What Type of Fish Does a Bass Eat?

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The circle of life is that every small creature is eaten by a bigger one. Some predators ambush their prey and others chase it. Bass fish is a fierce predator that anglers love to catch. However, what type of fish does a bass eat? Knowing the answer can get you closer to big catches this season!

What Type of Fish Does a Bass Eat?

Bass eat small fish like shad, crawfish, minnows, frogs, flies, and even yellow perch and sunfish. These fish feed on young walleye, catfish, and trout as well. Anglers can use the following small fish as bait during the different seasons to attract hungry bass.

An image of catfish
  • Insect larvae
  • Minnows
  • Shad
  • Crawfish
  • Flies
  • Frogs
  • Lizards

Bass are carnivores, and therefore, they will like to eat any kind of creature that can fit in their mouth. Moreover, these fish have different preferences at different ages. A small bass, or fry, will like to eat insects, crustaceans, and plankton.

Bass Fish Food According to Size and Age

There are numerous types of bass such as Largemouth, Smallmouth, Striped, Black, and White. The sizes of all these variants differ and therefore, their diet is also different from one another. While smallmouths eat insect larvae, largemouths can feed on baby catfish or trout.

Similarly, the age of any of the variations of this species will also determine what they feed on and whether their food preferences will change as they grow. Some fish species can eat small flies, larvae, and tiny fish even when they are older. However, other types of bass like striped and largemouth bass shift to bigger meals and hence, bigger bait fish.

Largemouth Bass

Largemouth bass has a large palate and it can feed in every season, and in every water condition. Whether they are at the bottom, or near the surface, they feed aggressively on insect larvae, tadpoles, small fish, medium-sized fish; anything that is smaller than this bass type is not safe around it! Bass can even eat lizards and frogs.

Anglers believe that if they lower a particular lure like crayfish, and it does not work, they will have to change the lure and use a plastic that looks like some other fish or insect that this fish type feeds on regularly.

White Bass

White bass feed on worms, minnows, plankton, and small insects. Unlike largemouth and striped, this bass species is smaller in size. Neither do these fish feed as aggressively as the bigger variations. However, if you want to catch white bass, you can rely on plastic worms and insect larvae.

Striped Bass

Striped bass can grow up to two feet in length and can feed aggressively. Juvenile stripers feed on crustaceans and larvae. However, as they grow, their appetite grows and they freely feed on eels, lobsters, crabs, and squid.

Other Smaller Bass Species

Apart from the known variations of this breed, there are many smaller bass fish such as spotted bass, rock bass, peacock bass, and a few more. Their feeding patterns and choices are also similar to their larger relatives.

Types of Fish Bass Eat During Different Seasons

Every season impacts bass fish feeding patterns. In spring, when bass come out of the deeper lake areas, they feed heavily and aggressively on all kinds of fish and larvae. Then in summer, they return to spawning beds at the bottom of the lake or in hidden spots. These fish do not eat much during summer.

Immediately after the end of spawning season, bass come out and feed heavily again. Then in fall, the fish feed heavily again. This season is when these fish come up to grab smaller fish, and can feed more than in other seasons as they prepare for the cold winters ahead.

An image of crawfish

During spawn and winter, fish are near the lake floor, however, if there is any opportunity to grab a quick bite, they can come out, expend their valuable energy that they are saving for their time guarding eggs, or wait out the cold season respectively.

Some Related Questions

Many anglers who take interest in fishing for bass ask all kinds of questions regarding their life cycle and their food choices.

Can You Catch Bass With Bread?

Yes, bread or dough balls are often used for bass in reservoirs, or farms where bass are bred. These fish are primarily carnivores, however, they eat dough as well. Many people go to such farms and feed dough balls to the bass. Anglers also use dough balls to catch this fish.

What Does Bass Like to Eat the Most?

Bass love to eat minnows, crawfish, insect larvae, and flies. Young bass like to eat smaller fish, worms, insects, and larvae. However, as they grow older, they eat any kind of water creature that is smaller than them.


Many anglers want to know what type of fish a bass eats so that they can use similar lures to catch some hungry bass. If the lure looks similar to the kind of fish they eat, bass will resist fiercely after getting hooked and the thrill will be more.