The influence of feeding on swimming performance and exercise recovery in fish is poorly understood. Examining swimming behavior and physiological status following periods of feeding and fasting is important because wild fish often face periods of starvation. In the current study, researchers force fed and fasted groups of largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) of similar sizes for a period of 16 days. Following this feeding and fasting period, fish were exercised for 60 s and monitored for swimming performance and physiological recovery. Resting metabolic rates were also determined. Fasted fish lost an average of 16 g (nearly 12%) of body mass, while force fed fish maintained body mass. Force fed fish swam 28% further and required nearly 14 s longer to tire during exercise. However, only some physiological conditions differed between feeding groups. Resting muscle glycogen concentrations was twofold greater in force fed fish, at rest and throughout recovery, although it decreased in both feeding treatments following exercise. Liver mass was nearly three times greater in force fed fish, and fasted fish had an average of 65% more cortisol throughout recovery. Similar recovery rates of most physiological responses were observed despite force fed fish having a metabolic rate 75% greater than fasted fish. Results are discussed as they relate to largemouth bass starvation in wild systems and how these physiological differences might be important in an evolutionary context.