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Bass Fishing

The closest lake to Mt. Vernon, Illinois is Rend Lake. There are many places to fish on Rend Lake. Here is their website URL where you can get more information on fishing, swimming, camping, etc.: Information on Rend Lake. If you need current fishing information on Rend Lake, please feel free to e-mail or call us. We would be happy to answer your questions.

We have fishing licenses available at the store.


Largemouth Bass

Latin name: Micropterus salmoides

Closely related to the largemouth bass are the smallmouth and spotted bass. Nicknames are black bass and bucketmouth. The largemouth bass is dark green or olive on back. Its belly is yellowish to white. A broad lateral line stripe runs down the side. A spiny first dorsal fin is nearly separate from a soft-rayed second fin (unlike the smallmouth). Characteristics of the largemouth bass are a proportionately large mouth and an upper jaw that extends beyond the eye (unlike the smallmouth).

Habitat: In still water, nearly always near vegetation or other underwater structure.

Feeding Habits: Bass are primarily sight feeders and are extremely opportunistic. Their carnivorous diet includes fish, insects, crayfish, snakes, frogs, even small birds or mammals.

Largemouth bass is arguably the most popular and important sportfish in America. The popularity of the largemouth bass has produced a wave of interest in freshwater fishing unrivaled by any other species. Reams of books, magazines, and journals, as well as miles upon miles of videotape, have been devoted solely to the pursuit of this species.

The northern strain of largemouth seldom exceeds 10 pounds; the southern subspecies (M. salmoides floridanus) is the giant of the family. The next world record will probably be a floridanus, although the California strain is in the hunt too.

U.S. Record: 22 lb. 4 oz., 6/2/32, Montgomery Lake, GA

Smallmouth Bass

Latin name: Micropterus dolmieui

The smallmouth bass is related to the largemouth and spotted bass. Its nicknames are smallie and bronzeback. It is colored dark green or olive on back with a yellowish to white belly. A broad lateral line stripe runs down the side. The spiny first dorsal fin is definitely connected to the soft-rayed second fin (unlike the largemouth); it has a proportionately large mouth; and its upper jaw extends only to the midpoint of the eye (unlike the largemouth).

Habitat: In a variety of aquatic environments, still or moving water; loves rocks.

Feeding Habits: Smallmouth bass love crayfish. Often specimens are caught with their noses rubbed raw from rooting among the rocks for their dinner. They also feed heavily on fish.

Smallmouth enthusiasts claim that this fish outfights his cousin, the largemouth, any day. True or not, the smallmouth is an intelligent adversary, a dynamic fighter, and a beautiful fish.

U.S. Record: 11 lb. 15 oz., 7/9/55, Dale Hollow Lake, KY

Spotted Bass

Latin name: Micropterus punctulatus

The spotted bass is related to the largemouth and smallmouth bass. Its nickname is spot. Coloration is similar to the largemouth bass, but the spotted has rows of small, dark spots on its sides and belly. The spotted bass resembles a largemouth bass, with a smallmouth bass's head and dorsal fin structure.

Habitat: The spotted bass occupies the same sort of environments as its largemouth cousin.

Feeding Habits: Spotted bass are much like largemouths in their feeding habits.

The spotted inhabits the Ohio and Mississippi river systems, where it is a popular gamefish. It doesn't achieve the size of its cousins, but it's definitely a worthy opponent.

U.S. Record: 8 lb. 15 oz., 3/18/78, Smith Lake, AL

Striped bass

Latin name: Morone saxatilis

The striped bass is related to the white bass, yellow bass, white perch and hybrid striped/white bass (wiper). Its nickname is striper. It is silver in color overall, with horizontal black stripes and a white to cream colored belly. There are 6 to 9 unbroken stripes on sides; lateral line extends to caudal fin; and its teeth are on its tongue, not on roof of mouth and jaws.

Habitat: Native in Atlantic Ocean and tributaries but has been widely planted in deep lakes and reservoirs throughout the U.S. Often roams open water

Feeding Habits: Ferocious predator; runs in schools and feeds heavily on food fish such as shad or shiners; also eels and the like.

The striped bass is actually a member of the temperate bass family, far removed from that to which the largemouth and smallmouth belong. It is the largest species in that family. It is a much sought-after sportfish and heartily takes a wide variety of artificial lures and live baits.

U.S. Record: 66 lb. 0 oz., 6/29/88, O'Neill Forebay, CA

Hybrid striped bass

Latin name: Morone sp.

The hybrid striped bass is related to the white bass, yellow bass, white perch and striped bass. Its nickname is wiper. It is silver in color overall, with horizontal black stripes and a white belly.

It runs in schools over open water, and it preys on fish and crustaceans

This species is a cross between the white bass, which doesn't achieve its size, and the striped bass.

U.S. Record: 23 lb. 2 oz., 2/28/89, Warrior River, AL

White Bass

Latin name: Morone chrysops

The white bass is related to the hybrid white bass, yellow bass, white perch and striped bass. It has no nicknames. It is silvery white in color with unbroken stripes on sides and a yellowish belly. There are teeth on its tongue only and it has a complete lateral line.

Habitat: Runs in large schools over open water and in rivers and streams.

Feeding Habits: Preys on fish and crustaceans; often chase schools of baitfish.

The white bass doesn't achieve the size of its cousins, the striped bass and the hybrid; nevertheless, it is a popular sport fish. Anglers who encounter large schools of the feeding fish often strike paydirt. Similarly, schools of small specimens can riddle fishing baits intended for other species and escape being hooked.

U.S. Record: 6 lb. 7 oz., 9/19/89, Saginaw Bay, MI

Yellow Bass

Latin name: Morone mississippiensis

The yellow bass is related to the hybrid white bass, white bass, white perch and striped bass. It has no nicknames. It is colored more yellowish overall than its cousins, with broken horizontal black stripes. There are no teeth on its tongue, unlike other Morone species.

Habitat: Runs in dense schools near the surface of lakes and streams.

Feeding Habits: Preys on fish and crustaceans; more omnivorous than its cousins.

The yellow is small in size but offers good sport on light tackle; can be a nuisance fish at times due to its bait stealing propensity.

U.S. Record: 2 lb. 5 oz., 3/26/91, Kiamuchi River, OK

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