Discover the Largest Largemouth Bass Ever Caught in Michigan

Written by A-Z Animals Staff
Updated: May 9, 2023
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Michigan is known for its proximity to the Great Lakes and abundance of freshwater lakes and rivers. These natural features make it a top destination for fishing enthusiasts from all over the country.

The largemouth bass is a popular game fish in Michigan, and they’re known for putting up a good fight. If you’re lucky enough to land one of these fish, you’re in for a treat.

But have you ever wondered what the largest largemouth bass ever caught in Michigan is?

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About the Largemouth Bass

Largemouth Bass from Lake

The largemouth bass belongs to the sunfish family.

©Maclane Parker/

The largemouth bass is a member of the sunfish family and is one of the most popular game fish in North America. The sunfish family also includes bluegills, crappies, and perch.

Largemouth bass are easily recognizable by their giant mouths, which can extend past their eyes.

Largemouth bass can be found in lakes, rivers, and streams all across Michigan and many other freshwater systems in North America. They prefer to live in areas with plenty of vegetation, as they use the plants to hide from predators and ambush their prey.

These fish are known for being aggressive predators who typically feed on smaller fish, insects, and crayfish. Amazingly, they can eat prey more than half of their own length!

The largemouth bass is a popular game fish because they put up a good fight when hooked, and often evade capture thanks to their strength and stamina.

In Michigan, the largemouth bass is classified as a game fish, and specific regulations are in place regarding their harvest.

What’s the Difference Between the Largemouth Bass and Other Species?

Several other species of bass are found in North America besides the largemouth, including the smallmouth bass, striped bass, and spotted bass.

So, what’s the difference between the largemouth bass and these other species?

Well, the easiest way to tell them apart is by size and shape. Largemouth bass are the largest, growing to lengths of up to 24 inches. They also have a more sleek and streamlined body shape when compared to the smallmouth bass.

The smallmouth bass is the next largest, growing to lengths of up to 20 inches. These fish have a more compact body than the largemouth bass, and their upper jaw doesn’t extend past their eye.

Conversely, striped bass are much smaller than largemouth bass and only grow to lengths of 18 inches. These fish get their name from the horizontal stripes that run along their body.

Spotted bass are similar in size and shape to the smallmouth bass, but they get their name from the dark spots scattered across their bodies and fins.

Now that you know a little bit more about the largemouth bass and the other species of bass found in Michigan, let’s take a look at the largest one ever caught!

The Largest Largemouth Bass Ever Caught in Michigan

smallmouth vs largemouth bass

Bass hunt by opening their large mouths and sucking the prey in


The current record for the biggest largemouth bass ever caught in Michigan is an impressive 11.94 pounds and 27 inches long!

This fish was caught in 1934 by William Maloney. He was fishing in Big Pine Island Lake when he landed the massive fish.

To put this into perspective, the average largemouth bass weighs in at around 2-4 pounds. So, Maloney’s fish was definitely a trophy catch!

If you’re looking to break the record for the largest largemouth bass ever caught in Michigan, you’ll need to put in some time and effort. The closest anyone has ever gotten to Maloney’s record was in 1956. An an unnamed angler caught a largemouth of the exact same weight (but one inch shorter at 26 inches) in the Alcona Dam Pond.

Where Is Big Pine Island Lake Located on a Map?

Big Pine Island Lake is located to the west of Wittenback Orchards and Heffron Farms. Wabasis Lake is located to its north, while Muskrat Lake lies to its west.

What is the Largest Largemouth Bass Ever Caught in the World?

Now that you know all about the largest largemouth bass ever caught in Michigan, you might be wondering what the world record is.

George Perry set the current world record for the biggest largemouth bass in 1932. He caught his fish in Montgomery Lake, Georgia, and it weighed in at an incredible 22 pounds, 4 ounces!

To put this into perspective, Perry’s fish was almost twice the size of Maloney’s record-setting fish from Michigan.

Interestingly, this record has also been tied–but not surpassed–in recent years, just like Michigan’s state record. In 2009, Manabu Kurita caught a largemouth bass in Lake Biwa, Japan, that weighed 22 pounds, 4 ounces.

So, while the world record for the largest largemouth bass is technically still held by Perry, it’s clear that there are some massive fish out there that could surpass his record at any time!

The Best Lakes in Michigan to Fish for Largemouth Bass

Do you want to try your luck at catching largemouth bass in Michigan?

If so, you’ll need to head to one of the state’s many lakes known to be hotspots for these fish.

Some of the best lakes in Michigan to fish for largemouth bass include:

Lake St. Clair

Lake St. Clair is one of the most popular fishing spots in Michigan.

© Sevald

Lake St. Clair is among the most popular fishing spots in Michigan–and the entire country–for bass fishing. Bassmaster Magazine has named it one of the top ten bass fishing lakes in the country, and anglers favor the lake for its large population of largemouth bass.

Burt Lake

This 17,000-acre lake is located in northern Michigan and famous for its clear water and abundance of fish. Largemouth bass and many other species of fish inhabit Burt Lake.

Mullet Lake

Mullet Lake is a favorite spot for largemouth bass fishing in Michigan.

©Hgjudd / Creative Commons – License

Another excellent spot for largemouth bass fishing in Michigan is Mullet Lake. This lake is over 17,000 acres and is located at the northwestern tip of the lower peninsula. Mullet lake is known for its clear water, sandy bottom, and 28 miles of shoreline.

Wabasin Lake

Located in the western part of the state, this smaller lake (just over 1,000 acres) has clear water and an abundance of fish. Largemouth bass are just one of the many species of fish that can be found in Wabasin Lake.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Ryno Botha/

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