Why Do Bass Jump Out Of The Water?

Why Do Bass Jump Out Of The Water

There are a few answers to the question, “Why do bass jump out of the water?” However, to properly answer about why they jump, it is necessary to understand the basic instincts of bass.

Most fish have natural instincts to avoid predators. Some species, like bass can jump out of the water to avoid getting chased and eaten. Also bass attack some prey they feed on, by leaping out of the water.

Another reason why bass jump out of the water is because, the angler has hooked them and the bass is using its natural instinct to free itself from the hook.


When do bass jump out of the water?

When do bass jump out of the water?
Anglers who love fishing for bass know that bass can be very active in the morning. Jumping out of the water in the early morning when they can feed on insects flying about and the insects on the surface. This is also part of their habit in late afternoon at dusk.

When the sun goes down some fish species move into the shallows for hunting. If you do any night fishing, they bass can hit the lure hard. You know it can be exciting when a hooked fish, like a smallmouth bass goes leaping and jumping all over the place.

Bass prey on shad and other small baitfish that also feeds on insects on the water’s surface. Watching the baitfish jump about on dawn and dusk when a predatory fish is chasing them is challenging fishing.


Different types of bass.

There are several species of bass all over the world, including types of saltwater and freshwater bass. Some popular target fishing species of bass to name a few are:

Large Mouth Bass.

Smallmouth Bass.

Peacock Bass.

Striped Bass.

Guadalupe Bass.

White Bass.


A bit about bass.

Bass are a very adaptable fish and can live in both clear water and murky water. The clear water makes finding food supplies easier for them, however they are easier to see for prey. The murky water helps conceal the bass from bigger predators, but can make it harder for them to detect prey. So they rely more on their lateral line for muddy waters.

Some bass species also prefer to group in schools in rivers and can be found in streams with slower movement.

Largemouth Bass are found in various waters and are capable of tolerating freshwater and brackish water, a mixture of salt water and freshwater.

It is easy to see the ecological chain in place in nature in the world of fishing. While some bass are not thought to be very over complicated, (I would argue that when I come home empty handed with no catch, they are more switched on then me.) from a pure survival instincts the fish are an amazing species. Some large bass can live to be 16 years old, while a four pound bass is likely to be no more than six or seven years old.

Interestingly, the males of the bass species are guardians of the nests, usually a circular shaped nest shallow enough for female bass to deposit their eggs.

Since large bass can swim at speeds two and a half times their body lengths, this fish species makes for good nest protection should a predator become too close to them.

In terms of fighting and acrobatic skill, fisherman can find the bass’s fighting abilities to be a definite challenge. Smallmouth bass are rated very high and some anglers say pound for pound are some of the best fighting fish about.


Some bass fishing techniques.

If the fisherman knows why the bass is jumping out of the water, such as they are after a certain insect or bait, they can choose their lures or fly more easily. Changing your fishing rig to top water and knowing what the bass are feeding on, can make catching bass a bit easier.

Though many bass species prefer insects which are a big source of protein, they are known to feed on a lot of baits of all sizes. The other things bass feed on include mice, frogs and snakes. Anglers have also seen bass feed on small size ducks floating on the water. (You can even buy imitation duck lures.)

As previously mentioned, bass feed on shad. Should you see shad boiling near the water’s surface, consider luring bass with a plastic replica of shad or paddle, glider, hard or soft body bass swimbaits.

Some fishermen discovered that winding the lure very fast can make reeling often makes bass jump. You can also add a few custom accessories like swimbait fish tails and treble hooks among others.

Note that water depth plays a big role in successful bass fishing catches. This is also true of water temperatures. Many anglers find better bass catches by switching to bait used for bottom style fishing.

Be aware that bass taste buds and appetites vary according to food supply. When bass just aren’t feeding, sometimes you just can’t take a trick, no matter what bait, lure or fishing tactic you try. So they are unlikely to be as active to jump out of the water or even feed.

If you enjoy fly fishing, chasing bass can be a lot of fun. Especially fighting an airborne bass. Make sure your leader and tippet is up to the challenge as the tippet can be put under a lot of stress. For night fishing and waters with bigger bass, go up tippet poundage for strength.  Check out Fly Fishing Tips And Tricks for more information.


Conclusion. Why do bass jump out of the water?

So basically bass jump to avoid being chased by predators, they also leap about chasing food themselves. Trying to shake the hook out is another reason they go airborne.

If you love fishing, jumping bass are hard to ignore. Whether you are targeting small mouth bass, largemouth or striped bass, you realize bass are an amazing species that can be challenging and fun to catch.


If you are chasing bass in Texas check and make sure you are following the regulations. For information on costs, visit – How Much Is A Texas Fishing License?