What Do Bass Eat? Everything You Need to Know

This is the question many anglers ask themselves when trying to catch bass. The type of food a fish eats determines its location and overall population. Biologists have examined fish’s stomach to determine what do bass eat. In this guide, we will take a look at the different types of bass fish and what type of food attracts them the most.

When Does Bass Eat? Understanding their Feeding Times

Bass feeds almost throughout the year. However, the different seasons of the year may affect how actively bass feed. A good example is when spawning; they tend not to eat at all. On the other hand, they may attack any prey trying to get to their nests.

During winter, the situation is the same for bass. They do not feed as often because their metabolism has slowed down. This helps to preserve energy in case the food becomes scarce.

Aggressive eating is usually before and after spawning. The periods are known as pre-spawn and post-spawn. This is usually to compensate for not eating during spawning.

The best fishing time is during the pre-spawn period. The bass will usually get to the shallow areas and feed a lot in preparation for spawning. After spawning, they get back to active feeding again.

In other instances, bass feeds more frequently in the morning and evening. This is true during the warmer months when the shallow waters are too warm during the middle of the day.

What Type of Food Do Largemouth Bass Eat?

This bass type has an oversized mouth compared to its body. They are not picky so that a wide variety of prey can fit in the mouth. These include:

1. Insects

Insects are key sources of food for the largemouth bass. The larger insects are the most preferred by the largemouth bass. Examples include; crickets, large mayflies, and even grasshoppers.

When luring the bass using insects, you also have to look at the time of the year. It is best suited for summer and spring when plenty of insects are flying around.

2. Crawfish

The crawfish live in any type of water in the world, ranging from lakes to ponds. It is thus a good source of food for bass in different geographic locations and habitats.

If you are fishing along the bottom of water bodies, then the crawfish is the best lure. It is also good for pre-spawn fishing because they are available during this time of the year.

3. Small Fish

The largemouth bass can feed on smaller fish that they can overpower. The small fish include bluegill, shad, and minnows. You have to note that the type of small fish eaten depends on what is available. It is therefore important to research the small fish available in a lake before you fish in it.

4. Frogs

Frogs have proven to be a tasty source of food for the largemouth bass. You can use frog lures in marshy areas or during summer when frogs tend to become active.

What Food Type Does Smallmouth Bass Eat?

1. Crawfish

This is a great source of food for the smallmouth bass; just it is for the largemouth bass. You can use artificial crawfish to fish for smallmouth found close to the water level.

2. Minnows

Minnows and any other smaller fishes like perch and shad are fantastic foods for the smallmouth bass. The small fish tend to occupy the bottoms of the lakes. So, if you are fishing for smallmouth bass, they can be found at the bottom too.

3. Insects

Beetles, cicadas, and other insects provide additional food options for the smallmouth bass. It is thus a good way to use fly fishing to catch smallmouth bass as they tend to bite any insects flying close to the water.

4. Amphibians

Frogs and lizards can be used to lure smallmouth bass. This is especially effective when they are feeding closer to the surface or in shallow waters.

What Food Does Striped Bass Eat?

Striped bass is like the other bass types as they are opportunistic feeders. Depending on the geographic location, they will feed on anything. They range from shrimp, crab, eels, squid, mackerel, bunker, flounders, and herring.

With its tremendous size, Striped bass needs a lot of food to maintain it. They traverse both the deep and shallow waters that are why they have a varied diet. Their feeding time is mostly during dusk or dawn so that they can ambush their predator. The low light conditions make it easy to stay hidden.

What Food Does Peacock Bass Eat?

Just like any other bass, they are not picky eaters. They would eat anything alive that comes close to them. The live foods include insects, fish, and rodents. The peacock bass feeds actively during the day, using its speed to capture the prey.

Frozen blood warmers, feeder guppies, minnows, and dried krill can be used to lure the peacock bass. However, live foods should be preferred to attract them efficiently.

What are the Best Bass Baits?

We have come to learn that bass fish can eat up anything. Your lures can resemble the natural bass feeds to be very useful. If it does not resemble their prey, you should not worry because they can also work.

1. Crawfish

This is a great choice for bait fishing as they are available for use all year round. They can still be used as jig trailers or on their own. It is also effective in rocky bottoms or any other bottom of water bodies.

2. Finesse Worms

The worms may not be encountered naturally by the bass. However, they can be used to lure the bass and catch them. You can rig them up in different ways to have different ways of presentation.

3. Jigs

Jigs provide the best opportunity for all-year-round fishing. They are versatile and can be in a range of conditions. You can get them either in shallow or open waters. To attract the bass, you can use skirted jigs or add trailers to make them appealing.

4. Crankbaits

Such baits are used to imitate the baitfish by wobbling and flashing to get attention. You can catch fish all year round with crankbaits. Bass can now be fished in different depths depending on the season and conditions with crankbaits.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Preys on Bass Fish?

After looking at the bass fish preys, we can look at their predators. Huge largemouth bass can eat up the smaller or younger bass. Osprey, herons, and other birds can consume bass too. Some big snapping turtles will eat up any bass that comes close to them.

Finally, there is us, the people. People fish bass and cook them to make delicious meals.

What is the Best Time for Bass Fishing?

Every season of the year has challenges and benefits. The bass fish can become very active in the dead of winter or on a wild afternoon. However, the best times are during spring and fall. Try to avoid days when the temperatures are at their extremes. The best days are when weather conditions are stable and temperatures mild.

What Pre-Spawn Fishing?

The pre-spawn period is when the bass fish are moving to their nests to lay eggs. Normally between late-winter to early spring. This one of the best fishing times because many fish come close to the waters as they prepare to go spawning.


Bass fish can eat almost most baits you already know. The question of what does bass eat should have an answer by now. If bass fish find the bait attractive, they will fit it into their mouth. With the different techniques and baits provided above, you can catch any type of bass. Go for what you find best and comfortable for you.

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