The Largemouth Bass – America’s Most Beloved Fish

Published June 24, 2024

Hog, big ‘un, whopper – you may be familiar with these terms when it comes to largemouth bass. This fish has increased in popularity and has won the hearts of anglers, whether they’re rookies or veterans. This aquatic freshwater predator has become one of the most sought-after game fish in North America, but how did largemouth bass fishing become so popular? 

A Brief History of Bass Fishing

Fishing was deemed a necessary tactic for survival, and bass were originally caught to put food on the table. In June 1932, George Perry caught a world-record largemouth bass. People witnessed the 22-pound, 4-ounce monster of a fish and word began to spread. Fishing shifted from food-focused to a thrill seeker’s favorite past time. People of all ages grabbed their poles and tried to catch a bass just as large but realized a monster that big is hard to entice. Anglers around the world are still trying to beat the record set by Perry’s bass over 90 years ago. 

Spanning from the 1950s through the 1960s, largemouth bass fishing became increasingly popular. New technologies and improved equipment were introduced which made fishing more efficient and effective. People got hooked the moment they were introduced to the hobby, and soon, the sport of bass fishing grew into the empire it is today. New audiences – both the young and young-at-heart – were raving about their own personal best!

At Wonders of Wildlife, memorabilia from past and present can be found in the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame. See personal items, photos, and tournament jerseys from famous anglers like Skeet Reese, Denny Brauer, and Bill Dance decorate the walls of the exhibit. Avid anglers cannot help but get excited about the plethora of memories on display because of the exciting history, impact, and thrill associated with them. 

The Current State of Bass Fishing

Anglers understand the importance of protecting this species to ensure they can spawn and increase their populations. The concept “Catch. Photograph. Release.” (CPR) snowballed and is still practiced among fishermen and women today. It is also critical for anglers to know how largemouth bass should be properly handled and ethically fished. Not only does ethical fishing support their populations, but it allows these fish to get larger over time so other anglers can hook and reel in their new personal best.

Image sourced from American Fishing Tackle Company (AFTCO), Bass Care Guide, Retrieved on 13 June 2024, 

More than 50 million Americans go fishing each year. There are a few reasons why bass fishing is so popular. There is a fight found when reeling in a bucking bass, they range in size – from 1 to 20 pounds – and are found in almost every fresh body of water. People are catching onto the thrill of the hobby along with the mental and social benefits of fishing because of the time spent outdoors with friends and family.

Bass Fishing for Future Generations

When kids go fishing, they learn about patience, how to problem solve if their line gets tangled or their hook gets snagged; they engage with other kids who enjoy fishing fish and step out of their comfort zone by unhooking and holding their fish. Not only are these lessons taught to kids, but teenagers and adults who fish learn them, too. It’s enjoyable for participants of all ages, abilities, and walks of life.

All summer long, there are countless days of sunshine so you can spend time by the water – or on if you prefer to fish by boat! Fishing doesn’t have to be intimidating, in fact, it’s quite easy to learn! There are numerous resources at your fingertips… all you truly need is the desire and willingness to try! Visit to purchase a fishing license in your state, learn tips on how to fish, and explore areas to fish all over the U.S.!

Set a Date to Set the Hook! National Hunting & Fishing Day is September 28, 2024, and you can take the pledge to introduce someone to the thrill of fishing. No matter who you choose, it’s a great opportunity to get outdoors! Upload a photo of you fishing to be entered into an exclusive NHF Day giveaway. Visit to learn more!