Meet the Largemouth Bass: Mr. & Mrs. Generalist

The Largemouth Mr. & Mrs. Generalist

Every species of fish has certain characteristics and abilities that help them survive and thrive in different environments. Catfish are known to be “swimming tongues”, tasting their surroundings as much as they feel them with their lateral line. Smallmouth and muskie are both excellent “sight feeders”. Carp reproduce and grow quickly, helping the young avoid being eaten by other preyfish.

The largemouth bass? Well, he has a myriad of special skills – he’s a generalist.

Alder Lake Wisconsin Smallmouth Bass on a Husky Jerk
Smallmouth bass caught on a Rapala Husky Jerk – a bait that requires “sight” or visibility to work at it’s optimal level.

A generalist can cope well with change, survive in multiple environments, and adapt to disturbances brought on by natural disasters or man. These same disturbances can be devastating to a specialist, or a fish that requires very specific conditions to exist.

Generalists will adapt.

Generalists will overcome.

Generalists will live in many different places.

Generalists will spread out.

Nice Shirts and Largemouth Bass in a Wisconsin Channel
My wife with a great largemouth in a shirt that is way too nice for fishing… caught in a calm Wisconsin river channel (slack water area).

While the generalist species lack a specific approach to feeding, they make up for it with hustle and experimentation. They compensate and eat a variety of prey… and baits… which is good news for us anglers. Nothing is easy for the generalist, but much is possible.

What baits you ask?


Strike King "Hack Attack" Heavy Cover Flippin' Jig
Strike King “Hack Attack” Heavy Cover Flippin’ Jig

Swim Jigs

All-Terrain Tackle Swim-Jig
All-Terrain Tackle Swim-Jig


Booyah Colorado Blade Spinnerbait
Booyah Colorado Blade Spinnerbait


Sebile Pivot Frog High Detail Photo
Sebile Pivot Frog


Strike King Rage Tail Craw
Strike King Rage Tail Craw


Z-Man DieZel MinnowZ
Z-Man DieZel MinnowZ

Oh, and more plastics!

Zoom Fat Albert Grub
Zoom Fat Albert Grub

The largemouth bass will find things to eat without being too picky. Like all things in life – it’s a trade off.

For this reason, you will find bass in ponds, lakes, reservoirs and rivers.

Channel Largemouth Bass in Wisconsin AJ Hauser
Another quality largemouth taken in a Wisconsin river channel between two lakes (slack water).

Over the next several sections, we will discuss certain characteristics that make the largemouth bass unique, and the differences between bass and other species of fish that require much more specific conditions to survive.

They’re all special in their own way…

If you’d like a refresher on Identifying the Black Basses, make sure to hop over to our helpful guide and step through some of the more common – and less common – species. You’ll learn more about what makes them tick, their unique characteristics and their current known range so you can target them yourself if you’re looking for a new challenge or adventure.

Tight lines!

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