Largemouth Bass (Micropterus salmoides) is native to the United States east of Colorado except New England. They are the largest member of the sunfish family, from 8 to 17 inches long and reach up to ten pounds in weight. Largemouth bass eat minnows and other small fish, crawfish, and insects. They inhabit still waters and can be seen leaping out of the water at feeding time.
They were caught in nets and sold with other fish until the law limited them to sport fishing only. In 1899, 120,000 pounds of bass were caught in the Illinois River. Beardstown called itself the "Bass Capital of the World."