Can Bass Smell?

When it comes to the most predator fish, there is, the bass is one of them that heavily relies on their eyesight and their lateral line of survival.

You might find it surprising, but the bass has a sense of taste and smell. But many people argue whether they are capable of hunting down their prey using their sense of taste and smell.

Can Bass smell? Yes, the bass can smell and the scent really plays a role in their feeding routine. Like with sound, they are able to detect smells underwater and it is actually far greater than the average human can in an air type of environment.

In this short read, you will understand more about the anatomy of a bass fish and what exactly is the usage for their nose.

How Do Bass Smell?

Bass usually smell through their four nostrils, also known as nares, and it is located in pairs of each side of their head. One pair is actually responsible for taking in water, and the other serves as the exit.

Between these pairs, you can find a chamber filled with folds, which is the olfactory rosette. They are responsible for sampling the water and sending the brain a message without passing it through their mouth.

It is fair to say that bass does not breathe with their noses, so the message is sent directly to their brains without diminution.

This is why many fishermen argue that the bass sense of smell is so keen.

The only purpose for their noses is for smelling, and that’s about it. Bass can actually smell far more substances than they can actually taste.

They can smell any substances that are considered water-soluble and dispersed in a single molecule form and bind to the receptor cells.

Though many substances meet these requirements as bass swims around the world of dissolved chemicals.

But the most important being is amino acids. Amino acids are known to be the building blocks of any living cell organism, and as a result, you can find them in all the prey bass normally eats.

Bass Sense Of Smell

When it comes to the bass sense of smell, it can linger for quite some time. This is in contrast to humans, where smell may dissipate quickly in the surrounding atmosphere.

This is because smell actually lingers much longer in water and many fish can detect odors even if it is far and in smaller quantities.

Bass is considered to be not as perceptive as salmon. Bass nostrils can detect different odors and chemicals and then transmit them to their brains to better understand.

When their sense of sight is compromised, their ability to smell prey becomes much more important for their survival.


Bass may smell and taste water-soluble chemicals the same way, but they influence completely many different behaviors.

When it comes to their sense of smell, it is primarily long distant and considered a function that serves as an alert. This could also help them find their food, and it can trigger that it is somewhere close.