Largemouth Bass Fingerlings (Micropterus salmoides)

Largemouth Bass (Micropterus salmoides)

The Largemouth Bass is America's all-out favorite game fish!

It is probably the most glamorous species in the fresh waters of the world today.

The largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) is a freshwater gamefish in the sunfish family, a species of black bass native to North America. It is known by a variety of regional names, such as the widemouth bass, bigmouth bass, black bass, bucketmouth, largies, Potter's fish, Florida bass, Florida largemouth, green bass, green trout, gilsdorf bass, Oswego bass, southern largemouth and (paradoxically) northern largemouth. The largemouth bass is the state fish of Georgia, Mississippi, and Indiana, the state freshwater fish of Florida and Alabama, and the state sport fish of Tennessee. Many people like to stock their ponds or lakes with Florida-northern crosses because of their potential for increased growth.

Plate Size in 12 – 18 Months

• Edible and accessible aquaponics fish
• Requires constant monitoring to ensure proper conditions

Though not the best choice for beginners, this Bass can be successfully grown in an aquaponic system, but it requires a vigilant, patient, grower with a long term goal to do so because it takes between 16-17 months to produce a table-ready fish and a lot can go wrong. They are less tolerant to unfavorable water and is more demanding in terms of care than the Tilapia. They will not do well with less than delicate handling. They do not like bright light and cannot tolerate poor nutrition/feeding regime. The Largemouth Bass are one of the most sensitive fish to raise and conditions must be closely monitored to ensure pristine water, and proper oxygen and pH levels, as well as the young fingerlings need to be trained to feed on pellets. Keep in mind that bass are big fish when grown, so you would not want to take on this species of fish if you only have a small area to work with, so needless to say the largemouth bass is a viable species for larger systems. In its younger stages, it feeds on mostly small bait fish, scuds, small shrimp and insects, while adults will eat smaller fish such as bluegill, snails, crayfish, snakes, water birds and other small mammals. Because this fish is a voracious predator and they are cannibalistic, suitability for aquaponic activities may be limited as intensive culture system production is difficult. If you don’t mind the daily monitoring of your aquaponics system, bass are a viable and rewarding aquaponics fish. Regardless of the stocked subspecies, available forage (baitfish) is essential to growing big, healthy bass.

Water management of pH and temperatures must be monitored daily as they are the main concerns with raising Largemouth Bass in Aquaponics. Water temperature plays THE major, critical role in governing the life of largemouth bass. A cold-blooded bass's temperature is the same temperature as the water in which it swims, and until it rises above sixty (60) degrees the fish are not really active. Cold temperature slows down their metabolism, their digestion, their nervous system, and their need for much food consumption. They do prefer mildly cooler water ranging from 60-96 with 65- 75 being the optimal range. Bass become uncomfortable when the water temperatures rise above 80. At those times the oxygen content of the water drops as the oxygen also becomes heated, expands, and releases itself from the water. They prefer pH between 5 and 10 with optimal range being 6.5-8.5

Largemouth bass average 3-6 inches in length during the first year. Although, lengths of 10-12 inches are not unusual. Between 8-12 inches in length is expected by the end of the second year and 16 inches is possible by the end of year 3. Sexual maturity is usually reached in their third year of life, but possible in their second year. Growth rates vary in direct proportion to the fertility of the water, the length of the growing season each year, and the numbers of other fish competing for the food supply. In areas with enough food and good habitat such as water plants, largemouths can grow fast. It is always the female bass which attains the greater weight. Male or "buck" bass rarely grow to any size larger than three or four pounds.