Nicknames for Largemouth Bass: A Regional Fishing Pastime

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A big bass leaps up when a fisherman hooks it!

Some common nicknames for largemouth bass are largies, bucketmouths, widemouth bass, and bigmouth bass.

Few outdoor activities have as many colloquialisms as largemouth bass fishing. Time on the water, adrenaline, and some adult beverages can lead to entertaining new sayings. Nicknames for largemouth bass are some of the first fishing-related nicknames invented. 

Many regions have different nicknames for bass, like lunkers, hawgs, dinks, studs, whoppers, donkeys, toads, butterballs, swamp donkeys, and bucks. You’ll hear all sorts of different nicknames depending on where you fish.

Bass Nicknames 

Universally, anglers know largemouth bass as largies, bigmouth bass, widemouth bass, and bucketmouths. You’re safe calling it one of these names wherever you go; everyone around you will understand what you’re describing. 

Regional Nicknames

The fun really begins when you can start throwing out those more obscure nicknames and see what sort of reaction you get. 

When I first went fishing in Texas, I caught a seven- or eight-pound bass, and our family friend called it a “butterball.” I immediately started laughing because it was a perfect description of the fish. I’d never heard the name before and immediately adopted it. 

I asked our friend where he heard it, and he told us the story about how an old guiding friend called any fat bass butterballs. I brought that term up to my friends in the Midwest, and it’s one of our favorites. 

Another time, I was fishing with a seasoned angler in Florida, and he kept calling male bass “buck” bass. I finally asked him why, and he said it referenced their size as well as a male deer. A buck is another word for one dollar. 

Many male bass we were catching didn’t weigh much more than one pound. Plus, male deer are known as bucks, so both made sense. Now, I always use that term when I’m catching male bass. 

Since the southern United States is a true hotbed for largemouth bass fishing, I like to steal as many nicknames as possible from them. “Swamp donkeys,” “lunkers,” “toads,” and “lunkers” are some of my favorite nicknames I’ve heard during my travels. 

All over the world, you’ll listen to different nicknames for largemouth bass. Since they’re such a popular fish and cause so much excitement, people can’t help but give them endearing nicknames. 

Big bass caught with a fake worm, lifted from the water.

Why the Nicknames? 

Growing up, my family and friends couldn’t help but come up with other words when we were fishing. 

Whether it was a term like “holding house” to reference a place where a fish would hide or the word “hawg master” to describe a massive fish, different phrases and words create a sense of ownership when fishing. 

They Create Community 

Everyone fishes differently and has different terminology for baits, fish, boats, and other fishing equipment, but coming up with our own brought joy. 

Now that I’ve traveled all over the U.S. and fished, I’ve brought some of my terminology to different parts of the country and picked up on others along the way. 

I have different names for largemouth bass with friends I fish with nationwide. My southern friends and I call them hawgs and butterballs. We’re still getting to know one another, so I don’t think we’ve all brought out our best nicknames yet.

My northern friends and I call them hawg masters, studs, donkeys, and toads. These are all names we started using when we were kids, bringing us back to happier times when our entire lives revolved around fishing. 

Even when we’d miss a largemouth bass, we’d call it a “Big Bertha.” “Big Bertha” was always the fish that got away. 

In my circles, jumping largemouths are known as “Leaping Larries” after a high jumper who attended our high school. I’m not saying it’s a great nickname, but it always gets a laugh. 

A fisher gently holds a big bass in crystal water, caught with a toy lizard lure.

How to Create a Perfect Nickname for a Largemouth Bass

You can’t premeditate a nickname for a largemouth bass. It has to roll off the tongue naturally. I’ve found that I come up with my funniest and best nicknames when I land a true monster.

When my adrenaline is pumping and the people around me are excited, my brain kicks into gear and comes up with something ridiculous. 

On my last trip with some childhood friends, I called a big largemouth a “Barry” after an Elementary School teacher who happened to be quite short and stocky. 

I would never have thought of that nickname if I was sitting around waiting for a largie to bite, but it felt right in the heat of the moment.

Understand, there will be some bad names, but when you yell that perfect nickname that gets the whole boat laughing, you know you have a keeper.


On your next fishing trip, ask some of your fishing partners what names they have for largemouth bass. This question will likely lead to some fascinating history about largemouth bass fishing. It’s a sport passed down for generations, so there are countless nicknames to learn.

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