Northern and midwestern bass do not get as large as southern bass. The growing season is shorter, and you have very cold winter month where bass will hibernate.
The Ohio state largemouth bass record is 13 pounds and 25 inches. Comparatively, the Texas largemouth state record is 18 pounds and 25 inches. Florida’s state record for largemouth is 17 pounds.
As you can see, there is quite a difference in weight, but not length. It appears that largemouth bass get to be a maximum length of about 23-25 inches and maximum weights of about 16-18 pounds.
For smallmouth bass, the Ohio state record is 9.5 pounds and 23 inches. In Texas, it’s 7.9 pounds and 23 inches. In Florida, there is no record listed for smallmouth bass.
This makes a lot of sense, since smallmouth is more a northern, great lakes, and midwestern species. Ohio’s largest smallmouth bass came out of Lake Erie, where there are perfect growing conditions year round. Smallmouth can grow quickly despite the shorter growing season.
Surprisingly, Ohio’s record largemouth bass came out of a farm pond. There are tons of farm ponds and little fishing holes around Ohio, and they house some of the largest fish available for catching. And the fish are easy to catch, since there isn’t a whole lot of fishing pressure.
In Ohio, northeast Indiana, and southeast Michigan, angler’s can expect to catch many bass in the 1-2 pound range. A few in the 3-4 pound range, and occasionally and 4-6 pounder. The largest bass we’ve ever caught was a 5.5 pound 24 inch bass. Farm ponds have definitely produced the most bass for us, especially the bigger ones.
Please be sure to ask for permission from the land owner before fishing and please follow any rules they may have. A lot of farm pond owners have paid money to stock their ponds, and may have catch and release only policy.
So how do you catch the biggest Ohio and the midwest? We have an article on that, but it comes down to figuring out the pattern that bass want and presenting it to them. Larger bass would rather not move around too much and not exert a lot of energy. But if you slowly drag a 10-12 inch worm past them, they see it as an easy large meal and will strike.