What Is Largemouth Bass Favorite Food?

The largemouth bass is considered one of the most popular game fish in the United States and one of the most fished species worldwide.

But there are plenty of fishermen that do not have enough information on what bass eats as part of their normal diets. This begs the question of what a largemouth bass diet looks like and what their favorite foods are.

What is largemouth bass favorite food? Most adult largemouth bass like to feed on small fish like sunfish, minnows, and some perch. They also enjoy eating crayfish, insects, frogs, and even small aquatic birds. Some small bass only prefer to feed on zooplankton and insect larvae.

This article will discuss what largemouth bass likes to eat, depending on their age. It varies depending on their size and where they are located.

Largemouth Bass Habitateasy

When it comes to the bass family, they do not have a very discriminating diet. As a matter of fact, they possess a huge mouth that enables them to grab and potentially swallow a wide range of prey.

Theoretically speaking, any item small enough to fit within the jaw of largemouth bass can be fair game. Other reports are demonstrating that bass would try to consume almost the same of their size.

Bass are known to ambush most of their prey and often lie in wait beside or within their chosen lair. It can be either timber, weeds, and rock pilings, just waiting for prey to swim within their strike distance.

Bass are powerful, and they can easily overpower anything that they get their jaws around despite not having sharp teeth.

The Diet Of Largemouth Bass

When it comes to the largemouth bass diet, their eating behavior lies mainly on their instinct.

Eating and pawning are their two primary goals in life, and they cannot afford to pass up any food.

It is somehow embedded in their genes that they will eat whatever is in front of them or still move and fill right into their mouth.

Young Largemouth Bass Diet

Many young basses consume small prey like leeches, minnows, small bluegills, tadpoles, small shiners, crayfish, and sometimes insects.

This eating behavior will always depend on their age and size, and their diet will be accordingly specialized. Mostly young bass feed predominantly on zooplankton, insects, and tiny fish.

As some bass mature, their diet changes, and they heavily rely on a more meat-based diet. A 6-inch bass will start to feed only on minnows and shiners, and a bass that are a foot long will start to eat small bluegills and have a fish-base diet.

Bigger marine life like frogs, medium to large bluegills, yellow perch, suckers, mice, and snakes won’t start becoming an option for young bass until they are 3 to 4 pounds in weight.

Adult Largemouth Bass Diet

Most adult largemouth bass require bigger food, and with their big jaws, they consume and grasp food into their big mouth.

For the most part, many largemouth bass eat golden shiners, bluegills, and some frogs.

There is a big argument between fish researchers and anglers about bass not maximizing their size potential. This is without having a large supply of bluegills to eat from, but for some, many fishers believe that bass will eat whatever it is in their surrounding.

During summertime, big golden shiners and frogs are the main sources of food for most largemouth bass. Yellow perch, suckers, and some fathead minnows are actually good big bass baits.

Largemouth Bass In Spring And Summer

During springtime, you will see that bass normally spawn during mid-to-late spring. They do not feed much unless the food right comes directly to them.

With that being said, many huge basses are caught during spawn season because bass becomes hyper-aggressive trying to defend their beds.

Most anglers will take this opportunity to try to get their trophy bass, and they mostly catch huge females full of their eggs right off their bed.

A great springtime bait is plastic salamanders, and this is mainly because salamanders are the top predators of bass eggs.

Once the spawning period is over, many basses will gein to feed very aggressively, so bluegills, frogs, shad, and some golden shiners make up their summertime diet.

Bluegills and shiners are actually plenty all-year-round, but frogs are more considered to be the best baits during mid-to-late summer. Yellow, brown, black, and green frog patterns are great lures, but black frogs work best during a hot summer day.

Largemouth Bass In The Fall And Winter

On normal occasions, bass will continue to feed during the colder months, but they will slow down during winter.

During the fall season, bass eats a lot of their food in preparation for the slimmer times that are often associated with winter. During this fall preparation time, they will eat many bluegills, yellow perch, shiners, and some shads.

Frogs will lack during this time because they are probably hibernating at this point. This is why fish makes up the whole bulk of their diet during this season.

Later in the tail-end of fall and wintertime, the bass becomes much more selective and picky eaters. They will still go to their favorite foods, but the frequency they consume will slow down a bit because of the cold weather.

Bass does not hibernate, but their metabolism does slow down, and this means that they require less food to survive. This is why there is not much fishing happening during wintertime, especially catching bass.

Best Bass Baits

When it comes to best baits for bass, you can pretty much give them the usual stuff like baitfish, crawfish, bluegills, mice, and some frogs. Out of all the things a bass eat.

Some make better bait than the others. Here are some natural foods that bass eat that are also good to use as baits:

Baitfish As Bass Bait

Baitfish are considered to be one of the best bait if you are trying to catch a bass. They are literally named baitfish for a reason, and that is to be food for bass.

Among the most common types of baitfish found mostly in rivers and lakes is shad. When you see a school surface, throw a net to gather them up easily. But the tricky part is how to preserve their life.

Keeping shad alive requires a level of expertise and aerated life well, and you need to put some chemicals added to the water.

Also, if you can manage all that, hooking a lively shad through the back and casting it into the water can give you incredible results.

Crawfish As Bass Bait

Like many other bass varieties, a crawfish is considered to be the most favorite of them all. If you can catch them, they are actually pretty easy to keep alive before and after you hook them.

If you place the hook through the underside of their tailor through the rear part of the back shell, this will prolong the life of this small crustacean.

Bluegills As Bass Bait

Bluegills are considered one of the easiest basses you can have your hands-on, and they are extremely attractive to many hungry basses. Using some cast net, you can collect all the bluegill you need if you plan to capture them by yourself.

But it is actually not hard to fish them, and by using light gear and tiny baits, you will be able to catch a half-dozen bluegill. Try not to choose only the small to medium-sized bluegill as they are robust little fish.

Compared to shad, they can easily accommodate and live in your boat or pond-side life well.

Frogs & Mice As Bass Bait

Believe it or not, bass eats mice, and they also eat frogs, snakes, and sometimes bumblebees. They will hunt down anything that moves on the surface of the water.

But it is not actually advisable to use a live snake, mouse, or a bee in your hook. It is why there are some artificial ones to lure your bass. Many available artificial lures resemble a mouse, a snake, or even some frogs.

They get the job done by mimicking those topwater targets, and topwater fishing is effective and incredibly popular nowadays.

These new and old lures perfectly imitate the most common prey that bass strike normally on the surface.

There are two biggest categories of these artificial baits. One is a frog bait and one that is designed to look like a struggling baitfish.

If you visit your local tackle stores, you will see a lot of these in different varieties. They also make some mouse baits, some mini ducks, and full-sized snakes. 


Overall, there are plenty of foods that largemouth bass enjoy, and they are quite easy to get hands-on.

The largemouth bass is considered the number one bass predator, and these species enjoy a lot of food mentioned above. Sometimes they even consume their fair share of young bass.

When it comes to largemouth bass, knowing their food will give you an idea of what baits you should get to catch them. It is also important to know the seasons and type of weather as this will give implication on your capture success.