The largemouth bass is the most popular game fish in Texas. Second to humans, an adult bass is the top predator in the aquatic ecosystem. Largemouth bass seek protective cover such as logs, rock ledges, vegetation, and man-made structures to ambush their prey. They prefer clear quiet water, but will survive well in a variety of habitats. Largemouth bass spawn in the spring in 2 to 8 feet of water on any substrate besides soft mud. Young largemouth bass tend to congregate while bigger ones become loners. When there are several big bass in one area, they do not interact. The lifespan of the largemouth bass is an average of 16 years. There are two subspecies of largemouth bass in Texas – the native strain and the Florida strain. The Florida strain, introduced in the 1970s, was a game changer. A great catch early on in Texas was 7 to 8 pounds. Now, thanks to the Florida strain, the state record is over 18 pounds. Largemouth bass fishing is of great benefit to the Texas economy.