How Long Do Bass Live: Detailed Guide For Beginner Anglers

How Long Do Bass Live: Detailed Guide For Beginner Anglers

Bass fishing is quite popular and practiced in many countries worldwide. Beginners and experienced anglers like to catch bass because they are effortless to catch with a variety of baits. Plus, you can find them in various places, and they make a delicious meal!

Do you know everything about bass, such as various types of bass and their life spans? Some interesting indicators are connected to the bass’ age, and will help you determine how old the bass you’ve caught is.

If you want to learn more about how long bass live and the factors that determine their life span, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s get right into the guide and discuss all things bass!

How Long Do Bass Live? 

Bass are known to live anywhere from 5 to 20 years. On average, they can reach the age of 16 years.

The longevity of a particular bass is determined by the place they live and how they spend their lives. For example, if they’re taken out of the water by anglers, their life span can drastically lower. The same goes for bass caught and left to live in a bucket or bag

Let’s look into these separate categories to determine how long a bass can live when it’s out of the water, in the water, or in a bucket.

Out of Water

fish out of water

You can keep bass alive for some time after taking them out of the water, but that’s only if you take precautions. If you don’t get a bass into the water within minutes, it likely will not stay alive for long. The same goes for keeping them in buckets – its life span will decrease tremendously. 

Just by taking the fish out of the water, you give it about 10 or 15 minutes to live. If you keep it out for 20 minutes and then put it back into the water, chances are it will not survive. That’s because it will not have enough oxygen and will start going into distress because of the sudden change. 

So, remember the longest a bass can live out of water is 15 minutes, and you should put it back before then if you want it to survive.

In Water

how long do bass live

If it has an uninterrupted life in high-quality water, a bass can live up to 20 years. This is not the case with all types of bass, however. Only some have the chance to live in perfect conditions. 

Most bass will not live past ten years, which is often considered old age. So, if you ever wonder whether the bass you’ve caught is young or old, remember that their life span is usually ten years. 

To learn more about the various types of bass and their life spans, stick around for the rest of the guide! 

Within a Bucket

If you participate in tournament fishing or fish because you want to, chances are that you’ll have a bucket with you to keep your trophy catches. Unless you don’t intend on letting the fish back in the water, you should know it can stay in the bucket for 30 to 60 minutes. 

Keeping bass in a bucket for longer than 60 minutes will lower their chances of survival and even lead to death. So, make sure you let the bass back in the water within 30 minutes to allow them to go back to their normal life.

Types of Bass

how long do bass live

If you try looking up bass species online, you’ll find there are many types of bass. Some types, such as the smallmouth and largemouth bass, are quite common and can be found living in places all over the world. Others are rare and found only in specific regions, such as the Florida bass native to the Florida region. 

Here’s a list of some of the bass types that are common and that anglers can catch in various types of water:

  • Largemouth bass
  • Smallmouth bass
  • Spotted bass
  • Florida bass
  • European bass
  • Patagonian bass
  • Rock bass
  • Australian bass
  • Japanese sea bass
  • Black bass
  • Red-eye bass
  • Shadow bass
  • Striped bass
  • White bass
  • Yellow bass
  • Ozark bass 

These are not the only bass types – there are plenty more! If you want to learn more about the various types and subtypes of bass or their differences, visit our website and read some of the helpful guides we have on bass and other fish species.  

Factors Determining How Long Bass Live

How long a bass lives has a few determining factors, including:

  • The temperature of the water where they live
  • The pressure and oxygen in the water
  • Their food supply 
  • Their proximity to other fish
  • The presence of predators near the bass 

Here’s how each of these factors affects the life span of a bass:

Water Temperature

bass in aquarium

The water temperature can seriously affect the bass’ life span. Warm water is not ‌suitable for bass. Studies have shown that bass tend to live longer in cold water

Warm water makes their metabolism work faster, requiring bass to eat more often. This means they’ll grow more, but does not positively affect their lives. Sometimes, all that moving around might lead to them being captured by a predator or an angler. 

In colder water conditions, bass’ metabolism slows down. This causes them to eat or hunt less often. During these times, bass stay dormant in deeper water and wait for better days. 

Since bass aren’t moving around much in cold water, it’s harder for them to get caught. That said, it probably isn’t best to fish during the cold or winter months. 

The average water temperature needed for bass to thrive is about 20 degrees Fahrenheit. When living in a body of water with a constant temperature of 20 degrees, bass can live upwards of 16 years. 

Water Pressure

When it comes to water pressure, bass like high pressure better. When bass are under more pressure, they can move around  more easily and look for food. As a result, they’re lively and more likely to reproduce as well. 

Bass experts know that high-pressure water means more bass to catch. The downside is, it also means the bass there are more likely to be older or in later stages of life. 

Oxygen Levels

Bass need at least 5 mg of oxygen per liter to be able to live longer. 

Anything below 5 mg/L is considered insufficient for most bass species to survive. When faced with such conditions, bass tend to abandon the area and look for waters with optimal living conditions and aquatic plants that create suitable oxygen levels. 


How long a bass lives also depends on how often they come across predators. Some bass species live in water inhabited only by similar fish. There, they have the slightest chance of dying from predator attacks.

If a bass lived in the deep sea, it would be much less likely to reach old age. The deep sea is inhabited by dangerous underwater creatures that feed on bass. Because of the saturation of predators, the bass is more likely to be eaten before it ever reaches the adult fish stage. 

Food Availability

How much food a bass has at its disposal can also affect its life span. A low food supply or limited food resources means the bass will have to move around more to find food. By doing that, it exposes itself to risks such as coming head-to-head with predators. 

Bass feed on various underwater vegetation, which means they likely won’t starve. Still, having less food than needed expands the risk of starvation. Some bass species are known to feed on smaller fish, but that’s not the case for all bass species. 

Energy Levels

Bass use much of their energy to look for food when food resources around them are scarce. Using up their energy on food quests means there will be less energy in their bodies to use for growth and other bodily processes. This lack of energy might shorten their life spans. 

Bass with an abundance of food around them can live longer. This is because most of their energy is spent on growth and proper development.


Thank you for sticking with me through this detailed guide on the life span of bass and the factors that affect them. I hope you found this guide informative and you understand bass a bit better now. 

At this point, you should be able to answer the question “how long do bass live?” If you have any experience with bass fishing, don’t hesitate to share it in the comments below. We will make sure to read all your stories as soon as possible.

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