How hard it is to catch a bass | Is bass fishing easy?

When getting into freshwater fishing you might have found that there is one species that most Americans target above all others – the largemouth and smallmouth bass. This is for good reason. Bass are plentiful across the country, feed aggressively, fight well, and can grow to great sizes. They are an ideal species to fish for if having fun is your main goal.

But catching a bass is actually pretty difficult. You can go to any lake and catch a few panfish or even catfish. But you’re going to have to be a pretty decent fisherman to go to the lake and catch multiple bass. So if you’re looking for a fish that is just easy to catch – I recommend you look elsewhere.

But why is catching a bass so difficult? Let’s get into it below where I will discuss some factors of what makes bass fishing difficult.

Bass are the most popular sport fish

You might think since bass fishing is popular, it must be easy. But instead, the opposite is true. A lot of people fish for bass – which means bass are very wary and harder to catch. 

Experienced anglers refer to this as “pressure”. Anyone who says that a lake is “highly pressured”, means that a lot people fish there. Which makes the fish harder to catch.

Bass are smarter than many people give them credit for. They are not likely to bite a lure if they have been hooked recently. Also, if they have seen a certain type of lure before and been hooked – they are not likely at all to bite it again. We have disproven the “10-second memory” trope long ago – fish do remember things longer than you would expect.

Since bass are the most popular species to fish for – they have seen the most lures and are likely to not be tricked by one they’ve seen before. This is also why large, old bass are so hard to catch. They’ve seen all your tricks!

Read this article for more about why bass fishing is so popular.

Bass eat a lot of different things

Again, you’re probably thinking – well if they eat so many different things doesn’t that mean I can trick them with lots of tasty meals? Wrong again.

Bass may eat a lot of different things, but there is usually one thing they want more than all of the others. So maybe you know a bass is in an area. But you throw a worm, a crawdad, a smaller fish, but they just won’t bite any!

That’s probably because they are feeding on a certain type of food source in that area, and like mentoined above, they know anything else is likely a lure and not real food. So unless you get that one perfect bait that mimics what they’re actually eating perfectly – you won’t get a bite!

Bass move around a lot

Now let’s say you do find that perfect bait and you start catching bass. Then, all of a sudden you cast in and it’s like the bass aren’t even there! Well, it’s likely that they might have just moved locations.

Bass are frustrating because they can move from one location to a different within hours. When they’re looking to spawn, they move almost daily. If they’re chasing bait schools, they’ll move as soon as the bait does. When the water temperature changes and they don’t like it? They move again!

There are hundreds of different reasons they might move and unless you’re an experienced angler, you probably won’t recognize them immediately. So even when you do think you’ve figured something out, the bass will change it up!

If you want to learn about why bass move the way they do, this article is a great resource that talks about how bass constantly change depth in a fishery. 

Bass don't school the same way as other species

To go along with bass moving all the time – they also don’t generally school the same way other fish do. If you find a big school of crappie, for instance, you can catch dozens. But often times you will catch only one or two bass in the same spot.

This is because bass are aggressors who don’t need as much protection as other fish. They would rather go off by themselves and not compete with other bass for a food source. They’re big and aggressive enough they’re not worried about being caught out solo, because there aren’t many fish bigger than them. 

Now I’ll admit, this isn’t always the case. In certain times of the year you will find a school of bass in certain areas – but this isn’t really the norm. And it makes catching multiple fish really difficult because they won’t be in the same location!


Bass fishing is actually really difficult. People love to fish for them so they become easily pressured. They eat tons of things so you never know which one they want that day. And who knows where on the lake or fishery they’re going to be that day!

But when you do figure them out in spite of all those difficulties, that is what makes bass fishing so addictive! It’s a puzzle that when you do figure it out, is so extremely rewarding. And THAT is why bass fishing is so popular. 

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