First off...GR8 FISH...now on the I.D., it is definately a Largemouth. Look at the color, mouthand eyes of the fish...that jaw extension has no proof. Just my opinion, and by the way, I have caught a probably a few hundred LM in these ponds and never once seen a Smallie!!!
I agree that it is a largemouth. The black horizontal stripe gives it away, not to mention smallmouths have vertical stripes (at least in MI and WI). Either way, nice catch and congrats on your first bass. What's next...wiper, walleye and/or pike?
Nice first bass! Great job! As everyone else says: it IS definately a LM. I fish those ponds all the time and have never seen a sm come out of there. Lots of LM's in there. A lot of crappie too when you can find them!
nice largemouth hatchmaster. Smallies are brown, largemouth are green in all the places I've ever seen. Easy to tell the difference. The easiest way to tell if they are colored the same is largemouth have a horizontal stripe and smallmouth have vertical stripes. The jaw thing works too, but can be confused.
Ahh what the heck, I'll chime in on the LM or SM debate. Keep fishing for bass, Hatch... Once you've caught a few LM and a few SM.. You wouldn't need to think twice to determine what kind of bass it is.
Ok guys...That fish is a spotted bass. The jaw thing works, but not to distinguish between a smallie and a largemouth. If the fish has the markings of a largemouth, but the jaw doesn't extend past the eye, AND it has a small patch of 'teeth' on the tongue, it's a spot, or Kentucky bass. If the jaw extends past the eye and there is no patch on the tongue, it's a largemouth.
AT ANY RATE, Nice fish Hatchmaster! LM, SB, or SM, it's a good one to start with!