Do Bass Eat Shrimp? A Dive into the Diet of Bass

Yes, bass do eat shrimp.

Largemouth and smallmouth bass, in particular, have a taste for these tiny crustaceans. Stay with us to discover more about the bass diet and how shrimp plays a part.

do bass eat shrimp
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Bass Diet At A Glance

Bass are hungry hunters that like to eat many different types of food. They are not very picky and will eat almost anything that can fit in their mouths. Their diet mainly consists of smaller fish, insects, and even small animals like frogs. Bass will also snack on other underwater creatures, like crawfish, worms, and yes, shrimp!

Largemouth and smallmouth bass love freshwater shrimp.

Both largemouth and smallmouth bass find freshwater shrimp to be a tasty treat. These shrimp live in the same waters as bass, making them an easy and convenient meal. When shrimp are available in their habitat, bass will happily feast on them, adding variety to their diet.

Bass Fishing: Raw or Cooked Shrimp

Using shrimp as bait for bass fishing can be very effective, but you might be wondering whether to use raw or cooked shrimp. Let’s explore the pros and cons of each option and what to consider when using them as bass bait.

Pros and Cons of Using Raw Shrimp for Fishing:


  1. Natural Scent: Raw shrimp have a strong, natural scent that can attract bass from a distance, increasing your chances of catching them.
  2. Texture: The soft texture of raw shrimp makes it easier for bass to bite and hold onto the bait, ensuring a better hookset.


  1. Quick to Spoil: Raw shrimp can go bad fast, especially on hot days. Always make sure they stay cool and use them up fast!
  2. Delicate Bait: Raw shrimp are soft and tender. They can easily slip off the hook and leave you empty-handed. 

Pros and Cons of Using Cooked Shrimp for Fishing:


  1. Durability: Cooked shrimp are tougher than raw shrimp, making them less likely to fall off the hook and better at staying on during multiple casts.
  2. Longer Shelf Life: Cooked shrimp last longer than raw shrimp, giving you more time to use them as bait.


  1. Less Scent: Cooked shrimp have a weaker scent compared to raw shrimp, making them less effective at attracting bass from a distance.
  2. Harder Texture: The firmer texture of cooked shrimp can make it more difficult for bass to bite and hold onto the bait, which could decrease your chances of a successful catch.

What to Consider When Using Raw or Cooked Shrimp as Bass Bait:

  • Freshness: Choose the freshest shrimp possible, whether raw or cooked, to maximize their effectiveness as bait.
  • Storage: Store raw shrimp on ice and cooked shrimp in a cool, dry place to prolong their shelf life.
  • Hooking technique: Use an appropriate hooking technique to ensure the shrimp stays on the hook. For example, hook the shrimp through the tail or head, avoiding the softer midsection.
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  • Presentation: Make sure the shrimp looks natural in the water, mimicking the movement and behavior of live shrimp to attract bass.

Overall, both raw and cooked shrimp can be used as effective bass bait. But you’ll have to do your own trial and error to see which works best for you. 

What Other Fish Can You Catch with Shrimp?

Shrimp are a versatile bait and can attract a variety of fish species. Here, we’ll list down fish that you can catch with shrimp.

  • Bass
  • Black drum
  • Bluegills
  • Bonefish
  • Bullheads
  • Carp
  • Catfish
  • Chain Pickerel
  • Common Carp
  • Crappie
  • Flounder
  • Grouper
  • Panfish
  • Pompano
  • Redfish
  • Sea trout
  • Snook
  • Tarpon
  • Trout
  • Walleye
  • Yellow Perch

What Are Other Baits Good for Bass?

Here are some of the other good bass baits you can try:

  • Baitfish
  • Bluegills
  • Crayfish (Crawfish or Crawdads)
  • Frogs and Mice

What to Bring When Fishing For Bass

Here’s what you should bring when going bass fishing:

Jon Stenstrom
Founder & Angler
Jon Stenstrom is a fishing enthusiast. He has over 25 years of fishing experience, and 6 years of spearfishing experience, and is currently learning how to boat. Jon has his Open Water PADI Certification and FII Freediver Level 1 Certification. Jon has traveled the world to fish and dive, most notably in the Great Barrier Reef, Baja Mexico, Thailand, and Malaysia. More Articles
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