Does Bass Have Teeth?

The most common game fish in North America and one of the most sought-after species worldwide is the bass. Many anglers are interested in learning whether the bass has teeth. It’s a fair question, given the abundance of photographs of fishermen carrying bass by their lower lips, but it’s one worth diving into further. 

Bass have short rows of teeth used to capture prey and drive it back into their throats. The teeth of bass are built to hang on to a struggling prey object rather than to kill and tear it. The teeth of the bass have a rough sandpaper-like texture. 

These teeth are capable of wearing down your skin with time. The jaws and teeth of striped bass, largemouth bass, spotted bass, black bass, and smallmouth bass are all bred for the same general hunting intent. 

In this article, we’ll go through the different types of teeth bass have and how they use them to catch and kill prey.

Does Largemouth Bass have Teeth?

Largemouth bass has tiny teeth arranged in a row that looks more like a raspy row than individual teeth. These bass teeth have a similar feel to very rough grit sandpaper, despite not being as sharp or harmful as teeth found in pike or walleye. 

Bass are voracious predators, but unlike pike, they do not rip or cut their prey into pieces; instead, they pulverize it with their large mouths and strong crushing throat secondary jaws.

Although it is never a good idea to place your hand inside the mouth of a northern pike, it is perfectly safe to finger around inside the mouth of a bass. Grasping a bass’s lower jaw, also known as “lipping,” is the most practical way to raise a bass out of the water and remove a hook.

Does Smallmouth Bass have Teeth?

Smallmouth bass, like largemouth bass, have very fine teeth that sound like sandpaper when touched. Smallmouth bass teeth are not designed to rip flesh apart. 

The teeth help to grab the struggling prey and push it into the throat. The prey is compressed by a collection of secondary jaws in the throat.

The outer teeth that line the lower and upper jaws are built to hold rather than kill. It is particularly true when dealing with crayfish, which is one of their favorite prey items. Crayfish are small freshwater lobsters with tough, smooth shells. 

They are also known as crawdads or yabbies. These rough teeth help smallmouth bass grip the crayfish’s slick, hardshell long enough to kill them. Since smallmouth bass has smaller mouthparts than largemouth bass, the prey items and sizes they can grasp are limited.

Does Striped Bass have Teeth?

Striped bass is ferocious predators that can grow to enormous sizes. Striped bass, like other freshwater bass species, have small teeth that are designed to catch and hold rather than tear. 

Despite their size, striped bass can be lipped with relative ease by anglers. Large striped bass, on the other hand, can be extremely strong and solid.

Holding your thumb inside the mouth of a 30-pound striped bass as it turns its head can be risky. As a result, rather than using your thumb, do invest in a decent pair of fish grippers. This pair of fish grippers is undoubtedly the gold standard since it not only securely grips large fish to avoid injury but also scales the fish for you using a precise scale. 

Striped bass eats a variety of things, but their favorite foods are alewives, shad, and American eels. Since this fast, often slippery prey is difficult to grasp, striped bass rely on their tiny sandpaper teeth.

Does Rock Bass have Teeth?

While rock bass is more closely related to bluegills than to true bass, they behave similarly to smallmouth bass. They can be very competitive hunters, and they will often compete with smallmouth bass for your lure and beat them to it. 

Rock bass has small teeth that are built to hang on rather than rip. Freshwater shrimp, small crayfish, and minnows, and shiners are all caught with these tiny teeth.

Smallmouth bass often hunts in the vicinity of boulders and rocky patches of water, and rock bass is also found there. As a result, many bass fishermen consider rock bass to be a nuisance species because they are aggressive and will take bait from smallmouth bass. 

While you can lip a rock bass because their teeth are so tiny, the size of their mouth can make it difficult for us fat-fingered men.

Can Bass Teeth Hurt You?

Can Bass Teeth Hurt You

Bass do have teeth, and they’re very sharp. You can’t do as much harm to the teeth of the bass as the angler holding it, but the teeth can do a lot of damage to you. Even though they are small and harmless, you can remember the damage they can do to your thumbs after a long day of fishing. 

When holding the bass by the lip, this is especially noticeable. It feels as though someone rubbed sandpaper over your thumbs. When you try to free your fish and it starts thrashing back and forth, you’ll find that they have teeth. Make sure you don’t push your fingers too far into the mouth of largemouth bass while learning how to hold one.

Just be careful when releasing them so that you don’t accidentally remove that vital slime. 

Make sure you don’t push your fingers too far into the mouth of largemouth bass while learning how to hold one.

What Is Bass Thumb?

When a bass angler catches so many fish in a day, his or her thumb pad becomes tender and scratched up by the lower jaw’s teeth. It is known as the bass thumb. It’s essentially the pain of bass fishing success. You won’t get a bass thumb from just one or two basses unless you hold them very loosely while they thrash.

While this condition may appear to be nothing more than an inconvenience, it can become infected, leading to more problems. Though this is unusual, it happens in people who catch many catfish and hold them in the same way.

How To Lip A Bass?

Lipping a bass is the most effective and fastest way to remove the bass from the water, remove the hook, treat it, and release it back into the wild. However, there is a way to lip a bass properly to stop the bass thumb. 

The trick is to jam your thumb as deep as it will go into the bass’s mouth. The lower jaw of the bass should touch the webbing of your thumb. Then tightly clamp your own.

When fishermen grasp the jaw with the upper 2/3 of their thumb rather than the lower 1/3 at the base, they get Bass Thumb. You will keep the bass from thrashing and running its teeth side-to-side over your thumb if you hold it tightly.

How To Hold A Bass?

Do not keep a big bass vertically or, even worse, at an angle by its lower jaw, despite what you see on TV. Small bass can withstand this type of violence due to their weight.

The jaw structure and strength of a large bass are insufficient to handle its maximum weight pulling downward at an angle. Holding large bass as the pros do can be detrimental to the fish. It’s good to lip a big bass, don’t try to carry the entire weight with your jaw.

Instead, hold and support the bass’s weight with your free hand, relieving pressure on its jaws. When the bass’s body hangs down at an angle from the jaw, the problem arises.

Which Fishing Line Is Best For Bass Teeth?

Bass jaws will wear down a fishing line over time. Even though a single bass won’t wear down most good fishing lines, the cumulative impact of countless bass will eventually cause the fishing line to fail inches from your bait. 

Monofilament is highly resistant to abrasion. Given its strength and casting power, the braid has low abrasion resistance. A braided fishing line can be worn out quickly by a few basses. When you’re fishing for the biggest bass of the year, you don’t want your line to break.


While bass has teeth, their mouths have a sandpaper-like texture, which allows them to wear down the skin of anglers over time. 

A Bass thumb, on the other hand, is a minor injury that can heal over time. Consider wearing it as a badge of honor because it signifies a good day or stretch of fishing.

The best solutions to the problem to bass bite problem are: to keep your contact with the fish to a minimum, two-handed horizontal support, and limit your handling time. These unquestionable guidelines are also followed for catch-and-release fishing.