what does a sea bass look like

What Does a Sea Bass Look Like: The Types and Identifying Features

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Many species of fish are commonly known as sea bass, but the question is, what does a sea bass look like?

Sea bass is the most commonly found fish in the Western Atlantic Ocean between the Mediterranean and Norway.

You will be surprised to know that there are 475 species of sea bass in the world.

Although the term sea bass usually refers to the whole species, the fish themselves is sometimes called a sea bass or bass.

The sea bass is a high-value fish, which is a popular food in the whole world.

What is better is that there is a plentiful supply of the fish, while it is also affordable.

Many anglers also prefer sea bass over other fish species when they go fishing.

What Does a Sea Bass Look Like?

There are several kinds of sea bass, but one of the most common types has a small size and typically weighs between 1.5 to two pounds.

The typical sea bass is usually consumed by people all around the world, especially in the UK.

Mostly, the sea bass has a stout-bodied bottom, which has grayish-black scales and white belly.

The flesh of the fish is also white and flavorful.

If you go to a fish market to buy a sea bass, always make sure the bass has a deep color with bright eyes and pink gills.

These things indicate that the fish is actually a sea bass, and it is fresh as well.

How Is a Sea Bass Identified?

The identification of a sea bass can be hard if you will go fishing for the first time because every kind of sea bass looks different from others.

In fact, even experienced anglers confuse one from the other.

With that said, let us look at its parts to help you identify them from other fish:

1. Fins

Although each type of sea bass is different from the other, fins of sea bass are one of its diagnostic features.

That means no matter if you catch a largemouth bass or spotted bass, they have similar fins.

The fin of a sea bass consists of two parts separated with a notch.

One section is forward and spiny, while the other is hinder and soft-rayed.

2. Tail

All the sea bass has a similar tail structure, which is another factor you can consider while distinguishing a sea bass.

The sea bass has a straight-edge or round-shaped tail that typically distinguish the sea bass from other fish.

The point where both sections separate with a notch, the tail is tri-lobed between each point.

3. Color

If you think you can identify a sea bass with its color, you are wrong because the color of a sea bass varies within the species.

The common thing is that sea bass has dark shades.

The larger adult sea bass is usually blue-black while the smaller sea bass is dusky-brown or smoky-gray. 

Additionally, the exposed parts of sea bass are paler than the margins, while the center of scales is white, which forms a longitudinal series of silver stripes.

The belly of sea bass is lighter in color than its sides, which are usually darker.

The fins and tail are darker as well.

Some sea bass can change their color to any other color pattern.

The ones who live more profoundly in the water are darker in color than those who live on less dense water.

3. Size

Most of the sea bass are smaller in size, but you can find large ones as well.

The most significant sea bass anglers have found weighs 10 kilograms and measures one meter.

In the market, normally a six-kilogram sea bass is considered the largest size.

When we talk about farm sea bass, they don’t grow this large.

You will find the most massive farm fish at 400 to 800 grams, while the standard supermarket size is only 90 grams.

what does a sea bass look like

How to Identify Bass Gender

You can identify a sea bass with its dark color, separated notch, or other features, but learning about the gender of the bass can become hard.

Many anglers say both male and female sea bass looks identical, and they are hard to distinguish.

However, there are some ways to tell the gender if you look closely.

The significant difference between a male and female sea bass is the size.

The female bass is usually larger than a male bass.

For example, bass weighing above eight pounds is a female bass.

If you see a nest with eggs and sea bass is guarding them, it is most likely a male bass.

If you happen to catch a sea bass before the spawning period, you don't have to worry since there is a way to identify its gender.

What you need to do is hold the fish in your hand and gently press its belly.

If a white substance, known as milt, comes out of the anal opening, the sea bass is a male.

If a few greenish-colored eggs come out, it is a female bass.

What Are the Different Types of a Sea Bass?

Every type of sea bass looks different from each other. Hence, it is essential to know the kind of sea bass if you want to know how it looks.

1. Largemouth Bass

As the name suggests, the largemouth sea bass has a larger upper jaw than the others.

The jaw extends beyond its eye when the bass opens the mouth.

Also, the largemouth bass is usually green in color.

The deep notch separating both fins and the tails are similar to other sea basses.

2. Kentucky Bass

The Kentucky bass looks like a cross between largemouth bass and smallmouth bass.

It doesn’t have a large jaw like largemouth bass, but its band is similar to largemouth.

The Kentucky bass has dark spots on its belly, which is why it is usually called spotted bass.

Lastly, the upper body of the Kentucky bass has dark markings.

3. Smallmouth Bass

The smallmouth bass has a small jaw, but the thing which makes it different from others is the dark vertical stripes, which are usually bronze or dark green.

The smallmouth bass prefers cooler temperature and mostly found in streams, rivers, and the likes.

4. Red-Eye Bass

The red-eye bass is similar to largemouth bass since it has a gigantic jaw, which extends to the margin of its eye.

The difference is that red-eye bass has red eyes; thus, the name.

The red-eye bass is also slender and small in size, contrary to other types of sea bass.

5. White Bass

Have you ever seen a round-shaped fish that looks like a football?

If you ever see one, it will probably be a white bass.

The white bass has a less streamlined body, and its stripes are irregular.

Not every white bass has marks, though, so keep that in mind and do your research.

Where Can You Find Sea Bass?

The sea bass is typically present in warm and tropical seas.

You will find them in the shallower region mostly as they spawn in the shallow areas.

The sea bass spawns in early spring when the female bass remains in shallow areas to lay eggs, and male bass protects the eggs.

On the contrary, a smallmouth bass lives in cooler and moving bodies of water.

Unlike other sea bass species, it doesn’t remain in deeper water.

They usually hover on the top of the river, so an angler can quickly get their hands on a smallmouth sea bass.

The striped bass is usually found inside the freshwater. 

They are different from other sea bass and spawn in early summer.

The striped bass lives near the rocky coast, and you can catch them effortlessly.

Reproduction of a Sea Bass

The sea bass grows slowly, and their reproduction also takes a lot of time.

Between the age of 10 and 30 years, the sea bass reaches its sexual maturity.

The small and young sea bass are female, which are responsible for reproduction.

During the pre-spawning time, the sea bass moves to the shallow area of the water like creek channels.

The female bass stays in shallow water for a few days and lays the eggs.

When the spawning phase starts, male bass also comes near to the nest and protects the eggs.

The female bass usually lurks on top of the river in search of food.


Whether it's your first time to fish or you fish frequently, it is essential to know the types of fish and their kinds. 

We are sure you now understand what does a sea bass look like.

Sea bass is the most sought-after fish, which is commonly found in the Western-Atlantic Ocean.

The sea bass has various types, and each kind looks different from each other, making it difficult to differentiate between types.

There are some similarities and differences between the kinds of sea bass.

If you are passionate about fishing, you will learn more about the types of sea bass as you fish often.

Also, research helps a lot in knowing about your fish, and fishing becomes a lot more enjoyable when you know which sea bass you have just caught!

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