Bass Fish 101: Discover Bass Types & How Fast Do Bass Grow?

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how to fish for bass

Recreational bass fishing has grown in popularity in the United States. This sport has grown into a multibillion-dollar enterprise. Bass fishing has come a long way since its humble beginnings in the late 1800s.

The new business is currently pushing new fishing equipment specifically designed to capture largemouth basses, such as electronic “depth” finders and “fish” finding instruments, drift boats, float tubes, and specialist bass boats.

Bass has been widely introduced as a recreational fish species all over the world. As a result, competitive bass fishing has now expanded to Japan, Korea, Italy, Australia, and South Africa.

Some nations have documented the harmful consequences of introducing largemouth bass into non-native waterways.

Bass fish may live to be 23 years old, according to reports. The heaviest weight reported was 10.1 kg (22 lbs.) This is not enough; there is more to know about bass fishing. To know everything in detail, continue reading the article till the end.

What Is Bass Fish?

Bass, any of a wide variety of fish valuable for food or recreation in zoology. The term bass refers to a variety of fish, although the majority are classified as belonging to one of three families of the order Perciformes:

Serranidae, which includes around 400 species of sea bass and grouper; Moronidae, which includes about six species such as the striped and European basses; and Centrarchidae (sunfishes), which includes the big and smallmouth basses, which the fisherman fishes.

image of Bass fish

Many distinct kinds of popular game fish bear the name bass. The phrase encompasses both freshwater and marine species, the majority of which are indigenous to North America and its surrounding seas.

All are members of the broad order Perciformes, which includes perch-like fishes.


The St. Lawrence River, the Great Lakes, Hudson Bay (Red River), and the Mississippi River basin are all part of the range of bass fish in North America.

Bass fish may also be found in the Atlantic drainages from North Carolina to Florida and in northern Mexico.


Bass fish live in clear, vegetated lakes, ponds, swamps, and backwaters of pools, streams, and rivers. Bass fish spawning locations with a firm sand, mud, or gravel bottom.

Adult bass fish use submerged aquatic vegetation as cover to ambush prey, but juvenile or young largemouth bass use aquatic weeds, tree branches, or submerged logs or stumps as shelter to avoid predation.

Therefore, dissolved oxygen is another critical hydrological condition for bass fish habitat.

Suggested reading: Bluegill Fish 101 – Complete Guide & Tips To Learn Everything!

What Does Bass Eat?

Bass consume a wide variety of foods. However, in their native environment, where they compete for the top of the food pyramid, a bass consumes usually boils down to whatever that doesn’t eat them first.

person holding a fish in hand

But, although those predatory and protective impulses provide for a thrilling fishing experience for anybody enticed to cast a lure into bass-dominated areas, they may also be perplexing, particularly when anglers begin to inquire about dietary preferences with the aim of better targeting fish.

The Bass Diet: Essential Information

Learning what bass eat is essential for improving your bass fishing experience and increasing your capture rate. In general, being the apex predator in their habitat, you will see them going for most items.

However, it is beneficial to understand how things fluctuate among species, seasons, and environments.

Bass, no matter where they are, live by dominating the weak or tiny. However, they are adaptable and found in a variety of diverse settings, from lakes and rivers to streams and reservoirs.

Adult bass may have to feed on smaller fish such as minnows, perch, and sunfish, in addition to each other.

Their food does not, however, consist only of other fish species. Adult bass has been observed consuming insects, frogs, crayfish, and even tiny aquatic birds—basically, everything they can physically consume, regardless of the size of their mouths.

Bass less than two inches long, known as “fry,” are few and far between. These fish do not engage in predatory behavior and instead graze on insect larvae and plankton until they reach a size large enough to pursue larger food sources.

The way a bass eats is also a sign of the population’s general health. Rich habitats can be found in waters where huge numbers of bass develop quickly and healthily and where a substantial proportion of them survive to adulthood.

When Does Bass Spawn, And Where To Catch It?

The spawning season is fairly predictable because bass performs the same thing every year in three fundamental stages. When the water temperature rises, the spawning of bass begins.

The first stage is the pre-spawn stage, and it occurs when bass migrates from their deeper wintering habitats to shallow flats. The spawning stage occurs when the bass clears a nest on the hard bottom and proceeds to lay, fertilize, and hatch eggs.

image of bass fish under the water

After the bass leaves their nest, they enter the post-spawn stage of the cycle. Weather and water conditions aid in the gradual transformation.

It’s no wonder that the shallows are the greatest area to catch spawning bass in lakes. Bass will be found at locations such as stream banks, coves, gravel flats, and sandy openings near coastal vegetation.

From a boat or the bank, you may sight fish for spawning bass in these shallow regions of lakes. However, approach and move carefully in these shallow places because you may and will scare bass straight off the beds if you are not careful.

Another factor to consider while fishing for spawning bass is the lake’s restrictions and the impact catching spawning bass may have. Reeling in a big female from her bed will undoubtedly disturb her spawning cycle.

She will, however, resume her pre-catch spawning activity as long as that fish is returned after being caught. Furthermore, several lakes and entire states have bans on deliberately targeting spawning bass on beds.

Not to worry, there are other areas to catch largemouth bass during the spawn.

More guides:

Can You Eat Bass Fish?

You can, in fact, eat bass! Freshwater bass is an exciting species to capture, and it is entirely safe to eat. It includes omega 3 fatty acids as well as a significant quantity of protein.

Unfortunately, some people avoid eating it since it does not taste as well as some other freshwater fish species. However, nicer fish are available (such as carp), and many people, even anglers, do not include bass on their menu.

Image of Bass Fish on the table

On the other hand, fishing for bass is a lot of fun, and fishers like it. Because bass is not as delicious as you might think, many of them practice catch and release. The problem is that human tastes differ greatly, and not everyone prefers to consume the same things.

So, if you enjoy bass or have never tried it and would like to, there is no need to be concerned. Bass is entirely harmless and even nutritious.

How Long Do Bass Fish Live?

Bass appear to live longer in the north, up to 15 years, but do not grow as large as their southern counterparts, who only survive approximately 11 years. Like other natural species, the environment has a significant impact on bass’s age and growth rate.

Image of a person holding the Bass Fish in hand

Water temperature, accessible food, angling pressure, predator numbers, water levels, and vegetation all affect how long a bass lives. Because these variables differ from lake to lake and state to state, determining an accurate figure is difficult.

How Long Can A Bass Live Without Water?

Bass was exercised to imitate being captured in one study. Then, like other anglers, they were held out of the water by their bottom lip for varying lengths of time up to 10 minutes.

They were then returned to the tank and observed for 24 hours. Although the Largemouth recovered quicker than the smallmouth, there were no reported deaths after 24 hours.

In the second attempt, the bass was pulled out of the lake, left the surface for 15 minutes, and then released into a storage tank for 30 minutes. They were equipped with transmitters while in the tank and then released back into the wild.

They were kept under observation for five days. Once again, all of the fish survived, even after being held out of the water for 15 minutes! The longer they were kept out of the water, the longer it took the fish to recuperate and depart the region where they were reintroduced.

Types of Bass

There are dozens, if not hundreds, of fish in the world called “Bass.” It isn’t easy to cover all of them in one location.

However, in North America, two primary families of bass and a few others are well worth discussing. Most of them are undoubtedly familiar to you, but there may be a few surprises along the road.

Most Common Bass Fishes

Largemouth Bass:

It’s said that you can never deceive a Largemouth twice. They’ll attack fish, insects, and even tiny birds with ferocity, but they’ll avoid the most enticing baits if they’ve seen them before.

Although Black Bass fans may overstate their intelligence, no one can disagree that Largemouth are fantastic gamefish.

The odd thing is that Largemouth Bass undoubtedly appear quite dull to the ordinary non-angler. They’re tiny and round. They don’t have any unusual fins or vibrant color patterns. But, with these lake-loving legends, it’s all about the fight.

Smallmouth Bass:

Smallmouth Bass may not garner as much attention as their larger-mouthed brethren, but they are equally deserving of it. They’re just as cunning and, pound for pound put up a greater fight. That is, according to the “Smallie” mob.

I’ve gone over Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass in great length elsewhere, but the key distinctions are size and habitat. On average, the smallmouth is smaller.

This is because they like cooler water with a stronger current. Both species can be found in the exact location, but one is always more dominant.

The Spotted Bass:

Spotties are significantly less prevalent and are often ignored by Bass fishermen. When they are caught, they are frequently mistaken for largemouth bass due to their similar coloration.

The top jaw of a Spotted Bass does not extend past its eye, which is the easiest method to tell the two apart. In layman’s terms, it doesn’t have as big a mouth as Largemouth.

Spotted Bass want water that is somewhat in between what their renowned cousins prefer. It needs some current, same as smallmouth, but in warm, murky water, where Largemouth are expected to be. They are essentially the Black Bass family’s “baby bear.”

Temperate Bass Varieties:

Of all, just because Black Bass is famous doesn’t imply they’re the only fish available. One of America’s most significant sport fish is in the Temperate Bass family. So let’s have a look at the “other” Bass family of North America.

Temperate Varieties of Bass Fish

Striped Bass:

If you’ve ever fished on the East Coast, you’ve probably tried to capture a Striped Bass. Stripers are described as “one of the most expensive and famous fish in North America” by Ken Schultz in his Fishing Encyclopedia.

Big words, but they’re well deserved. These guys are huge, tough, and nasty – everything you want in a sport fish.

Stripers spend the majority of their life at sea, then migrate inland to spawn. The issue is that the majority of them move to one location – the Chesapeake Bay. Because of this bottleneck, they are vulnerable to overfishing.

To circumvent this, some states have eliminated their trophy Striper season. Whatever you think of the closures, let’s hope they help the species stay healthy.

White Bass:

White bass is the freshwater relative of Stripers. Unlike the majority of the fish on the list, many anglers do not consider them to be sport fish. They’re not as violent as Stripers and not as cunning as Black Bass. They are, nevertheless, ideal for children and beginners.

Large lakes and reservoirs are ideal for white bass. They prefer clean, at least 10-foot-deep water. Because they congregate in schools, finding them may really load the boat. Opinions on White Bass as a meal differ.

They have a distinct flavor that some people enjoy while others dislike. You can only discover which group you belong to by catching one!

Yellow Bass:

Yellow Bass is one of the tiniest members of the Temperate Bass family and is found at the bottom of the food chain. They rarely weigh more than a pound and don’t put up much of a fight. Even inexperienced anglers will have little trouble catching one.

Humans catch them for their flesh rather than their size. As a result, they’re said to be even better than Stripers. Furthermore, they are far less overfished, making them an excellent choice for environmentally conscious fish eaters.

Best Time To Fish For Bass

If you want to know how to figure out the ideal fishing times for catching bass or which seasons are best, especially if you want to know how to capture larger bass, you need the first study about bass spawning behavior.

Largemouth bass spawns in the southern United States in late winter and the northern United States in late April. Water temperature is the single most important element influencing spawning activity.

Image of a person holding the bass fish

When the water temperature hits around 60 degrees, the bass begins to eat extensively and migrate into shallower water to nest. The essential thing to know about pre-spawn and spawning periods is that bass fishing seasons may be closed in some areas.

This is because spawning fish will be carrying eggs and must be handled with caution. Before arranging a vacation, make sure to verify your state’s freshwater fishing restrictions.

Another excellent time to think about it is after the bass has recovered from spawning. It takes a few weeks for female bass to restore their appetite after spawning.

However, once they do, they will likely resume heavy eating for another couple of weeks. Understanding these spawning cycles makes determining the ideal time to fish for bass easier.

How To Catch Bass Fish?

You should consider where you’re fishing, the time of year, the bait you’re using, and the size of bass you’re hoping for. However, because the bass is so predatory, they are easy to trap in comparison.

Continue reading if you want to improve your chances of capturing one. Bass fishing is, unexpectedly, a far more complicated and strategic endeavor.

image of a person standing in boat and doing fishing

Catching bass may be difficult. While there is no one-size-fits-all solution, there are a number of things to consider and strategies that may be used to increase your chances of locating bass.

To begin, if you locate cover, you will almost certainly discover bass. Bass prefer to travel in cover because it allows them to ambush their prey more easily – this includes rock, wood, boat docks, grass, lily pads, and other structures.

Second, bass eats a variety of live prey depending on their environment. Make sure your lure mimics the sort of forage that the bass in your area is eating. This implies you must complete your homework ahead of time.

How To Identify A Bass?

When you hear the word “bass,” your first thought is of the popular game fish. Bass is a highly sought-after sport fish that is recognized for putting up a fight when hooked.

However, the term “bass” is highly common among fish names, partially to improve its marketability for eating, but this may frequently mislead anglers and the general public.

It is difficult to include all of the many varieties of bass globally, so here are the most common species found in North America, where they are extensively dispersed.

Bass congregate in shared waterways and even crossbreed, resulting in unidentified hybrids that seem identical and are difficult to distinguish.

Here, we look at the black bass and temperate bass (or real bass) families and explain how to identify each species.

Species Bass Identification:

The Black Bass (Genus Micropterus)

Image of The Black Bass

The black bass is a sunfish that is the most common form of bass throughout North America. It is recognized for being an aggressive pound-for-pound game fish, making it a famous catch for fishers and contributing to its introduction in non-native waters across the world.

Largemouth Bass (M. salmoides)

The largemouth bass, one of the oldest known black bass and the biggest of its species, averages 18 inches but may reach lengths of up to 29.5 inches and weigh 25 pounds.

image of the Largemouth Bass

It has a wide, sloping mouth with an upper jaw that reaches over its golden brown eye, thus the name “largemouth.”

However, its most distinguishing feature is its dorsal fin, which has 9-11 spines and 12-14 soft rays with a deep notch, making them seem unique from one another.

Smallmouth Bass:

The smallmouth bass’s upper jaw reaches the center of its eye but does not extend past it. It is smaller in size than the Largemouth, reaching up to 10 pounds on average.

image of the Smallmouth Bass

The body is typically brown or golden in color, with 8 to 16 dark brown mottled vertical stripes running from the top part of the body to the underbelly. The hue will change based on the turbidity of the water and its dilution.

How Fast Does A Bass Grow?

Examining scales or different bones can help determine the age of a fish. As the fish matures, its hard body components form yearly rings similar to those found in trees. Scale ring counts, on the other hand, are not particularly precise.

The otolith, a free-floating bone-in fish’s inner ear, is said to be the most precise aging technique by biologists. However, to obtain the otolith, the bass must be sacrificed (killed).

Life Cycle of Bass Fish

According to biologists, growth can vary considerably across individuals, even within a single lake, depending on the number and availability of baitfish.

Bass of the same age in the same population can grow at quite different rates. As a result, the tallest and smallest individuals of the same age sometimes differ by four or five inches.

For example, the typical three-year-old largemouth bass measures 13.3 inches long, although some can be as little as 11 inches and as long as 15 inches.

The first year of growth in length is the most rapid, and each year following that, the growth rate slows. Bass can grow up to 2 pounds in the first year if enough food is available, but the average growth is 1/2 pound each year.

Males develop faster than females. Females in the northern areas can weigh up to 10 pounds, but males seldom weigh more than 5 pounds.

Old fish grow relatively little in length from year to year, yet they continue to gain weight. According to 2014 research, the average 5-year-old largemouth fish was 16.42 inches long.

Tips And Tricks For Bass Fishing:

  • Retain Shredded Worms

Save your plastic worms as they get ripped apart. Because bass like to ambush injured prey, a battered worm is ideal for usage, especially in shallow water.

  • The Fish Is Fooled

Use a spinnerbait with a red or pink head and a crankbait with red hooks in shallow cover—wood, stumps, clumps of grass. The red color causes the fish to believe the bait is wounded and will bite at it.

  • Skip The Bait

Stop midway through your cast instead of continuing, comparable to a check swing in baseball. This causes the bait to reach the water’s surface a few feet before your target, causing it to skitter across the surface.

It’s an excellent method for getting beneath docks and other buildings.

  • Keep Your Hooks Sharp

Use a file to sharpen the hooks each time you catch and before each trip. It takes around 30 seconds. Because bass has boney jaws, a sharp hook is more likely to enter the fish.

  • Examine The Water In Your Livewell

When you place bass in the Livewell, they have a habit of vomiting up whatever they were eating. From there, you may decide what color or type of lure to use for the remainder of the day.

  • Embrace the Wind

Make some distance sacrifices in your throw and fish with the wind on your face. Because bass always swims with the stream, they should discover your bait before your boat.

Furthermore, the sound of water smacking your hull will carry you away from the place you’re fishing, which is a good thing.

  • In The Spring, Fish Are Shallow.

Bass congregate on spawning grounds in the spring. Concentrate on shallow places, particularly hooks and coves shielded from the wind, since this is where they like to guard their eggs.

Of course, they’ll bite as much. After all, they’re annoyed by the bait as they would because they’re hungry.

Final Verdict:

When it comes to fishing, it’s best to know more about the fish you want to catch. The fish is smarter than we thought. For example, if you are fishing for bass, please book a deep-sea fishing trip, which will make your job easier.

You can use the above techniques to get a great bass fishing experience because the above information would be helpful for your bass fishing experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

#1 – Is base fish good to eat?

As long as it’s properly prepared, freshwater or saltwater bass may be a safe fish to eat. It may be high in protein and vitamins while also being low in calories.

However, like certain other fish species, bass can contain mercury, toxic if ingested in excessive quantities.

#2 – Can bass fish hurt you?

Although the bass is unlikely to attack you when you initially remove them from the water, bear in mind that it won’t be long before your prized catch becomes agitated and begins writhing from side to side, seeking a way out.

#3 – What does bass taste like?

Largemouth bass, one of the most popular fish to eat, is reported to have a clean flavor. It’s not as pungent and fishy as some other species, but when contrasted to smallmouth, it may feel fishy.

This flavor will intensify if the seafood isn’t fresh. Some people find the white flesh of largemouth bass to be watery.

#4 – Is bass the same as sea bass?

Small fish that dwell in the western Atlantic between Florida and Cape Cod. Unlike other bass species such as striped bass and white bass, Sea bass can only be found in the ocean.

Several species of “bass,” such as Chilean sea bass, are fish renamed to increase marketability.

#5 – Does bass die after being caught?

Some bass does result in the death of being captured in competitions. You’ll hear all kinds of figures tossed about from study after study, with some suggesting that up to half of the bass caught in tournaments may perish.

So even though they look healthy during the weigh-in, some fish may die after being released.

#6 – What time of year does bass hit topwater?

Topwater bass fishing is most popular in the summer, but it may also be highly fruitful in the spring and fall. However, topwater lures are less effective when the water is chilly and the bass is less active.

#7 – Can you eat bass raw?

Sea bass, tuna, mackerel, blue marlin, swordfish, yellowtail, salmon, trout, eel, abalone, squid, clams, ark shell, sweetfish, scallop, sea bream, halfbeak, shrimp, flatfish, cockle, octopus, and crab are among the seafood often used in raw preparations such as sushi.

#8 – Why is sea bass expensive?

Chilean sea bass is costly because it is delicious. The flavor is well-known for being incredibly rich and delicious. Because of the rich flavor and simplicity of preparation, this is one of the most popular fish to buy and eat.

Unfortunately, as a result, the price will rise as well.

#9 – Is sea bass better than salmon?

The EPA content of sea bass ranges between 0.1 and 1.2 grams per 100 grams of fish. Salmon, on the other hand, is predicted to have 0.8 grams per 100 grams.

So, in terms of omega-three concentration, cold water wild salmon is a far better option.

#10 – Are Australian bass good to eat?

Yes! Australian bass are one of the most delicious fish to eat. People around the world enjoy lightly grilling the Australian bass and eating it with lemon and parsley.

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