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Types Of Bass Every Angler Should Know

When you think about fishing, without a doubt, one of the most popular types of fishing is bass fishing. Most people have gone bass fishing at some point in their lives, and for many people this is a fond childhood memory. But there are some people who are avid bass anglers, completing this activity regularly. 

A freshwater largemouth bass

If you are a keen bass fisherman, or someone who wants to get into this activity, then you may want to find out more about the types of bass that you can fish. In this guide, we’re going to break down all the different categories of bass, and the different types of bass that you might be able to catch in North America.

There are, perhaps, hundreds of different types of fish that are considered to be ‘bass’ across the world, but in this guide, let’s take a look at the main types you will encounter in the USA. 

What is Bass?

But first, let’s quickly establish what bass are. Bass are, of course, a type of fish. The term ‘bass’ applies to a specific species of fish that is made up of lots of different types. Bass are not exclusively marine or freshwater fish, instead there are different types of this species that can live in the different water types.

As this species is made up of so many types of bass, there is huge variation in terms of appearance, and size with these fish. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the different types of bass that reside in North America. 

Striped white bass on white background


White Bass

One of the smaller types of bass that you might encounter is the white bass. They are small and live in freshwater, and surprisingly aren’t a popular type of fish for anglers. This is mainly because white bass are very calm, and not aggressive, so catching them is often seen as less enjoyable.

But, they are a great fish for beginners and younger fishers to seek out. This type of fish usually reside in reservoirs and lakes which measure at least 10 feet deep. So, if you want to seek out white bass, this is the best place to go. 

Striped Bass

striped bass mouth with teeth

One of the more popular types of temperate bass that people seek out is the striped variety. Striped Bass are incredibly popular among fishermen on the East Coast, and they are seen as one of the most valuable types of fish in North America. Compared to white bass, these fish are massive.

They are also a lot stronger, and have a very mean personality to go along with this. These fish usually live out at sea, but they do come inland during spawning season, with the Chesapeake Bay off the coast of Virginia and Maryland being a popular spawning spot. So, this is the time to try and catch them. 

Yellow Bass

Another type of temperate bass, which is even smaller than the white bass, is the yellow bass. These fish are even more docile than the white bass, which is why they really aren’t that popular among keen anglers.

Yellow bass do not put up much of a fight, and are usually incredibly lightweight, so catching these fish is relatively easy. It definitely isn’t a challenge. But, these fish are sometimes sought out because they taste delicious, so they might not be fun to catch, but they are great to eat. 


These three types of temperate bass are not the only species that exist. These are simply the most common types that you might expect to find when out fishing. Another popular type of temperate bass is white perch, which are very popular among fishermen across the pond in the UK and Europe. 


Black Bass


Spotted Bass

largemouth bass habitat

In contrast to the striped bass in the temperate category, one of the most popular types of black bass is the spotted bass variety. Compared to the other two types we will look at, these are the least popular among keen anglers, but if you are just starting out they are a great fish to seek.

These fish are often confused with the next type of bass we will look at due to their coloring, but they have a much smaller mouth. If you want to seek out this type of bass, you will find it in murky, warm waters which have at least a small current. So, head there to find spotted bass. 

Largemouth Bass

fisherman holding a largemouth bass

As we have said, largemouth bass and spotted bass are often confused for one another. But, you can easily tell them apart by looking at their mouths. As their name suggests, largemouth bass have large jaws, which they used to catch prey in the water.

This type of fish will not only seek out insects, and other fish, but will also stretch to small birds and mice. They are an incredibly aggressive type of fish, and this is why so many anglers seek them out. If you want a fun time fishing, these are the bass to hunt, so head to lakes if you want to find them. 

Smallmouth Bass

They are lesser known than their large mouthed counterparts, but smallmouth bass are also a great catch. They may be smaller, but this type of bass puts up one hell of a fight, and this makes them very popular among experienced anglers.

But size isn’t the only difference between these two types of fish, as they also live in different habitats. If you want to find smallmouth bass, then you will find them in cold waters with strong currents, which only makes fishing them even more enjoyable. 


Again, these three types of bass aren’t the only ones that you might find in North America, they are simply the most common. There are lots of types of black bass that only reside in specific areas of America, with some only existing in specific rivers and bodies of water.

These include the Texas resident Guadalupe Bass, and the Florida’s Choctaw Bass. 

Other “Bass”

Finally, let’s take a look at some types of “bass” that aren’t really part of the bass family, but are still categorized as such. 

Peacock Bass

Peacock Bass

One of the prettiest types of “bass” is the peacock bass. They are brightly colored, and extremely ferocious, and for this reason people assume they are part of the black bass family.

But despite their similarities to this type of fish, peacock bass aren’t actually bass at all, instead they are part of the same family as tilapia: Cichlids. Despite this, a lot of people include peacock bass in the group of fish they seek out when bass angling. 

White Sea Bass

Another type of “bass” that isn’t actually part of this family is white seabass. They are not related to black sea bass, and are more commonly known as “white weakfish” than “white seabass”.

They are closely related to the South African fish, Geelbek, which is very popular among anglers in this country.

At some point, these fish have traveled across to the shores of North America, which is why they are also a popular catch in this part of the world. 

Black Sea Bass

A type of fish that is often considered to be ugly is the black sea bass. But, they aren’t actually a “bass” at all. Instead, this type of fish is part of the grouper family of fish.

This type of fish is often seen off of the shores of Maine, Texas, and all the States in between, which is why they are often a popular catch among anglers. It is unsure how this type of fish got their name, but no matter the process, there is no denying that this type of fish isn’t actually a type of bass. 


Again, these aren’t the only types of “bass” that aren’t actually bass at all, they are simply the most common types that are caught across the USA and Canada. So, if you think you are going bass angling, it is important to research the fish that you are catching to check that they definitely are bass. 


In short, this has been a complete and simple guide to the main types of bass that you will encounter when fishing off the shores of North America. So, if you are a keen angler in these areas, these are the main types of fish that you should look for when you are trying to get a catch.  

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