Well in order to catch bass, we need to know what they are feeding on. So the first thing I like to do when fishing a new lake is to ask myself: What are the bass feeding on? What baitfish do I see in the water? What activity do I see on the surface of the water?
Once, I understand what they are feeding on, I reach for the lure that best imitates that bait and start dialing in on what the bass want.
In this post, we are going to talk about some of the most popular meals for bass.
What do bass eat?
Shad. Without a doubt one of the most popular meals for bass are shad. This is mainly because shad are so abundant in most lakes across America. In fact, taking a quick stroll down the fishing lure aisle in any bait shop and we could confidently say, that there is no other baitfish that is better represented in the fishing lure market than shad. So the next time you go fishing and you are not sure what to start throwing, your best bet might be throwing something that resembles a shad.
Panfish. Do bass eat bluegill? Yes, they do, and let me tell you, they love them. However, when it comes to panfish bass are not picky eaters. Bluegill, pumpkinseed, green sunfish, crappie, perch it doesn’t matter the flavor, bass will eat them all. In fact, according to one study, bass eat up to 40 percent of their annual diet in sunfish. Think about that! 40 percent! That number is huge. So ask yourself, how often am I throwing a lure that imitates a panfish? That number explain why swimbaits that imitate a bluegill have become so popular.
Trout. Now this next one may come as a surprise for many, but yes, bass will feed on trout. Aren’t trout too big for most bass? The simple answer, no. Recent studies have shown that bass occasionally eat prey that is 60 percent of their size, however, the average is anywhere between 10 and 45 percent. When you stop and think about it, what are the most popular swimbaits? Aren’t they swimbaits that resemble trout? What is the average size? Some of the most popular ones range between 7 and 8 inches. This shows us that bass are not afraid to take on a larger meal. Many times offering them a larger presentation will result in a larger catch.
Crawfish. Bass love crawfish, this is especially true in the spring time. Now while many bass fisherman will limit their crawfish baits to just the early spring and post spawn season, they can also be just as effective fishing them all year-long. In fact, the mating season for most crawdaddys is during the fall. So, if you are having a hard time trying to figure out what lure to throw in the fall, try fishing the same shallow waters you would in the spring time and throw a craw imitation bait. One of my favorite crawfish imitation lures is a red or craw pattern squarebill crankbait.
Frogs. If there is a bass in the area, a great way to entice a bite is with a topwater frog. Bass love feeding on frogs mainly because it is such as easy target. That is what makes frog lures so effective. One of my favorite ways to fish a frog lure is to throw it up on the bank and slowly bring it into the water. Another great way is to fish it, is throwing it into heavy vegetation. Many times bass won’t even know it is a frog, they will just strike at whatever is coming across the top of the lily pads.
Birds. Without a doubt you have gone into your favorite tackle store and seen a baby duck lure. Your immediate reaction might be a laugh or to think that lure was some kind of joke. However, as crazy as it sounds, bass have been known to feed on baby birds. Is that the reason that one of the most popular colors for the whopper plopper is the loon color? We can not say for sure, but the next time you want to try something interesting, put on a baby duck lure and see if you can catch that trophy fish.
Mice. Another crazy lure that will no doubt catch your eye in the store are the mice imitation lures. You may have also seen a topwater lure that imitates a rat swimming across the water. That leads us to a very popular question: Do bass eat mice? Yes, they do. In fact, there is very little that bass won’t eat. Basically if it moves, they will eat it, or at least they will try. Are you looking for a presentation that bass haven’t seen before? Throwing a mouse or rat imitation lure might be your best bet.
Worms. Most of us probably can remember our first days fishing with a bobber and a nightcrawler on the other end, but why are worms so effective when worms don’t live in the water? Bass simply can’t resist the action and the scent that live bait gives off. So the next time you are going on a fishing trip, make sure you bring along a good supply of worms.
Bass. It is a fish eat fish world out there. In a fish’s mind you either eat to survive or be eaten. There is no time to stop and determine the species. Bass won’t hesitate on striking a bass imitation lure, so neither should we hesitate to put one on.
Insects. Another great snack for bass are insects. A smaller bass that is under two inches is called a fry. Fry will mainly feed on insects and they will continue to do so until they are about 8 inches long. After they have reached that size, they will begin to feed on smaller fish. However, this doesn’t mean that bigger fish won’t feed on insects. Many larger bass have also been known to feed on insects as well.
So, what do bass eat? As we can see from this post they will feed on shad, bluegill, trout, crawfish, frogs, birds, mice, worms, insects and yes other bass, but that is not all.
They have also been seen feeding on smaller reptiles such as salamanders, and lizards. They will even take on an alligator if the opportunity presents itself. Don’t believe me? Check out the following video and watch a bass take on an alligator.
Pretty crazy right? So I am trying to encourage you to throw an alligator imitation lure? No. You’d probably have very little success, but this video shows us that bass aren’t picky eaters, they will eat just about anything. The most important thing to do is to find out what they are feeding on and throw that lure.
Have you seen bass feeding on something strange? Please share with us your thoughts on what do bass eat in the comment section below.