The economic impact of fishing in Florida is estimated to be $5.1 billion annually. This historical specimen of Largemouth Bass would represent a prized catch among fisherman today.


Largemouth Bass (Micropterus salmoides floridanus)
From Putnam Co., Florida, Jan. 1932

State Freshwater Fish




The Largemouth Bass has tremendous importance to the state of Florida: it is the state fish and the backbone of the freshwater component of Florida’s $5.1 billion fishing industry. This historical specimen of Largemouth Bass was collected from the Ocklawaha River on Jan. 6, 1932. It is among one of the earliest fish in the Museum’s fish collection, and for its large size, would represent a prized catch among fishermen today.

Besides the Largemouth Bass, three other species of black bass, as the group is collectively known, are native to Florida: the Suwannee Bass, Shoal Bass, and an undescribed form, known provisionally as the Choctaw Bass. A fifth species, the Spotted Bass, is introduced to the Apalachicola River drainage. While the Largemouth Bass can be found throughout the state, the other black basses are restricted to north Florida from the Suwannee River westward.

Robert Robins
Collection Manager, Ichthyology*
Florida Museum of Natural History

Additional Information

The Largemouth Bass is the official state freshwater fish of Florida.


On display Sept. 23, 2017-Jan. 7, 2018, Rare, Beautiful & Fascinating: 100 Years @FloridaMuseum celebrated the Museum’s rich history. Each Museum collection was asked to contribute its most interesting items and share the stories that make them special. Though the physical exhibit is closed, this companion website remains online, providing an opportunity to experience the Florida Museum’s most treasured specimens.

Exhibit Area: 100 Years of History

Theme: Sunshine State Symbols

Cover of the All Things Beautiful bookWant to see more? Explore more than 300 breathtaking color photos of plants, animals, fossils and cultural heritage materials from the Florida Museum of Natural History’s collections in the award-winning book All Things Beautiful available from the University Press of Florida.

*This title was accurate at the time the exhibit was on display in 2017. Please visit the collection website to verify current staff and student information.

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