that most records only consider this parameter. Besides, in most cases, the heavier the fish is, the larger it will be.

However, if you are curious, use this approximate conversion chart. There you can see that a 10-pounder will be around 25 inches long!

Trophy Size Bass: A Question of Length

One of the best things about bass is that some records have been broken recently. This means that the next big catch can be yours! 

However, breaking the record is not the only thing that matters. You must keep in mind the size limits. This way, you won’t break any laws, which might translate into fines. Bear in mind that these regulations exist to ensure healthy numbers!

Make sure to check our bass articles. You will find insights and hands-on knowledge on how and when to catch them!  

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