Do Bass Fish Have Teeth?

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

Bass angling is thrilling, and it is an adventure every angler wants to try. However, there are some things you should know about this fish species to stay safe when you catch them. Do bass fish have teeth? Can they hurt anglers? Find out how you can stay safe while ensuring that the fish does not get injured.

Do Bass Fish Have Teeth?

Bass fish have teeth, and while some species have sharp yet small teeth that do not cause harm, there are some types of bass that have sharp teeth. Many anglers can get bass thumbs if they put their hand farther into the bass’s mouth to unhook them after catching.

Anglers who fish for bass often try to get them on the boat by handling them by the corner of the mouth. While anglers are gentle so that the fish does not get scuffed from the hook, the fish is not so gentle and may bite for defense.

A man wearing a brown shirt and blue and white cap is holding a silver fish while standing on a lake

Largemouth Bass Teeth

The various types of bass have varying physical features, and teeth are one of them. These fierce and energetic fish have teeth, and the Largemouth has grit-like, sharp teeth that are not big enough to cause serious injury to anglers.

You may feel a sharp scuff as if you touched a prickly material like sandpaper. However, this fish species do not have very large teeth. This fish cannot cause severe pain or harm to the anglers. However, when you catch the largemouth bass fish, you must try to hold it in a way that you do not get your thumb between the teeth.

Smallmouth Bass Teeth

This variation of bass feeds on smaller fish, and you can get an idea of its dentition by observing what it eats. The Largemouth and Smallmouth bass fish eat small fish like minors and crawfish. Therefore, their teeth are also smaller. Most freshwater fish have teeth, and bass uses them aggressively while feeding and even when they are caught on the hook. However, all species do not have teeth sharp enough to harm anglers.

Striped Bass Teeth

Here’s the real culprit when it comes to hurting anglers! The striped bass has bigger teeth and can be challenging for anglers. While they are not too large, they can cause injuries to anglers if they do not hold them properly.

The reason for the teeth of the bass is to hold the prey tightly. Unlike sharks, this fish does not have to bite into the food and can swallow it whole. All the bass variants have sharp and small teeth, which cannot harm the anglers seriously. However, Striped bass has the sharpest teeth and may cause minor injuries and infections.

How to Hold Bass to Avoid Bites

Anglers have to remain calm and trust their grip when they catch the fish by the lip. Maintain a steady hold at the corner of the mouth so that you do not need to move the finger or thumb deeper. It is best to use your other hand to lift the fish and get the pressure off the hand holding the fish from the mouth.

When you catch a fish, the best way to hold it is by the corner of the mouth. The fish struggles, and at this time, anglers feel that they need to hold the fish with more strength and often slide in the thumb more. This results in scrapes or sharp cuts that may get infected.

A person holding a fresh silver fish with a yellow bait in its mouth near the lake

Tips to Avoid Bass Bites

Since bass has sharp teeth, it is essential for anglers to take care and prevent bites while catching them and getting the fish onto the boat. You can avoid a sharp bite by ensuring the following

  • Reduce contact time
  • Unhook the bass fish in short and fast movements
  • Use tools to remove the hook
  • In case of catch and release, slide the fish into the water head first

These tips can help anglers avoid any discomfort that can hamper their fishing fun.

Some Related Questions

Everything you want to know about this fish species can become clear if you observe what other people ask. Sometimes the most unknown facts become known through questions that novice anglers ask:

Can Bass Cut You?

Bass can cut anglers if they don’t place their thumb at the side of their mouth in a way that their teeth prick the skin. Many types of bass do not have big teeth, so the prick is not too painful or does not cause a lot of bleeding. However, some types of this fish have sharper teeth and may cause deeper cuts.

Why Do Anglers Hold Bass by the Mouth?

Anglers hold bass by the mouth because it is the safest way. You cannot hold them by the fins, and if you hold them by the tail when they are hooked, you will not be able to remove the lure and hook. If you hold the bass properly from the corner of the mouth, you get the pressure of the body weight off the jaws.


Many anglers wonder about bass have teeth or not and if they can cause any harm when they hold the fish by its mouth. The answer to this is that yes, bass has teeth, although they are quite small, and if you hold the fish properly by the corner of the mouth, they do not cause any injury or cuts.