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Any of about six species (genus Micropterus) of slender freshwater fishes of the sunfish family; found in eastern North America. Two, the largemouth and smallmouth black basses, have been introduced into other countries and are prized as hard-fighting game fishes. Black basses are larger and longer-bodied than sunfishes and more predatory. The largemouth bass may grow to 32 in. (80 cm) long and weigh 22 lbs (10 kg); it lives in quiet weedy lakes and streams. The smallmouth bass, which usually grows to 5–6 lbs (2–3 kg), inhabits clear, cool lakes and running streams.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on black bass, visit Britannica.com.