Why do Bass Get Bloody Tails? – It’s Not What You Thought!

Why do Bass Get Bloody Tails

If you fish for Bass frequently, there are chances that you might have encountered one with a bloody tail. To you, the bloody tail may mean several things. It may signify an injury, probably due to a failed attempt on its life, or something related. However, the reason for this fish’s condition is not an attack; instead, it is something I bet hasn’t crossed your mind yet. So, what is this thing I’m referring to?

Bass get bloody tails due to it swimming close to rocks and other rough surfaces like a tree limb. When it glides past these surfaces, it bruises its tail, and the result is a tail smeared with blood.

Several anglers out there are curious to know why their Bass has a bloody tail. Does it mean it is infected? Or did it escape death by a whisker? As humans, we often want to know the cause of something, especially if it seems weird. As we progress, you’ll not only find the answer to one of the most common questions as far as this fish is concerned, you will also find answers to other puzzling questions.

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Why do Bass Get Bloody Tails?

On one fine morning, you set out to the river a few distances away from your home. Lucky for you, your first catch didn’t take too long, and it was one of your favorite; a bass. The fish is quite big, and this further adds to your excitement. You decide to take a picture of your catch, and that was when you discovered its tail is smeared with blood. You get confused and try to come up with a reasonable conclusion as to what happened to this catch of yours. You see, this illustration clearly describes what happens to most anglers when they encounter such fish for the first time. If you are one of such anglers, you are about to know why.

Contrary to what most people believe, this fish’s blood-stained tail is not a result of spawning. This claim is invalid because it is the male that fans the nest and not the female. The blood you see on the tail of a bass is due to its sweeping the river beds. When its tail comes in contact with rocks and other jagged surfaces, it gets bruised and bleeds. This weird condition in this fish can also be a result of stress. As time goes by, the injury heals provided the spot of the bleeding isn’t re-opened.

When next you encounter this fish species with a bleeding tail, don’t panic or overthink as it is nothing serious. Scars and bleeding tails are common in other fishes as well, just as they are common in humans.

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What does a Bloody Tail on a Bass Mean?

The anglers’ curiosity is often piqued when they discover that the fish they caught has a bleeding tail. Of course, it’s not normal, so it is ok for them to be quite anxious. But sometimes, rather than get anxious, some anglers assume; they assume that an unlucky predator must have attacked the fish. Or probably the fish got injured while escaping from the hook of an angler. However, the mentioned assumptions are all wrong. So if they are wrong, what might the bleeding tail of this fish mean?

Whenever you observe this condition in a fish, don’t overthink it as it is quite normal. If the tail were amputated or if you observed some weird growth on it, that is when you need to get a little scared because several terrible assumptions can be attached to such sight.

The bleeding tail of a bass is an indication that it has bruised this part of its body somewhere. Contrary to several beliefs, this fish’s bleeding tail doesn’t have anything to do with spawning. Instead, it is merely because of some poor maneuvering skills, if you want to put it that way.

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I will cover some bass spawning aspects below in order for you to have a clear picture of what exactly it is.

What does it mean when Bass is Spawning?

The word bait, fishing tackle, spinning reel, baitcasting reel, lure, and spawning are common buzzwords in the fishing world. If you aren’t familiar with at least one of these words, you have to do some proper self-analysis to ask yourself if you are indeed an angler. That aside. You see, the word “spawning” is quite common as far as fishes are concerned. However, not all anglers know what the word means. So when someone says Bass are in their spawning season, some anglers get confused.

A spawning bass is one that encompasses the process of childbirth. This process covers the building of nests, locating a mate, hatching fertilized eggs, and protecting offspring until they are matured enough to live independently. This species of fish usually spawn when the water is warmer as it the safest temperature for the survival of their eggs.

When you hear the word spawning, just have the notion that it is related to the fertilization of eggs and the reproduction of young ones, just like childbirth in humans but with very different methods. This process usually takes place at certain period in the year when some environmental conditions are present.

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How long does the Spawn Last for Bass?

Knowing what spawning is, at least to a reasonable extent, I bet the next question on your mind will be concerning its duration. When this fish enters its spawning season, does it go on for nine months like the female humans? Is it just one day or 30 minutes something? How long does this process last?

As far as Bass is concerned, the spawning process covers the laying of eggs, fertilizing the laid eggs, and hatching the eggs. This process can tarry for as long as three weeks in some locations. The duration may vary according to some environmental factors.

To spawn, this species of fish goes in search of a strong and hard surface area to construct a nest for their eggs. Afterward, they fertilize and hatch their eggs. As soon as the newly born fishes have grown to a length where they can cater to themselves, they go their separate ways, and when the time comes, they spawn as well.

Is it bad to Catch Spawning Bass?

Spawning in fishes is related to the birth of offspring. This process covers the laying of eggs, the fertilization of the laid eggs, and the hatching of the eggs. So this is simply what happens when a bass spawns. During this period, some people believe that it is bad to capture this species of fish. However, do you share such beliefs? Is it bad to capture this fish during this phase of its life?

Catching a spawning bass is not a good idea; this is because doing so will expose its nest or eggs to predators who will feast on them. What this denotes is that there will be no offspring for that year. This act has been ongoing for several years and scientists aren’t even sure if it affects the fish’s population.

Catching a spawning bass may not be a good idea. Some empathetic people may liken the act of separating a mother from her children. Sometimes catching these fish during this period is challenging as they tend to construct their nest in remote places. According to research, it was discovered that there are some little long-term effects of catching this fish at this point. So, ensure you think twice before you engage in the act.


The bloodstains you see on the tail of a bass is simply an indication that several jagged surfaces have bruised this part of its body. The condition is not related to childbirth, an infection, or an attack by a predator. So when you see this, first, the fish is totally fine, and secondly, you have nothing to worry about. The wound will heal, and the fish may probably bruise it again. It is that normal for the fish as it is normal for every human to nurse a bruise at one point in life.

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