Why Do Bass Have Red Eyes?

Have you ever reeled in a bass and noticed something unusual about its eyes? Some bass have red eyes, and it’s not because they’ve stayed up too late!

In this article, we’re answering your question on why some bass might have red eyes. Whether it’s a sign of a specific bass species, a health issue, or an environmental factor, we’re here to shed light on this intriguing topic. 

bass with red eyes
Redeye bass. (2023, March 6). In Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Redeye_bass

What Does It Mean When Bass Have Red Eyes?

Imagine you’re out on the lake, and you reel in a bass with red eyes. Surprised? Well, you’ve got a little mystery on your hands.

Let’s dive into the mesmerizing world of red-eyed bass fish, shall we?

Starting off, you might find it interesting to know that sporting red eyes aren’t just a fashion statement but quite commonplace among certain bass fish. The red eye bass, true to its name, takes the cake for being the most well-known red-eyed rascal in the water world!

But what makes these fishy fellows flaunt red eyes?

Now, that’s a question worth exploring. Buckle up because we’re about to embark on a fascinating journey into the whys of these ruby-eyed wonders.

In redeye bass, red eyes are a natural characteristic, just like we humans might have blue or brown eyes. It’s part of their genetic makeup, and it doesn’t indicate any health problem or special superpower. They are just normal fish.

However, if you’re seeing red eyes in a species of bass fish that doesn’t usually have them, it could be due to environmental factors or health conditions. For instance, injury, infection, or exposure to certain pollutants might cause a bass’s eyes to turn red.

In any case, seeing a bass with red eyes is a unique experience, one that adds a dash of color to your fishing adventures!

What Kind of Bass Has Red Eyes?

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Get ready to meet some of the most captivating characters of the bass family, known for their striking red eyes that add a dash of color to the water world.

Leading the way is the red eye bass fish. What makes them stand out? Their brilliant red eyes, of course! Catching a glimpse of these fiery eyes on a sunny day, gleaming like gems in the light, is nothing short of mesmerizing.

Next on our list is the rock bass. While not as famed for red eyes as their redeye cousins, some individuals do pull off a subtle red-eye look. This reddish tinge becomes particularly noticeable in the elder, more mature ones. Not all rock bass have red eyes.

Rounding off our red-eyed trio is the smallmouth bass. Known for their versatility and fight, they occasionally flash red eyes, adding another intriguing facet to their persona. While not as common, some individuals have been known to exhibit a red or orange tint in their eyes.

So, when you’re out bass fishing, don’t be surprised if you catch red eye bass fish with the right lures. It’s all part of the fascinating diversity in the world of bass fishing!

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Redeye Bass Rare?

Redeye bass are not exactly rare but specific to certain regions. They’re native to the southeastern United States, particularly in rivers and streams across Alabama, Georgia, and surrounding states. Red eye bass are not as widespread as some other bass, which might make them a rare fish depending on where you’re fishing.

Do Largemouth Bass Have Red Eyes?

The largemouth bass is popular among anglers, known for its size and spirited fight. But do they sport red eyes like their bass counterparts? Well, the answer is not typical. Largemouth Bass usually have a more golden or yellowish eye color.
However, like with any species, there can be exceptions. In certain conditions or due to specific health issues, a largemouth may indeed develop red eyes. That said, it’s always good to remember that nature loves to surprise us!


And there we have it, the mystery of the red-eyed bass unraveled!

From the naturally red-eyed Redeye Bass to the sometimes red-eyed Rock Bass and Smallmouth Bass, we’ve dived into the watery world of bass and their colorful eyes. Remember, if you see red eyes on a bass that doesn’t typically sport them, it could be due to environmental factors or health conditions.

Fishing is not only a fun pastime, but it also offers us an opportunity to observe and learn about our local aquatic life. Each time you spot a bass with red eyes, know that you’re witnessing a part of nature’s wonderful diversity.

So, the next time you’re out on the water, keep an eye out for these red-eyed beauties. And remember, every fish is a part of our ecosystem, so handle them with care and respect. By doing so, we contribute to the well-being of our local fish populations and the broader environment.

Happy 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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